• Nick Richards

Chapter 1: The Candell - Part Two

Updated: Oct 18, 2020

“Manager,” Vialon urgently whispered, “I see them approaching!” He pointed at a nearby ridge where Jendi saw the first wave of what must be dozens of soldiers.

“Back to the ship,” Jendi said, as she led them deeper into the thicket, but toward where their starship was hidden on this planet. The four of them ran as quickly as the uneven ground and thick growth allowed. The sun was shielded by the leaves, and the hot afternoon did not bother them as much as it had. Lack of arrows also helped lift their spirits. As long as they were in the woods, it would be harder for an attacker to get a clear shot.

When they reached a far clearing, Jendi looked back and saw no sign of pursuers. Ahead was a natural bowl in the ground, and at its center was the Candell gleaming in the sunlight. Jendi saw the doctor standing outside the main hatchway, and as they ran she gave the signal to prepare the ship for immediate launch. The doctor got the point right away and ran inside to tell the pilot. The four of them reached the ship, Jendi shepherding the others inside before she stood in the doorway and looked at the hills behind them. She saw the soldiers now, having gone around the thicket, and to higher ground to find them, standing on a nearby ridge. Too far to reach them with arrows, but Jendi had enough of this planet and wasn’t going to stick around to let them have another chance. She turned into the ship, punching a control panel that swiftly closed the main hatch and sealed it shut for space flight.

She climbed two levels to the command section and reached the bridge. The pilot and navigator were at their stations, looking at Jendi for the word. She gestured and they turned to their instruments and the Candell rose from the ground with hardly more sound than a faint whoosh. If the soldiers were still watching, Jendi thought, they were beginning to doubt their world view about now. Good.

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