*** 23.10.2154 - 4:41PM GMT - 21Km from Offenbach EsoCF, Earth, SOL System ***
The sun has been setting behind thick layers of haze and dust as night falls in. Gusting wind kicks up further dust off the ground, which is
littered by a sea of debris and occasional steel beams and mats, which jut out of the ruins. Here and there, some charred tree stubs and smashed wreckages of vehicles can be seen in the semi darkness, only interrupted by the zipping lights quite far away, above the horizon. Brief flashlights flash up and the hammering sound of detonations can be heard from all directions, although quite in the distance.
Najat and Jonas can be seen stumbling through the devastated remnants of what had been civilization once. It appears that none of them really know where to walk to and especially Jonas keeps on slow motion, drained by hunger, thirst and pain of his healing wounds. Suddenly, a bright flashlight, followed by a thundering bang, lights up the evening sky above the eastern horizon. The young na'vi female cringes as many tiny lights of glowing debris get blown into the dusty evening sky.
Instinctively, Jonas reaches his right hand out for Najat in a protective manner, despite the matter of fact that he is the one in greater danger.
The tall na'vi female gently places her hand on Jonas one as he briefly looks up into Najat's face, covered with dust and dried tears. "I just hope everything is OK with you..." says Jonas, almost whispering.
"How can you worry about me if you are so stubborn with yourself?" replies Najat with a tear forming in one of her sad, golden eyes.
- "I said I can walk myself, at least as long as I have my legs." the brown haired young man looks up into the semi-darkness: "I just can't let
myself being carried all the time by my baby."
Najat releases a sigh: "You are so stubborn, my Jonas."
"We should find a shelter, any place to stay overnight." snorts Jonas, obviously ignoring Najat's complaint.
The na'vi female comes to a stop and look down at her human mate: "My stomach is empty, my lips are dry.
"What about the two oranges we..?"
- "Jonas..." mutters Najat with a sigh "I gave you one and the other one I ate later... forgot?"
"Then our bags are empty..." says Jonas as his head lowers. Just in that moment, another massive flashlight lights up the eastern skies. The couple stares at the bright light, seconds before the bang arrives with the shockwave. "Woaaw!!" Jonas hands reach out for his stomach as he coughs, Najat releases a shriek before she quickly kneels down to study her mate's condition.
"I'm OK, my baby..." assures Jonas with an attempt of a smile "That last shockwave made me have the feeling I can't breath anymore. Don't you feel the same?!"
Najat's golden eyes carefully studies her mate's torso, before they meet his eyebeam again: "The noise hurt my ears but I can breath all time. Can you breath now?!"
Jonas briefly laughs up: "Of course! Even in this desperate time, you still make me smile. Well, I suppose your organism is somewhat different to mine. Those heavy blasts come from Hainburg, I know from my dad that there's a power grid node, a cold fission plant. Well... there WAS..." Tears are swelling in Jonas eyes: "We.. we should head to another direction, maybe find a ruin, which still has a ceiling.. or a cave, a gap.. to
sleep... and I don't give up to find my parents, even though, there won't be anything left... likely."
"Jonas, we will find your family. And we need to look for water." adds Najat with some impatience filling her voice as the couple continues to walk hand in hand through the apparently endless debris field, accompanied by continues flickering flashlights and thundering sounds emmitted by the fierce battle scenes some kilometers away.
"How could we find water in this forsacken world?" Jonas sinks into his knees, touching the dusty ground near a concrete column of a collapsed building, twisted iron beams protruding from the shattered pillar, which towers over the sea of debris like an abandoned monument in the dull moonlight. Jonas hand grabs a charred window catch next to tiny pieces of debris, which has been literally pulverized and let it rill through his fingers. "Look at this, Najat." starts Jonas, before his head tuens upwards towards the dusty sky, loaded with the smell of fire and charred wood.
Najat tilts her head, kneeling down towards Jonas as she apparently figures Jonas sentiment. Her large palm covers Jonas forearm: "Don't take fault on you, ma Jonas..."
Jonas looks into Najat's golden eyes, as they can be still distinguished amid the semi-darkness of the night, tears start to roll down his cheek:
"I don't blame myself. Or well... maybe I should, actually I do. Well, I'm a human, it's us ... humans who finally destroyed our god-mother. We had a second chance, we had Ey'wa's grace on our world, what happened? After some decades our world got blown off! Nothing left, nothing but dust! I'm a human, yeah."
Some seconds of silence prevails before Najat's palm move up to Jonas shoulder: "Ey'wa's spirit is always here, Jonas. But I don't know how Ey'wa can heal this."
Jonas squeezes out a fake laugher: "Ey'wa... we had our second chance, Ey'wa is gone. Even if not, why would Ey'wa help us again? We have messed it up, the whole effort, it was a failure, yeah, a god damn failure!"
- "Ey'wa doesn't take side. It keeps balance. Every na'vi knows that." replies Najat with a calm voice.
Jonas throws some sand into the night sky: "Look at this! This was a country, a thrieving, prospering continent, our world, our land! Look what it is now, devastated, uninhabitable..! We don't deserve to live, we humans..!"
Gently, Najat places her forefinger on the emotional male's lips: "Don't say this, my Jonas. It is not your fault. It is a crazy skyperson who did
Jonas wipes away some tears off his eyes and tries to calm down: "I somewhat doubt it was only Quaritch.
A single man couldn't inflict this scale
of destruction. And remember: Quaritch fleet had been tracked on it's way to Ey'wa Eveng! So WHO did THIS then? It is the bitter truth but Quaritch isn't alone, not at all."
- "They will be punished." replies the na'vi female with a stern voice.
"Who shall punish them? Those freaky robots out there?" snorts Jonas with a nod towards the flickering lights of the battle zone at the horizon.
"Till now I don't even know where they've been coming out from - but I'm sure they're not out to 'punish' Quaritch's men... So, forgive me that I can't be that optismistic anymore."
The na'vi female's golden eyes are staying locked at Jonas eyes: "Ma keft xo Jonas..."
Tentativel, Jonas rises his right arm and places his hand on Najat's shoulder, near her neck, his tears can be hardly seen in the dull moonlight.
"It's the first time in my life that I feel shame to be human from all my heart."
The na'vi female gently places her large palm on Jonas hand, still resting on her shoulder: "We na'vi had also our times of sorrow, long time ago but there are still songs sung about it..."
Jonas sigh: "We can be sure that you na'vi would'nt be able to do THAT in here. This and more makes us so different."
"Everything needs time to prosper. I know my Jonas heart is good and pure." replies Najat with a warm voice as their faces slowly approach each other till the uneaven couple's forehead meet each other.
Just in that moment, a bright red energy beam zips through the sky somewhere in front of the couple. With a shriek of rage, Najat jumps up and stares as the sound of a flying craft can be heard louder and louder. Jonas stares up towards the wingless craft as it fires an array of beams at a cubic structure at the horizon, which can be hardly noticed in the semi-darkness. A string of detonations light up the area around the structure as energy beams are zipping through the night-sky again, obviously landing a critical hit at the craft, which quickly flips around and tumbles towards the ground near the structure.
Moments later another, much smaller craft sweeps in and drops a device which can be only noticed as a tiny faint light descending towards the structure. A bright light flashs up and glowing debris swirls high into the darkness above the structure. "That attacking craft couldn't be manned, I mean the small one!" mutters Jonas nervously.
"I can't see it anymore. It is not safe here." replies Najat with her ears flattened. "And I need to take you on me or we are too slow and this is
too dangerous." adds the na'vi female with her voice turning rather stern.
- "Not this topic again. I can walk..." rejects Jonas, with his arms demonstratively crossed.
Najat steps in front of Jonas and places her forefinger on Jonas shoulder: "Don't make me sad."
- "What?" barks Jonas, with his eyes widened. Just as Najat is about to open her mouth to express her reaction, a metallic chrunching sound can be heard from nearby, as a flying craft slams into the ground, barely 200 meters away. The kicked up dust briefly glitters in the pale moonshine.
"It is not safe here!" demands Najat with flattened ears and her tail swinging nervously.
Jonas steps ahead and points at the direction of the structure: "We should go there, there are people..."
Najat tentatively nods and agrees, so the couple makes their way towards the structure. After a kilometer march through charred shrubs and debris, Jonas has to stop as his abdomen starts to sore again, apparently as a matter of the healing internal wound. Without further resistance, the brown haired - usually athletic - male let himself being carried on Najat's back, who quickly picks the momentum and run. "Not so fast!" complains Jonas.
"I'm struggeling to keep on you!"
Without saing a word, the na'vi female wraps her left arm tighter around Jonas thighs and sloghtly slows down. A while later, the couple reaches the cubic structure. Slowly, Najat drops Jonas off her back and the couple stands in front of a massive concrete structure, sprayed with holes and burn marks, rebar steel juts out but the structure itself appears to be rather intact. Twisted antennas and areal scanning panels are dangling down the structure, which appears to be window- and doorless.
"You two - freeze!" echoes a male voice from behind the uneaven couple. While Jonas complies and only snowly turns around his head, Najat releases a shriek, turns around and straight looks into a quad-barrel of a massive fire arm.
"I said: freeze! Who the heck are you? Identify yourself!" demands a black haired, relative young male of asian descent in a troopers uniform.
Jonas eyes are widened: "We're seeking water and shelter, with all respect, Sir, I'm amazed someone speaks accent-free English in that part of the world. While Najat's golden eyes stay locked at the trooper, the black haired male chuckles: "I'm the one asking the questions here. We're going to get in so we run an ID scan on you guys." he points his gun towards the corner of the complex: "After you."
Najat's ears flatten, her eyes are apparently searching for something. Jonas notices that and places his hand on hers: "Let's not do anything
stupid now..!" he whispers up towards his mate's face.
- "Move on!" demands the voice of the trooper behind them, as he places his index finger on his ear-com. "Sir, Sahoto here, I got two strayers out here, one of them is a na'vi. We're coming in now."
A dark haired male in his middle age can be seen on a spartan desk with some technical equipment loaded on it, surrounded by naked concrete walls.
"Sure, let's see who we got here... and then we go ahead with evacuation as discussed earlier..."
The male swings his chair around, now his face becomes clearly visible: Captain Georgino.
[End of Part 72]