Deizzan bolted upright in his bed, something was wrong. He couldn't shake the sudden feeling that something was definitely wrong as his stomach churned with anxiety. As he swung his legs over the side of his bunk it began, the lights in the crew quarters coming to life as the emergency siren blared over the main intercom system.
"This is a Class-9 Emergency. All knights will proceed to the evacuation annex immediately. I repeat, this is a Class-9 Emergency; proceed to the evacuation annex immediately," stated a computerized voice.
He looked around, the other Knights springing from their bunks as the formerly darkened room of slumbering warriors sprang to life. Some scrambled to gather what they could, important personal possessions and other miscellaneous items; most simply grabbed their weapons as they bolted for the door. Deizzan threw open his trunk, reaching in to grab a knit scarf of green and maroon. He couldn't leave it behind, he would never forgive himself. It was the only thing he possessed that tied her to him. He stopped to buckle his sword belt hastily to his side, tucking his sidearm into the back of his pants as he dashed to the doorway. This could easily be a drill, the efforts of the captain to drill immediate response into their minds as they traveled through the vast expanses of space. He couldn't quite place it, but his gut told him that this was no drill.
As he ran down the corridor with his regiment, the computerized voice blared to life over the intercom system once again. "This is a Class-9 emergency. All Knights will-," As the voice died out, the lights began to flicker momentarily before failing altogether. The ship's emergency power generators sprang to life, illuminating the corridors in a soft yellow light. He definitely didn't believe that this could possibly be a drill. His hunch was answered as a new voice rumbled over the intercom.
"This is the Agrellion, Captain of the Skylark. All knights will proceed to the evacuation pods immediately. I repeat. All hands abandon ship!" Cutting off, he slowed to a jog before stopping altogether. Others stopped as well, staring at the intercom speakers with a bemused look. Others simply stared defiantly as though their incredulous response would bring the captain over the intercom once again to apologize for his impossible mistake. This was the Skylark, the interstellar home of the Spiral Knights and flagship of the Indomitable Fleet. This couldn't be happening; he could see the overwhelming disbelief on the faces of his fellow Knights. After everything they had survived, already forced to abandon their scorched home world. They were last ship to leave, the last eyes to look upon Terrvol as the Wyrm razed its surface.
Deizzan stumbled as the ship lurched violently, gripping a service pipe to keep himself from falling. Looking back down the hallway towards the evacuation annex, he bolted towards his goal. He must get off the ship; if it was going to be crash or explode he had to survive. As long as he survived then he could search for her, dying had become an unacceptable option. He made it another three steps before an explosion rocked the ship, knocking him to the floor. An orange glow emanating from behind him drew his attention as flames began to lick at the sealed doors behind him. Scrambling for his footing, he pulled himself and began running towards the pods once more. A moment of terror clawed at his mind, the ship was burning and he wasn't going to be able to make it off. He squashed the morbid sensation; this was no time to panic and more importantly, he was a Spiral Knight. Through a porthole he could see outer escape hatches blowing off as the pods within rocketed towards the planet below. A planet he knew nothing about holding the possibility of death where he would be marooned. Still, it was better than burning alive in the silence of space.
His fellow Knights pressed themselves into the pod room, each man and woman throwing themselves into escape pods with abandon. Officers attempted to shout orders above the clamor, but to little effect. There was no way he could reach the pods in time, there were simply too many already present. Countless thoughts assaulted him as he sorted through as many possibilities as he could. There had to be
the Drop-assault pods! He could use the assault pods used to place Knights the most inhospitable areas. Without another thought he rushed back through the hallway he had just exited, running at full speed. The flames on the other side of the blast doors were still flaring behind the view slits as he charged towards it.
"Spiral Knight Deizzan emergency blast door command AJH-7-0," he screamed, hoping the emergency commands were still functioning. All officers were required to memorize the emergency commands aboard the Skylark for just this occasion, even those still being trained. The doors groaned in protest as the screech of metal against metal screamed in his ears. He didn't have the time to wait for the doors to open fully as he drew his sidearm. He fired three quick shots at the automated fire control system above him, shattering the sensor and causing the system to filter the firefighting fluids into the hallway. The frigid liquid soaked him, diving through the slight gap in the blast doors as flaming tongues licked at him ferociously. He hit the floor with a resounding thud as he slid, winding up in a heap on the charred floor. He clambered to his feet once more, no time to waste. He had to get to the assault pods quickly before the ship became his tomb.
He ran down the winding hallways, grabbing onto metallic protrusions when he was forced to take a quick turn or catch his balance as the ship lurched, the thick hull groaning in protest as explosions twisted the Skylark unnaturally. A sudden blast from an overhead pipe spewed gouts of flame at him, a piece of shrapnel catching him above his right eye as his world blurred and blood poured from his wound. He pressed a hand to the hull, steadying himself as he stumbled on. "Down the next hallway," he told himself, "the assault pods are down the next hallway." Turning the corner the drop pods came into view. Circular and meant only to carry one Knight at a time, but they were dependable and designed to land on any surface without harming the Knight enclosed within. One was already launching, the hydraulic lines separating and spitting oil over the floors as he neared. A second hatch closed, but not before he was able to make out a red dragon emblazoned on the back of the Knight's helmet. He threw his sword and sidearm through the hatch of an empty pod before reaching out to slap the launch button. He flung himself inside as the hatch began to close, the automated system preparing itself to launch the pod. He groped for straps as the internal systems flared to life within.
"Preparing assault pod launch, personnel will restrain themselves as the pod prepares to launch in 5
" He was no longer paying attention to the words coming from the internal speakers as he reacted with practiced precision, strapping himself in for turbulence planetfall inevitably brought. He closed his eyes as the system quieted and the launch rail shot him from the ship. He could do nothing as he caught glimpses of the Skylark falling behind him, more pods launching with each moment, but not enough to evacuate the ship. He feared the worst for his fellow Knights as the shock from the chunk of shrapnel in his brow sent him into blackness, the inviting arms of oblivion swallowing him whole.