TIME TILL DETONATION : 6 HOURS 13 MINUTES
But in terms of time, Radarr usually classified the lack of sunshine and black sky as night. And he was right, Amazonian Sunsets held the record for setting in under an hour. This combined with spontaneous jungle growth made it impossible to create an effective settlement or camp. No matter what people threw at it ; Napalm, Grass Razors or Firebolt Runs after a few days the Jungle would as lush as it once was, and being stuck out in it when then night came was even more of a problem.
Amazonian 'Wildlife' liked to scout the jungle at night searching for there next foolish target or meal.
But in Radarr's case he was quite safe from whatever was out there, especially considering he was inside a heavily-irradiated ship which was leaking deadly levels of Radiation. The now burnt circle around the Condor had expanded drastically adding a good few metres to its territory.
The strong moonlight provided a haven from the deteriorating situation and shared its soft comfort with the small, blue furry creature standing and looking out of the window, alone in the darkness. Radarr.
His excuse for sole solitude was the powerful fact that he couldn't sleep. Taunted by the nightmares of the similar accident and now haunted by the reality that it had come back, only worse, was all too much for him. Even closing his eyes meant a one way ticket straight to the epicentre of his fear.
And that voice.
That loud, greedy, humiliating, fearful voice that sounded in Radarr's ears every time he slept, closed his eyes or tried to shield himself from it all.
Who was it? Where was it? What was it?
The three questions that Radarr always asked himself about this voice. But no matter how hard he tried or what he did, he could never answer them.
He sighed, trying to pull himself from the continuous circle of suspicion and confusion that plagued his mind. Scratching his head Radarr looked up into the clear night sky watching as the odd Skimmer blasted silently overhead.
'I wonder what they see?' thought Radarr, but it was an ironic question. The night sky coupled with the mountainous terrain of Amazonia meant that spotting half-burnt land would be like trying to walk on water. Impossible.
The Reactor situation had been stabilised, for the moment. On top of dangerous levels of leaking Radiation the Reactor was still not finished, more Lure Rods would have to be implemented in order to achieve a stable mass. And to make things worse everyone, par the Merb, on the Condor was asleep.
Radarr still couldn't believe that Aerrow had decided to do such a thing.
'WERE HOLDING A MELTING FUSION REACTOR!!!! WHAT THE FUCK IS SLEEPING GOING TO DO!?!!?!' were the words that Stork had screamed at Aerrow when he had proposed it.
Piper's reaction (Although not as volatile) was similar, it was too risky to try such a thing. What if the Lure Rods failed? What if the Radiation began leaking into the Ship's Bridge? What if the reactor exploded prematurely? All three questions were answered with 'Well that's a risk were going to take', a solemn and almost angry faced Aerrow had replied. Aerrow's scrupulous decision had some logic, sleeping would help to relieve some of the stress and allow the Storm Hawks the rest they needed in order to continue work on the Reactor, although it was very dangerous silently the Storm Hawks actually appreciated it.
Now everyone was asleep, they had been for 43 minutes. Aerrow had decided that 2 hours rest would be sufficient, even though it was clearly not. Finn and Junko's condition hadn't improved one bit, the Radiation was becoming more and more dangerous, the Reactor was still melting.
Radarr had thought it was a bad joke at first.
But it didn't matter, everyone was sound asleep and they probably didn't want to be disturbed. But like most nights, Radarr was the only one awake. He had been for 43 Minutes.
Radarr's thoughts were suddenly interrupted by a faint rustle that echoed from outside the door of Aerrow's room. But Radarr didn't turn his head. 'I know Stork likes to keep track of things, even deadly radiation, but does he have to do it so early? Or so noisily?'
But there was another sound.
Soft, rapid breathing. Like someone had been for a run.
Radarr still didn't turn his head. 'Stork loves his gas mask way to….' At that instance Radarr stopped mid-track of his thoughts, slowly he turned his head to face the door.
'If Stork's wearing a Gas Mask.' He thought.
'How come I can hear him breathing?'
Something was wrong.
Turning his whole body to face the door Radarr slowly began to creep towards it. With every small step Radarr took he could hear the breathing get louder and louder, yet it was still quiet in comparison.
Reaching the door Radarr heard another sound that accompanied the Breathing. Dripping.
Pressing himself flat against the door Radarr slowly pushed his ear against the cold metal surface of it.
Nothing. He could hear nothing, only silence.
'There's something out there' He said ignoring the silence 'I heard it with my own ears.'
Slowly Radarr reached for the door controls pausing regularly to stop and listen for any noise that may emit from the other side of the door. Still nothing.
But as Radarr pressed the deep red button on the control panel the doors slid open, sending out a loud, piercing screech as they opened. Radarr swore under his breath at the realisation that any stealth he depended on was now in ruins thanks to the doors. But with or without stealth he still had to find out whatever it was that now appeared to be lurking inside the Condor.
Poking his head out Radarr was met with Pitch-Black Darkness on either side of the Corridor, however on the right the floor was partially illuminated thanks to the strong moonlight, but it didn't provide enough refraction for a suitable level of visibility further down the corridor.
'Left or right?' thought Radarr, speculating his next move in total darkness was tricky especially with the likely hood of an encounter with Invisible Zeta Photons. He looked either ways. 'Well there both shrouded in darkness picking one is about as good as the other'
Radarr chose the right. Why he quite know why, maybe it was instinct?
Slowly Radarr turned to his starboard and began to creep slowly down the corridor, deeper into the thick blackness.
Every step took him deeper and deeper into the Condor closer and closer to the Radiation, Radarr expected to collapse on his knees and start watching his own hair fall out in front of him.
There was an eerie silence around Radarr, only the occasional click sounded deep inside the Condor presumably were Stork was walking around with the Dosimeter, other than that it was dead quiet, too quiet for comfort.
After walking no further than a few steps Radarr stopped, softly lifting his ear he closed his eyes listening to the ambient silence hoping to hear something other than nothing.
But all he got was the latter.
Letting his ear flop Radarr turned and began the journey back to Aerrow's room. 'Screw it' He thought 'Maybe it's the sleep deprivation'
Sleep deprivation or not things didn't go so smoothly on the way back to Aerrow's room. The entire corridor was shrouded in blackness, Radarr couldn't make out wall from plant pot. The loud thud he heard was his chest hitting the hard metal walls of the corridor, 'Ow' he thought. Regaining his bluster he slowly clamped himself onto the wall, slowly he felt across the hard metal surface and shimmied slowly to his right trying to grasp the door controls.
It became clear after a few minutes that either the Door Controls had vanished or he had taken a wrong turn. Personally he hoped for the first possibility, 'At least the door would still be there' he thought. But when it became clear that he was lost frustration began to flourish in Radarr.
'Come on! Where the fuck is the door?' he thought to himself 'I walk a few yards away and the return trip turns out to be a one way trip through the wastelands.' Radarr mused.
Abandoning the wall he made for the open corridor, continuing to walk blindly deeper and deeper into the Condor.
'Well' He thought 'It beats sleeping at least, it's not li…'
Radarr froze. But at the same time stared down hoping to see whatever it was.
He had stepped in something.
Something liquid like.
Radarr still couldn't see but his sense of touch did not always rely on his sense of sight. Slowly he knelt down and plopped his hand into the liquid, and was met with a warm and semi-slimy mixture. It was gruesome to touch.
Radarr brought the liquid up to his nose and sniffed at it, all he got was a scent of something, something familiar.
'Well it isn't Yorka Juice, I know that' he thought. Yet in order to get a clear description of whatever the liquid was he needed light. Ahead of him was a small window with bright beams of moonlight flowing through its bars, it was just what Radarr needed.
As the small creature walked quietly over to the window…
He heard a faint rustle, almost like a low-level growl. Radarr stopped and turned his head to see what it was that had sounded. Whatever it was it was firmly planted in the deep blackness, trying to see what it was would be impossible. But whatever it was, it was threatening. A chill shivered down Radarr's back.
'I've got a bad feeling about this' he thought backing up slowly towards the window.
Reaching it he was glad to be greeted with the soft, white light. But his comfort was distorted when he lifted his hand to see the liquid.
In the moonlight it was a deep, dark colour, probably black or red. It began to drip, softly. Radarr sniffed at it again puzzled as to what it could be.
'What the hell is this? Oil? Synethis? Tar?' It was like nothing that he had ever come across before.
But it was.
In fact he had come across it often, especially when he helped to seal up the wounds that it gushed out of.
It was Blood.
The realisation hit Radarr like a punch in the face. He stared at it, horrified. It was troubling to know what it was but it was terrifying to not know where it came from.
And that's when Radarr heard it.
Another sound, rapid breathing.
Fear began to grow vibrantly inside Radarr, he began to shake softly as he did his best to keep still. But he couldn't help it.
He slowly turned his head to the left, holding his breath.
He slowly turned his head to the right, holding his breath.
And froze, instantly.
Two white eyes devoid of pupils staring directly at him from down the corridor, and the now louder sound of soft, rapid breathing along with it.
What was once fear was now utter, blind panic. Radarr felt victim to shockwaves of fear. He wanted to scream, he wanted to shout, he wanted to run. But he couldn't. He was paralysed.
His eyes widened and the shaking in his body turned into an earthquake. Radarr couldn't do anything. He was alone, with someone. Or something ahead of him.
The eyes, they were getting bigger, bigger as they edged closer and closer to Radarr.