chapter 6

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Screams melded with the infernal klaxon both demanding her to wake up.

Izara opened her eyes to chaos.

Ahead of her, still strapped into their harnesses against the wall, Shane and Deon were yelling in panic. It wasn't hard to tell why. Like a bolt of lightning sizzling through her veins and finding her heart, her adrenaline kicked in as she looked out the now open viewing panel of the pod. Flames peeled away from the window like a shroud as they entered the planet's atmosphere.

Judging by the harsh angle of the pod and the almighty pressure pushing her back, Izara was willing to bet it was at a speed around Mach thirty or even thirty-five. Below them, the pod was hurdling toward an endless blanket of dark blue water.

Oh shit.

Izara grabbed the buckle at her chest and unlatched the harness. Looking to the main terminal in front of her, where the yautja stood typing at the keyboard, she tried to push herself towards him. But it was no use. She could hardly move under the pressure.

"Yautja," she managed, her voice strained.

With a whip of his long spines, the creature turned his head and looked at her.

"Let me do it," she gasped even as the ship arced at a steeper angle lifting her partly off the floor. Even still she pushed against it and reached out a hand to the big hunter.

With the help of his clawed greaves, the creature turned just enough and held one clawed hand onto the center terminal and reached for her with his other. It was amazing he could even hold himself upright under this immense force.

Bracing her boots against the wall behind her, Izara pushed herself forward watching as her hand finally found his, and sighed as he grasped her securely by the wrist. With one heaving pull, the large crab-faced creature pulled her against gravity until he had her tucked in front of him at the terminal. Bracing one hand on either side of her he acted as her harness as her fingers found the holographic keyboard.

"The water!" Dean shouted. Pure fear stripped the dimwitted guard's voice into an almost shrill like sound.

"Oh God!" Shane's cry ended in a scream as the pod sliced through the water's surface.

Izara couldn't acknowledge them. She couldn't even let herself thank the yautja as he tightened his body around her bracing her from the jarring impact she just forced her fingers to type as she input code.

For some reason, the coordinates were off. The computer was under the impression they were going through a particularly mucilaginous layer of gasses on the planet and would be landing on a sabulous-like surface soon. Looking up to the window, Izara's stomach dropped at the sight. Big mistake.

Beyond the window was a primordial world so alien so deep and dark that it made everything in her come to a stop. She expected something colorful and vibrant. Colorful reefs maybe or schools of exotic sparkling fish in a deep unknown. Not underwater mountains of deep obsidian. Not slow movement of something large and otherworldly and certainly not a giant pair of eyes in the far dark depths looking directly at her.

She wasn't sure how long she remained frozen, but she heard the deep growl in her ear and it jolted her back to reality.

Tearing her eyes away from the viewing window, Izara typed.

"We're going deeper. Do something!" Deon wailed.

Ignoring the sobs and frantic cries of the two men who couldn't take their eyes from the window and the monsters that lay on the other side, Izara focused on her task.

"What are you doing?!" Shane demanded.

A clang of metal sounded to her left followed by another on her right.

"I won't let you kill us down here! Move!" Shane shouted as he reached for her arm.

The pressure of the yautja disappeared from behind her and she heard Shane's shouts.

"Deon, get her!" Shane ordered, his voice further back in the pod now, most likely backed away by the yautja.

To her right, Izara could feel the bigger man hesitantly come her way before he stopped and looked out the viewing window, suddenly ashen and petrified to the spot. Izara refused to look up to see what he was looking at. She couldn't. She had to get the last of her code in before the ship went any deeper into this unknown abyss.

Deon's frantic gargling scream only made her fingers shake in fear as a part of her mind traitorously wondered what he could possibly be seeing.

No, no, no. She couldn't let the fear take over her...she had to stay in control...


Shane dodged past the yautja in one last desperate attempt for the terminal. He had to do something he couldn't let this crazy bitch and her monster bodyguard kill them like this.

"Deon!" he shouted hoping to startle his friend back to reality and away from the giant eyeball coming closer to their ship.

He reached for the girl, the odd lab-tech everyone had whispered about back at the base. Shane only had a few seconds before the yautja tried to rip him apart. Grabbing her by the shoulders, he yanked her from the terminal and turned her around. He could feel Deon on his right now, backing him up, but they both stopped short. Shane could even feel the yautja's immense presence only centimeters behind him stop as well as they all looked at the girl's bright eyes.

A trickle of fear went down Shane's spine.

"Step back and get into your fucking harnesses." Her words were like strikes of a hammer.

Both he and Deon stepped back immediately.

Turning around, her fingers went back to the keyboard faster than before and in seconds they both felt the ship tilt beneath them. Deciding not to push his luck, Shane clambered back to his harness while Deon did the same on the other side of the room. Within seconds, the pod was racing back up through the water and bursting through the water's surface. Golden sunlight pierced through the window as they flew into the air and Shane nearly sobbed in happiness. A few miles ahead of them a large green shape took form and relief heated the frozen blood in his veins as the mountain and trees came into view.

Land was ahead. And land meant hope.

Now all he had to deal with were whatever monsters were out there and the monsters on this ship.

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