Chapter 7

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Izara blinked once and then twice. The image ahead of her through the viewing panel was slowly registering in her mind like a slow loading photo.

She wanted to yell out hold on or brace yourselves to the others. The strip of white sandy land was coming into focus very quickly, too quickly.

Beyond the almost sparkling white strip of beach was a wall of imposing emerald green. Foliage so tight and dense, that not a single shred of light seemed to breach its fortifying wall. But no words came out of her mouth. The fog of anger that had overtaken her moments before was dissipating as she struggled to keep the pod on course.

Lights were flashing everywhere on the terminal. Alarms blared their klaxons in constant warning as the pod hurdled forward. They were going too fast, but there was no choice. She held her sweat slicked hands in place on the panel, holding a death grip on the last input she entered onto the keypad. She could not let the system make a single alteration. They just had to get over the last stretch of water. If they could just make it until land was securely underneath them then-

"Do something!" One of the men shouted she wasn't sure who, as the inevitable impact quickly approached.

At the last second, Izara diverted the pod's energy to the shields just as the force of the pod's collision against the ground knocked her off her feet.

Like a stone skittering across the ground, the spherical pod bumped and slid across the beach creating a tidal wave of sand before hurling into the blockade of jungle trees. Around her, the men shouted as they were tossed back and forth within their restraints. She wasn't so lucky. From her position on the floor, she felt every jolt and lurch from the vessel as it bounced across the rough ground before finally slowing down to a jarring halt against a massive tree.

Everyone let out a groan in painful relief. Izara was even sure she heard the telltale sound of relieved clicking from the yautja somewhere behind her.

With a groan, she picked herself up off the floor as the sound of harness buckles jostled on either side of the pod.

"Fucking hell," Shane cursed as he walked unsteadily to the viewing panel on the wall.

There was not much to see on the other side of the diaminium glass. Tangled vines wrapped around the base of the large tree that had stopped the pod's slide and endless verdant foliage was all they could see.

Rubbing his shoulder Deon walked over to Shane. "I thought we were gonna die."

Izara turned and looked at the yautja who was standing silently behind her looking at the terminal screen over her head.

"I'm going to check on the medical pod," she said to him. "Can you check the atmosphere and the ship's integrity report?"

The yautja said nothing as she stepped away from the terminal and towards the standing med pod in the back. Though she didn't know much about the yautja she did know that she trusted him with reviewing the important data more than the two meatheads staring out the window. They hadn't even bothered checking on their friend.

It only took five steps across the ship from the terminal to the medical pod, but every step made her wince. She didn't even need to look to know her body was covered in bruises from the bumpy landing. Tapping the curving glass, she waited for it to light up. On the other side, Kang Hua's handsome sleeping face was illuminated by the internal lights as the system scanned him. His vitals were stable, but he needed surgery to clean and suture the wound, along with an assortment of medicines that needed to be taken. Setting the program to run through the desired treatment, Izara stepped back as the internal robotic arms began to power up.

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