Saturday, March 22, 2014

Prompt: Surprised by an avalanche, Part 3

Jake rode the wave in and out of consciousness. Between one time and the next, the power died in the ruined flyer, and he woke in the cold, dark water. Any light that might have filtered down from the sky was blocked by the slab of mountain that had carried the flyer into the river.

The crabs kept him company. As his eyes adjusted to the low light, he saw them climbing all over the flyer, picking off the toxic red algae. They had a kind of grace as they moved, delicately plucking the algae with their smaller pincers, and waving their big pincers at each other. Were they fighting or communicating with each other?

They climbed up and down his useless legs, probing but never damaging the biofilter. When they climbed into his lap and onto his chest, he could see the slender tubes that curved out of their mouths and slipped into the biofilter. This always brought another wave of euphoria, and Jake rode it into unconsciousness again.

How long had it been? When he didn’t report back from Kamayashi, surely the Commander would guess where he’d gone. They’d fought over Gontun often enough. Rather, the Commander yelled at him, stalking around him as if he could intimidate a pilot, and Jake stood at attention, staring at the ground and fighting the cocky grin that had always infuriated his own father.

The Commander might throw his hands up and declare Jake a good riddance, but he would come after the payload. Wouldn’t he? Come to think of it, that payload wasn’t prepared for complete submersion. Would it be destroyed? Would it damage the river ecosystem? Kill the crabs? Kill him?

The biofilter wasn’t meant for extended complete submersion either. He wasn’t sure how long it would last. It felt like it had already been longer than it should. The filter drew enough oxygen from the water, especially since he couldn’t move, and enough sustenance to keep him alive. It would probably fail before he starved to death, and then he would drown. Comforting thought.

Dogs in house:
Houdini, Brindle

Time writing:
Too long!

March word count:

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