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The green curve of the planet beneath them almost reminds Chiela of Earth, only Earth had never been that green, and there were few bodies of water to be seen. The ship dipped downward and rattled in a way that was totally unnerving to Chiela, at least. Knowing their collective luck, they could be about to burn up on reentry. She gripped the harness holding her in with both hands, and started reciting the first prayer she could think of, which happened to be the Our Father. Chiela had never been religious (not on Earth and certainly not when she'd lived in the Oort Cloud, seeing as she had no concept of religion, then), but she and Terasu had recieved most of their charity aid from religious sorts, and Chiela could remember Sister Mary, lighting a candle at the front of the chaple, and kneeling down to pray her rosary.

Our Father who art in Heaven, hallowed be thy name, although out here people didn't even know what that name might be. She'd seen plenty of foriegn sorts of belief - belief in something bigger-than-self was apparently universe - but they were still strange and unlike anything she'd known on Earth.

Venka punched at the console, spitting those garbled curses that Chiela was so used to hearing from her, by now, and the ship shuddered again before seeming to level out.

Thy Kingdom come, thy Will be done, although Chiela had never understood what that will might have been anyways. She'd actually asked Sister Mary once, and recieved an absolutely puzzling answer in reply, which simplified to (as far as Chiela had translated, at least) Do the next right thing, which wasn't much help when you didn't know what the next right thing was.

Chiela could actually see the atmosphere burning up against the outside of the ship, which was no comfort at all. Honestly, it wasn't helpful for the fact that you could burn up any minute to be illustrated.

On Earth as it is in Heaven, and frankly, Chiela had seen past the heavens, and if this was God's will, then God was a much stranger creature than she'd previously considered he might be. Everything out here seemed to be war and slim survival. Then again, she'd been thrown in with a group who another group was trying to exterminate, so maybe this wasn't the best example. What she could remeber of the Oort cloud was peaceful but fairly empty; she'd been alone, most of the time: there simply weren't many of her species to bump into, and when they did, the interaction was more mournful than anything else: looking outward a dragon could easily see the chaos existing beyond their sanctuary. The few curious who left never seemed to make it back. Chiela supposed, if she lived long enough to see the Oort cloud, again, she'd have quite a story to tell the rest of them, hiding in their sanctuary.

Suddenly the ship seemed to break through the atmosphere, and red faded to white as they hit the cloud cover. Here, Chiela could almost pretend she was back on Earth, riding on a plane, maybe from Willison to Orlando. But a plane never looked like this from the inside or had this kind of power. There's was no turbulance, no shuddering of the hull, no voice over the intercom saying, ladies and gentlemen we've reached our gliding altitude of 30,000 feet, due to flying conditions, the captain will leave on the fasten seat belts sign. Please do not leave your seats. Yada yada yada.

"Alright," Venka said, "Let's figure out where I'm going to land this heap."

Nikolao shifted around in his seat and said, "There should be a village 300 miles off the Eastern coast, below the tree line. As far as I can tell, that's the only open territory within 600 miles of our entry point. Head there."

Venka snorted and said, "You got it, Captain. Just as long as this village doesn't turn out to be a fucking City on guard. This baby can only take so many times being crash landed."

"That," Nikolao said, bristling, "was hardly my fault."

"Yea, yeah, yeah," Venka said, "Anybody could have misinterpreted that broadcast of, "Turn around or prepare to be fired upon. It's a real ambigious message.”

Chiela's attention turned back around to Terasu as she snorted an ungainly amount of laughter. She raised on eyebrow at Chiela and said, "What?"

"Nothing," Chiela said, "Just, I wish you'd share the detached calm, is all. Although maybe not the radiating dissaproval."

"If you knew this asshole's history," Terasu said, "You'd be amused, too. And it's really hard to approve of anything he does.”

Nikolao turned to scowl at Terasu and said (for about the hundredth time), "I was following orders. I only did what was necessary."

"Yeah," Terasu said, "And you see how well that turned out. You should have been smart enough not to listen to the council in the first place. They screwed us over, Nikolao. Badly. They as good as sanctioned thousands of deaths for their pride." When Nikolao made to protest, Terasu added, "Don't even try it. You know it's true," and Nikolao scowled but stayed silent.

"Guys!" Pipra called, from his place at Venka's side, "Oh my gosh, guys, look! " pointing with one hand out the cockpit windows. Chiela squirmed around in her seat as well as she could, without undoing her harness, which sure as hell wasn't coming off until his ship was safely on the ground and maybe not even then. So she couldn't see the whole of what Pipra was enthusing over, but she could see the tops of a jungle canopy that seemed to stretch out endlessly in all directiong, a flourighing green, and faint blue trails of rivers, a turbulent white in places, glittering under the planets sun.

"Oh my gosh, it's beautiful," Pipra said, and Chiela was forced to agree.

"Alright," Venka said, "Hold on to your seats, ladies and gentlemen, and," she added, seemingly as an after thought, "You too, Pipra," at which Pipra just giggled, one hand covering his mouth, "this might get a little bit bumpy.

Venka wheeled the ship sharply to one side, angling towards an open stretch of land which must have been hundreds of miles wide; Chiela could see a huddled speck of brown, on one edge of the plane, which, the closer they came, resolved itself into a city or - well, honestly more of a downtrodden looking village. The ship sudddenly dove sharply and, oh, this was always Chiela's least favorite part of a flight, and usually she didn't have to see the captain's frantic working of the controls. That actually made the experience seem so much worse.

Chiela bit down on her lip to keep from making any embarassing noises and gripped her seat as tightly as she could; the ship suddenly pulled up short, seeming to stop in midair, and then began to drop at a speed that had Chiela's stomach rising up around her throat. Wow, she could have gone for years without feeling that.

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