24 months from the date that the colonists landed on the unnamed planet, they were awakened in the night by shrieking engines, blaring across the sky. As they gathered in the middle of their camp, they looked off into the horizon just in time to watch an inferno erupt into the night sky, and shrapnel fly through the air with the quickness of flitting insects. Off of instinct, they ran toward the blaze. When they got there, they stopped in their tracks as they saw the insignia of Iod on the side of one of the destroyed ships. Lona suggested that they run back into the jungles and hide, because if there were two ships here, surely there would be more to follow. True to his noble nature, though, Noc could not see past trying to save whatever life might be available. Riya, Saram, and Noc set off into the blaze, pulling a pilot back first, and then what looked to be a government official. When they had gone off again to try and find more lives to save, or supplies to salvage, Lona, Dep, and Ak were trying to revive the two pulled from the fire. The pilot passed shortly after, but the official regained consciousness in a fit of coughing, and upon looking upon his saviors, stumbled back in surprise!
Unknown to the colonists, the official had the presence of mind to hit a tiny button hidden in the collar of his shirt, transmitting a location beacon back to Iod. As Lona, and Dep were trying to stabilize him, and secure his neck using the abundant sha’ri leaves found in the jungle. When they moved to carefully lift him, all were surprised to find themselves flanked on all sides by soldiers with their weapons drawn. When Noc emerged from the wreckage after pulling yet another charred body from it, the surprise was especially evident on his face when the soldiers pulled back and a single figure emerged from their midst.
“H-how are you here right now?”, Noc stammered in disbelief after seeing his once-friend in full Iod regalia.
Without even looking in his direction, Yrt pointed the sparkling tag on his jacket, and his voice dripping with disregard, said, “You, traitor, may call me General Zod.”
Then he turned his head and scanned the faces in the crowd until he found the object of his ire. Finding Lona, Yrt’s eyes flickered for a moment as he remembered their tender moments on Iod; however, just as quickly as he remembered, the cold sting of betrayal returned to his heart, and his words dripped with malice as he spoke directly to her.
“Lona, my sweet. You’ve not changed a bit over these couple of years. You still bear the stench of treachery…”
Lona’s eyes grew wide with fear, knowing that he was supposed to be dead. Sensing her trepidation, Noc moved to slide over closer to her, but was cut short by a plasma rifle to his head. General Zod continued as if nothing had happened.
“I know what you’re thinking. Let me answer your questions now, since your lives will come upon an unfortunate accident here on this wild, untamed world. You 6 cowards begun insurrection, and then fled like vermin when your schemes were brought to light. It was I who warned the government of your plans, and for my allegiance, they rewarded me.”, Yrt stated matter of factly.
“LIES”, Noc screamed, trying to get the focus off of Lona. He knew that he must be careful with the plasma rifle pressed a hole into the back of his head, but he could no longer bear the lies coming from Yrt’s mouth. He looked over at Lona, and her fear was palpable. He could identify with her surprise at Yrt being alive, but what he could not fathom was her fear at knowing their affair had been exposed. Noc knew that the only way that could survive would be to figure every possible outcome, and choose whichever lead to Lona surviving, because Noc saw the familiar bloodlust in Yrt’s eyes. Cycling through the endings quickly, Noc found one that just might work if he could pull it off correctly.
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