Chapter 1: Crash Landing
Neo slowly came to consciousness, ears ringing loudly. She groggily looked up from her place face-down on the floor of the crashed plane, only to see a rather horrific sight.
There stood a very tall… creature, and in its arms was one of the passengers of the flight they’d been on before the sudden crash. It looked down at her with its soulless eyes, snarled, and turned away, leaping down and out of the split back half of the plane and running off with the presumably lifeless passenger.
Neo looked around, wiping blood from her vision. The plane seemed to have split in half during the crash, with her being stuck in the back end of it now. Wherever the front half was, Neo wasn’t much concerned with it right now. All she wanted to know was one thing; is Jade alright?
Scrambling to get up and wincing at the pain in her leg, Neo finally stood. Her arms and clothes were splattered with blood, but whether it was her own or another’s was unknown. Looking around further, someone was beginning to stir to her right. Neo approached them, cautiously reaching out a hand to pull them from the debris of broken plane interior parts.
A familiar face looked up at her from the seat, making Neo sigh in relief.
“Thank god you’re alright.”
Jade blinked slowly before asking anything.
“...What the hell happened?”
Neo didn’t have an honest answer, so she settled on shrugging weakly in response.
Neo gave Jade her hand, which she used to pull herself from the debris. Her shirt wasn’t without blood either, but after a quick assessment, it was deemed to be from the casualties of the crash and not critical injury. Neo assumed the same about her own bloodsoaked clothes, as she couldn’t feel any deep injuries or lacerations on her body at all.
They stood in place for a moment longer, trying to comprehend what had happened. Neo was the first to come to her senses.
“Well, we won’t get far by just hanging out here. Plus, that… thing might come back. We’d better grab whatever we can from here, but we’ve gotta get somewhere safer before night falls.” Neo reasoned.
“What thing?” Jade asked, but Neo had already turned away and had begun searching for scattered supplies.
Still rattled, the two dug around the plane for a little bit, finding things like protein bars, snacks, cans of soda and bottles of water, some over-the-counter painkillers that passengers had packed, and some other random items from passengers’ luggage and packed bags.
Once they deemed their finds sufficient, they agreed to have a look around the area outside the plane.
Upon making their way to the torn-off opening in the front, they found something quite handy.
“Woah, is that… Neo look!”
Neo looked up from the last seat she was going to check for supplies to see Jade messing with something on the opposite side from her. Upon approaching, Neo could clearly see what Jade had found.
It was a compartment on the wall of the plane, one that contained a trio of survival axes. Jade had already grabbed one, leaving Neo to take another, keeping the last in the compartment. Neo turned the axe over in her hands, examining the blade, while Jade swung hers around lightly, miming, as if she were chopping down a tree.
Neo dug around the luggage compartments up above the seats for a backpack, dumping out the clothes and care products inside from the other passengers to make room for whatever she had picked up from the plane’s interior. Jade did the same, except she kept a spare pair of clothing that had been in the bag. “For later, when we can change out of these gross ones.” she’d said.
Once the two were satisfied with everything they’d packed into their bags, which wasn’t a lot, but it was something, they leapt down from the torn edge of the plane and onto the solid ground. Jade began scouting the area around the plane, looking for more random supplies that could be of use. Neo simply stood still, letting her other senses do the work.
Her ears twitched at each bird call, muffled by the light breeze. Her nose picked up the scent of pine and something akin to copper. Her hand clenched around the axe they’d newly found. Her eyes darted around, looking at every little detail around her. Finally, she turned her attention to the sky. The sun was no longer above them, but somewhere along the horizon in front of them through the trees. It was going to get dark soon, and if that creature came back, Neo had no idea if they’d be able to fight it off. They didn’t know what the hell it was, or even worse, how many there were.
“We should get going, find a place to make shelter. It’ll be getting dark soon.” Neo said to Jade, who’d just come back into view from going around the entirety of the outside of the plane.
“Yeah, you’re right. Let’s just start walking, we can gather resources as we go.” Jade sighed. She couldn’t hide the nervousness in her voice.
The pair walked for a short while, once in a while stopping to debate whether a resource they’d spotted was of enough importance to take with them. Eventually, Jade went ahead as Neo stopped in her tracks at a sound she’s picked up on. Something was rustling nearby, and it wasn’t from the breeze. This seemed… bigger. Neo closed her eyes and tried to clear her mind to focus on the rustling.
Suddenly, Neo leapt up at the shrill, piercing shriek that resounded from somewhere farther off. It sounded like it was all around her, but far away at the same time. Once it had stopped, Neo’s heart began to race as she heard footsteps quickly approaching. She gripped her axe tighter, preparing to strike. Just as she raised the blade, a familiar voice called her name.
“Neo! Did you hear it too? What the hell was that?” Jade stumbled out from in front of her, through a group of bushes. The berries on their branches stained Jade’s pants with dark purple streaks as she pushed past them.
Neo sighed to herself, relieved. She lowered the axe, returning it to her side.
“Yeah, I heard it too. We’re not here alone.” She muttered ominously.
“Yeah, no shit, we were on a plane of at least 30 other passengers. There’s bound to be someone still alive.” Jade snorted playfully.
Neo shook her head.
“No, there’s something else here. Something dangerous. I saw one back at the plane, just as I regained consciousness. It was huge, and it carried someone off the plane and ran away with them like they were nothing. I’m not sure whether they were alive or not, but I’m pretty sure they aren’t anymore, not after being taken by that… thing.” She explained to Jade, who was now wide-eyed and speechless.
Once she finally found her words, Jade spoke;
“Let’s keep moving, ok? No stopping.”
She grabbed Neo’s arm and hurried her along.
The two continued on quickly but with caution, still very much on edge after hearing that screech. Neo could feel Jade’s grip on her wrist tighten as they progressed, the anxiety radiating off of her in waves. No matter how much Jade tried to keep her composure, her emotions were hard to restrain. She’d always been that way. In any other circumstance Neo would fawn over how endearing that quality could be, but in their current situation she didn’t dare let her guard down. They had to find a safe place to set up camp for the night, which was approaching fast.
The two trekked onward for a little while longer, finally reaching what seemed to be the coast. Jade, still on edge, stopped just at the edge of the treeline, not wanting to leave the cover of the forest. Neo didn’t blame her, but they had to keep moving, or else fall victim to whatever the hell else was here with them.
“Stay here, I’ll go scout.” Neo said, cautiously taking the lead, despite Jade’s whispers of protest, grappling at Neo’s arm as she stepped away from the safety of the foliage.
Neo’s ears swiveled slightly towards every minute sound made around her, every bird call, every rustling branch from the wind that had picked up a bit, even the gentle sloshing of the waves against the shoreline some several yards away down the slope ahead of them. Looking around closely revealed no immediate dangers, so Neo turned back to Jade, motioning her forward once she deemed it safe. Jade reluctantly obeyed, gripping the axe at her side tightly.
“Look, there’s some suitcases down there on the sand. Let’s check them out, see if we can find anything useful.” Neo outstretched her arm to point down the slope and onto the beach. There were indeed cases of luggage scattered about, some unzipped and some shut tightly. Neo carefully shuffled down the slope, Jade close behind.
The two rummaged through the suitcases, only managing to find some pain medications, a few more snacks, and a few lighters. They both took one, prepping for nightfall.
“We should really find a place to stay for the night. A safe place, preferably.” Jade worried.
Neo immediately spotted a huge fallen log across the beach, closer to the opposite end of the coast they found themselves on at the moment. It seemed like it had fallen long ago, having been uprooted by force, since all the main roots were still attached.
“Come on, maybe that log is hollow enough to stay in. It might even mask our scent, it’s no question that something on this island might be able to sniff us out, even if it’s not those…things. Bears still exist.” Neo said grimly. Jade merely followed as she made her way across the sand, being careful to keep an eye out for danger.
Behind Neo, Jade’s stomach growled loudly. Jade groaned with it, but said nothing.
“We’ll be able to eat soon, don’t worry. Just need to find a safe place to do that first.” Neo reassured.
Once they arrived at the fallen log, Neo was disappointed to find it too rotted out to be usable as a shelter. She muttered a profanity under her breath.
“What about somewhere elevated? It may put some deterrence down against anything wanting to eat us while we sleep.” Jade suggested. She motioned towards a particularly tall, thick-branched tree on a small incline to their left. Neo was too weary to argue. The sun had already set, leaving behind streaks of dying light in the sky. Soon enough it would be pitch black, save for the lighters they had recently found, but Neo didn’t want to rely on a single flickering flame to save her life.
“Fine. Let’s at least get into the higher branches before we settle down.” She said, trodding her way over to the tree Jade had pointed out. It did seem sturdy, and had a very nice, leafy coverage towards the thicker branches at its midsection. Neo gripped her axe between her teeth and sunk her claws into the bark of the tree, beginning her climb upwards.
Once she finally reached the first branch milestone some distance off the ground, she seated herself and looked down to observe Jade. Jade did the same, albeit with much less experience and grace, but she made it nonetheless. The two eventually reached the middle portion of the tree, settling themselves on two of the largest branches there were. Jade immediately dug around in her backpack for a snack, while Neo simply sat back and let her senses do their thing.
The birds had stopped chirping, most having settled in for the night, and now there were the sounds of the nighttime insects and critters, scurrying about or buzzing around with no real purpose. The waves crashing against the shore were somehow calming, given their current situation, and Neo felt as if she could forget their current predicament, even if just for a little bit. She eventually fell asleep to the sound of Jade crumpling up her protein bar wrapper and stuffing it inside her bag.
Total= 52 AP