Summer Crash (Zerralon 1.1) – Part 14: Crash Landing

This entry is part 14 of 28 in the series Summer Crash (Zerralon 1.1)

Summer comes to a crashing end…

Ten-year-old Kevin Taggert prefers to stay home with his video games, but his parents insist he join a summer sports program. Exactly on the day the Vordac raid Earth. With his little sister depending on him for protection, Kevin must find the strength and wisdom to keep them both safe.

Before they both end up dead, or even worse: as life-long slaves of the Vordac.

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Summer Crash (Zerralon 1.1)

Part 14: Crash Landing

The nose of the hovercar dropped again. Nothing Kevin did with the controls stopped it. He used the throttle and brakes, even managing to stop it from listing to the left. But, he couldn’t stop them from dropping out of the sky.

Strange sounds came from the vehicle. Whines, coughs, pops, and groans. None of which he’d ever heard before. All of which he knew down deep in his gut were not good.

As was the slow losing of all control.

Christy started pointing ahead, jabbing at the windscreen with her finger. He knew. He could see it approaching.

The smooth white surface of a building with neat rows of reflective windows. No opening for a parking garage at this level, either. Just a solid wall to crash into.

Kevin jerked the control to the right. The nose dropped again, but it turned. But, not fast.

Slow. Far too slow of a turn, even while the hovercar dropped faster.

A metallic scream ripped through the air as the side of the hovercar met the side of the building. New sparks flew in all directions. Christy cried out, squeezing her eyes closed. The seatbelt bit into his lap and shoulder as the entire vehicle jerked away from the building.

Still dropping, right into the walkways and bridges between the lower sections of the buildings. This time without any way to pull out of a dive. He pulled the controls all the way back.

It did nothing.

Christy didn’t scream. Just held onto her seatbelt as the hovercar angled out of the sky with Kevin struggling with the controls. How he wished all he had to do was hold on, too.

He tried the braking, then the throttle. The hovercar shuddered. A series of loud booming clicks sounded from underneath their seats. Smoke erupted from under the hovercar, some of it whirling inside through the shattered rear window.

A burst of white shot out, hitting the hovercar across the front windshield. It erupted into a nearly transparent bubble.

Only, this bubble wasn’t empty. It enveloped the entire hovercar. A round surface of iridescent blue and purple, imprisoning them inside.

“They got us!” Christy screamed.

The bottom of a small vehicle appeared over the bubble. Kevin gulped as the last of the power in the hovercar failed. No controls, no way to escape, and the bubble filling with the smoke still coming out from under the frame.


He let go of the controls and leaned forward, catching his breath. He needed to see, even though it filled him with dread. See which of the Vordac robots or vehicles finally captured them.

This one was white with a stripe of light blue. Four small hovering disks framed the bottom of the rectangular shape. The bottom of the craft didn’t look anything like the Vordac robots. In fact, he’d seen that type of hovering mechanism before.

“No, it’s the police!” Kevin yelled, relief filling him from head to toe. Then coughed at the acrid smoke filling the cabin.

He was sure now. Somehow, a police-bot found them. Encased them in a bubble of its own, and was now using its own hover-engines to stop their deadly plummet.

Christy joined him in the coughing. Talking grew impossible. Breathing soon would, as well. Was the hovercar now on fire? A new worry gripped him. One involving breathable air and open flames. Which one would get to them first?

The shadow of a walkway passed over them. Then another. A wider bridge used by both people and freight robots appeared. The police-bot lowered them past all of them.

Soon, he wouldn’t be able to see the scenery outside. Not with this much smoke inside the bubble.

The hovercar bumped. The front tipped up. With another thump the back-end settled and the bubble popped. Smoke drifted upwards, leaving the hovercar behind. But not fast enough from the inside cabin.

Kevin’s nearly numb fingers worked at the seatbelt. “Christy, get out of the car!”

“Where’s Boo?” Christy’s seatbelt came loose and she slipped off the seat.

“We’ll come back for Boo! Get out before this thing burns.” Finally, his seatbelt came loose. Kevin swiveled the chair around.

Christy held up her doll. “Found it! And your backpack.”

She grabbed the side door of the hovercar and pushed at it. Kevin joined her, but found it not willing to open. Still coughing, he switched to the door on the other side.

With a loud crack, if flung upwards. Fresh air poured inside, giving welcome relief to his hurting lungs.

He jumped down to solid ground, so relieved to have them both alive. He didn’t count on tired and stressed muscles nearly giving out on him. He caught himself just before going to his knees. His calves ached and spasmed almost as much as his hands.

Christy followed him, with Boo and his backpack in tow. Two things not really important right now, but he took his backpack when she handed it up to him as they moved away from the hovercar.

Finally away from the smoke, Kevin allowed himself to breathe in as deeply as he wanted. Sweet fresh air. And they were still free. Not slaves, and he wanted to keep it that way.

The ground shook, the deep vibration passing from their feet and up their bones. His lungs felt it next as the rumble went through the air.

The sound of a deep explosion roiled past them. The smoke drifting up from the hovercar pushed to one side as the wave passed them.

Christy held tight to Kevin’s hand, squeezing until her skin showed white. “What was that?”

Kevin swallowed past the block in his throat. “The Morde. I think it’s getting closer.”



Come back for more reading! Look for the next exciting installment each Tuesday.

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Part of the Forward Motion Flash Friday Challenge.

Series Navigation<< Summer Crash (Zerralon 1.1) – Part 13: Gamer BoySummer Crash (Zerralon 1.1) – Part 15: Time to Flee >>

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  1. […] Summer Crash (Zerralon 1.1) – Part 14: Crash Landing by J.A. Marlow ~ @jamarlow_sf ~ Between 500 and 1000 words ~ Science Fiction ~ Serial […]

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