Chapter Five: Upon Further Reflection...
Ok, ok, here’s wut really happened den.
Actually, I don’t really remember exactly wut happened right after dat, cuz I was out cold like. Da firs’ t’ing I do remember was pain. I come awake lyin’ on sumpin’ cold and hard. I could hear the pop and crackle of stuff burnin’ near me. I tried to open my eye, but it was all stuck shut. Pro’lly with blood and stuff. I tried to wipe it wit’ my hand, and after two or tree tries, I finally managed. Everythin’ was blurry but I could finally see where I wuz.
I wuz lyin’ on da floor o' da landing bay. I could see da stars out tru da atmo-shield and da rough opening o’ da hermit’s rock. I was alive! More or less. I t’ink now it was mostly less. I struggled to lift my head and take a look-see around me. Dat was a mistake. Da landin’ bay spun around a few times, and da contents o’ my belly tried to hit their own eject button. I passed out again. A while later, I woke up again and dis time, decided to just lay dere for a bit. Da landin’ bay was quiet now, mostly. Da fires seemed to have burnt demselves out. After a bit, I slowly tried to raise my head again. Da landin’ bay was mostly empty, ‘cept for Wanda. Or I should say, what was left o’ poor Wanda. Tears prickled my blurry eye as I looked at da wreckage what was smashed against the back corner of the bay. Da skid marks and gouges in da floor an’ walls gave me a good idea o’ what happened. Wanda must have belly flopped onto the floor just inside da bay. Den she slid across and clipped da wall on da right, leavin’ most of her right wing behind. Dat spun ‘er ‘round backwards, and planted ‘er ass end into da rock at da back. Her engines and iron bloomers was crumpled into a smokin’ mass o’ steel. In fact, da only part of her dat hadn’t been smashed beyond recognition, wuz da cockpit itself.
Wanda had taken care o’ me right to da very end.
A tear broke free and made it’s way down tru da blood and grime on my face. “Goodbye ol’ girl. I sure am gonna miss yo... Wait a sec, how did I get out here den?” I said to myself, out loud like. Dis was not a smart t’ing to do. My already smoke tortured lungs began coughin’ and hackin’. Da sound echoed off da cold stone walls o’ da bay. Sumpthin’ clatterd in da wreckage. Dere was a sudden scramblin’ and clangin’ sound. Tru da blur o’ tears and blood, I saw a shape movin’. A greyish/brownish fuzzy blob poked above da wreckage for just a sec before disappearin’ again.
“Hell…” Cough, hack, wheeze.
I tried again, “Hello?” Silence. “Anyone dere...dere..dere?” My croaky voice echoed tru da bay.
No response to dat either. It took a few minutes, but I finally managed to get myself sittin’ upright. “Dat’s a start.” I muttered. Two or tree tries and fifteen minutes later, had me crawlin’ ‘cross da floor on my hands and knees to da rock wall, where a bit more time was spent workin’ my way up to my feet. I stood dere for a bit, clingin’ to da wall and restin’ my forehead against da cool rock, and wishin’ da whole place would stop spinnin’. I watched a drop o’ blood drip of my nose and splat on the floor and took stock of ma’self. Might o’ cracked my skull a bit… Also felt like a rib or tree was broke. Sigh. Wit’ a groan, I pushed away from da wall and began a staggerin’ exploration o’ da landin’ bay.
Wit’ all da dust and dirt on da floor, seemed like da place been deserted for a long time. Lights was hangin’ from da ceilin’ and still shinin’. ‘Prolly runnin’ off a cold fusion reactor buried down in the middle o’ da ‘roid some wheres. Dere was another small wreck on da far side o’ da bay, and after a squiggly walk, I looked it over. It was an ol’ shuttle craft. ‘Prolly on it’s way to one o’ da udder planets in dis system. Laser burns covered her hull and had holed both her engines. “Now why da hell would pirates want to shoot up a shuttle for? Dere ain’t no cargo or nuttin’.” I asked da wrecked shuttle. No, it didn’t answer. I wasn’t dat loopy ya dopes!
Anyways, I climbed into da already opened door. Dere was two dried up bodies in da cockpit. One o’ dem was surely de pilot, but de udder one was a fancy dressed bloke. A real high fallootin’ type. Back in da passenger compartment dere was signs dat dere had been at least one, maybe two udder people on board. Was dat who I saw earlier? But why didn’t dey answer me when I called out? Somebody had pulled me outta Wanda’s wreckage… Too many questions here and no answers. I climbed back out and continued my search.
I followed a tunnel dat led back into the rock. My brain still wasn’t firin’ on all its cylinders, udderwise I might have taken’ more notice o’ da little footprints in the dust on da floor. Da hallway led to a large cavern. Old rusty machinery was scattered all over da place. Mostly mining type stuff, a few molecular condensers, plasma drills, stuff like dat. Looked like de hermit and his crew whut used to mine around here, had packed up most everything of value and left. My eye focused on something shiny on da floor. I carefully bent over (my head still didn’t feel too securely attached to the rest o’ my body.), and picked it up. It was a muto-fruity nut bar. Or at least the empty wrapper from one. My stomach perked up at that and growled.
“Oh ya? Jus’ a little while ago you was tryin’ to abandon ship, now you’s wantin’ more cargo, is dat it?” I said, lookin’ down at my stomach. It grumbled again in reply. I dropped da empty wrapper back on da floor, and dat’s when I finally noticed da footprints. Dey was tiny, less den half da size o’ my knobby lev-bike clompers. Most o’ dem was little booted feet, but here and dere was a few dat was bare-footed. And dey was everywhere, comin’ and goin’ all over da place. Looked like mouse tracks in da spilled flour o’ da pantry. I studied dem footprints good and hard. Pretty sure dey was human havin’ five toes and all, and also pretty sure dat dey all belonged to da same human.
“Must have been here a long time to leave dis many tracks.” I thought out-loud. “So where is de little mouse dat’s leavin’ all dese here footy prints?” Dere wuz several udder tunnels dat led from dis cavern, an’ my little mouse had travelled down all o’ dem many times. However, one o’ dem seemed to be used more dan all de udders. I followed it deeper into da rock until it opened up into anudder large cavern. More rusty equipment and machinery was scattered ‘round here too. My little mousey’s footprints dimpled da dust all around now, but dere was a fairly heavily used path leading towards da left side of the cavern. It was darker over here, and I squinted into da gloom to make out a bunch o’ cargo containers. Nearly floor to ceilin’ dey was stacked, some o’ dem was open, and some o’ dose was spillin’ dere contents out over da floor. Looks like I found the little mousey’s food supply.
Rattle, scuffle, thump.
Da sounds came from one o’ da open containers dat was sittin’ on da floor. Da container was most o’ eight feet ‘round, an’ ‘bout twen’y feet long. I stopped in front o’ it an’ and peered into the dark at da back. Something was movin’ back in dere. I knelt down so’s I would’nt look quite so intimidatin’ like. “Hey dere.” I says. “Come on out, I ain’t gonna hurt ya.” I shifted a bit and the shape in da dark moved too. Come to t’ink o’ it, dat shape in the dark back dere maybe ain’t so little after all. Matter o’ fact, now dat my eye was growin accustom to da dark, it was lookin’ to be a pretty damn big shape! What’s more, it was horrible ugly lookin’! Matted hair was stickin’ out all over da place, and blood and grime was smeared all over it’s face. And it had an eyepatch with a sku… “Hey, wait a minute! Dat’s m…
Dat was da sound o’ somethin’ heavy and made o’ metal bouncin’ off my already battered head. G’night!