Expedition 101

Angelina Webber has always had to learn things the hard way. In a world where image is vital and society is corrupted, the sixteen year old who prefers to dress in her own style has never been accepted. Disowned by her own mother and father, she lives with her ninety year-old grandmother. But one day, everything changes – when two human beings land in her vegetable garden. These people are not your average human beings, and they are not from the average planet. They're here for Expedition 10

Chapter 3

Chapter 3 (Erika's POV)

Erika followed the young girl into her home, smiling politely. She could hear Luka bouncing along the pavement behind her, his excitement obvious. The trip to planet Earth with him had been a nightmare. Erika had quickly found out that the longest the man could go without opening his mouth was five seconds.
Erika was excited to be here too, especially since this was the final step of Expedition 101, but she couldn’t let herself act like Luka. One of them had to be marginally serious.

“W-would you like a cup of tea?” Angelina asked nervously, approaching a strange jug that sat on the clean work surface.

“A what?” Luka beat her to it, entering the kitchen behind her.

“You… don’t know what a cup of tea is?”

Erika couldn’t help but smile at Angelina’s bewilderment. They’d made the right choice in choosing this girl. She’d personally been rooting for her the whole time. Angelina wasn’t afraid to stand out - you could see that just from the way she dressed. Her baggy black trousers were tucked into dark brown boots and she wore a tight black crop-top underneath her frayed cardigan. Natural dark brown hair cascaded down her shoulders, framing a heart-shaped face and brown eyes. She was different, just like the inhabitants of planet Montoon. That was how she liked people.

“What is it?” Luka asked, his big blue eyes widening as he approached Angelina, bending over the peculiar object. “What does this do?” His voice was full of curiosity, his fingers reaching out to touch a small silver lever on the side.

Erika’s mouth opened to warn him, recognizing the object in an instant as Angelina moved aside, revealing the long snout. That, together with the small lever Luka had pushed, and the tall body were almost identical to the picture on page 265 of The Earth Guide.

Her mouth opened to warn the man, but found herself too late as a loud whirring emitted from the kettle, hot steam rising from the spout, and into the air. Luka leapt backwards with a surprised yelp before he began to panic.

“Fire!” he yelled, waving his hands in the air where steam was gathering, as though trying to waft it away. “There’s a fire! Quick, get water!”

Angelina stood staring at Luka’s reaction with a dumbfounded expression, while Erika watched the scene with amusement. She couldn't help but chuckle as the bewildered man ran to the sink, fumbling to turn the tap on.

It was only as he managed to get a steady stream of water running and started scooping it up with his bare hands, that she decided it was time to step in.
“Luka,” she said calmly, walking to the kettle and flicking the switch again. The noise ceased slowly, causing Luka to stop and look up with a surprised expression.

“It’s gone,” he breathed, letting the water in his hands splatter into the sink. “Where’s it gone?” His eyes searched the air suspiciously, searching for the steam that had been there only seconds ago.

“Luka, it’s a kettle.”

His expression remained unchanged for the next ten seconds, the word obviously not hitting home, until a loud round of laughter broke through the silence. Erika turned around quickly, surprised by the sudden noise, to find Angelina doubled over in laughter. The girl clutched at her side, her face scrunched up in both pain and humor.

Just like that, Erika couldn’t stop herself from joining in, before laughter filled the whole room. Even Luka caught onto their mirth, still oblivious to the reason behind their laughter, but chortling along for the pure sake of it.

“Sorry,” Angelina managed to wheeze as the laughter finally began to die down.
Erika raised a finger to her cheek, wiping away the stray tear there, and sniffling loudly. “I just couldn’t help it,” she explained, managing to stand upright again.

Erika followed her example, shaking her head to clear it. She raised her watch to her face, eyes widening as she realized how much time had passed since they had landed. “We’re going to be late,” she gasped, grabbing Luka’s arm and dragging him to the door hurriedly. “We have to be back by dawn. We’re going to be in so much trouble.”

“Where are you going?” Angelina’s small voice interrupted as Erika opened the back door. She could hear a twinge of disappointment in Angelina's voice. The girl took a half-hearted step towards the couple, who were now half way outside, before thinking better of it and stepping back again.

Erika watched the child, resisting the urge to “Aww!” in her face and pinch her cheeks.

“/We’re/ going to the spaceship,” Erika said, emphasizing the word. A glimmer of excitement passed over Angelina’s face, replaced by soft surprise. “Now hurry up or we’re going to be late,” she ordered mock-angrily, though there was a kind edge to her tone.

“But,” Angelina paused, rocking back and forth on her toes as though debating whether or not to follow. “But what about my grandmother?” she asked, biting her lip anxiously.

“Your grandmother will be safe, child. She is in the process of passing into another life,” Erika replied. “You need not worry about her now. We already have her permission for you to join Expedition 101.”

Angelina took one more glance at the stairs indecisively. “I-”

“Come on, Angelina,” Luka interrupted. Erika was surprised by the warmth that was clear in his voice. It was an emotion that she wouldn’t expect such a lively person to show. “You have always been destined for Expedition 101.”

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