Here is Part 10 in my Insurgency series! A Freebuild for the Marauders! Please comment, rate and enjoy!
About this creation
Corresponding text underneath each picture.
4th January 2094
It was hot.
So very, very hot.
After crashing on this barren and inhospitable planet yesterday, (at least we assumed it had been about a day, seems how the sun never moved we couldn’t really tell), and then spending the ‘night’ resting in the cave, we had spent all of today apart, searching in separate directions for any signs of life.
So far I had discovered nothing and as far as I was aware, neither had Jarred. But of course, the issue we had was that neither of us had a way of contacting the other, so even if we did find something, we’d have to go back to the cave and wait until the ‘evening’ until the other returned to tell them about it!
It was currently probably just after midday, which would explain the extra heat. The burning sun was enormous in the sky and dehydration was a growing concern. However, we could do nothing about it in the middle of the desert, we just had to push on. Our best hope was to find civilisation and pray they were friendly and had water, or even ANY sort of liquid we could drink!
So far I’d discovered absolutely nadda. The only variation to the monotonous “sand….sand….sand…” routine was a small clump of rocks surrounded by an oddly coloured patch of, yup, sand.
I searched for the rest of the afternoon but still found nothing. With no way of telling the time, it was hard to know when to turn around and head back to our base point of the cave, but intuition told me when it was time and so I turned around and headed back with a heavy heart.
When I got back, Jarred was absent but he arrived what could only have been a few minutes later.
We shared our results and were equally disappointed when neither of us had found anything. We promised that tomorrow we’d do better.
As I lay down in the back corner of the cave, the furthest from the doorway to the light, hoping to tonight get some sleep, I couldn’t help but be scared that tomorrow might be our last chance. My mouth and throat were painfully dry and my stomach hurt from lack of food. I knew Jarred must be the same but he seemed to be tough. I didn’t know why he’d been in prison but in the breakout he’d killed one guard by snapping his neck, so he clearly wasn’t a man to be messed with.
But never-the-less, he would still need sustenance. Before I drifted off at last, my last thoughts were those of dying out here in this God-forsaken land; in a cave in a desert on an uninhabited world. Far from the life I’d lived as a child.
When I awake, it was of course, light, as it always was. But the simple fact that I had in fact woken up pleased me. Firstly because it meant that despite my dehydration, I was still alive and secondly it meant that I had managed to get some sleep, because I had begun to feel exhaustion kicking in yesterday.
Jarred was already awake and we discussed our plan for today, which turned out to be pretty much the same as yesterday, except this time, we’d go together.
We decided on doing this because using the sun as our compass, claiming it was the North, we had come from the West and so we knew there was nothing out that way. Yesterday Jarred had searched the North and I, the South so we knew there was nothing there. The only direction remaining untouched was the East. Also, if we went together it meant we had company so that we could keep our spirits up.
Secretly I was also pleased that we would be together because, although I’d only known Jarred a matter of days, if this day was to be my last, I wanted to spend it with another human being and not alone.
There was no point in hanging around and so as soon as we’d decided on what to do, we set off. Together we headed East.
Jarred: “I hope to God we find something today.”
I nodded, my throat already too dry to speak properly.
Jarred: “I swear, if we don’t find anything today, I’m gonna kill myself. I can’t just fade away like this.”
I couldn’t really tell if Jarred was actually talking to me or just talking aloud in general. I got the feeling that he didn’t really know either.
We searched without luck, heading up a slight incline now for what must have been about half an hour before he spoke again.
Jarred: “If this planet is uninhabited, I swear…”
He stopped talking and we both stopped walking.
We were standing on the edge of a rocky outcrop. In front of us, the ground suddenly dropped away into a shallow gorge…
And at the bottom of the gorge, was a town.
Jarred: “Hallelujah.” He whispered.
Tank: “God be praised.” I agreed. “Civilisation!”
It appeared to be a fairly large town, with wide but winding streets. There seemed to be no proper layout, buildings just stood where they stood. All of the buildings were brown in colour, appearing to be made from earthy rock or maybe dried mud? I couldn’t tell from this distance. But what we could tell from this distance was that it was occupied.
Jarred: “C’mon!” he began to scramble down the rocky slope towards the town. We should really have been more careful, after all, we didn’t know if the town’s occupants were friendly, we didn’t know… well, anything really!
But our excitement and joy at finding life out here and our need for water was so great that we couldn’t help it. The slope down, although rocky, once we’d got down the first, almost vertical few meters, was fairly shallow, meaning we could run down it with ease.
It took a matter of minutes for us to reach the bottom and be on the edge of the town and there we stopped, suddenly afraid.
Jarred: “What if they eat us?”
I couldn’t help but laugh. Of all the things he could be worried about right now.
Jarred: “What do we do?”
Tank: “The only thing we can do; just walk in there like we know what we’re doing and try and find some water.”
Jarred: “Okay.” He agreed, sounding a little shaky.
Together we walked towards the nearest street and tried to look confident.
That didn’t last long though because no sooner had we passed between the first two buildings, a humanoid alien emerged from a shop front door carrying what appeared to be a fruit of some kind.
Jarred and I froze…
The alien froze…
We stared at the alien…
The alien stared back…
And then the alien held out the fruit to us and said something incomprehensible.
I looked at Jarred and realised we both must look absolutely dreadful. In our tattered prison jumpsuits, sand blasted and thin from lack of food and water. He looked back at me and we silently asked each other what we were going to do.
Then slowly I looked back at the alien, who like an immigrant market stall owner back on Earth, thrust the fruit towards us again with a noise that sounded suspiciously like, “Yah?!”
He, well, I think it was a he, grinned at us and I slowly reached out and took the fruit from him. He threw his arms wide, which made us both jump and repeated,
Tank: “Yah?...” I repeated cautiously and Jarred did likewise when the alien turned to look at him.
Alien: “Yah!” he said again enthusiastically and nodded before turning around and heading back inside, presumably to replace the fruit he’d just given away.
I turned to Jarred, holding the fruit carefully in my both hands. It was about the same size as a watermelon, back on Earth.
We looked at each other and I shrugged and then tore the fruit in half. It was squishy and as soon as I ripped it apart, juices squirted out and soaked my hands.
The sight of liquid was too much, Jarred grabbed half from me and we both instantly began to drink thirstily from our halves.
It was so good! After years of prison food and a couple of days of starvation and dehydration, this one piece of succulent, squishy fruit was heaven.
The kind alien returned with a whole crate of the same fruit and watched us as we greedily gobbled up our halves and then when we had finished and regretted not having saved some, he handed us two whole fruit each!
Tank: “Oh thank you! Thank you!” I didn’t know what to do! I wanted to thank this creature, this kind soul for his generosity but didn’t know how to express my thanks across the language barrier! So after a moment of thinking I decided to put my hands together as if in prayer and bow, making sure to keep eye contact with him so he knew I wasn’t doing anything stupid. Jarred caught on and did likewise and after a moment of looking suspicious and confused, the alien copied us.
I stood up straight, grinning and the alien began to grin again and started chatting away in his own tongue as he picked up his crate again and wandered off up the street.
Tank: “We’d best save these.” I said, indicating to our fruit.
We decided that the next thing to do would be to go further into the town and do some exploring.
Tank: “Do you reckon they’ve ever seen a human before?” I asked as we walked.
Jarred: “I doubt it. I haven’t seen another human anywhere yet.”
It was true. Looking around there was a whole host of different species of aliens, the majority of which were humanoid, but not a single actual human. Were we really the first humans to ever have been here?
Thinking about it, the more likely the idea became. After all, we’d come here straight from whatever the event was which had dropped Earth into this new galaxy, so yeah, we probably were the first humans to ever set foot here. I smiled at the idea; it made me feel like a pioneer of old.
We spent a good few hours wandering the town and discovered that it seemed to be what, back at home, would have been called a market town. There were stalls selling all kinds of wares everywhere and everybody appeared to be trying to sell you something. We witnessed a lot of transactions as we walked and found that virtually anything was used as currency. We wondered how much our fruit was worth as we hadn’t seen anybody else with one yet and so when we came across a clothing stall, we tried our luck.
Jarred held up his fruit with a questioning look and the stall owner actually gasped and looked at it as though it were made of solid gold. Suddenly he snatched it out of Jarred’s hands.
Jarred: “HEY!” he began to protest but I grabbed his arms and pulled them down. The stall owner began chatting happily in his own language and spread his arms across his stall and began pointing out different items that may take our fancy.
Tank: “I assume that means we can take what we want?”
Jarred: “That would be my guess too.”
It turned out that the fruit must have been worth a lot because we each managed to get a new shirt, a pair of trousers and a bandana! All for the one fruit! We thanked the stall keeper in the same manner we’d thanked the first alien and then hurried into the nearest alley to get changed.
It felt so good to be out of our prison jumpsuits, it was unreal! We kept them with us though with the idea that we might be able to trade them for something else.
That idea ended up being a good one because when we came across a small shop selling proper food and drinks and we nearly passed out with delight, we managed to trade both our jumpsuits, which the shop keeper clearly hadn’t seen before and thought were valuable items, for a whole crate of dried … something and two big bottles of actual water!
We decided to there and then eat another of our melon-sized fruit, but this time we restrained ourselves, well, I forced Jarred to and we only had another half each, making sure we had one each left. We did then allow ourselves to drink half of one of the bottles of water though to make up for it and agreed that we would go back to our cave to eat a packet of the dried stuff each.
Finally things were looking up. We were watered, we had food and new clothes and there was civilisation here after all! Who knows; maybe we could settle down here. Because now we know we are not alone, I actually quite like this place!
N.B.: Shout out to The Essence of Randomness now for creating the micro town used in two of the shots in this episode. Being at University with limited bricks, I didn’t have the right parts to create it myself and he was kind enough to step in and make it for me. Thanks Iad’!
As my series is going to be jumping around though time, I will include a date on each episode and add it to the timeline at the end of each episode so that you can follow it.