232 AO, Sexember 36th
I had been digging through the histories associated with the 2000 year war. Everyone else is so desperate to get as far away from that period of time, that most schools cover the entire period in one month of one semester. Williard Gawddum's writings have been especially insightful, despite his thinly veiled efforts to the contrary. He tried so desperately to disprove the existence of certain fairytales, that I had to ask myself why he protested so dreadfully.
I have found them.
Wizards. Do. Exist.
But I am not interested in them. At least, not most of them. As far as I can tell, there is only one who can help with my problem. And She isn't even on Pskaena. She is on Drako. Her name is Jikana Enka and I believe I will be the first human to lay eyes on her in 232 years. She seems to have dropped off the face of the planet at the fall of the Omnistate. Or rather, as I believe, flew off the face of the planet. That's why I boarded the Kwartilho, one of the three cargo shuttles sent to establish a base on the Planet of Dragons - Drako. It wasn't as hard as it might sound to get on the roster. It's surprising how few people are actually ready and qualified to colonize a planet.
Before we even launched, the Drako orbital station crew assembled and deployed the modified dome printer*. By the time we arrived with supplies (weapons) the dome was already completed. From the station I looked out on a vista that is difficult to describe. I saw my home rising over the horizon of Drako. It is remarkable how similar my home looked to Drako from this distance. Our trip to the surface was beyond thrilling. The heat-shield prevented us from seeing anything directly, but the orbital station monitored our drop and transmitted zoomed-in video as we descended. Mt Drake loomed in the distant East, and we could see Pterodactyls and herds of Nigersauri flee from our bright meteorite. Many times I was inspired to abandon my personal quest and fulfil my obligations to the crew. When we were low enough and slow enough, the pilots took over and landed near the dome.
I squeezed my rifle in anticipation as the doors opened on the sunslit alien planet. We were about to be the first humans to walk on our orbital dance partner† since the fateful first brave Drakonauts lost their lives 2 days after landing. Nothing happened. There was no greeting party of carnage that our worst fears had anticipated. We, the guards, filed out first, and set up a perimeter around the three shuttles as the scientists and crewmen gathered vital equipment and were shepherded to the centre of our wagon circle. Once ready, we marched to the dome, leaving behind the shuttles which would later be driven remotely into the safety of the dome.
I knew that this would be my best chance to leave the party unnoticed. I worked my way around the rear of the group, and while the majority of the group was skirting a large boulder, I hid behind some foliage.
Make no mistake. Drako is deadly. There was a very small chance that I would survive for long, extended only a short time by the extra ammo I had taken with me. The first night I was lucky. The only explanation I can think of is that the predators were still cowering from the violence of our arrival. But my luck didn't last long into the next day. Carnotaurus isn't exactly small or quiet. But when you are prey on the move, you are bound to find a lurking hunter. I spotted it across a field, and started backing into the cover of the trees behind me. Have you ever seen an owl perched in a tree when it spots a mouse hiding down below? It's remarkable how chilling it was to see the Carnotaurus subtly shift its 8m length as it honed its attention on me. I judged the distance, and guessed its speed. I only hoped that it wasn't faster than it looked.
~~~To be continued~~~
* A dome printer is a solar powered automated factory that uses local resources to construct an airtight armoured dome. This artifact of the Omnistate era was previously used to quickly and safely repair damage from Rebel attacks on dome fortified cities. The technology was modified to drop from orbit and assemble itself first, and then construct the 300m dome without the need for humans to die while giant meat eating lizards enjoy a rare delicacy. This dome was placed over an underground water reservoir. The air is purified with artificial chloroplast leaf.
† Pskaena and Drako orbit one another and together they orbit the suns Zule and Veela. They are a binary planetary system orbiting a binary star system.