Swamped – 02

Things were not progressing well, Siff thought as she surfaced in the brackish swamp water that Carter’s ship had crashed into. There had been a few moments, brief and brilliant, where she’d thought that they would get off-planet with no problems. Now, slicking her hair back from her face, Siff tried not to count the ways things had gone wrong.  The landing pad had bloomed into yellow and orange like she’d planned. The door had closed, and stayed closed, like she’d planned. What she hadn’t planned was some junker of a fighter showing up and blowing out the scumrunner’s engine.

So here she was, treading water in so murky she couldn’t even see her hands as they sculled just under the surface. Off to her right, the man she had been supposed to kill was climbing up onto a dry-ish bank of ground.

“Hey,” she said, swiming towards him (and the land) with shallow breast strokes. “Did you manage to get-” she stopped, staring as he peeled off his wet shirt and wrung black water from it.

“Did I what?” he asked, looking over at her. Siff opened her mouth, then immediately started to cough as she swallowed some of hte horrid water she was still half submerged in.

“You okay?” he asked, frowning. He stepped forward and held out a hand to help her up onto the bank. Siff tried not to stare as she reached for the hand, grabbing him by the wrist and hauling herself upwards.

“Just, a bug, in my mouth,” she lied, face hot. Wait, that wasn’t better, that was worse than admitting she’d been staring. Now he thought she ate bugs. …damnit. “I didn’t have time to grab everything but I still have some of my kit on me.” Just keep talking and maybe he’d not notice how she couldn’t quite look at him, or the creeping heat on her cheeks and ears, showing through the pale blue skin.

“Was it a poisonous bug?” he asked, and Siff debated the merits of crawling back into the swamp to hide in the murk. “What if it’s venomous and it stings you?”

The swamp was looking pretty good right now. So was he. Siff rubbed her hands over her face, trying to focus and remember any landmarks she’d seen before they’d crashed.

“Pretty sure it wasn’t deadly,” she mumbled, wishing that had the bug been real that it was very deadly. The sooner this job was over the better. “We should leave before whoever shot us down comes to make sure the job got done right.”

“Are you-” he started to say.

“Look it wasn’t a bug! I just was staring, now it’s weird and embarrassing!” she snapped. Yanking a knife from her boot she slapped it to his (bare) chest and pushed by him with soggy stomps.

“…yoouuu familiar with the swamp? Wait, what?” Carter sputtered, grabbing the knife.

Siff squeezed her face together, and started marching through the swamp faster. Any luck and they’d die before this got worse. Then her boot sank into a patch of muck, throwing her forward and onto her face as it refused to come back out again.

Nope, too late.


>> Part 3 >>