Skylar was squeezed between two bulking men in the backseat of a black car with tinted windows. Hannah’s dad sat in the passenger seat, frequently looking at Skylar either by turning his head or glancing in the rear view mirror.
The first place Robert ordered the driver to go was Skylar’s ship. The wooded area was full of people, and there was caution tape marking areas.
The car bumped along the uneven ground, following a hiking trail, the wheels flattening the plants in either side.
"Don't try anything." Robert growled and looked at the rear view mirror as they approached the trench Skylar's ship had made. The two agents on either side of Skylar in the car leaned in, making them hunch their shoulders.
"How did you find the ship?" Skylar asked.
"An observant park ranger noticed something was off with a tree, animals seemingly floating."
"Oh." Skylar slowly rubbed their thighs. One of the men next to them almost grabbed their arms before retracting back to his side of the vehicle. "So you broke in irregardless of possible anti-theft mechanisms."
"We investigated a possible threat." Robert glowered at Skylar. "And we found one."
"I'm not a threat." Skylar wrapped their arms around their chest.
"Very convincing." Robert rolled his eyes. Skylar bit their cheek and turned their attention back to the window. The trench was greener now, with weeds, small flowers, and moss taking advantage of the open space. The trees that had been ripped up had brown and white mushrooms spouting along their trunks.
Death paved the way for life.
Skylar took a deep breath. They made a note to research mushrooms to see if those would be worth bringing to Qwortar.
But for now, Skylar was surrounded. “You will be escorted onto the ship.” Robert picked up where he left off. “You will disable the smell, and any other defense mechanisms, and then you’ll have a lot to answer for.”
Skylar nodded as the trench moved out of view.
“When will I leave?”
“After we get our answers.”
“All right.” The car stopped. Skylar looked through the windshield, spying the rectangle of light from the interior of their ship, hovering over a branch. With a couple blinks and adjusting their vision, the invisible ship wasn’t invisible anymore.
Landing gear had braced against the thick tree trunk and the ground. The exterior was scratched up from the crash, and it looked like there was some damage around the doorway, but nothing that would deem the ship unusable.
The car doors opened and Skylar was nudged to exit the passenger side. Robert and the two men joined Skylar on the walk towards the cherry picker waiting to bring them up to the ship.
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