One is the Loneliest Number

Dressed in her old field medic fatigues, Jade was quadruple checking her pack, stored in one of the lower decks of the Starbug when the missile lock occurred. She was thrown against the bulkhead wall and landed in a heap of old crates. She was just struggling to her feet when the ship lurched, the bulkhead doors slammed closed, and she felt the tiny section of ship go into free-fall. She heard Eve scream from one of the decks above, the sound travelling through the air vents. Then the parachutes deployed, jerking the ‘bug abruptly out of its terminal free-fall and sending the contents of the storage bay scattering about. Something heavy and solid connected with Jade’s head and it all went mercifully dark.


She woke up in utter darkness, even the emergency lights were out.


A rhythmic banging sound echoing around the room.


The blood pounding in her head was so loud, she could barely think. That must be what the noise was?


She tried moving, but something was trapping her there. After a few moments, she gave up and lay back against the debris behind her. The noise had stopped. Jade’s battered head made a giant leap of logic and she smiled. It must be Jamie and Eve trying to force the doors open and help her. She was so tired, something in the back of her mind was screaming at her to stay awake, but it was so hard. Somewhere close by, rain began to fall on metal. The soothing sound made it harder to stay awake and Jade found her world going dark once again.

Outside, the Haruk eventually gave up on opening the section of ship, the rain causing the metal to get slippy and hard to grip. They settled for coming back once the weather brightened up, leaving several warriors to guard the hunk of metal.

Then, in the rain, the Ssala made their move, incapacitating the Haruk. With the aid of some dinosaurs of burden, they dragged the capsule away. The debris shifted inside as the pod rolled and moved over the rough terrain, gradually freeing the unconscious Jade.

She awoke again, when soft drizzle fell on her face. The cool liquid bringing her around. The Ssala swam into focus and she remembered what had happened, they looked curiously at her, having dragged her out of the ‘bug and secured her safely with ropes. As Jade looked around, it became clear she was back at their camp, it was familiar to her, but she was not quite sure why. Children darted between the legs of the adults and she was sure, that one of the youngsters had… She blinked, thinking she must be seeing double. The Ssala didn’t have four arms.

The group flowed and ebbed, as if each tribe member was coming to get a good look at their prize. Jade could only hope that Eve and Jamie were near by, and that rescue was close at hand.


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