|A Single Rose
Author: JChandley PM
A group of friends finally realize their dream- to go to Pandora. Their hopes are far removed from reality, however, as deceit, danger and romance threaten to tear the group apartRated: Fiction T - English - Friendship/Adventure - Chapters: 4 - Words: 5,492 - Reviews: 1 - Favs: 4 - Follows: 4 - Updated: 07-25-12 - Published: 07-14-12 - id: 8319889
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
This was it. They were here.
Avery was so excited, she hardly listened to the colonels tough guy speech about how Pandora was not to be trusted and danger was always around the corner. She'd heard it a million times already. Her parents, friends and even some of her teachers had given her the same speech, trying to discourage her going to Pandora, in light of what happened with Jake Sully. Of course, she hadn't listened to them. She was here now: 4.4 light-years away from Earth, and no amount of scare mongering was going to make her less excited. She glanced over at Darren and smiled. He was hanging onto every word the muscled colonel was saying.
The room was full of new recruits and old veterans. For most people clustered into the room, this was their first time on Pandora, and it showed. Some people were obviously scared out of their wits end, and some were just like Avery- excited to just be on Pandora, the fabled moon of Polyphemus. She could spot some people that had obviously been here before, and had either been forced, or decided to rotate back. They were the men and women that were laid back, bemused looks on their faces.
The colonel, who had been pacing for the duration of the speech, stopped at Avery and didn't say anything. Avery wondered if he'd asked her a question, embarrassment and fear creeping up on her.
'Take Jeff here as an example of what can happen to those who aren't alert at all times.' The colonel barked. With relief, Avery saw that he had actually stopped to point out the man standing about four feet away from her. Everyone turned their heads to look at him and he sheepishly waved. Avery wondered what the colonel was talking about, then she noticed. His entire left arm was an implant. He moved his metal fingers at everyone, maybe just because he could. Avery had heard about implants such as these, but had never seen one herself. She could see all of the machinery at work, thousands of parts whirring silently with every movement. Jeff must have had some serious money.
The colonel started his speech again and everyone turned their gazes back to him. Avery looked out of the window covering the front wall. In the distance, she could see the forest. Even from back there it was beautiful, she thought, and she longed for the day she'd see it close up.
After the speech was over, Avery went up to Darren, smiling.
'Did you enjoy that?' she asked, bemused.
'Yes.' Darren said. Avery laughed, and Darren let a small smile cross his face.
'What?' he asked.
'Of course you enjoyed it.' She punched him lightly on the arm.
'And what is that supposed to mean?'
Before she could think of an answer, Laura, another friend from Earth, that had come to Pandora with Avery, just like Darren had, came up to them and put her arms around their shoulders.
'C'mon kids, they're getting impatient' she nodded to the men that would lead them to their rooms. When they'd all landed on Pandora, it was already evening. Avery remembered everyone's gasps as hey saw the bioluminescence of the forest far in the distance. The colonel had managed to fit in his speech and then all the newbies would be led to their quarters. After years being stuck in cryo, Avery thought she wouldn't be tired, but she surprised herself.
'Where's Jensen?' Darren asked both of them.
'He's throwing up,' Laura replied. 'guess he's weaker than us, huh?' Avery laughed and Darren nodded.
'Actually…' Darren said. And he suddenly went pale, walking away quickly. He stopped, looking confused. In-between bouts of laughter, Laura shouted:
'Left, then right!'
Darren rushed off, leaving the two girls laughing. Avery was wiping the tears from her eyes when a young man called out to them.
'Um, guys? Do you want to come with me and I'll show you to your rooms.'
They walked towards him, the man smiling. Laura nudged Avery, her eyebrow raised. Avery sighed and slapped her on the arm.
He lead them through the twisting corridors, and through the twisting corridors and large rooms until they reached their destination.
'Avery, you're here, and Laura, here,' he pointed at two doors next to each other. 'Just swipe your clearance card to enter. We'll need you up and back in the conference room by nine, where you'll be shown to your respective supervisors. He smiled again. 'Okay? Okay.' He walked off.
Avery sighed happily.
'For Gods sake, work!' Avery heard a voice coming from around the corner. She looked at Laura, and they both turned the corner to see Jensen, the last of their 'group', swiping his card in the reader, a red light appearing every time. Laura cleared her throat loudly. Jensen turned to them both.
'Hi guys,' he said. 'Just…trying to…get in' He said, swiping his card again. Laura laughed at her friend, and went over. She took the card from him and made a show of turning it around. She swiped it in the reader and a green light appeared.
Hey, thanks.' Jensen said.
Laura smiled, kissed him on the cheek, and ruffled his hair.
'See you tomorrow, scamp.'
He saluted and went into his room. Laura turned to find Avery frowning.
'Avery…' she started.
'You know how I feel about him.' Avery replied, her good mood somewhat ruined.
'Of course I do. But what do you want me to do, just ignore him? He's my friend and I want you to respect that. You know I'd do the same for you, right?'
'You don't have to like him, just…put up with him, okay? Could you do that for me?'
'Alright.' Avery said after a pause. Laura smiled, kissed her on the cheek, and went into her room. Avery went into hers, the little green light showing when she swiped her keycard.
She could have done without this. The most important day of her life and she had to ruin it for herself with some schoolgirl bullcrap. She had enough to worry about without making herself feel bad. Her avatar, training, meeting new people. Hell, even being light-years away from Earth Jensen was here, and there was nothing she could do about that. He'd earned the right to be here just as much as she had.
She loved Laura and Darren, and Jensen was just an unpleasant challenge she had to deal with. She'd look at it like less of a problem, and more like a part of her job, albeit an especially bad part. She focused her mind on thoughts of the forest and things to come. The past was the past, and she didn't need it disturbing her. Nevertheless, when she dreamed, she dreamed of Jensen and the past.
Waking up in the morning, her heart ached for things taken away and things best left unthought of.