The jungle was hypnotic – fluorescent, fire-work foliage waving, near-silent at the fingertips of the wind. The heat was stifling.
How much further? – did I ask the question? Did Davies, or Bergman, or Jones? Not Bergman. We left her. Her faceplate shattered, her private atmosphere invaded. She choked to death, clawing at our exo-suits, begging for help. There was none we could give.
How much further? – God himself only knew, the jungle seemed to stretch out beyond us, growing, in all directions, eternal. The rain fell, hammering down on the thick, rustling ocean of the forest floor. We wade on through it – Bergman is gone, dead, in the distance somewhere, behind us.
The creatures of the jungle don’t seem to notice us – perhaps the see us as empty space, these solid patches of colour moving through their kaleidoscopic world. They noticed Bergman, though, after we left. We’ve been walking in circles, hypnotized by the jungle, lost.
We came across her corpse, her suit barely visible beneath the groping roots and the clouds of iridescent insects swarming over her cracked visor.
Where is the ship? How much further?
Nobody knows, not Jones, not Davies.
Only Bergman. And she’s not telling.