Chapter 21 - The Enemy of My Enemy

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5th June 2311 16:04 EST - His body ached extensively as he regained consciousness but Jason was thankful for the ridiculous money spent on the Blue Raven body armour. The millions of credits invested in this state of the art suit had absorbed the majority of the impact from the fall off the cliff. Opening his eyes, his irises adjusted to the stars peering through the trees. Seeing the broken branches above him, it wasn't just his armour that had absorbed the majority of the impact.

His HUD came to life as he coughed briefly. Trying to ignore the bruising on his back and torso, he studied the information that appeared. His body was in good health, despite the shock it was enduring, to ease his body further, the suit injected some painkillers into his bloodstream. Within moments, he would be back to normal as if nothing had happened.

Studying the fall, he was grateful for the investment the USM ploughed into their special forces. If he had been wearing standard body armour, the fall would have crushed him like a grape.

The HUD displayed other relevant information. His location, which was where he was expecting to be, and communication, which was non-existent. Something was interfering with all communications within the area.

Jason started to lift himself off the floor. The various sounds that echoed through the forest were somewhat spectacular. The whistles and calls from some of the creatures within the forest seemed like some bizarre orchestral piece of music. It sounded so alien, yet so fulfilling, it made Jason's body feel more alive and blissful than he had ever felt before.

A predator in the distance roared aggressively, shaking the ground around Jason and bringing him back to reality. The briefing had clearly stated that the forest floor was an extremely dangerous environment to be in, with a ninety-eight percent death rate for soldiers that found themselves in the forest for more than forty-eight hours.

That statistic was enough to determine his next task, survive and get out of the forest.

Pressing a few buttons on his wrist, he set to the task to find the quickest route to the nearest FOB. As it was calculating the route, Jason heard a rustle in a nearby bush.

Looking down he noticed his rifle was missing, so grabbing his holster, he raised his pistol that was strapped securely to his hip.

Expecting to see some carnivorous beast jump out from the bush, he placed his finger on the trigger, ready to fire in an instant. What exited the bush was not what he expected.

The Ceti's long limbs allowed him to stride into view, focusing solely on the pistol that was focused on him. With his sceptre fully open it looked like the Ceti was ready for combat.

Jason sighed, he knew another fight against this battle-hardened killing machine was out of the question. He was quicker, stronger and more experienced in the art of warfare than Jason, and by the way the Ceti was moving, the fall had not slowed him down either.

'If I must die, then let it be in a blaze of glory,' Jason thought to himself.

Just as Jason was about to squeeze the trigger, the Ceti's sceptre retracted to its staff form and the Ceti raised his hands in a non-hostile way.

"Krob'har, truce," the Ceti said in a harsh deep broken voice.

Jason slowly raised his hand to his visor and pressed it to reveal his face. "Truce?" He asked, almost confused that the Ceti would know the word.

"Truce, Yes. Forest dangerous." The Ceti commented. "You, me, separate, die. You, me, together, survive."

Jason couldn't deny the logic of his words. If he were to survive in this forest then his chances were far greater with this Ceti assisting him. Lowering his pistol he frowned but commented, "Agreed, truce."

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