The First Night

The sun set hours ago, but it was still light. Somewhere to the west a large fire burned, brightening up the sky. Only the brightest stars could be seen through the gauzy haze that veiled the night sky.

Twelve survivors of the crash huddled around the camp fire. Some in groups but most alone, faces turned to the fire, feeling the warmth on their skin keeping the cold at bay. All of the salvageable items from the crash circled the camp, forming a crude wall against whatever creatures may be out in the darkness beyond the firelight.

Val sat next to Trevor, staring into the fire. He looked briefly at the other survivors, each appeared lost in thoughts. Val glanced over at Trevor, who was checking his vintage pistols.

“Are those going to work?” he asked.

Trevor’s eyes sparkled in the sunlight. “I fired them a few times in the Mars conflict, but I never had to do much else being a pilot.”

Val picked the modern carbine up off the ground and stood up. “I hope I don’t have to use this one tonight.”

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