Only one of them would be able to escape.
"Hey, what...what are you talking about?" Rune asked.
With shaking hands, she gazed at the control switches. Memories of the past flooded her mind.
Everyone died, Rune thought, returning to the Dramora bombing of her home. Why was I the only one allowed to survive?
"Pretend all you want, but you know what I mean. Here, let me check out the engine down there," he said.
"Wait! What do you plan on doing?"
"Hey, you're supposed to be a soldier, so calm down and clear your head up," he scolded.
"No, I don't want to calm down! We're in a strange situation here, Dmitri. Only one of us can survive. How the hell are we going to make that decision? Tell me, how? No one..."
Rune's memories flashed the face of her older brother Liis. She remembered how she hugged and cried over his bullet-ridden body. Bullets that he had taken for her. Rune's lips quivered.
"You must live Rune," Liis had told her.
"No one should have to make such a decision," she managed to spit out.
"Okay, so you do understand our situation. That's good to know," Dmitri told her.
After several seconds of silence, he made his way down the stairs to the escape pod's engine.
"Well, if it eases your fears, I'll push and you can go on ahead," Dmitri said below.
"No! You...you should go instead. I'll fix everything down there."
"You wouldn't know what to do. Your knowledge is limited to weaponry. The only thing you'd manage to do is kill the both of us."
Dmitri's voice was calm, but Rune believed that her partner did not want to die. She did not like the tone of his voice.
"This can't be happening," she whispered to herself.
"Concentrate up there, will you? I'm going to be giving you directions. Work fast or else we'll die together."
Another rumble of their ship confirmed Dmitri's premonition. The shake had forced Rune out of her seat. She climbed back onto the pilot's chair.
No, I'm not going to let this happen again. I can't.
"Is everything all right up there?" Dmitri called.
Nothing is all right. Nothing has ever been all right.
"Yeah! I'm...I'm fine," Rune answered.
"All right, now listen up," Dmitri called out. "It's not so bad down here. I think I can actually get this thing started again."
While Dmitri spewed out his directions, Rune worked from her end like a ghost. She did not feel like she owned her body.
"Rune! Try the start-up controls now!"
Rune shook her head. She did as Dmitri instructed and started up the ship. The lights turned up and the machine hummed loudly.
"It works! Dmitri, we can both leave together. Come up now!"
"I know! I know! Give me a second."
Rune laughed, tears flowing down her eyes. Dmitri would not die. More importantly, she thought, he would not have to die for her. She did not want anyone to ever die for her ever again.
A chunk from the front of their ship suddenly ripped out. The vacuum from outside threatened to suck the two of them away.
"Dmitri! Are you all right? What's taking so long? It's getting really dangerous now! The ship is being torn apart!"
"The hatch is jammed.