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Relinquishing Control

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Beep. Beep. Beep.

 

The slow drone of warning sirens blared in the cramped pod. Dried blood mixed with tears stuck hotly to your cheeks, as you blinked open your eyes and looked around slowly. The pod was coming apart, metal grinding and screeching under immense stress as the pod entered the upper atmosphere of a planet.

 

How did I get here? What happened? Suddenly you remembered. The escape. Your friends. You looked around desperately, feeling around in the dark for someone, anyone at this point, something to tell you you weren't alone. Your fingers brushed against cold flesh, and you looked closer to try and identify who you had brushed against. Aaron. You fumbled for a grip on your comrade. You tried to call out to him, but found your voice caught by the sirens blaring overhead. Shaking your friend, desperately trying to wake him, you looked closer, only to find a large piece of the pod had dislodged in his torso, tearing it open. His lifeless eyes stared ahead out the front of the pod.

 

Bile rose quickly in your throat. You shoved it back down alongside the feeling of dread beginning to coil in your stomach. Now is not the time to panic, I have to see if anyone else is alive, and fast. You couldn’t have more than a few minutes maximum until you crashed into the surface of whatever planet this was. Even if you were lucky to survive the crash, who knows what could be waiting for you on this planet, not to mention whether it’s even habitable. You crawled back as far as you could in the small space to where your two other companions lay. “Nia? Cato?” you rasped out. No reply. That can’t be good. Please, please don’t leave me alone, I can’t lose anyone else. Debris littered the area around them, blood splattered on several larger pieces. You clawed at their wrists, desperately trying to feel for a pulse. Nia had a sickeningly large gash running down the left side of her face, with an eyeball threatening to fall loose. Cato, on the other hand, looked almost peaceful, a stark contrast to their companion next to them. A sudden jolt to the pod shifted their body, revealing a massive hole in the back of their head.

 

Warning. Surface rapidly approaching. Reduce velocity immediately.

 

Tears pricked at the corner of your eyes and threatened to spill over. You swallowed the harsh lump in your throat and returned to your seat, strapped in, and braced yourself. The ground was rapidly becoming more and more visible through the fog. Fear pricked at your insides. There really was only one way you would be able to survive a crash like this, but you really, really , wished it didn’t have to come to this.

 

Your eyes closed, and you inhaled deeply, feeling a great surge well up inside you. Just before the pod slammed into the ground, you opened them again, a crimson haze enveloping your vision.