The Bucket managed to fly several miles before the power cut off. Horne did their best trying to guide the ship into a corkscrew, wanting to face Plastic Beach, just in case. The ship came in too low on the front and clipped a dune, causing the ship to flip in the air and land on it’s back. It slid to a stop.
Horne groaned, rubbing their head. There was a small cry from the back of the ship. A ringing noise bored through Horne’s head. They kept trying to keep their eyes open as they struggled with the straps of their seat, but they failed.
Horne struggled to keep conscious for what felt like hours. When Horne finally managed to keep them open, Bean was looking down on them. Bean’s red eyes met Horne’s green ones and the little one smiled.
“Horne’s up!” They squeaked and the other 4 children rushed over. They were underneath a large blanket, to keep the sun out and to keep it from frying them in the heat. The Bucket was a few meters away, sticking out like a sore thumb. Horne tried to sit up but laid back down. Bean held a metal cup full of water and poured some into Horne’s mouth.
“H-How did we get over here?” Horne groaned through the water.
“An old man!” Nere said, opening a box of the jellyfish cereal.
“Has that all you been eating?”
“Nooooo, we traded a lot of it for water and shelter and information!” Mere said proudly.
Horne wasn’t sure if they were dead or still trying to fight a concussion.
“The old man said that he was gonna get more people to take us to the Oasis! They were gonna help us get Ron and ‘nem back!” Tere said from atop a box.
“Awww, Bandie went with the old man to make sure everything got done,” Bean said in a huff, crossing their arms. “I wanted to go but she threw sand at me!”
“Wait, she’s just… by herself with an old man!? We have to go gaaahhhh…” Horne tried to sit up again but ended up just falling forward and laying face down.
“Oh, you should have seent’t’ed it, Horne!” Bean said,opening their arms up to the sky. “Bandie’s eyes got real yellow, like they glittered like the stars that night and her hair turned to snakes! And she let out a roar and knocked that old man on his ass!”
The triplets gasped.
“You can’t say ASS,” they cried in unison. Horne managed to laugh.
“But… You said at night? How long has it been since we crashed?”
“Like 3 days. Drink up,” Bean said, holding the metal cup to Horne’s lips.
It was a few more hours until Horne could sit up without the world feeling like it was spinning. They had some of those jellyfish too and they made Horne feel like garbage.
“Does the sun ever go down?” Horne asked, looking in the general direction of it.
The triplets nodded.
“But just for a few hours,” Bean said.
A low roar was heard in the distance.
“It’s Bandie!” the triplets cried, running a few feet from the safety of the cover and jumping up and down.
Bandie was sitting in the make-shift sidecar of a make-shift desert motor bike. Her grey little afro blew behind her in the breeze, her red dress following, looking like a flag blowing in the wind. She started to wave her arms around, letting the triplets know she saw them. Two vans drove behind the motor bike as well.
As the vehicles pulled up, Horne suddenly felt defensive but nothing to use except for a metal cup and a box of cereal. 4 adults were accounted for, Bandie hopping out the sidecar and running up to her siblings.
“Got a doctor!” She said, pointing to one of the adults who rushed over to Horne and immediately started to check on them. Bandie and Bean sat next to Horne, watching the doctor do her work.
“Look at my ear,” she said, moving a flashlight back and forth in front of Horne. The triplets were running between the legs of the men who were driving the van, who were unsure of what to do.
The old man stood above Horne, pulling the scarf and goggles from his face. He was grizzled with an uneven shave. His dark skin held many scars.
“Hey, old man!” Bean said, waving at him.
“Okay, can… Can you stop calling me old? I’m not … I’m not that old…”
The doctor stood up and told one of the other men to bring the van closer.
“Not good for this little adult to walk any time soon,” she said.
“Am I okay?” Horne asked, clinging to one of the men as he picked them up.
“We just need to get you in a brace. We have to be real gentle not to bump you,” she said.
“Don’t fucking bump me,” Horne said to the man.
Bean cackled while the other children screamed that Horne shouldn’t swear.
Horne rode with the doctor in the med van while the other children rode in the other van, the “old man” driving behind them.
In a day and a half, they arrived at the Oasis, which was anything but.
It was a “building” made out of old ship parts from years ago.
“During the First Rebellion,” the old man said. “That was some 50 odd years ago. A lot of our parents were born here because of that.”
“Where are they now?” Bandie asked.
“Dead. I was 10 when they tried to take it down again.”
“Take what down?”
The children froze. Bandie started to sob, Bean consoled her. The triplets held hands and put their heads together, muttering to themselves.
The old man looked at Horne.
“What is happening?” he asked.
“Our older siblings are there.” Horne started to tell the story about what happened to their home planet, Koro and the moon, the Glitter Freeze. The old man stopped them from talking.
“That’s how my grandparents got here,” the old man said. The small crowd that had gathered to see the children and hear the story agreed also.
“We have to talk to Charger,” the old man said.
“She’s dead, get over it!” Someone said from the back. The old man spun around.
“Who the FUCK said that?” he demanded. The Oasis was eerily quiet. He turned back around toward the children.
“Do you know if your siblings are safe?”
Horne suddenly panicked.
“My backpack,” the stammered. Bean raced out the Oasis, coming back a few minutes later with Horne’s back. They started digging through it, pulling out the radio. It was almost broken in two but it still worked, barely.
Horne turned it on. It hissed. No response.
The old man took the radio and stared at it.
“We can fix this. It will take a few days, but we can fix this.”
“Sasha, it’s been a week! They aren’t there!” Ron said, taking the radio from Sasha’s hands. Sasha glared at Ron, her eyes puffy and red from crying. Aya and Ree sat on the balcony drinking juice. They hadn’t been able to leave their hotel room until they had followed the man to the theater. But Sasha had wanted to wait until the children checked in.
“We can’t sit in here, they’re more than likely thinking we’re up to something! And it won’t even take that long! I know you are worried, but if we want to go find them, we have to do what that man says!” Ron said to Sasha. Sasha sniffed.
“I know,” she grumbled, going into the bathroom to wash her face. Ron put his face in his hands. Aya and Ree came back inside.
“Are we doing this now? People are playing in that pool and I’ve been wanting to go swimming for the past 6 days,” Ree said, putting on her boots.
When Sasha was done cleaning herself up, the man who had seem to wait outside their door took them to the theater, where they learned the rules of Plastic Beach:
DON’T OVER DO IT
The orientation was over in about an hour. Sasha took off back to the room. The other three sighed.
“I’m worried too but… We can’t do anything from here,” Ron said, rubbing his temples. He walked off down the hall, going who know’s where. Ree wandered off toward the pool. Aya stuffed her hands into her pockets before going off to find the gym.
As the many feet stomped against the floor, beneath the boards, the concrete, people crawled through the empty pipes, trying to get information. One of these people passed under Sasha’s room. They watched her fiddled with the radio she had.
That needed to be confiscated.