Mar. 25th, 2009


Freeman’s Valley, Aerilon

He rattled the gate on the trailer with his hand to make sure that it was closed and locked, which caused the horses inside to grumble and huff frosty breath. “Yeah, yeah, I know you don’t like it when I do that,” he said to them as he confirmed the gate was good and locked.

“Collin its fraking cold out here,” said one of the younger ranch laborers wearing a thick winter coat and a soft brimmed hat.

“It’s called early winter get use to it, Hank” he replied. It was true the highlands had received an early dusting of snow. The sooner they got themselves to the down to the valley the sooner they would be able get out of the mist and then warm up under the clear sky sun.

Collin walked over to the driver’s side of the heavy crew cab pick-up that was attached to the goose neck horse trailer. The diesel engine had been kept running overnight to prevent it from freezing while they slept in the small laborer’s cabin which they stay during the week to gather the herd of horses. He was taking the last trailer load out before big winter snow storm made the valley inaccessible in a few weeks.

He was joined by Hank who was warming up his hands next to the heater vents. “The first freeze is a bitch.”

“Yeah, tell me about it,” Collin shifted the truck into gear, and they pulled out of the round-up camp.

Jan. 18th, 2009



Thump. His feet made contact with the sandy soil, followed by the calf of his leg, thigh, and then finally he managed to roll over onto his back. He could see through the clear visor of his helmet up at the clear blue sky. His heartbeat pounded in his chest after his narrow escape from the fire ball that was his Viper Mark VII. “I’m alive,” and then in the same breath “frak, Erin.”

He shot up back up onto his legs. His parachuted tugged him back at the shoulders, so he released a clip to deflate the chute, followed by the release of the second clip to release him completely from the chute. He turned around to search the horizon for another orange and white parachute.

There it was about 500 meters away on top of a sand dune, partially inflated by the breeze and dragging the other pilot. “Erin!” He spoke but got no reply. He undid his helmet and lifted it off his head, and then threw it to the ground as he started to run to his wingman…

Aerilon present day

Ives blinked, as he sat on the tail of the ranch’s well used pick-up truck with a can of beer in his hand, as his eyes gazed out onto the horizon. The sun began to set, like it always had in the wide valley leading out to the great lake. Ives finished off his beer, and threw the empty can into the back of the bed of the pick-up.