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The long walk

Posted on Wed Nov 16th, 2022 @ 1:50am by Commodore S'thenosis Gorgox & Chief Petty Officer Remal Kajun & Captain Rhenora Kaylen & Commander Savar cha'Salik hei-Surak Talek-sen-deen & Lieutenant Commander Sandra "Phantom" Risa & Lieutenant Chester "Duo" Maxwell & Lieutenant JG Blake Leone & Lieutenant JG Aurora Vali & Lieutenant Alison Haldeman & Lieutenant Sarah Wilson

Mission: Planet of the Dinosaurs
Location: Planetside
Timeline: Current

The alpha point team led off, phaser rifles charged, and at the ready, the crew falling into line behind them as they descended the ramp.

Following on behind all the others Aurora ushered along the children, luckily there weren’t that many children aboard the Sunfire which made supervising all the easier. Though fortunately, she had help from Blake and the Commodore. She just hoped they wouldn’t have too far a walk, she was carrying Sidak in a child carrier which was alright for now, but her body tired easily now that she was pregnant. She couldn’t afford to fall behind.

Rhenora tailed the Alpha point team, not armed herself, but carrying a pack and two poles that would help take the weight off her still-healing legs. No doubt by the time they reached camp there would be a world of discomfort but right now she had to remain strong for the crew. Her eyes watered and squinted with the natural light, having not been exposed to it for some time.

Remal was there, right behind his wife, making certain to cover her rear, cute as it was. For the first ten minutes or so he amused himself by watching S'thenosis attempt to walk gracefully as she normally did, but on the uneven terrain. She was maintaining composure, which was impressive, just as she seemed to be keeping the attention of the children in line.

Amused by this he nudged Rhen, "After all this is over, what would you think about S'thenosis watching our baby, you know when they reach the toddler stage?"

Rhenora looked over towards S'Thenosis. Having known the so-called 'dragon lady' for so many years now, their relationship which had started as abrasive had begun to soften. She chuckled a the thought of their child under the care of the Commodore "So long as the pain sticks aren't allowed in the nursery" Her words drifted off as she took in the long line of people stretching out between herself and the smoking hulk of the Sunfire, a narrow band of black, red, yellow and blue stretching nearly a kilometer. In the distance, the roaring of the planet's dinosaurs could be heard. Hopefully, they wouldn't be hungry tonight.

"Pain sticks?" He asked with a shocked look before shrugging off the idea. "Perhaps not then." He carried on, and as they walked he watched the sun slowly drop nearing the horizon. "How long did you say it would take us to reach our destination?" He was worried about traveling in the darkness with such a large group. "Also, where is Patin?"

"From the mapping data I looked at before we left, it's probably somewhere between a 6 and 10-hour walk" Rhenora replied, shifting the pack on her shoulder a little to get it more comfortable. She was breathing heavily and was fighting the ache in her legs, determined to keep going. "Patin went with the away team to find a suitable campsite, although rough n ready she was probably the most qualified in survival techniques." There was a pause "how are you holding up? Lungs not too bad?"

He frowned, "I'm doing alright. So long as we don't find ourselves running, I'll be fine. What about you, ready for me to carry you yet?" He knew her legs were hurting but she likely wouldn't admit to it. As for Patin, he figured the campsite would either be set up by the time they got there, complete with exotic foods, or else there would be a massive hole in the mountainside. One could never tell with her.

"Yes, I'm not up with the running game at the moment. Hopefully, the dead dinosaur will keep others away for a while, or they'll come to take advantage of a cheap dinner..." She looked after and could just see the hulk of the downed creature in the distance. So far nothing else had come looking for it, yet.

"Better that downed dino than this walking pack of easy pickings. Once that sun drops, we'd barely even see them coming until they were right on top of us." Then he thought about their path, "Any word on the path ahead? You know, for cases such as that one?" He pointed at S'thenosis who appeared to trip slightly on the uneven terrain.

"I'm not overly sure, from the sensor readings it shouldn't be too bad, no big hills or valley's to traverse. We do need to cross a stream, but I think that's still a few kilometers ahead. We'll figure it out when we get there I guess" Rhenora admitted, wondering just how they were going to pull this off, and that was without dinos lurking.

Sandy was not really too happy but survival was a priority. Even when she was shot down, the first thing was survival so she moved along with the rest silently for now.

The Rhenora cast a glance back a saw Risa out of the corner of her eye, the look on the pilot's face was concerning so she worked her way back to walk next to the other woman.

"Hey, are you ok?" She asked with a concerned expression.

"I'm terrified to be honest. This is like something from the Jurassic period. Some of what we know about are herbivores but its the carnivores that have me worried. It's not like me to be frightened
as I am supposed to be a fighter pilot. I just wish I could feel a little as ease about our walking" Sandra said walking with Rhenora.

"At least you're being honest. I can empathize with being terrified, we're way out of what we know and are used to. I'm confident we'll get through this though" Rhenora smiled reassuringly at the pilot.

Aurora looked towards Savar as they walked, he was busy checking on those in the long line doing what a good First Officer did. She gave him a smile as he approached her. “How are people doing? I can feel a lot of nerves.”

Savar had returned to Aurora and the rest of the crew. He was prepared to show them the way to the base camp where the other members of his away team waited. He carried Sidak in his arms. "They are nervous and unsure Aurora, but they realize this is for the best. The Sunfire cannot serve as a shelter." He looked to her, "How are you, my wife?"

“Nervous, scared, tired.” Aurora offered a wry smile. “We’ve faced being lost in the jungle before, but we have no idea how long we’ll be here. The ship is badly damaged, there are only so many supplies between all of us, it’s scary!”

"It is perfectly acceptable for you to be nervous and scared Aurora. This is an unknown situation we find ourselves in but we will prevail if we remember our training and trust in our senior officers. In addition, we must continue to work as a team if we are to survive this situation and have any chance of being rescued."

Aurora nodded. “At least we don’t have to worry about the trial right now, maybe it’s a blessing in disguise?” She smiled a wry smile. “You Tarzan, me Jane?” She wondered if he knew who the film character Tarzan was.”

"That is true Aurora. You may be right in that regard." Savar replied and then paused at her Tarzan, Jane comment. "Tarzan? Ah. the fictional jungle character created by Edgar Rice Burroughs. Yes, very much, me Tarzan and you, my Jane."

“Excuse me, would you mind if we joined you?” Alison Haldeman walked alongside Aurora and Savar, with her teenage daughter Amanda.

“Not at all” Aurora smiled warmly. “Are you okay?” She motioned to Alison’s baby bump. “How far along are you?”

“24 weeks” Alison smiled. “Still a few months to go, fortunately. I didn’t think we’d end up shipwrecked again.”

"Lieutenant Haldeman. young lady." Savar greeted. "I imagine this feels like deja vu for you. Hopefully, we will be rescued soon."

Alison nodded. “I hope so, but in the meantime, I’ll be sharing my expertise in living under these conditions. We’ve done it before, we can do it again.”

"I for one will head any advice you give Lieutenant," Savar replied earnestly.

“Thank you Commander” Alison smiled as she held onto her daughter’s hand.

"In addition. Any help Aurora or I can give to assist you and your daughter? We will gladly do so." Savar replied.

A shriek from the front of the long line pierced the silence. Something large rustled the trees and the ground shook. From where Remal stood he could see over the heads of many, but not all. In the dimming light of day, he could see phaser fire ignite, splitting the darkness. The barely phased whatever beast was now startled and charging through the field. He saw S'thenosis ahead, ushering the children into the line of trees for cover. The crowd was parting, as though avoiding something big.

Sandra heard and saw something big moving at them and a split second before it reached them, she lunged out of the way just avoiding the feet.

As it approached, the thunderous footfalls fell harder. Remal saw the approach of what looked like a large transit bus. He wrapped his arms around Rhenora and two other smaller individuals and covered them for protection as the great beast ran past. Its large spiked tail swung back and forth, catching a few bodies as it ran, knocking them to the ground. Once it was past he released his damsels and called out, "Is everyone okay?"

"Holy smokes what the heck was that?" The Captain retorted as Remal helped her back to her feet and found one of the poles she had been using. The other lay in several pieces in the center of a large animal footprint.

Feedback was always a welcome sign. "Must have been an herbivore. What has me worried is what spooked it?" He let go of Rhenora and moved to the first person that he found that had been knocked to the ground. They were alive and breathing which was a bonus.

"A stegosaurus, I believe Chief," Savar said coming to Rhenora's and Remal's position bringing Aurora and the Haldeman's with him. "You both are alright?"

"We're good I think. Rattled like most of us. You might want to check in with those at the front. I saw phaser fire after the thing was already spooked. I don't know about you but if something that big is running for its life we may have a bigger problem on our hands." Remal responded with his suggestion on the situation.

Shaking, Sandra got to her feet, checking for open wounds as blood or even the scent of it could be disastrous. "I think everyone should check for open wounds. Blood would be a bad thing right now. Blood could bring a carnivore upon us quickly," Sandra concluded.

As they spoke a river loomed before them and would need to be traversed to reach their final camping ground. "I suggest we hurry and cross the river pronto," Rhenora announced, glancing around for whatever it was that had caused the beastie to bolt.

Aurora had watched in awe as the stegosaurus had crossed their path in its rush to get away. “Wow! You definitely don’t see that every day.” She offered Savar, and Rhenora a smile. “Is it the wrong time to mention that I love dinosaur movies? My guess is if that stegosaurus was running from something, it’s going to be a carnivore.”

"A logical and I fear a correct deduction, Aurora." Savar answered. "Captain." He spoke to Rhenora, "The stream narrows a few feet ahead and is easily forded." He pointed out.

Concerned for the children and those of small stature, Remal chimed in, "Easy enough for the smaller of us Commander?" He asked, arms crossed. While a relatively tall, strong Vulcan could easily traverse the waters, others might have more difficulty. He also kept glancing in the direction the startled dino charged from, waiting for something with teeth to emerge. The group was being stalked, he could feel it.

"Yes, Chief. The stream where we will cross is only a few feet wide and the water is only a few inches deep. It should be easily crossed by all. Though I would recommend parents hold onto small children in case one slips. As well as others assisting those who are injured for the same reason." Savar replied calmly.

Dubious, Remal reached over and place a small child upon his shoulders, his chest tightening from the pain. He looked at Savar, "I'll take your word for it. I was under the impression the scouts had said it was a river, with a strong current. Perhaps they were wrong." He walked past Savar and patted him firmly on the shoulder. Then he marched forward until he could hear the water flowing. "I think we're getting close." He commented to the line of people behind him.

"Chief." Savar walked up to Remal. Stopping him from crossing. "Your place is with the captain, to help her and she, you. I will take the child while I help Aurora and Lt. Haldeman and her daughter across."

"Fair enough, though she is stubborn and I doubt she will want me to carry her across." He eyed Savar, "You sure you've got this?" In his mind, he wasn't questioning the man's ability to cross a stream but his ability to handle multiple women at the same time. It was a tough task for any man.

"I believe so Chief. I will take the child and Aurora across first. Leave the child with Aurora and come back for Lt. Haldeman and her daughter and help them across." Savar explained.

"I don't need anyone or anything to help me across" The Captain retorted, having overheard the exchange. "I'm perfectly capable of crossing just like anyone else." The river/stream loomed before them, wide although in one section relatively shallow with a high section of rocks. The rest of it was deep and wide and would provide an excellent water source.
Without taking a pause she charged into the freezing water, the cold almost taking her breath away. Knee deep for the most part it was impossible not to end up soaked from the waist down.

"Very well Captain." Savar replied, "I was only thinking of your safety." With that, he moved to help Aurora, who was holding Sidak, across.

Aurora couldn’t help but gasp at the temperature of the water as she waded through, keeping their son up and out of the freezing cold flow. “We’re...going to need a f...fire to warm up after this!”

Savar held Aurora's arm to steady get as she crossed the stream with Sidak. "I will fix one once we reach camp for you and the Haldeman's." Savar assured her.

Aurora nodded. “Thank you Imzadi.” She looked back at Alison and Amanda as they waded through behind her and Savar. She could only imagine how Alison was feeling about leaving her husband back aboard ship.

"Of course, Aurora, do not wish you to get chilled and become sick," Savar replied as he turned his head to check on Alison and Amanda. "You are alright Lt. Haldeman? Amanda?"

Alison nodded as she caught up with Savar. “We’ve been through worse than this Commander, might I suggest we get people to our camp as soon as possible, it won’t take long for hypothermia to set in.”

"Agreed Lieutenant," Savar answered as they reached the other side of the stream. He turned to face the others as they crossed. "When we reach camp. Start fires to warm yourselves and ward off any chance of hypothermia."

It took another thirty minutes for all 600+ individuals to make it across the stream. By the time they had finished crossing, the sunlight was gone, a dim memory. And the steam, once pristine and running clear, was but a muddy trampled mess. All told they had been walking for two hours and were only at the halfway point. Two and a half hours to go, roughly 3.5 kilometers, in the dark.

TBC

 

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