In the very final days before PNAB: Triton and Hyperion fall into the ocean... Charlie is in the city.
Location: Hyperion, Picon
Related Scenes: None
Scene Number: 570
It's been four days since last contact. Three days since the MREs ran out. Kallas thinks they'll find supplies tomorrow, but everyone else is skeptical. The city's been picked thrice over by now.
Charlie digs through her pack a second time. Last night she found the crackers she'd stowed away, but maybe she'll be lucky. All she comes up with is the cigar that was meant for a successful mission. She tucks it into her breast pocket. Ythael is fond of those; maybe he'll have something to trade.
The sudden expletive comes from Hale's corner.
"What is it?"
"I just realized this is the bar we took Carter to on his birthday, remember?"
Charlie looks around, blinking. It hits her, suddenly. The location of the stage. The shattered mirror and broken shelves behind the bar. She shudders to see the place in tatters, covered in soot, remembering the night out just months ago.
"Damn, you're right," Kallas says finally, breaking the silence.
No one speaks again until morning.
"Breakfast!" Ythael tries to be cheerful, passing out protein bars. "I got chocolate chip an' cardboard. Raisin an' gravel. And I know y'all just love peanut butter an' sand."
Someone throws an empty cigar box and for the first time in a week, there's actual laughter in the squadron. Kallas fights with the radio while they eat, sip in small measures from their canteens, and pack up. Charlie catches sight of herself in a broken piece of mirror.
What happened to her?
They hear gunfire in the distance and go silent, breaking through the back door into an alley, hitting the streets low and fast.
Their mission began months ago. Gaining forward ground in Hyperion for Triton. Gather intel. Help supply lines. But the lack of contact outside of the city or system and the subsequent bombing at Big Blue Stadium turned the situation dire. Charlie's small squadron is just trying to help supply lines get back to Triton, now.
But communication lines keep going silent.
They've been heading for an office building with a tower on it. Yesterday morning, it was still intact. If Kallas can just tap in, they should be able to report in. Get a sitrep.
Backs to a wall, Hale looks around the corner, fist in the air. Hold. Hold. He breaks out in the open and they all take off running. There's gunfire in the distance. Someone else fighting. No return fire. Could be a civilian in danger. One of their own out of munitions. Charlie feels her stomach drop, but just fights to tune it out and keep on her path.
Any deviation could mean an end for her, too.