The Crash Landing

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Science Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
A crash landing on an unexpected planet brings a challenge that not everyone responds to the same.

Submitted: March 22, 2019

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Submitted: March 22, 2019



The Crash Landing

By Wanda Wright


The fire is shooting out of the wing and it doesn’t look like we can save it. We have to save our water and that engine is already fried. Every one of us wants it to be saved. But we know we can’t give up our water and still survive. It was supposed to be a normal space flight to the planet that it was scheduled to arrive at. But something went wrong and the pilots aren’t very forthcoming for now.


They are talking on their remote communicators and we all hope they are speaking to those who can save us from this unknown place. Everyone on this flight understood that we could end up crashing on one of these planets that are on the way to our destination. Not much is known about them but others have been saved from crash landing on these middle planets. But it takes a while and you need water to survive until they arrive.


I’ve never been through this but I know water matters. I guess we follow the pilot’s lead. I was just on a one-day turn around, doing some shopping for myself after being on a long junket flight that was longer than I care to remember. After I shop I’m going to hit the town, what else do I work for? Yah, fine women and good whiskey, nothing is better than that. I don’t have the life where a family is real, the work I do doesn’t allow it to be. I tried in the past, but it never worked out.


I’m over it now, I just want to have fun. I think there was an old song about that. Well, this planet doesn’t look any fun. I try to remember how long the last rescue took but I can’t recall. There were some memorials so I know this isn’t going to be a fun ride but I don’t want to be the memorial.


The pilots are talking now, giving the word on what they think we should do. I decide to listen and figure out whether they are just pilots or not. Some of these pilots couldn’t save anyone, not even themselves, even though they are Cracker Jack at flying these buckets of explosives through space.


There is nothingness here just some rocks that have probably sat there, in that same boring spot for a millennial of time. We are the best entertainment they get I thought, drifting off from listening to the pilots. Sounds like they are going by the manuals. I see a baby in a mother’s arms, that is not going to be good, but nothing any of us can do but sit and wait for rescue. Keeping your head is the name of the game here.


I walk over to where the water is, looks like enough for a few days. I’m feeling anger suddenly that this has happened. I was on that workhouse ship for so long, and now instead of a break I get this? I remind myself that life is unfair and try to get over it quickly. Those thoughts won’t do me any good here.


The pilots are talking about dividing the water equally, looks like people are nervous about this. I know that will put the decision of survival in each of our hands instead of just theirs. Those pilots don’t want to care about us all, be the leaders. I get that, it a tough job.


I stand in line and wonder why everyone always knows a line is what we should do. II grab my water and look at the rest more carefully now. I will have to decide later who gets my water. I don’t want to pick wrong.


The day drags on and the spacecraft has finished burning. Some decided to go inside and take shelter for the night. I am staying outside, I know enough about this planet to know the only thing I have to fear are the people. There are others that have stayed outside too. Like me they mostly keep to themselves and we all just sit and kind of stare at each other.


There is a looker here, but this is not time for romance and I keep my mind off it. Maybe I hit her up later, when this is all over. Part of me wants to break up the time and talk to her, but I don’t want alliances here and she is drinking a lot of water pretty fast. I decide I should tell her to slow it down, warn her that she should pace it. We don’t know how long it will take to be rescued.


She gives me those eyes that say take care of me, I want her too, but I don’t give in to it. I don’t want alliances, in this situation, that is a liability. She is cute though and I know I am resisting my urges. I fall asleep staring at her, but not giving her a signal to come over to me. It’s a blank stare to see her, study whether she would get my water.


The next couple of days the complainers are vocal, they think shouting about it, crying about it, will make them feel better. But all that energy means more water. It’s better to shut down, be calm, which is the way to use less. But maybe they don’t know that. I don’t want to tell them though, I don’t want to get involved. Doing that will take energy and more water and it’s a bad idea.


A few days more and some have run out of water. They are pleading with the pilots to give them water. The pilots ran off finally, they couldn’t handle the pressure of feeling responsible for these people. They took their water with them.


I gave a few of my water bottles to the woman with the baby. I saw her doing whatever it takes. She is smart, but that baby is taking a lot from her and she can’t help it. If I was going to help anyone survive I decided it would be her. Others pled with me for my water, but what I had seen, they decided their own fate and I could only help so many.


I know that soon they will try to attack me, take my water by force. But these are the people that lived a soft life. I knew whoever came at me of this group it would be easy for me to defend against their attack. I stayed in a ready position, waiting for it.


The ones that are out of water were huddled in a group, once in a while looking back at me. I just stared back at them, letting them know I am ready and unafraid. The girl is one of them and I am glad I didn’t act on my desire for her. Her face has changed to hateful and I see the side of her that tells me I made the right decision.

Some in that group I might have given water to, but not now. I hate a bully and I have been fighting idiots all my life. This is nothing new, just another bunch of them that want to force me to do what they want. No one takes my decision away, it’s my water.


I stayed up all night, watching them but they never made a move. They look afraid and they should be. I keep watching them and hoping the rescue craft comes before they do anything, but I know that isn’t likely. I don’t want to kill any of them; I want them to die from their own stupidity all on their own.


But if they attack, they are going to get what they deserve and I won’t bat an eye about it. I think about the pilots and wonder for a moment whether I should leave with my water too. But I have never left because someone bullied me out of there and I don’t want to start here. My regular line of work, being tough is part of it. If you aren’t, you can’t survive it much less succeed in it.


I get up and walk over to the mother with the baby, give her more water. The group out of water watches me but doesn’t move. They are making sounds like they are losing their minds. Nothing they are saying is making any sense anymore. This group is close to death. They are the ones that the memoriam will be about.


At this point they would need more water than any one of us has to save them. We are relegated to watch them die. Some are already falling over now. I wonder why they didn’t try to attack me, but I am glad they didn’t. Watching this macabre death show isn’t pleasant but its survival.


By the time the rescue spacecraft came they were all dead. The rest of us knew we had done the right thing, but we were sorry that everyone couldn’t survive. I guess they need to put more water on these ships. I smiled at the woman and the baby and glad I could help them survive. I had three days left before I had to return to work but at least I had some time left and it was going to be a real good time.


© Copyright 2019 Wanda Wright. All rights reserved.

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