Squadron Legacy, Chapter 9 (Rewrite)
I was dissatisfied with the last installment, so I've decided to retract it and replace it with this instead. It's been a while since I've come up with anything, so this was refreshing and good to get back into.
Chapter Nine: Evasion
Tyren arrived at the other side of the lake after an exceptionally draining swim. His short hair formed small spikes, dripping with the frigid water. His skin was clingy, and goose bumps rippled his whole body. His body shook, shivering as he emerged from the deep water.
‘Shake it off, shake it off,’ Tyren thought to himself, remembering survival training. ‘You have to keep moving.’
Tyren knew from the Republic’s survival school that he didn’t want to be a prisoner. He was determined to get as far away from the burning wreckage as possible. He didn’t look back.
A vast wall of jungle lay before Tyren. He was taken aback by the beauty and complexity of it all, but had no time to admire it. Placing one boot down firmly, Tyren began to trudge into the dense underbrush that surrounded him. As he began to become enveloped by the jungle, Tyren thought ahead. He was in a temperate environment, which was favorable for human survival should he be stuck there long. Water would not be a problem, as numerous rivers and tributaries snaked across the planet’s surface. Tyren quickly determined that his priorities were evasion and food, but especially evasion.
As Tyren’s uncertain journey through the forest progressed, so did his knowledge of the woodland. At first, Tyren had been crashing through the underbrush in an almost constant direction; a straight line. He soon discovered that nature had a distinct flow, and that if he followed it, he had a much easier time. Tyren began to flow with nature, and find small but efficient passes through the underbrush that weren’t always straight, but were still within his desired course.
After about an hour of trekking through the forest, Tyren was at the point of exhaustion. Under normal conditions he could run 10 kilometers at a good pace, but his stress and fatigue combined with his lack of nutrition forced him to stop. Tyren took a good long drink from his water bottle, and slowly sank down next to a large tree trunk. Nestling between 2 massive roots, Tyren replaced his water bottle and turned his attention to his emergency communication radio. Knowing that the Mandalorians would likely be monitoring the Republic emergency frequency, Tyren dialed in the Republic combat frequency to get an indication of the battle taking place overhead.
A crackly, broken static sounded from the miniature speaker.
“KKRRGXXH…Wildfire..On..KRDDXXXGH…Closing…KRRRXXXX GHY….Negative...Negative…KRRRXXXX… Break…Right….”
After a few minutes of careful listening, Tyren wasn’t able to pick up more than a few garbled sentences. It didn’t sound good. He was able to catch the callsigns of several squadrons that he knew of, but many that he was not familiar with.
As his strength began to return slightly, Tyren quickly decided to get down to the business of evading the Mandalorians. Pulling out a large olive drab cloth, Tyren quickly wrapped it snug over his head. Next came the face paint. Tyren had only applied the stuff a few times in training, but had down the general gist of what to do. A layer of black went on his nose, cheekbones, and above his eyebrows. Next, he brought out the rest of his face by applying a dark green. With a slightly artistic touch, Tyren then added a few streaks of brown and grey. Satisfied, Tyren returned the paint to his vest.
It was at that point that Tyren remembered why he had hated the face paint during training. His skin couldn’t breathe! A brief thought of washing it off ran through his brain, but Tyren quickly rationalized that the paint would be more beneficial on his face. Despite the added discomfort, Tyren felt ready to embark once more and find shelter for the rapidly approaching night.
Already, the sun was beginning to fade. Vanquo had a fairly rapid rotation, which led to relatively short days and nights. As the sun sank, it cast a brilliant glow over the towering cumulus clouds to the west. Sunbeams shot forth from around the clouds like brilliant golden ships at lightspeed. An eerie beauty coated Tyren’s view. For a moment, just for a moment, Tyren felt, even in the midst of an impending war, a sense of peace and serenity. He felt like he was one with everything around him.
‘Maybe those Jedi really know something,’ he thought to himself as he contemplated the scene.
Rising from against the tree trunk, Tyren began to walk once more. It was absolutely imperative that he find safety before nightfall. During the daytime in a forest environment, it would be almost impossible for him to be spotted on any thermal scanners. Nighttime was a completely different story. If a passing Mandalorian scout happened to swing a thermal scan his way, he would light up the screen like a blaster bolt at midnight. Scanning the horizon, Tyren noticed several ridges that were close. Tyren chose to head towards a particular one on his left that jutted up and looked uncannily like a Kath hound.
Tyren desperately hoped that there would be a cave that he could seek refuge in for the night. After crossing a small creek, Tyren was soon striding along the base of the ridge. And then, for the first time that day, Tyren got lucky.
The cave had a small opening, but it was deeper than it looked. Tyren shone his flashlight inside to quickly inspect the interior. Several small insects scurried about, but other than that, the small hovel appeared to be unoccupied. Feeling that this was the best option that he would be able to find, Tyren removed his survival vest and tucked it at the rear of the cave. Unsheathing the survival knife, Tyren then returned to the underbrush.
Gathering some groups of bushy branches, Tyren carefully positioned them at the entrance of the cave to mask the entrance.
Finally, Tyren settled down into his new-found refuge, and listened to the Republic combat channel once more, staring up at the sky. Now a deep, dark blue, Tyren could make out some of the larger, brighter ships and laser blasts. Feeling entirely helpless, Tyren shut off the radio and retired to the rear of the cave. Still coping with the stress and fatigue of the day, Tyren closed his eyes and desperately hoped that sleep would come quickly.
Sleep would prove to be elusive that night.
YES!!! I was wondering what in the Force happened to this story. Welcome back!
Running late, but read
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