Note: This post is my portion of the massive adventure in organization that is NPW's Choose Your Own Blogventure. You remember those "Choose Your Own Adventure" books of our youth, right? It's sort of like that. Be sure to head on over to NPW's site to start the story (and to tell her how fabulous she is). The story segment below is my continuation from that intro.
Click here to start the story.
Xinni froze mid-stride. The glowing man at the top of the hill might be her salvation. On the other hand, hadn't her father (and countless televised public service announcements) told her never to talk to strangers? She was on an unknown planet amid unknown inhabitants. How could she know whom to trust?
She glanced to her left, and then to her right, considering her choices if she shifted course. To the right, far off in the meadow, Xinni saw a gleaming mass of metal shining in the sun. From this distance, it looked like her own ship, the one she knew was destroyed on Aguas. That was impossible, of course. But Xinni didn't know where she had landed. Could it be she was on a planet that the Melmacian army had visited before?
Xinni turned right and began trudging towards what she knew might be no more than a mirage. She hadn't had food, water, or even an energy pellet since well before the Sea Scorpion attack the night before. She'd been too preoccupied with thoughts of Jax to eat anything at dinner with her crew. She might well be hallucinating. Still, she kept walking.
As Xinni cleared the next hill, she saw the unmistakable green and gold waves of her crew's crest and the letters UAM in bold type below it. United Army of Melmac. It WAS a ship from her own army! With a new burst of energy, Xinni broke into a sprint towards the ship. Perhaps the transmitter would still work. Perhaps she could send a signal that the Pullers would receive.
The ship had obviously landed in distress. The landing gear hadn't activated; the bottom of the vessel was distorted from the force of the impact, and the windows were shattered in pieces. Xinni stepped carefully over the bits of glass and metal and approached the broken window at the front of the control station. She took a deep breath before she climbed inside, knowing she might be horrified by what she'd find within.
Xinni looked immediately to the center console, hoping that by some miracle, the red light on the transmitter unit was still flashing. But where the transmitter should be was instead just an empty slot, a tangle of wires protruding from it haphazardly. Xinni quickly surveyed the rest of the ship. No signs of either survivors or victims. The ship appeared empty from this vantage point. Then she glanced back out the control station window. How had she not noticed it before? Between the wreckage of the ship and the nearby forest was a deliberate trail of metal and wires, flotsam obviously left to mark someone's way out... or way in.
Xinni stepped out of the ship and examined the trail. Should she follow it? Would it lead her to friend or foe? Just then, she heard a familiar voice calling her name. Jax? It couldn't be. He was still with his own crew, on Dunan. Surely her mind was playing tricks on her... or someone else was.
If you think Xinni should follow the trail (and the mysterious voice) into the forest, click here.
If you think Xinni should stay and examine the ship wreckage more carefully, click here.