The ship moves with grace, its poofs of burning gas nudge us in, and settles on the landing pad with an imperceptible bump. We feel more than hear a great rushing of air through it's metal skin.
After a moon had passed, none of us could rise from our furs, weakened by my grandfathers curse. We watched helpless as another one of the children succumbed to the wasting of the curse, and I vowed it was the last.
Lack of food during our long hunt for the cave must have weakened us, for even the womenfolk were capable of faster digging than the hunting party. Our newcomers brought the last of the village’s food with them, the winter stores of dried venison and hard bread
The approaching thunder warned us of the coming apocalypse. Long shadows cast across the mountains of a rugged range. Peaks worn and weathered by the stains of time. Echoes of past memories, imprinted through the ever-changing landscape. Tents of our forefathers, falling down around our ears.
We’d sit, working out, playing games, smoking, just to ease the boredom, and then boom: the red light would flash, the siren would sound, and we’d rush out to the latest inter-dimensional transportation disaster.
He sits, and watches, drinking, the gun sits heavy on his hip, its dark wooden handle rubbed to a polish by the hands of lawmen and murderers alike. His eyes rove around the dimly lit bar, as a wordless tune warbles from half-blown speakers overhead, fuzzing and hissing with every drum beat.
I grip my knees until the bones creak. Deep heaving breaths, trying to calm down. Bad idea. I cough and spit granules of sand spitefully back onto the ground, adding my precious water to replenish the torched oasis, can’t wash the horror away. Who would murder a whole village?
He flips display lenses down over his goggles, a praying mantis, and adjusts his one-handed claw grip on the controller. Schmidt stands next to him, covering with his rifle. The high-pitched whine of tiny electric motors pierce through the wind whipping against our ears as the drone takes flight.
The scorching heat of the desert wind blows fiercely over the sand, piling and sculpting it, building tiny rivulets into mighty dunes that tower over us, flying between them, we speed toward the drop zone.
They chained him to the aft railing as the sun beat down on his sandy, unwashed hair. The sails above hung limp above, the only movement from crew and the ship itself as it listed, gently, port and aft, on this becalmed Wednesday, the fifth in a row. The captain