Stranded at Home Part 2
Posted By: Dispraiser<firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: 23 January 2003, 7:53 pm
I thanked god for that, I didn’t want to be in the center of any hostile area. I stepped down the sand dune, my boots slipping, a result of the soft, loosely packed sand. I rolled the escape chair over and pulled on the compartment on the bottom. It was jammed, dented by something. Gathering a little strength I Pulled harder, and gained pleasing results. The drawer flew into the air, a result of the excess force I had applied, and landed on a nearby sand dune. Some of my things had scattered, though none were too far away. I scrambled for the pieces of my survival kit, quickly gathering all that I could. I found all my rations, one missing though, and everything else I needed. A map, a pistol, and a flare-gun. A standard issue combat knife was also in the kit, but I had removed it before the flight and put it in my boot. A bad habit, but it didn’t hurt anything. I found a reflective piece of my ships cannon nearby, and scrambled to pick it up. Attempting to see my wound on my head I wiped off the shrapnel and looked into it. A distorted reflection greeted me, though I was able to see the wound on my head. A large cut, it peeled the skin back, though it appeared to have clotted. I dropped the curved piece of metal, attempting to decide my next actions. Chances are that there would be no rescue team for me, they had more important things to worry about such as the invasion. I looked up in the sky and already saw the explosions diminishing. It was truly a sad spectacle, but one that I could have predicted. The Legacy ships didn’t fare too well in actual combat. That was probably why they were placed on Lunar 4, we were always at least a half decade behind in technology versus some of the other colonies, like Reach, and we were a pretty important shipyard.
I walked up to the top of a dune and saw the silver lining of a parachute, Mark’s. I followed a series of marks, snaking through the sand, and at their end found Mark, crawling, struggling to get away from the crash site, he didn’t want a Covenant patrol to spot him. He heard my approach and rolled over, pistol readied, probably thinking that I was a scavenger Grunt or something. “Oh, you.” He set the gun down, “So, you made it too? I thought for sure you had been hit. All those plasma bolts, where did they all com from! One smashed right through the cabin, it was horrible.” I noticed his pants legs were bloody, had he been hit?
“Your leg, it’s--” I responded.
“I know, it got hit with some shrapnel, I can’t walk on the right one, and I can’t feel the left one.”
“Look at what you got yourself into.” I said, “You probably thought that being a pilot would keep you away from this type of damage.” I continued as I took out some gauze wrap, “Myself, I can’t remember anything after we decided to fly into this desert.”
He replied quickly “Oh, too bad! You should have seen the team we made! I was frying em and you were steering like you had all the skills of a god. You were an awesome pilot!”
I chucked as I wrapped some gauze around his leg, causing him to wince in pain. “I was that good? Wow, but we still got shot down.”
“Well obviously. The air was gunfire. That hill and the sky were sizzling with heat feedbacks from guns, I mean, we had enough plasma flying to knock us out of the sky as it will probably take to melt this whole planet.”
I finished with the gauze on his right leg and moved to his left, “Ah, I think now I remember. Yeah, you said to me--”
“Adios amigos!” we said in unison. I laughed and finished caring for his legs. “You wait here.” I said “I’m gonna do some recon of the immediate surroundings and see if I can find any water or Goxine nests.”
“We’re already to the whole eating bugs stage! Damn it! Getting shot down I can deal with, getting your planet glassed, I can deal with, but getting to search for bugs to eat! That is unbearable!” I nodded a sympathetic nod of disagreement and spun to leave. I continued to walk forward towards the hill before me. It had a large crater in the center, and I was hoping that some water collected in it. I was soon at the base of the mountainous dune, before me, a laccolithic pillar of dirt. At least three hundred feet tall, it was unclimbable to most people. I jabbed a foot into the side and sunk in past the arch of my heel. It was also loosely packed, so climbing it would be hard. I heard noise on the other side though, it could be Mark! I reached up and grabbed onto the scalding sand and began to clamor up the hillside. I lost half the altitude I gained form every step, however I still managed to get to the top. I pulled myself up over the peak and looked down. What I saw, would be something that would later haunt me for a lifetime. I saw two Hunters standing in guard stances, as well as a pack of Elites. A few of the Covenant Sheaths, basically carriers, carefully lifted a gravity lift receiver. I ducked down and lie on my back, deciding what to do. I wanted to leave a flare, but the chances of anyone seeing it, or me living once the Covenant saw it were slim at best. I looked down off the side of the dune and saw the desert extend to the horizons. In the distance I saw the pillars of smoke from a few craters and the trails of wreckage leading up to them. I pulled out the rangefinding binoculars to calculate my location. I pointed them up to the moon, and aimed for a large crater, it’s name, also the name of a native bug in the desert, Goxinus. I pointed the binoculars at the moon’s crater and the, and the distance from rim to rim could calculate my exact position judging only by the angle that I saw. It was the most modern GPS system, and within seconds had calculated my position. I turned them over and looked at the top of the binoculars, a small monitor. It showed my position, and a blank screen, I wasn’t interested in this because it only showed the desert nearby, which was uncharted due to the shifting dunes. I marked this location on the map and folded the binoculars back into their compact position I looked off at the horizon to see an unusual occurrence, a plume of dust. I could hear the distant sound of engines roaring and people whooping and running towards where I was. They were beneath a sea of dunes and a veil of dust, so nothing was visible from long range, but I was happy to be picked up by anything. I charged down the hill pulling off my helmet and throwing it off to the side and quickly ran to Mark. He was ‘asleep’ as he had claimed though I believed that he had passed out, and I quickly woke him up, shaking him and asking him for the flare gun.
“Oh, yeah, the flare gun.” He said, thinking as to where is might be, “I don’t really know,” I was already gone, looking for it, “You might want to…” he fell ‘asleep’ again, the blood loss eating away at his health. I couldn’t find the flare gun anywhere however, and instead grabbed one of the reflective pieces of our ships decorative bottom. I held it up in the air and reflected the sunlight from the blue sun at them, hoping someone would see it. I turned around and kicked Mark to wake him up.
“Mark, we have a ride!”