All rights go to the creators of the Riddick Franchise. I only own Evelyn Knight.
They say most of your brain shuts down in cryosleep. All but the primitive side. The animal side. No wonder I'm still awake. Transporting U.S. civilians. Sounded like forty, forty plus. Heard an Arab voice, some hoodoo holy man, probably on his way to New Mecca. But what route? What route?
Smelled the woman. Sweat, boots, tool belt, leather. Prospector types. Free settlers. And they only take the back roads. Then there was another woman. Awake like me. Smelled of blood, pain, and survival. My kind of woman. I can smell metal on her, probably a knife.
And here's my real problem. Mr. Johns, the blue-eyed devil. Plannin' on taking me back to slam, only this time he picked a ghost lane. A long time between stops. A long time for something to go wrong.
Cryosleep sucks when you can't sleep. I'm too primitive, too animalistic. It's a blessing at times with the heightened senses, but a pain in the ass other times. Suddenly the ship shakes as I feel projectiles hit the ship, probably meteor shower. I pull the release and land in a crouch outside my sleeping pod. I grab my bag inside and pull out my daggers and strap them onto my belt, before pulling the bag onto my back. I check to make sure my goggles covered my eyes and move towards the front of the ship.
I pass by a man at the comms as he was sending out a distress call. He doesn't notice me as pass him and enter the cockpit. I see a blonde woman, around my age, trying to level the ship out. I noticed we were coming in too hot. "You need to purge the ballast. Back End's too heavy."
She jumps startled, before doing what I said. I get into the copilot seat and strap myself in. I put in a comm and hear the man at the comms say, "What the… Was that a purge, Fry?"
"Too heavy in the ass. I can't get my fucking nose down." Fry said.
I pull the lever, purging the luggage compartment. "We need to level this beast fast, or else we're all going to die."
"Who the hell…? Nevermind." The man said, changing his mind. "Crisis program selected number 2 of this system because it shows at least some oxygen. Maximum terrain 220 meters over mean surface, largely cinder and gypsum with some evaporite deposits." There was a pause before he came back onto the comm. "Fry, what the hell are you doing?"
I look over and see she was going to purge the passenger compartment, but I knew I couldn't let that happen. A press a few buttons to buy time, but I knew it wouldn't last long.
"I gotta drop more load." Fry said calmly. "Look, I've tried everything else. I still got no horizon."
"Better try everything twice, 'cause we don't just flush out-" The man said, but Fry interrupted.
"Look, if you know something I don't, get your ass up here and take the chair."
"Listen, company says we are responsible for every single one of those people, Fry."
"What, we both die out of sheer fucking nobility?" She said mockingly.
"Don't you touch that handle, Fry!" He yelled at her.
"Fry, there are kids in there. You gonna be able to sleep at night if you kill innocents?" I asked her.
She lets go of the handle, thinking. After a minute she grabs the handle saying, "I'm not gonna die for them." She pulls the handle, but nothing happens. Then a voice tells us the air-lock doors were not secure. I silently sighed in relief, as Fry yells, "Owens!"
"Seventy seconds, Fry." The man, Owens, tells her. "You still have seventy seconds to level this beast out."
Fry tries kicking in the left lever of the lower air brakes, but it doesn't move. "Let me try." I tell her and kick it in.
One of the flaps breaks off and hits the glass, sending shards flying at us. We use our arms to cover our faces, as we hear Owens yell, "What the fuck is happening up there?"
We don't answer him we tried to level the ship out. We hit the ground hard, and continued moving as the land tried to slow us down. I felt something hit my head, before it all went black.
"Mom? Dad? What's going on?" A eight-year old version of myself asked, as I heard screaming coming from the coring room.
"Bad things, sweetheart. Bad things." Mom said, before giving me her light. "I want you to take this, and run towards the hangar. Get into the smaller ship and leave. Do not look back at all. No matter what you hear, or what you see, do not look back. Do you understand me?"
"We love you sweetheart." Dad told me as he pulled Mom and I into a hug. "Do not ever forget that."
"I won't, I promise." I tell him with a smile.
"Here." He hands me some goggles. "Put these on. They will hide your eyes."
"Why do I need to hide them?" I asked confused.
"I don't want you to get hurt. So put them on." I put them on and he adjusts them. "Perfect."
"Now run, sweetheart. Go!" Mom ordered me.
I nod and start running towards the hangar, knowing that would be the last time I ever saw my parents.