So what happens now? Moses asked himself.
Sudenjah was gone. Thunder cracked, rocking the Magpie just prior to a jagged finger of lightning appearing. Sudenjah’s Fokker ruptured, spewing blinding white light across the sky in all directions. It blinded Moses, sending him into a panic. He pulled back on the stick, hoping that he climbed instead of blindly crashing to earth.
Thoughts entered his mind, trying to distract himself from losing his head. What caused it to reach critical mass? I couldn’t have done that.
A scene from the education disc played in his recollection; the moment the Leviathan reached critical mass. If a tracer round had struck the laser cells in Sudenjah’s guns, then they would have exploded immediately. Only one conclusion remained, lightning destroyed the plane.
But why, Lord? I already killed him.
The Magpie’s engine droned on, uninterrupted, telling him that he remained in God’s protection. His vision gradually began to clear, like an evaporating mist. Azure blue permeated his vision, filling his cockpit canopy. Strong sunlight from a perfectly clear sky warmed his right shoulder, forcing him to squint slightly against the glare.
“Where am I?” he muttered.
He only knew he still climbed. Angling to earth, he tried to get his bearings. The broad waterway beneath him became immediately apparent; the Somme, yet he couldn’t make out any hostile activity.
“I don’t know what to say, ladies and gentlemen!” said a voice over the radio, jolting Moses from his thoughts.
Cheers accompanied the voice, which sounded so familiar to him, but he couldn’t place where.
“Moses in his Magpie has finally done it! He’s won the Somme aerobatical challenge three times; a feat never accomplished by anyone before! Give us your victory run, Moses!”
He remembered; the announcer at the Dogfight stands, and how exhilarated he felt the day he won the challenge. Minutes from now, he’d have to land his plane and be placed under arrest. Smiling to himself, he decided to soak in the adulation of the crowds one last time. He pulled the Magpie into a tight loop, then back flipped from the air, spiraling to the ground before leveling out and landing in front of the stands.
Pulling back the canopy, he climbed down onto the tarmac. The applause reached the clouds he had just abandoned as he stared, dumbfounded into the crowd. His parents, in the first few rows, cheered and waved, no less enthusiastically than the rest of the spectators. Still gaping, he turned to see a young red haired girl squealing excitedly, running his way. He remained in his shocked stupor as the teenager collided with him in crushing embrace and kissed his cheek. She pulled away with her arms still around his neck. Never had he seen a girl so pretty. Her delicate features, green eyes, and the way she arranged her red hair only reminded him of only one person.
“Alkeemer?” he asked vaguely.
She looked at him, puzzled at first, then grinned broadly, kissing him, before slipping her arms around him, holding him tightly.
“You’ve won, Moses. You’re the world champion,” she said over his shoulder.
World champion? He wondered.
More like champion of the world. He had done more than win an airshow. Not that anyone would ever know; he had rescued the world from physical destruction, and God had chosen him to do this. Moses caught his father’s eye. It was good to see him again. He felt he had to say something to God; some inward speech delivered from the heart, faultless in its sentiment. In the end, he said the only words that could do his God justice… “thank you, Lord.”