5: Purple Pollen

At first, I just catapulted—simple as that.  Catapulted into the sun, well into the direction of the sun.  The rush of air over my body shook me like a weather balloon caught in a tornado.  Nah, scrub that, it felt more like a ragdoll being flushed down someone’s toilet.  The jetpack had limited expenditure, it would need to replenish its jets soon otherwise the ragdoll wouldn’t be falling into a toilet but splattering into solid ground.  Now that’s what I’d term an ordure ending.

My visor was crystal miasma.  What a beautiful wall, what an enigmatic sight, hiding everything from view.  I’d say almost comforting for someone who was about to die.  But I didn’t want to say that, what I needed was the ship signal indicator, which was situated at the top centre, indicating the direction I needed to go.  The problem was, there was no ship on the direction indicator.  I was facing the wrong way.

My legs were still dangling, but something was happening down there, I could feel… something.  Blood was circulating its way down to my toes, ever so slowly.  The jolt obviously did something right.  Now to twist my body round so that I could at least find the ship’s direction and then land before the splatter.

My arms and hands were still responding, as was my upper body, and I managed to slowly twitch my torso incrementally.  It worked.  The ship appeared on the visor.  I kept twitching till it was centred, but it was too far to reach without replenishing the jetpack at least once.  I slowly gained better control and gently descended.  There were stars on the ground.  Damn, my head was throbbing hard… the suits oxygen… depletion was imminent.

Touch down.

Crap!  My legs buckled.  I should have expected that, too much weight.  I was carrying minerals I’d mined.  I tumbled over, banging my back and arms about on rocks.  Then crashed against some giant alien plant, which at least was soft.  Purple pollen gently rained over me.  Pretty, if you like funerals.  I was upright, thank the… couldn’t remember who to thank, the gods?  I couldn’t remember any gods, so I thanked myself, and the plant.  Reminder to myself: if I survive this to give the plant a name.

I sat against the plant, my vision going, but in the blur the jetpack indicator had stopped flashing, it had recharged!  I was losing track of time, seconds seemed to last forever, no air left.  So, instinctively I activated the jetpack one last time.

Times a funny thing.  The body works outside of time when you die and its passing is no longer measured, it doesn’t even pass; it just is.

But here’s the mystery, how the hell did I wake up back in the ship.

Whom the Gods love die young.


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