Tanner glanced at Amir, then back to Ella. “We’re on Thelmis II.”
Ella understood the words he was saying but she struggled to make sense of them, only because taking them at face value seemed so very impossible that he must mean something else by it. “But what did we crash into?” she repeated, hoping for a sensible answer this time.
Amir gave a snort and Tanner shot him an irritated look. Ella glanced between them, picking up on their silent disagreement; the tension was obvious even if its source was not. Amir left the doorway, heading back to the living room. Tanner huffed and turned his attention back to Ella.
“The city went down, Ella. At least, that’s what it looks like. We’re on the surface of the planet.”
She blinked and looked toward the window, but it was still too dark to see anything. “That’s impossible.”
“Well, apparently not.” He wiped a fresh tear from her cheek and tried to give her a reassuring smile.
In response to her still puzzled look, he added, “I don’t know what happened, either, but I don’t think we have much choice but to accept we went down.”
She nodded at that. Reality was finally settling into a more comprehensible form around her as the shock started to recede. Looking at Tanner, she frowned and touched the side of his face, her fingers coming away red. “You’re bleeding again.”
He took her hand and wiped the blood away. “Yeah, knocked my head against the counter when the first jolt hit. It isn’t bad, don’t worry.”
Tears began to flow again as the grief of losing Sam tried to once more take over. Dean was still cowering under the bed and she worked her way under, pulling him into her arms and speaking softly to calm him. He burrowed into her shirt, forming a frightened lump. Tanner helped her back out, the angle of the floor being a bit harder to overcome with only one hand.
“So what do we do?” She looked to Tanner, expecting him to have the answer. He always seemed to have the answer. But this time he only shook his head.
“I don’t know.” After a long pause, he continued. “I think we’d better get out of here, though. Get some warm clothes, whatever food we can carry… You still have that backpack?”
“Leave?” Isn’t that always what you aren’t supposed to do? “But isn’t the whole city going to be a mess? Where would we go?”
His frown deepened. “There are going to be some very not good smells soon, not to mention other unpleasant side effects of having no sanitation and – I hate to be the one to point it out – but people will have died. It’s not just this building, we need to get out of the city.”
It finally sunk in, his full meaning, and she stammered out an objection. “But the planet wasn’t supposed to be ready for another two years! How will we even survive?”
He pointed to the cracks in the wall. “Well, we know there’s air. Everything else, we’ll just have to wing it.”