Chapter 3 Grounded
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I take a sip of coffee as the ship lies at an angle into the ground. I try to keep myself calm and focused. BT was back offline due to the energy field which meant so were the drones. The ship’s power was still online so I brewed myself another cup of coffee. Now that I was on the ground I was just glad gravity couldn’t kill me now. But that voice I heard was not comforting. Was someone out to get me?

Nothing I could do about it now though. After drinking my cup I grab my rifle and head for the hanger. Taking a deep breath I try to calm myself as I open the door to the hanger bay. Looking out on this alien planet I take a deep breath and find that I can breathe easily enough. Feeling the fresh air blowing on my face I climb up the side of the ship and stand on top of my ship to survey the damage. 

The ship is covered in damage and looking behind me I see a long stretch of broken trees going for about one kilometer back. So much for a subtle landing. Looking up it’s the dead of night so I’m betting there will be a search party in roughly 24 hours. Which means I need to get a bearing on my surroundings. Dropping into the hanger I plugged into the control panel to use one of the fighter drones and got it online. 

As it speeds out of the hanger I close the door and scan the area for potential threats. But so far I’m not seeing anything. Then I notice something off in the distance roaring and charging at my drone. 

Is that, a DRAGON!

I dive the drone and start prepping the ship’s point defense systems. Overclocking my interface I split my control between two of the ship’s guns and drive the drone back to the ship. As I open the hangar doors, the guns fire a stream of autocannon fire at the dragon easily cleaving the giant lizard in two. As it falls out of the sky it crashes a kilometer away from the ship.

The guns were loud though and I couldn’t hide the tracers from the autocannons. But there was no way I was taking the risk of that thing coming any closer. I shut down the overclock and feel a slight headache, but I put that aside as the drone enters the hanger. Closing the hanger doors I sit down and let out a short breath of relief.

What the hell did I do to piss off a dragon? You know what, I need more coffee.

Sipping on a new cup of coffee I let out another sigh. How the heck was I supposed to kill something like that out in the field. Going to the armory I pick up an AA launcher. Since it is heat-seeking it should lock onto a dragon. The problem is weight and portability so I set it back down. 

My best bet is to just let not be seen if I leave the ship. So maybe launching a flying ship was not the best thing to do. Even under the cover of night.

Checking on BT I see he’s not even 2% through his reboot. Meaning he wouldn’t be online before someone came to investigate. At my current estimates, it would take about four days to get it back online. Which meant I couldn’t make use of my drones unless I controlled them manually.

So that meant I had only one choice. I had to go outside and find clues. Which meant locking down the ship and exploring on foot. Nothing could probably get inside but it was still a risk if something got in. Being alone in this situation kinda sucked.

I couldn’t let that keep me down though. Backing a bag full of tools, supplies, and a recon drone. I made my way to the hanger and grabbed my motorbike that was laying in the corner. It should be good to run for 1000 km on a single charge which meant I could make it to that settlement and back.

Getting ready I open the hangar door and drive out hitting the dirt. I then close the hanger doors and start heading towards the town. It’s rather quiet as I weave in and out through the trees. Most animals scatter when they see me. Strangely the area reminds me of a forest on Earth, you would have thought the developers would have come up with something more interesting. But hey, if it ain’t broken why mess with it. 

At the end of the forest, I stop and look at the towns in front of me through my binoculars. There appeared to be a scouting party headed for the ship. It looked like a party of medieval knights with horses, armor, and all the standard medieval fare. What was weird though was one of the leading members of the party.

“That can’t be, why the hell does he look like Peter?”

Leading the group appeared to be my great-grandson, Peter. How was that possible? Did he crash here as well?

I didn’t know the kid too well. I knew his father pretty well but he had married quite the crazy bitch and had a kid with her. One day she decided to ask for a divorce and cut ties with his father. I had none of that and did my best to try and help him fix his financial problem with her. But, I never got to see Peter much afterward due to the way his mother kept him on a tight leash. He came out bi-annually to our annual family gatherings but that was about it and he was always in the corner not wanting to talk with anybody. I still tried to keep up with him using the internet but I never was good at using social media.

They start racing off towards my ship in a group of about a dozen. I decide to follow the group and wait for them to reach the treeline. Once they do I race ahead of them and block their path with my bike.

The front horse stops as I step off my motorcycle.

“Asfdj fdha-sf qhpasfd qjbn asjjna ckaik q-kjs fhqor”

Great, a language barrier. I raise my hands up in the air as I try to get more speech out of them to talk with them.

“Hello there, my name is … Sasha. Is Peter with you.”

Peter comes forward and dismounts his horse and approaches me.

“How do you know my name, stranger?”

One of the guards speaks to Peter but I still can’t understand him.

“Fgfog ogas osk she osfj afhjjs fd Peter.”

Since I didn’t understand any of that I decided to just answer Peter who I can understand.

“It's the year 2040. Your mom is Camilla Simmons. Your father is Kaydon Miles. What are you doing here Peter and are we still in a game?”

“How do you know that!”

He draws his sword at me as the others start to draw their weapons as well.

“Because I’m your great-grandparent.”

He looks confused for a minute.

“Did the goddess bring you here as well?”

Goddess, what goddess?

“No, I crashed a spaceship about 90 km into the forest.”

“A spaceship?”

I feel someone try to grab my handgun in my belt and stare at the man as he tries one last time to take it from me. I got to give the guy credit for his bravery but I’m not going to let that slide.

I kick the man in the balls putting my hand over the handgun he was trying to steal. 

I then feel a dozen weapons being pointed at me.

“Peter, would you call off your lackeys. I’m not defenseless you know.”

He raises his hand and they back off.

“Would you care to tell me how you found me then.”

“Luck. Like I said, I crash landed nearby.”

“Then no one sent you?”

“No? Who would have sent me.”

He looks confused as he speaks to his guards before turning back to me.

“Then would you mind leading us to your ship.”

“No. I don’t trust your men especially after one of them tried to steal something from me. Besides what are you going to do with the stuff on my ship?”

“That’s not important for you to know, if you want to live.”

I then see everyone point their weapon at me. Well time to teach this arrogant kid a lesson. I reach for my tool belt and grab two flash grenades pulling the pins as I raise my hands in surrender.

“Sure thing kid.”

A look of horror hits his face as the grenades release a bright light that blinds everyone around me. My helmet protects me from the flash and I move to action. I latch onto the nearest person’s weapon and use it to stab his throat. While I use my other hand to grab my pistol and release two bullets into the other two targets next to me.

I then use one of the bodies to block a crossbow bolt before returning fire and hitting him two times in the chest.

“RETREAT!”

It seems my surprise attack has them scared as I face off against another man in front of me. I take a step back holstering my sidearm as I grasp the blade I had used earlier firmly in my hands. My hand to hand combat is a bit rusty but using a pistol in point-blank combat isn’t great either. I charge into him and hope my armor provides me enough protection as I raise my left arm to deflect his attack while I stab at his chest.

My arm stings in pain but it didn’t go through my armor. But my sword didn’t stab into his chest either as his armor deflected it. Seeing that my sword wasn’t going to be much use I threw it at him and charged in. I catch him by surprise and tackle him to the ground punching his wrist to make him let go of his sword as I slam my head into his. I reel back in pain but barely have time to dodge another man charging at me.

At this point, I start laughing in enjoyment from the thrill of combat. I reach for my knife on my toolbelt and charge at the next opponent screaming causing him to back away in fright. I brush his sword to the side and stab him in his left armpit as I use my legs to kick his out from under him using the momentum to stab him in the throat.

Looking up I see two men who are scared for their lives as I smile with blood on my face. At this they try to mount their horses and run away but I pull my sidearm back out and finish them off before they can escape. That just left Peter and his three other lackies. It was time to teach that boy some manners. Mounting my bike I speed up to catch them and easily pass them doing a doughnut as I fired off the last of my mag around them scaring the horses. As they were getting bucked off I load a new magazine as I approached them. One tries to fire a crossbow at me but I shoot him in the chest before he can get the shot off. The oldest one then puts himself between me and Peter as the other drops his weapon and starts backing away. 

Peter stares at me in disbelief before he starts begging for his life.

“Wait stop, I’m begging you there is no need to kill me, I'll give you whatever you want.”

“After trying to kill me, no way. Old man steps away from the kid if you know what’s good for you.”

The translator must be getting better because he lowers his weapon but still stays in front of Peter.

“Look I shsu pi did jakxue psw death. Peter sjdu live.”

“What the hell is so important about Peter then? Why the hell is he even here?”

The man tries to explain but the vocabulary is still incoherent.

“Yo Peter mind translating, my translator still can’t understand what the hell he’s saying.”

I was too focused on the two men that I didn’t notice Peter now firing some kind of icicle into my chest knocking me back. I gasped in pain as I tried to catch my breath. Doing my best to play dead I hear him laughing as he comes over to me with his sword and I realize I’ve had enough of this brats shit.

Quickly raising my gun I shot him in the chest and yanked out the icicle in my chest. Standing up I shoot the old man charging at me as I go over to restrain the little shit.

Using some rope I pig tie the kid and throw him on the back of my bike and speed away back to the ship. There are still two survivors that I didn’t kill sure, did I care, not really. They could count themselves lucky and tell others not to screw with me. 

Now that I’m a fair way away I stabilize the kid and continue back to my ship. Once back I make some actual steel restraints and chain him up. I also attached a bomb collar to his head to make sure he doesn’t cast anymore of that magic crap. After that I extract the lead from his chest and sew him back up before heading to my room to clean the dried blood off my body. Checking my armor I only see surface layer damage, but I decide to take it off and use the time till the kid wakes up to repair the damage. As I finish making the repairs he starts to stir so I slap him awake.

“About time you wake up you brat.”

He opens his eyes and sees me, but when he does he looks confused.

“Who the-“

He then realizes the restraints he is in and looks back to me.

“Hey you wouldn’t mind letting me out these would you sweetheart?”

“Sweetheart?”

I start cracking my knuckles as I walk over to him.

“Is that any way to speak to your elders kid.”

“WAIT this has to be-“

He then sees my armor laying next to me and looks up to me realizing that I was the person who just shot him.

“Shit”

I sock him in the jaw and shake my hand as the pain comes from hitting his jaw. Opening up a medical drawer I start wrapping my hands in gauze as he starts panicking.

“Your name was Sasha right? How about we talk things out.”

I smash his face again as I start to see blood dripping from his mouth.

“Sure we can talk but next time it might be better to talk things out instead of trying to kill me. Isn’t that right you little shit.”

He frantically starts nodding my head as I pull up a chair next to him.

“Now you are going to start by telling me what the hell you are doing here. Shouldn’t you be in school instead of out here LARPing.”

“Like I said I was summoned here by a goddess. Everyone related to you that was eighteen and under was summoned there by her. She said it was all part of some contract that she had made with our great-grandmother. So doesn’t that make you her? I mean you did say you were my great grandparent right.” 

“No I’m your great-grandpa John. Though this avatar is named and looks similar to your great grandmother.”

“That’s kinda disgusting gramps.”

I kicked him in the balls and he groans in extreme pain.

“Better than being an idiotic brat like yourself. So how many of you were summoned here?”

“About seventeen of us. Though some of them weren’t even old enough to walk.”

“WHAT!”

I grab him by the chest and stare him down.

“WHERE ARE THEY!”

“I don’t know, we were all separated after she summoned us. Also are your arms supposed to be glowing like that?”

I look down and see that he is right. My arms are glowing and feel an energy pouring from me into him. He starts panicking as he starts to be covered in energy.

“What the hell are you doing!”

“I don’t know.”

I try to let go of him and notice that my hands are stuck.

“I’m stuck, I can’t stop this, what’s happening.”

He then starts to glow and disappear into a multitude of particles before disappearing completely.

I stare at my hands in horror of what I witnessed. Did I kill him?

“To think you would find one of them this fast.”

I turn around to find myself staring at another projection of Sasha looking at myself. I see it as another projection and not a reflection.

“Sasha? Is that you?”

“John…”

She rests her hand on my face and I start to tear up.

“How?”

“I’m sorry I've placed so much responsibility on you John. But now it falls to you to rescue our descendant from that mad witch.”

“What do you mean?”

“I was supposed to be a sacrifice to the goddess of this world,but I fled to another world to escape that fate. I didn’t think I’d end up getting breast cancer of all things.”

“But I thought you were an orphan from New York?”

“I’m sorry honey, but there isn’t enough time to explain everything. Using the last of my power I implanted my soul onto you. You see the goddess of this world placed a curse on me and now our descendants are paying the price of that curse.”

She then traced her hands down my tattoos taking off my shirt and placing her hands on my back.

“My soul will protect you from the goddess of this world and allow you to send our descendants home.”

She then takes a step back and starts to dissipate away.

“Please fulfill this selfish wish of mine and save them, John. You are their only hope.”

Reaching my hand out to her she disappears and I’m left alone again in the medbay. Just as clueless as before.

She could have at least left a secret note. Who would think she’d tell me this in some astral spirit fashion. Either way we had a lot to talk about next time I see her, but for now.

“I need more coffee.”

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