AWD #025: Must Get Out

Part Two of Ari's Aerilon Adventure (AAA)

Must Get Out
Summary: Part Two of Ari's Aerilon Adventure (AAA)
Date: 06/Feb/2013 (OOC Date)
Related Logs: Part 1: Wake Up Call and Air Attack Aerilon
Somewhere on Aerilon
Jan 31, 2005

“Why does he keep callin’ you James and me Ivy? It’s creepy.” The little girl stands at the base of the tree, watching as her brother shimmies up the trunk, working his way to straddle the limb that tangles the pilot’s parachute. Cole’s body dangles limply like a dull ornament hung on the effigy of Saturn, having once again slipped into unconsciousness.

“You try fallin’ from the sky like a flaming turd, Mina.” The boy retorts after taking his pocket knife out and flicking open the blade.

“Ew. I’m gonna tell momma you said ‘turd’.” Mina’s eyes round out as she watches her brother start to saw away at one of the ropes. The material is tough to cut through, but it’s already starting to fray. Nolan works feverishly in little sawing motions, his tongue sticking out of the corner of his mouth in concentration. As one of the straps gives way to his effort, the left side of Cole’s body drops suddenly, causing the tree limb to groan in protest. The pilot doesn’t dangle much longer, because the entire trapeze starts to twist and finally the branch gives up.

“Shit!” Nolan squeaks and scoots backwards just as the bough splinters and snaps. Mina doesn’t have time to threaten to tell their mom about that cuss word now, as she’s scrambling to get out of the way of the dead weight that falls to the ground in a heap of leaves and shredded parachute silk. The little boy leans over from his perch, muttering a simple, “Oops.”

There is pain in his left shoulder, and a pounding in his head that rivals a hammer set to Hephaestus’ anvil. Ari opens his eyes a slit, but the light is too much to bear. He groans, trying to roll away from the pain as he realizes he’s laid on something soft. A bed. He can feel the feathers of the pillow sticking through the soft case, prickling his skin like an angry porcupine. And then he stills.

“Well. At least he’s not dead.” Nolan proclaims, standing over the prone figure with his hands fisted at his hips proudly. Mina is hiding behind a sheet that’s been strung across one corner of the room, peeking out from its edge.

“Momma ain’t gonna let us keep him.” Mina keeps her distance, as if the pilot might suddenly spring up from the bed like an angry Titan, enraged at his capture in Tartarus. One of her little hands hangs onto the makeshift curtain while the other’s thumb gets captured in her mouth again.

The door to the storm shelter is opened, and a woman’s figure appears in the silhouette of the sun. A heavy laden bag is tossed in, the clatter of the canned goods that fills it suddenly seems loud in the little space. “Phew.” It’s the sound of relief after a long day as she comes down the narrow steps, pulling closed the shutter doors behind her and securing it with the crossbars. She should admonish the children for not having locked it in her absence, but she’s just taken note of the flight-suited individual that is sprawled across the cot the children usually share.

“Oh no. No no no. What did you do, Nolan?” Naturally, the eldest gets blamed. Bethany, once Betty to her friends and now addressed as ‘Momma’ by her two children, looks frantically around the small space as if the presence of one stranger means there may be more. She pulls out an old handgun from the waistband of her pants and approaches the bed slowly. “Get behind the curtain with your sister.” A foot gets raised, her shoe prodding the meat of Ari’s thigh until he garbles something and starts to rouse again. Once she’s certain his eyes are at least partially opened, she levels the gun at his face. “You have one minute to get out of here, or I make you a stain.”

Nolan, instead of doing as he’s told to get out of the way, interposes himself between his mom and the pilot. “Don’t momma, I saved him! He came from one of those Vipers we saw. Isn’t it cool? I mean. He’s hurt. Don’t, momma.”

Betty’s hand shakes as a tremble telegraphs its way down her arm, but eventually she lowers the gun. The man with hazel eyes is now looking at her fully. “Mags?” Ari asks in a voice tinged with confusion. “I don’t…I don’t understand.” This isn’t how it’s supposed to be. There is supposed to be a field, there is supposed to be joy. There is supposed to be…pain. No pain. Ari lifts his hand to his head, now bereft of a helmet, and his fingers come back with dried and sticky crimson clinging to them. The last thing he hears is Betty telling Nolan to get some water and for Mina to fetch the first aid kit.

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