The Lost Girl
When the cat had finally slowed to a stop, it was standing in front of what looked like a cave. The cat lay down and let the girl help Chloe from his back. They went into the cave and the girl lit some torches to brighten the cave up. Chloe saw how the girl had been living and noticed that there seemed to be some extra-large bags that she assumed were tied to the cat. The girl offered Chloe a seat on a chair and then the girl got some drinks ready. Chloe watched as the girl made some drinks and then set down in front of her, offering her a drink in the process.
“Thank you for rescuing me.”
“It was nothing. But I hope your friends made it back to the gate alright. Raptors aren’t known to leave their prey to escape.”
“Raptors? You mean dinosaurs? But how? And what about that cat out there?”
“You mean Storm? He’s the only one of his kind on this planet because I had him with me when my transport shuttle crashed here.”
“How long have you been living here?”
“Almost three years now. But enough talk about that. We need to figure out how to get you back to the gate before whatever ship you came in leaves without you. I’m Myst by the way. What’s your name?”
“I’m Chloe Armstrong. Three years, how did you manage to survive all this time? From what we saw, before we were attacked, this place looked like a peaceful place.”
“It was peaceful at first and then I realized that I was being watched by the animals of the planet. I found this cave the first week I was here and moved in. I knew there was a possibility that I wouldn’t be rescued so I decided to figure out how to survive no matter what I had to do. We’ll pack most of the stuff onto Storm as he’s used to moving stuff back and forth and then we’ll head out for the gate. I wanted you to be able to rest before we headed back out. Storm will make sure we don’t get eaten and if we are on him together then we can just use the force field that I have and nothing will be able to harm us.”
“Well it will take some convincing to allow you onto Destiny. We’re not too keen on letting people we don’t know onto the ship without certain people meeting them first. As for Storm, I don’t think they’ll let him on at all.”
“But Storm and I have been through everything together. Besides, if we wait till the last possible second to get aboard they won’t have a choice but to let us stay on-board.”
“That is true, but they could just drop you off on the next available planet that is habitable.”
“Not unless I tell them what this Galaxy is famous for.”
“Famous? Like how?”
“Well for starters, it’s not as abandoned as most people might think. We know better than to come out of hiding when we don’t want people knowing about us, but we will come out if friends are willing to help us. Besides, with me on-board, I can translate some of the languages spoken in this galaxy. And it always helps to have someone well versed in the galaxy’s ways on-board.”
“You make a valid point but maybe we should start packing now. Destiny is only going to be in orbit for another four hours before it jumps back into Hyperspace. Are we going to bring all of this with us?”
“Only the essentials. I will leave the furniture that I have made for anyone else that happens to get stranded here as well as instructions on how to get inside. The dinosaurs on this planet can’t read English or any other language so writing it on the rock door will help people understand that this is a safe place for them to stay.”
“Okay, so what kind of essentials are we packing?”
“Clothes, weapons, food and the water canteens. Come on, we better hurry, it will take a little over two hours to get back to the gate especially now that we are packing Storm up with my belongings.”
Chloe and I started packing the bags and once everything was packed, we tied it to Storm who just let us do what we needed to do. Once everything of value that I wanted to take with was out of the cave and packed on Storm, with the help of Chloe, I rolled the stone door in front of the cave entrance after taking two torches from the cave and extinguishing the rest, having left matches and dry wood in the cave so the next stranded person could use it without worrying about going out looking in a wet forest. Using a permanent marker that Chloe lent me, I wrote a note to the next inhabitant of the planet telling them this was a safe cave for them to stay in if they needed till whatever rescue came for them.
The Search Party:
We headed out shortly after writing the note and putting a lament over it that wouldn’t rot away after the first rains. It was a special product my people had made that would keep anything waterproof no matter how hard it rained. I helped Chloe onto Storm then pulled myself up and we headed out. I had a water canteen on me and Chloe had at least two water bottles in her bag so we would be good for a while. Once off the mountain and onto level ground, though the forest still loomed over us, I urged Storm into a run and we headed for the gate.The Gate:
Scott, James, Grear and Varo had come back through the gate and were starting to head out. They each had ammo on them to keep them good and going until they found Chloe. They had heard her screaming earlier and then her screams had stopped. They hoped that she wasn’t hurt in any way and knew that if she was, TJ would be on hand just in case.
They headed out, saying that they would meet back at the gate in one hour, no matter what they had found out. The planet, they had discovered, was home to dinosaurs and prehistoric creatures. They’d had to be careful after they learned that little tidbit. So with Scott and Grear as one team and James and Varo as the other, they split up and headed in two different directions to see if they could possibly find Chloe.
But as luck would have it, all four were back at the gate an hour later having found no sign of Chloe or which way she might have headed. They were about to head out again, when they got the distinct feeling that they were being watched. They moved to the gate and were about to dial, when Scott thought he heard his name being called.
Storm had stopped on a hill just above the gate and just out of sight of the four soldiers that stood in front of the gate. He’d sensed that they were not alone and had started to slowly make his way down the hill when he suddenly came to a stop. He saw what Chloe and I both saw: two Velociraptor’s heading straight for the group. The team had obviously felt that they were being watched and had moved towards the gate. They had been about to dial when I jumped from Storm’s back, grabbed the bow and arrows and moved to a position where I could aim and kill both creatures in two swift movements. I looked up at Chloe and nodded that it was time for her to start yelling and she did it with as much voice as she could muster.
“Matt!!!” her scream echoed throughout the forest and the young soldier turned towards the sound of his name, still unable to see the group on the hill. But his turn brought the attention of the raptors into sight.
“MATT!!! Get out of the way!” The last yell had the four running for cover as the gate activated.
I took aim at the first raptor and let the arrow fly. It caught the raptor in its throat and he fell down dead. The second one turned towards the hill and started running at us. I let the second air fly and the raptor stumbled to a halt before falling to the ground dead, the arrow having gone through its heart and sticking out its back. I jumped back up onto Storm and moved him down the hill, collecting the dead raptor as we went. Storm laid the second raptor next to the first one before I dismounted and helped Chloe down. She flew into the soldiers arms almost immediately, hugging as best as she could. The group was all smiles.
I bent down next to the two dead raptors and did my best to remove the arrows. Taking my skinning knife, I plunged it down and twisted, just to make sure the creatures were really dead before grabbing them and wrapping them in two blankets before pushing them up onto Storm’s back. If anything the ship would have some fresh meat for a while.
“I see you made some new friends.” Matt said.
“Matt, this is Myst, she saved my life. Well, at first I ran from Storm and then he stopped chasing me as I ran into an even dangerous animal. I was about to scream again when Myst came up behind me and covered my mouth and told me if I screamed the creature would lash out and kill me. She took me back to the cave she’s been living in and after a small talk, we packed everything up and started heading for the gate.”
“Colonel Young isn’t going to want to take on two more mouths to feed, especially one being a prehistoric cat.” James said.
“We won’t be any trouble. Besides, the way I see it, you could use my help. The least you could do is give me a ride home.”
“You mean this galaxy is inhabited?” Grear asked.
“Of course. Millions of people live in this galaxy as well as the next four galaxies after this one. I was headed for my home world when my transport ship crashed. I’ve been stuck here ever since. Storm has been my only companion. Now, I suggest we leave this bloody planet at once before the larger carnivores smell the dead raptors and come looking.”
“Alright, but you might want to be on your cat when we walk through the gate.”
“As you wish. Chloe, you want to ride, let people know I’m friendly?”
“Sure, sounds like fun anyways.”
I helped Chloe back onto Storm before getting back up myself. The gate had been shut down on the other side so James reopened it and then we traveled through the gate to the other side.
Would the rest of the crew like Myst and Storm? And how do they react to hearing that the galaxy is populated by millions of people?