Before she could question what prompted such a response, she heard a loud, wailing alarm echo through the huge engineering bay; one that sent a shiver down her spine. Red lights started flashing, on the roof, on the walls and above the door she had entered through. An androgynous voice squawked robotically, "Coolant leak! Coolant leak! Isolating housing bay! All personnel evacuate!" Buttercup gulped. More of the light-blue cloud spewed from the torn piping. What had she done? What had been so terrible? Not one to question something so serious-sounding, she spun and shot toward the door as the computer began to speak again, "All rostered personnel accounted for. Sealing housing bay!"
"NO!" screamed Buttercup, but she was too late. The solid metal door slammed itself down, trapping her inside. The red lights still spun. "WHAT THE HELL!? LEMME OUT!" she yelled, to nobody in particular. Dexter, the computer, anyone. She pounded her fist upon the door but the metal didn't even dint. Her hand felt a searing shock of pain rush through it, and no doubt it would soon bruise. Gritting her teeth, she took a few steps backward. No metal, present or future-made, would keep her back. Crouching slightly like a quarterback in their three-point stance, she charged forward, streaking the beryl dazzle behind her like a vapour trail. Scrunching her eyes shut, she slammed herself shoulder-first into the solid metal door, expecting it to give way to her momentum as so many objects, barriers and giant monster guts had done in the past. But when she heard the sickening thud, felt her speed disappear in an instant and hissed at the second jolt of pain, this one engulfing her whole left side, she stumbled away from the door, knowing it had her beat. The alarms still rang and the coolant still wafted out of its cozy pipeline home. She gasped a little, the stabbing pains coming regularly. Bringing her hand to her shoulder, she was glad to find that she hadn't broken anything. Hitting the door headfirst would have possibly killed her. That stuff was DENSE! Denser than Bubbles! She breathed through clenched teeth, eyes narrowing. Her actions had trapped her inside now, with nothing but the three huge engines as company and a wailing klaxon for ambiance. She wondered if Dexter had any bright ideas.
But he quickly confirmed that he did not, "What the hell have you done!?"
Buttercup, still groaning, mumbled in reluctant confession, "I just fucked myself..."
"Now Barasia's gonna know what you're up to!" he yelled, both outraged and horrified. If he was there in person, then she didn't know what he'd do. But she wouldn't have liked it.
"SORRY!?" Dexter screamed, "You've just alerted her to where you are, and now you're stuck! She'll come right to you, and you have NOWHERE to run!"
Buttercup was wincing, "Go ahead, rub it in... bet you've been waiting for that for a while."
"YES, actually!" he sounded rushed, "Dammit, there's gotta be something I can do..."
Buttercup glanced over her shoulder, still breathing heavily. Those engines stood there, the means of Barasia's movement in this enormous vessel of apparent mass destruction. She was trapped in here with them, and they could still run. Her goal was to take them out. To do so would stop Barasia getting to the sun, and in doing so killing billions. And from that, a chain reaction would start, in which more and more stars died and their civilisations with them just to fuel Barasia's insatiable thirst for infinite potential. To stop it here... to stop it from happening in the first place... would save countless trillions from helpless death. She'd be a hero. Buttercup always wanted to be remembered for saving many lives. She'd done it before. But not like this, she hadn't. She could smell the burning sensation of the invisible coolant that vented into the room filling her lungs. That stuff was surely not safe to breathe. Unless by some miracle, Dexter unlocked that door, she was stuck here. Barasia would already know about her presence here, and she'd double and triple check to be sure that Buttercup never got out and suffocated in the own strife she put herself in. No point in sticking around, then. Better to make something of it than wait and choke on this stinging gas that she had released. It burnt her windpipe going down to her lungs, and she coughed. She brought a hand to her mouth. She had to be quick. Decisive. All she had to do was take out those engines. That was what she was here for. She already threw caution to the wind and had it blow back into her face, so she mightas well press on. The engines had to be stopped. All at once. They ran off volatile plasma...
And plasma ignites...
"BUTTERCUP!" came a scream both through dense metal and through her comm chip, the latter garbling thanks to the shout's high frequency and sheer volume.
Buttercup looked up again. There, in the slit of thick transparent viewing window far too small for her to squeeze through even if it was broken, was Bubbles' terrified face. Her eyes were so wide that Buttercup thought they were about to fall out. Her cheeks had flushed red, the same red that they became when Bubbles was about to cry. Normally, Buttercup enjoyed making her cry. But this time, she knew she'd regret it. She was consoled by the fact that, at the very least, she wouldn't be in any condition to watch those first tears fall. She walked toward the door where her sister stood upon the other side. She coughed again as she did, knowing it'd take a hell of a lot more of this weird gas to start choking her out, but not much more before it became extremely painful. She flexed the fingers on her other hand. It would be needed shortly. Almost pressing her nose against the window, she stared into Bubbles' eyes, green meeting blue, both sisters eye to eye for the first time in a long while. Bubbles looked like she was trembling, though it might have just been a strange refraction of light through the thick glass-like panel. Bubbles looked scared. She didn't know what was going to happen. Buttercup didn't really want her to see, but she would have to. The evergreen Puff growled to herself. In all this preparation she wanted to desperately get her hands on Barasia and break her tin-foil body to pieces. Now... at least she'd save lives in her own way. "Bubbles..." she muttered, her voice carrying over the comm chip to the girl on the other side.
"Y-Yeah?" Bubbles stuttered. Grief was evident in her voice. Buttercup didn't know why. The bad bit hadn't happened yet.
"Do... do you hate me?"
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