"This is Queen of Diamonds. We're still goin' down. Vanessa is unconscious. Deorbriter engines engaged. . ." crackling of static, outburst of unidentifiable squeaks and noises. Silence.
Yellowish-green planet Y2063. Lonely, serene within the blackness of the space. A shiny point is cutting across the image growing larger and larger. It is the metal cone of an Intersolar Armored Vehicle cockpit ripped from the ISSCV during the fight with the enemy barely seconds ago. Retroburners are firing to slow down the entry into the atmosphere. Friction flames lick the protective ceramic coating igniting tiny sparks all around it. The cockpit's windshield faces the space and if there're any passengers inside they can't see the planet down below. The cone is engulfed by the blaze, a bright spot in the green sky falling down like shooting star.
Inside the cockpit Shane Vansen, pale and wide-eyed with fear struggles against the force of the planet's gravity to turn the transmitter on. She can't reach it. Shane turns to the side and looks at unconscious Vanessa Damphousse. G-force is pulling Shane and Vanessa inside the seat. Shane bites her lips as she watches the green, alien clouds streak by. This is like being in a falling down elevator. The glare outside is too much to handle, like a bright light at the end of the tunnel. Shane grips the chair and squeezes her eyes shut. She whispers "God. Oh God. . ."
One of retroburners blows apart. The explosion gives the cockpit enough push to change a direction of the atmospheric entry and to start rotational spin around its vertical axis. It's uncontrollable. The gray cone shakes and groans as the metal box tumbles helplessly down toward the ground.
The planet 2063 Yankee. Plains in every shade yellow surrounded by green water, so different than blue Earth, so strange, so alien.
Inside, the cockpit is brightly lit by the outside flames casting an orange glow on Shane and Vanessa, still in their seats. They both are violently rocking, with the force of the spin trying to throw them sideways. Only the seatbelts are preventing them from being tossed out of the seats. Vanessa's head swings like a rag doll hitting side of the chair with her helmet with every passing turn of the cockpit. The storage compartments located on the walls start to pop out open, spilling supplies all over the cabin. A first aid kit flies open followed by the pair of scissors thrown barely inches from Shane's face. She jerks her head rapidly back to avoid an accident. Procedure book hits the glass. Bottle of carbohydrate pills crashes scattering its contents. White tablets crush making a cloud of dust. The small extinguisher mounted on the side of the cockpit shakes, hanging on the last screw, ready to fly across the cabin in any second. Light sticks, MRI bars, antibiotic shots are rolling on the floor. Shane struggles to reach the switches. A flashlight shoots between Shane and Vanessa's heads and crashes into a hundred of pieces on the dashboard.
Shane's face goes ashen as she starts to feel nauseous. With the last remaining strength she reaches out for the knob and slams the button.
From the bottom of the cockpit a rocket fires out flipping the cockpit down 180 degrees. The rocket moves away from the cockpit and explodes pulling out the 3 parachutes, the main big one and 2 smaller on the sides. Now the cockpit hangs down beneath the camouflage colored canopies.
Shane is jolted around. She blacks out and goes limp in her seat for a second from the enormous force of deceleration.
The parachutes slow down the speed of the falling cockpit.
Shane sighs loud in relief. "Vanessa we're going to be ok." She pats Phousse's hand.
Suddenly one of the small side chutes rips in half leaving the cockpit hanging at an angle beneath 2 remaining giant umbrellas.
Shane's head is down. She slowly raises it as she opens her eyes. She turns to the side. 2 drips of blood are rolling down from Vanessa's nose. Shane looks in front of her as the greenish alien ocean fills the window.
The cockpit hits the water hard, skimming along the surface like a stone. Fountains of green liquid erupt into the air. The water evaporates with a hiss as it cools down the box.
Inside the cockpit the screw holding the extinguisher gives up and the metal can flies. It hits Shane in the head, knocking her unconscious. As its ricochet from the white-red helmet it struck Vanessa in the arm causing an open flesh wound.
The cone flips and turns and rolls finally coming to a sudden stop stuck in the muddy floor under the shallow water. The beaten up, scratched and charred cockpit lies on the side with the cracked window up. The sticky mud absorbed the impact and now is slowly, millimeter by millimeter, sucking the cockpit in with a GURGLING sound. Tiny air bubbles come to the surface and burst with a hiss. 2 parachutes limp and fall down covering the cockpit under the yards of camouflage green fabric and floating on the water's surface.
Shane and Vanessa's motionless bodies are still strapped in the seats. From under the door water starts to seep slowly.
The buzz of the Chig fighter squadron rings in the air. The slick geometric planes sail through the air in a standard 3 plane formation. They look like soaring hawks against the green air. A dark spot in the middle of the ocean catches their attention. The planes descent a bit and drop the bombs.
The remains of a giant carcass float gently with the waves. A whistle and a dark object splash into the water. BOOM! The bomb blows the dead animal into pieces. Another bomb, another explosion. Third and the last one lights the sky as the Chig crafts fly away.
Shane opens hers eyes. "What the hell. . ?" she asks herself loudly looking at the cracked window covered with camouflage painted fabric. She turns her head. "Phousse?" Shane unclasps her belt with the lightning speed. She jumps out of her seat right in the middle of the ankle deep water and goes to Vanessa. She checks her vitals and sighed.
"We made it!" Shane grabs the bandages from the water and tears the waterproof wrap. She takes care of Damphousse's wounds fast and efficient. "Lets get of of here before Chigs pay us a visit." Shane opens the storage and pulls the packet with the inflatable raft. Then she packs as many supplies as she can stuck in her pockets. Shane stops for a second. An unmistakable buzz of Chig fighters comes closer and closer.
"NO! Not now." Shane pries the doors open.
Chig squadron flies across the sky not noticing a cockpit under the camouflage parachutes.
Shane picks out from under the fabric. She gets out the raft and pulls the cord. Within seconds the raft opens with a hiss. Shane carefully places Vanessa inside and wraps her in blanket.
Inside the fast filling with water cockpit Shane gets as many supplies as she can. She tries the transmitter, but it shorts with the shower of sparks. The cockpit tilted aside.
Shane quickens her pace. she searches frantically and puts anything that she can find in the makeshift bag that she made from her jacket. Water is now a waist deep. Shane gives a last quick glance and leaves the cockpit.
The raft tied to the barely holding above the water cockpit gently sways. Shane climbs in and starts paddling away toward the dark shape of a land marking the horizon. The cockpit behind Shane gives up and disappears under water releasing a mass of bubbles.