The walk back, took Luke across the city. All the lights had been dimmed, as they always had at night, to save power.
Synthesizer music played out from the speakers. Couples stopped to checkout the gardens behind the crystal glass, where some exotic birds flew, for them there was no day or night, they lived in a strange world all of their own.
Luke thought about his mum, he didn't realise how bad she was, he wondered how she would manage, once he was a pilot like his father.
He thought about his mum being alone, so many things to think about.
As he neared home, his first idea was to go straight to the control centre, but then he decided he would go straight home.
After giving the information to enter the building they lived in, he
was walking down the corridor to their apartment, when all of a sudden he noticed the red emergency light flashing outside their door.
Picking up the pace, he was consciously worried that someone had broken in.
Reaching the door, he found it off the latch, a light appeared to be on. Now he was really worried.
'Should I walk straight in...or go and get help?' he thought to himself.
He decided to take his chances. Pushing open the door hard, he stormed in shouting, “Who's there!”
Max Pearce from the control centre was standing in the living room,
sorting out the alarm system.
“What the hell are you doing here Max?” Luke shrieked, partly glad that at least they hadn't been burgled, not that anyone could get passed
Max turned and looked at Luke, feeling just as unsure of what was going on.
“Your alarm system's been going off all night. Where's Lena? I had to break in, in case there was a problem.”
Luke then put two and two together, he realised what had happened.
“Mum's at the hospital, she collapsed, I think when she used her implant to get to hospital, she must have set the alarm off.”
“Oh! I see...what's happened to her...is she okay?”
“She collapsed,” said Luke, “but she's in safe hands now, so I'm sure she'll be fine.”
Max had just about fixed the alarm.
“I didn't only come over because of the alarm...I also came to speak with Lena about your father.”
“What do you mean?” asked Luke.
“Well, we've had word from the ship your father was on, that they have lost contact with Addie. It's been three days now since they were
able to speak with him.”
“But what's happened to him...is he okay?” questioned Luke.
“We don't know. Apparently the planet they were investigating, was full of underground tunnels, leading off of caves. They wanted to check them out, to see if there was any form of life. The ship lost contact, I'm afraid Addie and his crew only have four weeks of food, water and air.”
“What!” yelled Luke...”what the hell are you going to do? you're not
just going to leave them...please don't tell me you're giving up on them?” This was more than Luke could comprehend.
“Calm down Luke. No we're not leaving them. We have four more crystal ships docked at the moment, but only four pilots available. I know this is a lot to ask, but I need you – Sam – Jake and Alex to each
partner up with a pilot.”
“But Max! we're not qualified to fly yet, I haven't got my licence,” replied Luke.
Max assured him. “Look! Sam and Jake took their exam and passed two weeks ago, that just leaves you and Alex. I'll set everything up for you both to take exams as soon as possible. Then I will need to explain what the plans are. This is going to be a challenge Luke...but I have every faith in you.”
Suddenly Luke thought about his mates, they must be wondering what
happened to him.
There were so many things going around in Luke's head just at that moment, things were happening too fast, he found it hard to take it all in.
He checked his wrist communication, then remembered he'd turned it off, not wanting to be disturbed on his birthday. “Ten missed calls, and
all from Sam. What a nightmare this night was turning out to be.”
He turned to Max once again. “Okay you fix everything up, but I have a day off tomorrow and there's things I have to do, so please just give me some space!”
“That's fine Luke...look I'm sorry about your mum, if I were you, I wouldn't say anything to her about your dad, not if she's ill, just say
your exams have been brought forward...okay?”
“Yeah...sure Max. Now if you don't mind, I'd like to get some sleep, of
what's left of the night.
Max left Luke in peace...but Luke's head was still spinning from it all.