Chapter 30 Flight of the Broken Bee
Dustin had easily convinced Walter to get everyone into the ship. He used the nanobots to fix the gaping hole Granny had made in her rage. Then he turned into a slime long enough to eat all of the body remains, cleaning up the blood splatters too.
Granny was sitting in one of the chairs, typing commands in, and waiting for responses.
He left her there, to help Walter get the others into the back. This ship was barely more than a shuttle, so there was limited room for everyone. Trey and Sherry took up the only two beds. Walter gave Trey a tranquilizer so he would calm down and sleep, and Sherry was pretty sure she had some broken ribs that made it hard to breath. They left them in their suits, so if anything happened, they would be safe, then strapped them into the beds so they wouldn't fall out of them if the ride got bumpy.
"This ship isn't designed to warp jump," said Granny when he returned with Walter.
Walter sat heavily in his chair and rubbed his face. He had taken his helmet off while he was wrestling Trey into the ship.
"I don't think I'm capable of flying this ship," he said, glancing briefly at them.
Dustin moved up to the pilot's chair and sat down. It only took him a moment to figure out how to get it off the ground.
"We'll need a better ship then this if we're planning on jumping anywhere," said Granny.
"How long would it take us to just fly there?" asked Dustin.
"Hundred of years," said Walter, confused.
"Right. So, we need to get a better ship." Dustin turned it and started flying in the direction that Granny had said they might find a base of some kind.
"Didn't I just say that? I thought I just said that," complained Granny from her seat behind him.
"Hey, don't be a back-seat driver," Dustin said over his shoulder.
"If I was driving, we would be there by now," she responded.
"What is she, your mom?" asked Walter, confused.
"She's Granny," said Dustin.
"I'm Granny," she said.
They all paused and there was a moment of silence.
"So, Walter, how are you a clone?"
"What station do you call home?" asked Granny.
"What?" shouted Dustin, and Granny at the same time.
"What?" asked Walter in confused panic at their reactions.
"How the hell do you call death station home?" demanded Dustin.
"Nice friends you've got here," muttered Granny.
"They're not my friends," said Dustin.
"Death station?" asked Walter, obviously not understanding what they were talking about.
"Fuck! Don't tell me you don't know!" Dustin shook his head in disbelief.
"I'm seriously going to have a panic attack if you don't tell me what you're talking about," said Walter annoyed.
"Station Cessation was formed in order to give old humans a place to peacefully end their lives, only the old weren't the only ones who were sent there. Families, orphans, whoever could be convinced, would be sent there, in order to allow them a peaceful end. Damn, why didn't I think to ask before." Dustin was furious with himself. These people were nothing more than death reapers. No wonder they were trying to go out and 'rescue' everyone.
"I…I think I know what you're talking about," stammered Walter. "But, I learned it a little differently. Whatever the station was designed to do in the beginning, it is only a home now. We try to give people a place to live that isn't harsh, like most of the planets they were sent to, are."
"But what freedom do those people have? Surely there's not enough jobs for them, so what do they do?" asked Granny.
"They get meals at their designated times. There are plenty of things for them to do. We have gardens for them to enjoy, physical activities to enjoy, studies and libraries for them to learn and read."
"But what is their goal? Do they get assigned jobs so they feel like they contribute to the society you have there?"
Walter was quiet. "No, there's not really enough jobs for everyone."
"So, what happens, is they get unhappy, even though there is plenty for them to do, and they end up killing themselves," said Dustin softly. He remembered hearing about it. The station was dubbed death station because it was a horrible place to live. Also, no one was ever allowed to leave.
"We do have a large problem with depression and death…" Walter's voice trailed off. He obviously had never thought about that.
"We're getting close to this base, care to respond to their summons?" asked Dustin.
"Oh! I will!" cackled Granny, picking up the headphones and typing a few keys.
"We're a damaged ship, requesting landing space and a new ship." She sounded very professional, and Dustin fought the urge to whip his head around to make sure she was still Granny.
"I'm sorry, I don't have access to that code, the captain is dead. That person is too. I could put you in touch with the person in charge, but he's currently flying this bird. Thank you."
Taking the headphones off, she typed a few things.
"You'll need to land next to hanger three. And judging from the sizes of those doors, I would say the ship we're looking for is inside hanger two."
Dustin wasn't sure how she had convinced them, but they had a team on the ground waving them over to an open spot on the tarmac. The base before them was huge, having been carved into the sides of the cliffs. The hangar doors were all different sizes, with hanger two being the largest. The question remained as to how they would get everyone moved from this ship, to the other one without getting any of their people killed.
"There's no way they will just let a Gooblen walk calmly over to one of their ships, without throwing a fit," said Walter.
"Don't ever underestimate Granny," said Dustin, standing up from his seat as the ship went through its cool down.
Granny grinned wide, baring all her sharp teeth at Walter. "I'll be just fine. Meet you there!"
Walter and Dustin watched her hop over the seat and scurry down the hall. Shortly after, there was a knock on the outside door.