The tide was pulling out, and the current of the rushing water had pushed them away from him, and the Captain was doing her best to grow the distance. The Navigatrix coughed and seemed to come back to herself, pulling one hand out of the Orb to keep herself afloat. She stared at the Captain for a moment, a strange look on her face.
No time for that, though.
“That was my only plan,” said the Captain. “You got any idea how to get us out of here?”
The Navigatrix’s eye caught on the wizard, hovering mostly out of the water now, five arms tying the scraps of blue glow into a long whip.
She looked down at her new Orb and a queasy look crossed her face.
“This is going to look extremely cryptic, Captain.” Then she pushed the Captain away, yelling loudly for their crewmates on shore, “get to the ship! the ship!” and then stuck both hands in the Orb again and sunk.
The Captain didn’t have time to yell about it before a pink and orange glow bubbled up from below the water, pulling it down into a trough that connected the shore to the ship. As soon as the Navigatrix’s head was safely above water, the Captain did as she was told and swam for her life.
The water was lowering quickly as she swam and she wasn’t at her fastest with one leg out of commission, but she was nearly there by the time she had to settle down onto the sand. Behind her she could hear the Bosun yelling instructions at the Engineer, and then the Engineer had her by the arm and she managed to get up and hop.
As the Engineer unlocked the door, the Captain stared down the shallow trough that the Bosun was pulling the Navigatrix along. The horrible wizard had slid over into the trough and was screaming with rage while he strode unstoppably forward on too many legs towards them.
With the door open, the Engineer turned to grab the Captain, and seemingly from nowhere behind her the Stowaway landed hard in the shallow water and ran through the door.
The Captain swore once and the Engineer stood stunned.
“How did they know..?”
“Doesn’t matter,” shouted the Bosun. “Get out of the way!”
And the trough the Navigatrix had somehow summoned was visibly collapsing in the distance, the wall of water racing towards them. The four of them barreled through the door, and the Bosun slammed it shut as the water hit.
The Captain had landed hard on the sloped floor of their poor broken ship; the Engineer had her face to the porthole, and the Bosun had pushed the Navigatrix into the leaning bench.
“He’s still out there.” The Engineer confirmed; “Something there is still glowing blue.”
They all turned to the Navigatrix. She stared at them, exhaustion on her face.
“What the hell do you think I can do?”
“You’re also a time wizard,” said the Bosun. “Time wizard us out of here?”
The Navigatrix closed her eyes and sighed. “He’s calling himself a chronomancer. I’m a navigatrix, not a chronomancer.”
The glow appeared at the window, and they could hear stones scraping along the hull. The whole thing shuddered as metal bent and scraped and twanged under the pressure.
The Engineer slid down to join the Captain on the floor.
“I wish we’d never crashed on this cursed moon in the first place.”
The Captain put one hand on her shoulder, trying desperately to summon any sort of further plan, when the Navigatrix inhaled sharply. She said firmly,
“Hold on; this is going to feel very strange -” and then she closed her eyes, both hands in the new Orb, and a soft green glow drifted out of it, spreading, never quite touching them all as it climbed the walls and seeped through the closed doors.
And the ship began to move.
And the Captain watched as the crushed door to the helm slowly unfolded, and they lifted up, back, higher, faster, and the sky outside the porthole darkened, until they were all weightless, floating inside their ship in space.
The Navigatrix opened one eye to look at the Captain.
“You’re going to have to take it from here.”
So the Captain grabbed the Engineer and pushed the doors open, and they swam as fast as they could onto the bridge, where the original Orb was pulsing in time with the green glow as well.
The Captain fell into her seat, checked the controls, switched everything to manual, and yelled down the hall: “Ready!”
Time came back like a sunrise, gentle and slow and then suddenly painful; the ship was back in freefall towards the moon.
The Captain signaled the Engineer, who released the manual lock on their emergency rockets, which kicked in like a hit to the face, and the Captain pulled them off course, much sooner than she had before, when they didn’t know they were back inside time until it was almost too late. This time, they only skimmed the edge of the atmosphere of the moon, heat glowing on the viewport, and then, miracle of miracles, they were safely out of its gravity well.
A few clumsy tweaks with the emergency rockets, and the Captain had them safely orbiting the gas giant, far away from any moons.