Before you panic and hit the back button after seeing the 'OC/I' tag, I ask that you give me the benefit of the doubt and follow along for a bit. I plan to go a bit off the norm for this one, and a plan for the whole ride through.
Telekinesis was defined as the manipulation of objects with the mind. Pyrokinesis was the ability to create and manipulate fire. Illusions, the ability to bend light and warp sound to suit one's desires. Once, this was considered the stuff of fiction, and as such, no one believed it was possible, or even believed in the nigh illimitable possibilities such skills would allow. Nebo Aldric, however, had learned much, much differently during his time in this new world. Awakening his abilities and being exposed to many others had been trials in and of themselves, to say nothing of the training it took to hone his own to the degree he did, and in the time he'd had to do it, too, but the result was nothing short of fantastic. Everything he lacked in strength, he made up for in skill. Creativity. Lateral thinking.
Unfortunately for Aldric, as he watched a small flying metal deathtrap of a locker blast through the air under its own power, he wasn't entirely certain if his skill would measure up. Certainly, he thought, he was powerful, but there was a definite hierarchy in this world, and no matter what anyone said, experience ensured that even now he wasn't entirely certain of his position in the pecking order, at the moment. Perhaps if he'd had more time, time for his body to adapt, for his powers to age, for him to develop a complete understanding and a far lesser fear of them, things would have been different, but he'd hardly had two years to go from Clark Kent to Superman. He'd had to learn fast, and sacrifices thusly had to be made.
The dark-haired man watched silently as the locker hurtled through the sky, containing within it a person who, very soon, would gain the ability to change the world through sheer convenience of existing. Sure, he'd done a lot of things these last eighteen months, some overt and some not quite as, some stupid, some and intelligent, but this had been the first change he'd gone out of his way to make.
Well... Thought Aldric, as he wiped through his shaggy hair, a hand that reflected the moon above with a metallic sheen. That's you taken care of.
He turned up to Beacon Tower, the enormous building that loomed above him and likely was the man-made roof of the world.
But how do I take care of you? He thought, as he watched a bright flare of red-orange light begin to raise through the building, hurtling upwards, towards the office of the academy's likely deceased headmaster. Placing his hands in the pockets of his cassock, Aldric casually strolled towards the base of the tower, humming whatever it was that struck his fancy as he made his way inside, very well aware that he was likely, and literally, marching to his death.
I guess I'll just have to wing it. He thought, as he entered the abandoned, trashed tower.
The tower's lobby looked like a tornado had gone through it, with large scorch marks blackening the area around the elevator behind the main receptionist's desk. To his left and right were the waiting areas, the televisions blank and the couches overturned. He thought he heard running water, but he couldn't see any broken fountains, or anything the like. Ignoring most of the devastation, Aldric entered the trashed elevator. In the center of the floor was a large, boulder-sized hole, warped and bent as if it had been melted. Looking up in the cramped space showed a similar hole in the lift's ceiling.
Oh yeah... Lady in red came through here. Thought the teen, as he removed his right hand from his coat and held it out in front of him, his gray palm facing the ground.
He snorted. "Going up..." And with a brief frown, the elevator began the long ascent. A loud, horrendous grinding noise accompanied the trip, sparks flying in all directions.
It took him two minutes to make it to the top, and after forcing the door to the headmaster's office open, he found his goal simply standing there, waiting for him, a smug smirk pasted across her face, her deep orange eyes glowing with energy, and her raven hair falling in thick curls over her shoulders. Replacing his hand in his coat, the dark-haired fighter strolled inside.
"Hey, Hot Stuff." Said Aldric, "am I too late?"
She regarded him with a curious glance, "I must admit, I expected to see the other one." The young woman said, as she smoothed out a wrinkle in her tight, form-fitting red dress.
"I gave her the night off." Said Aldric, as, outside, a massive, demonic dragon with a black visage and a pale white exoskeleton detached from the building and took off, its enormous wings creating loud gale-force gusts of wind with every beat, as it circled the tower. "Like your pet. Always wanted a dragon."
"What do you, of all people, expect to accomplish by coming here?" The woman taunted, "it is pointless. We've won. I have the Fall Maiden's abilities... Her power. Even you cannot stand to me." She smirked.
Aldric frowned, and shrugged his shoulders, leaning up against the wall as he did so. "You know... That's one thing I've noticed time and time again, during my brief tenure here. You all operate on the idea that power is everything. The strong survive, the weak die out. You are correct in thinking that you have more power than me - hell, right now you probably have more power than I ever will..." A pause, "unless I survive, then I'll have time to see how big that bonfire is, but I digress.
"There's one thing you guys don't quite understand... One thing that would have gotten the red-head killed, had I let her come up here. The best counter for raw power, is skill." He said, as his blue eyes slowly darkened to a deep, dark onyx. "You treat science and aura as two different subjects. Mutually exclusive. Despite having all of the tools necessary to prove that wrong six ways from Sunday." He lifted his metallic fist, inspecting it with a blank expression.
"I was blessed, when I figured out what my semblance was. I was blessed even more when the good witch of the south came out of the woodwork and taught me some tricks. Very powerful, indeed." He lowered his hand to the zipper on his overcoat, and began dragging it upwards, unfastening his coat and letting it fall around his ankles. "And yes, I am stalling." He added, as he shoved off from the wall and took a few steps towards the raven-haired woman. "From what I understand, I'm about to fight someone who got her powers right from God." He said, stretching his arms out.
The woman's smirk didn't falter, but he did notice, just faintly, how it drew away from her eyes. "You could leave, you know. Few would know. Fewer still would fault you."
"You kidding?" He chuckled, "I would. She would... Probably." Aldric countered, running a gray, metallic hand through his shoulder-length hair. "I never leave a job half done. Method acting, Shalashaska, and all that. Besides, you may be more powerful than me... May have always been... May always will be. We both know the biggest thing working against me was always time... But what you have, in overwhelming power, you lack in skill. Your body is only used to half of the power you currently possess, and even then, it's a stretch.
"Me, however, I've bled, sweat, and worked for everything I can do, and I'll let you in on a secret... As I said before..." He said, as the dust on the ground, and the bits of metal from the destroyed elevator, all began to levitate around him, soon swirling around him as if orbiting his body. "The greatest counter for strength, is skill." Some of the items began to disintegrate, flaking away like embers from a fire. "All the power in the universe cannot help you if you cannot hit the man you want to kill.
"So tell me... You who fashion yourself a goddess." Said Aldric, as he cracked his gray, sheening knuckles, and crouched down low into a fighting stance, as a wide grin began to grow across his face.
"Do you bleed?"
The woman's eyes narrowed, and she began to levitate, as the very air around her distorted from the sheer heat she was generating. Her eyes were covered in massive auras of fire, their shape reminiscent of the wings of a butterfly. The ground underneath them, and the air around them, shimmered and shook as the two combatants pulled out all of the stops, and drew all of their strength, one to be rid of a pest as fast as possible, and one in the hopes that he may, just may, be able to survive this whole ordeal. All across the academy, and even down in the kingdom, many paused a moment and turned their heads to Beacon Tower, as the Fall Maiden, and Beacon's Master, drew out everything they had. A flaming bonfire versus a napalm campfire, their combined energies were enough such that even civilians, with little aura to speak of, could feel something was off. Aldric felt the weight of the raven-haired Fall Maiden's power crushing him, but he didn't let his grin falter, as he rang the bell.
"You will." And the two launched at each other.
Eighteen months previous.
Somehow, over the all-penetrating white noise of constant conversation, phone calls, text messages, and TSA announcements, the snoring of a teenaged boy could be heard. Snoozing on a bench, with his head hanging over the back, a dark-haired, pale-skinned teen was surrounded by luggage and a messenger's bag, filled to the bursting with wires, sensitive electronics, and a pillow, resting on his lap. The teen had so many possessions surrounding him that he took over the entire bench, and attracted more than one curious eye, though few truly thought that everything he surrounded himself with was his - he was so thin and lanky, and his clothes so baggy, that he had the general appearance of a stick, barely even able to hold up the bag hanging from his neck.
The teen was awoken suddenly by a kick to his left foot, his head snapped up and his glasses were sent askew as he tried to shake the sleep from behind his half-lidded eyes.
"I didn't do it." Drawled the teen, through a yawn as he stretched both of his arms. "Unless I did. Then I did it." He paused, "what did or didn't I do?" He looked up to the figure that had awoken him, being greeted by the visage of his short, though thickly built father, whose dark, shoulder-length, meticulously brushed hair absorbed all of the sunlight that would have otherwise thrown him into deep, detail-masking shadows.
"Just a few more connectors, Nebo." The teen's father responded, a sympathetic look in his deep gray eyes.
"I think my jet-lag is jet lagged." Said the teen, who hand-brushed his unkempt, brown hair back behind his ears, and readjusted his glasses. "So... Started in Germany, brief layover in south wherever... Connector to bum-squat whatever'sville... Where the hell are we?" Nebo rubbed the sleep out of his eyes and stood up, his messenger's bag swinging heavily from its strap around his neck.
"Somewhere where people speak better English than the folks back home." Said Nebo's father, as the two shared a grin.
Nebo adjusted the fit on his light gray hoodie, before dropping both hands into its pockets. "'Bout to board?" He turned to his rear, where the bright blue sky beat down upon the small passenger jet sitting right outside. "Thing looks small... Damn it, we're not getting far, are we?"
"Well, far enough that we're going over the ocean, after we get on."
"Hm..." Nebo yawned again. "Ergh... 'Get on the plane, get on the plane... Fuck you, I'm getting in the plane!" Nebo grinned a one-sided grin.
There was a brief chime in the intercom above them, before a voice spoke. "Now beginning pre-boarding for Continental Flight Six, Three, Six. All passengers please be ready..." Her voice was quickly drowned out by the teen, who chuckled lightly.
"Now, what does it mean to pre-board?" He quoted again, causing his father to roll his eyes as the two of them unplugged their various electronics and grabbed their luggage. "To get on, before you get on!?" Nebo laughed.
"Are you done?"
"Maybe." Said Nebo, as the two weaved through the aisles of chairs and got in line as dictated by their tickets, soon being flanked on their front and back by dozens of people. "Wanna sit by the wings." He added, through another yawn. "See, it's uh, more structurally sound, there." He explained, "middle of the plane has to support the weight of the wings, and all that."
"Oh, I thought it was to support your fat ass, kiddo." Said Nebo's father, before a brief slap on the back.
"Nah, we both know who's packing on the pounds, pop." Said Nebo, as the thick line began to move.
"Gonna try and take a nap when we get in, see if I can't beat the lag." Nebo said, as he swung a backpack over his shoulders and let it rest on the top of his messenger's bag.
Three hours later, well after Nebo had plugged his headphones into his tablet and let whatever movies he had downloaded start playing, he awoke to the feeling of violent, quick shakes and quakes. The entire airplane was shaking around him, causing him to slowly rouse from his unconscious state, and to be greeted by the sight of a bombastic fight between the reds and blues of the appropriately named Red vs Blue.
Nebo grunted lowly, catching the attention of his father, who was reading a book on his phone. "Turbulence?" Nebo inquired, not even taking his earbud out. His father nodded, not even looking up from his book. "Rough shit..." Groaned the teen, who shut his eyes again. "If we crash, don't die without me, fat man."
"Fat man, or bat man? Besides, you know as well as I do..." Said his father, though the teen was already falling asleep again by the time he spoke. "Now is not the time for dying. That comes later."
"Fuck you... Fat Batman." Whispered the snoozing teen, which caused his father to grin.
Back and forth with slow, wide swings, and the sound of cloth clenching and straining. In his half asleep state, Nebo smiled, wondering if he were on the porch swing again. Though something felt off about the experience, as if he were heavier and pressing down against the swing more, he didn't mind too much, he liked the feeling of sinking into the cushions. Though the tight, compressed feeling on his chest, as if there were a bundle of rope, or a seatbelt fastened too tightly, he could do without.
He heard something begin ringing, and waved his hand idly to his side, muttering something about just needing a few more minutes. The odd thing, however, was that he wasn't hitting the phone he usually laid next to his head. Much the opposite, his arm seemed to be heavier than his body, it took more effort to bring it back down, towards his chest, than it took to lift up and wave around. Odd.
Status report. All engines ago. Prepare wake up. Preparing to wake up, captain! Wake up. Waking up, captain! Groggily thought the sleeper, who opened his dark, blue-gray eyes and blinked out the sleep. His vision was blurry and the back of his head hurt as he exposed his eyes to the light, and all of the browns, greens and reds of the environment around him.
Oh... Damn it, did I fall off of the swing? Thought Nebo, as he clenched his eyes tightly, and laboriously lifted his hand to wipe at them. His hand came away bloody, perplexing the teen, who blinked a few times as he stared at his bloody hand, still swinging back and forth as he did so. That's weird... Did I get into a fight, then? He wondered, no... There aren't any raised voices, or the smell of Rick pissing his pants... Come to think about it, it smells weird. He inhaled deeply through his nose, the act briefly intensifying all of the blurry colors around him as he took in the earthy smells of nature. Upon exhaling, everything came into a much sharper focus, and it came to his attention that the sky looked an awful lot like a forest's ground, thick with grass and vegetation.
Hm... Do Nanna and Poppy have a tire swing? He blinked again, the ringing in his head slowly fading away. Wait... I wasn't at their house... I was in Germany. Oktoberfest, translating for my Dad. Where... He groaned, and tried to turn to his side, when he realized that gravity was actively pulling him to the sky.
He blinked once, his heart slowing down and leaving a slightly empty, pained feeling in his chest as he came to a realization.
"Oh... Fuck no..." Groaned the teen, as he turned his dark-eyed gaze down to his chest, where he was pressing tightly against the hastily redone straps and belts of the seat from the airplane. "Oh... My god..." He breathed, turning his head as far around as he could go, and finding that he his chair, and the metal bits, wires, and beams that had secured it to the plane, was tangled up in a tree, multiple dozens of feet above the ground, of which he was facing, chest-first.
"Oh..." His breaths were coming faster, as he lifted his head and saw, directly in front of him, a massive path of destruction carved out of the dense, thick forest that surrounded him.
Some trees were on fire, some patches of grass were scorched, the ground was torn apart in a massive fissure, trees were smashed to pieces and ripped from the dirt, and in the distance, some few hundred meters away, was the massive, deceptively massive wreckage.
"Oh!..." He could barely even speak, let alone articulate anything more than sheer awe, as, near the crash site, there was a brief, but loud explosion as one of the plane's turbines went up, the shockwave powerful enough to shake the teen, even as far away as he was.
"Oh... Sssssssssshit!" Nebo swallowed thickly, his first instinct - and indeed, his first action - being to go for the buckles on his seatbelt, but he forced himself to pause and think, to calm down. If he undid his restraints now, all he would succeed in doing is falling several dozen feet to the ground, crack his skull open, break a few rips, and likely do some lasting damage that couldn't be properly treated for however long it took the rescue crew to show up.
Rapidly glancing around, Nebo reached upwards and firmly grasped the thick branch from which he and his seat were hanging. He pulled once, twice, and after satisfying himself that the branch that was already supporting his weight, could continue to do so, he reached down with his free hand and grasped at the seatbelt. With one thick swallow through a bone-dry throat, Nebo pulled at the belt and undid his restraint. Instantly he swung forward a few feet as he was now being held up only by his slightly bloody arm. With a yelp of fear, Nebo grabbed at the branch with his other hand, and forced himself to stop swinging, as he came face to face with the fact that he hadn't thought this far ahead.
His head snapped to his left, where he saw the trunk of the tree he was hanging from. It was thick, at least the circumference of an average tire, meaning he could wrap himself around it and slide down. The phrase 'if need be' did snap to his mind, but the need did be, as this was literally a life or death, holy shit he was in a plane crash and could die if he didn't start climbing for his life right now, situation.
"Well..." He said, to no one in particular, as he started swinging from side to side, throwing one arm out and carefully sliding along the branch, towards the trunk. "Think of this this way, Aldric... Get picked up by the rescue team..." He grunted, passing by his life-saving chair as he swung across the branch. "Have dad sue the airlines... Get two big, fat, massive settlements - one for you and him." He grunted again, getting closer to the thick trunk, as the sounds of birds flying overhead passed through his ears. "And have more money than all of your friends combined." He reached the trunk, and found that there was a smaller, thinner branch, just a few feet below him. Gingerly, he placed a foot on this branch, and found that it could just support his weight. "Maybe take Rick out to Momocon... Or fly out to Austin, go to RTX...
"Nah, too fuckin' hot. Go to Comic Con. CJ's always wanted to go to that... Few hundred K, maybe a million if you're lucky... You could bring him." He inhaled and exhaled rapidly, before letting go with one hand, a brief cry of fear escaping his lungs as now all of his weight was on one leg on a thin branch, and one over-strained arm with rivulets of blood streaming down from multiple lacerations and bruises. "And, now you get to shut dad up. All that time, watchin' the discovery channel..." He grunted loudly, swinging around and gripping the tree trunk with his free arm, wrapping it around and holding on as tight as he could. "Man vs Wild... Survivorman... Mythbusters... How it's made... Uh... Shit... Pawnstars? I dunno. Fuck." He said, slowly snaking his next arm around the tree.
"Internet, too. Find my luggage, tablet's got one of those... Emergency apps, on it. And a first aid manual. Is it really paranoia if it actually fucking happens?" He asked himself, as he slowly, with a terrified clench in his gut, began shinnying down the tree, a few inches at a time, smearing his cargo pants and his dark shirt with the sap and the dew that covered the dark brown bark.
"Of course..." He groaned, "that's if your fuckin' thing didn't get smashed... But it may work..." He swallowed through his dry throat, "I was sitting next to the wings, after all, and look at my ass! I'm alive!" He laughed, "survived... A fucking... Plane crash. In the middle of a jungle..." He slid further down the tree. "Where there could be lions... Tigers... Polar bears... Smoke monsters... Plot twists and questions you won't understand even after binging it all in a week." He let all of the air in his lungs go in one long, hysteric laugh as he unintentionally slid down a few feet, coming to a halt when he hooked his right leg on a branch. "Ah... Goddamn it... Um... Okay... Look down."
He looked over his shoulder, and saw that he'd made more progress than he'd initially thought, the ground was only a few feet away, now. In any other situation, he'd be willing to take the risk and just jump it, but he didn't know how bad his injuries were, so he played it safe and kept sliding.
"What would Indiana Jones do?..." He asked himself, "er... Actually, fuck that. What would Nathan Drake do? Dude's survived crazier stuff than this." He laughed to himself, as he felt his butt hit solid ground.
"Oh, thank sweet god!" The teen cried, as he disengaged from the tree and fell onto his back. "Ha! Take that, death! Fuck you!" He said, squinting his eyes. Was that his chair? Was it getting - "Shit!" Nebo rolled to the side, his chair slamming into the ground where his chest had been just a few moments earlier.
"Ha! Haha... Whew. Gotta try harder than that, asshole." He said, from his position on his hands and knees. "Nathan Drake... Nathan Drake..." He shook his head. "Alright... Go to the crash sight, stay away from the engines... Look for survivors, find the fuselage, the black box, any radios, stuff like that." He nodded once, "you can do this."
It took him five minutes to huff and puff his way to the crash sight. The lanky teen was left a sweat-slick, wheezing wreck by the time he reached it and fell to his knees. The plane's engines had long since exploded, and though the fires were intense, they hadn't spread to the fuselage, meaning that the inside was, for all intents and purposes, safe. On the other hand, however, both wings had been sheered off and blown to pieces by the impact and subsequent explosions, and Nebo gagged and nearly vomited when he noticed body parts strewn about the area. What he noticed upon forcing himself back onto his aching feet, however, was a severe, terrifying lack of voices. There was no screaming, no panicking, no cries for help or dashing rogues taking charge and coordinating recovery efforts, just an eerie silence broken only by the sounds of roaring fires and smoldering debris.
Breathing deeply, Nebo shook his head. "HELLO?!" He screamed out, his loud, hoarse voice bellowing over the noise of the fires.
He received no answer.
Nebo's shoulders slumped forward, but he fought the urge to collapse again. If he stopped moving now, it would only become all the more difficult to get moving again. Clenching his jaw, Nebo powered through the despair by reasoning that, he had been torn from the plane and survived, so someone else had to have, as well. He stomped heavily towards the wrecked, torn apart, and partially scorched fuselage. He put out a few of the smaller fires he came across by kicking dirt over them, and when he made it to the fuselage, he took one look inside and had to back out again, this time succumbing to the urge to vomit, as the very first thing his eyes had beheld him was the bode of some poor woman, whose neck was most certainly not supposed to bend that way, and who had to have been a chain smoker since the age of two, given the enormous, gaping, bloody hole in her throat.
After emptying his stomach through his mouth, Nebo stood again, holding his blood-stained, sweat-slick head, which still felt hot to the touch despite it all. The teen steeled himself, and entered the fuselage again, now at least having the wherewithall to ascertain that he was entering from the rear of the plane, and it was tilted on its side, such that he didn't have to climb over the cargo hold in the belly to get to the passenger's section, though that also meant the tail, and however much had been taken with it, was unaccounted for. Inside the gray, shadowy fuselage were dozens of bodies, none of them moving an inch even as he tried calling out again into the plane. Nebo thought he remembered that the plane hadn't been filled to capacity when he'd boarded, which meant the fact that there were empty seats meant nothing, and were perhaps a red herring, given the amount of seats with bodies still in them.
Six... D. Thought Nebo, as he forced himself to step over the ruined aisles and walk past the dead people, Six D... Six D. Six D, six D, six D... Row six, Aisle D. Aisle six, row D... God damn it. He reached the row and found what he was looking for: The window seat, which had been torn out after the wing had been torn off, and the seat next to it, which was completely empty.
His father was somewhere out there.
Nebo looked up to the big, gaping hole in the airplane, right in front of him. Beyond the ripped apart, scorched environment around him, it was clear he had crash landed far from any kind of civilization, there were trees and mountains for as far out as he could see, stretching for dozens of kilometers in all directions, and it didn't help that the air was being choked by the smoke and smoldering bits of wreckage. Nebo shook his head, and stooped forward, reaching under the seat that he had, before the crash, been sitting behind. Words failed to describe the tidal wave of relief he felt when his bloody hand latched onto the familiar strap of his messenger's bag. He yanked it out from under the chair, but didn't bother checking anything in it as he slung it around his shoulder, nor did he bother checking the baggage compartment above him for his bookbag. His messenger's bag had the important, tech bits that he might be able to actually get a use out of, whereas the bookbag had books and a few emergency pairs of clothes.
Okay... Pilot's cabin. Find a radio, or an emergency transponder, or something... Thought the stranded teen, as he turned to the front of the plane and started walking, a determined scowl on his blood-dripping, sweat-slicked face.
-For the Record-
"Well... Hello there!" Drawled a deep, rumbly southern accented voice, with a light inflection on it so as to try and sound somewhat positive, or even friendly, as a large figure slowly backed away from the camera and revealed himself to be a lean male, of seventeen to nineteen years. The man sat down on a chair that looked like it had been ripped out of an airplane, and clapped his hands on his lap.
"So... Uh... I guess I'll call this... 'For the Record'... Aaaaaaas you can tell..." The man spoke, his eyes wide and shining with equal parts terror, hysteria, and disbelief. "I'm alive!" The cackling of a fire and the warm orange light bathed his features as the fire in front of him grew in size, though the man seemed unconcerned, likely because he had set the fire himself. "But, you're watching this. Probably not surprising, and all that... So, let me explain.
"I'm... Nebo Aldric. I know, I know." He cut himself off, waving his hand and nodding a few times. "Really odd name for some white kid from Connecticut, but my Ma was bible-belt, born and raised, and the fat man..." He paused, a pensive, almost remorseful look flashing across his face as he frowned, before he forced himself to continue. "My dad... Sorry, inside joke. My dad was a big softy with a bigger beer belly. She wanted a bible name, and, lucky me, I got Nebo. Short for Nebuchadnezzar... I think. My buddies just call me Aldric... Or Morpheus, if they're feeling particularly vindictive, but I digress." He shook his head again, cleared his throat, and sighed deeply.
"I am a survivor of International Flight, Six Three Six. Unfortunately, I have reason to believe, at the moment, that I may be the only survivor, as the plane's been smoldering since high noon and no one else has come stumbling over here." He said, indicating the dark night sky that surrounded him.
"Now... I woke up about... Eight or nine hours ago. Had to shinny down a friggin' tree to safety, and then this thing..." He patted the chair he sat upon. "This magical, evil fucking thing, tried to kill me right after it finished saving me. After I woke up, I came to the crash sight, but everyone I found was dead..." He paused, "yeah... Dead." He nodded to himself, preceding another long sigh. "I picked up the emergency supplies from the pilot's cabin... Got the radio, some flares, all that jazz. I tried the radio, and though it turns on, I just got snake city. Nothin' but hisssssss." He drawled out.
"So... Uh, I currently have no way to charge the radio's battery, so I'm only going to turn it on twice a day - once at high noon, once before I turn in for the night. But, the fuselage of the plane is... Mostly intact... Save for a few..." He waved to his front, indicating a plane that wasn't in view of the camera. "Obvious exceptions. Here."
Aldric leaned forward and picked up the camera, turning it around to face the plane, which was barely lit up by the man's campfire. There were multiple large gashes ripped out of it, both wings and the tail were gone, and it was tipped over at a light angle to the ground.
"See what I mean? So..." He placed the camera back on the ground and turned it to face him, before he leaned back, and wiped his dark brown hair back behind his ear. "Going to take inventory tomorrow..." He sighed, "I'll feel real bad about it - make no mistake about it - but it's life or death, right now... So I can't think of it as looting the dead, but merely taking what I need to survive. My first order of business is to get all of the luggage and put it in a central location. Hopefully I can sort through all of it and get some kind of system going before nightfall tomorrow.
"Any food, water, medicine, power sources, things of that nature, I'm going to separate from the clothes. I think I remember something about planes having emergency transponders, so hopefully I've got GPS satellites looking for me... But I have to prepare for the worst." He explained, "so, after I finish taking inventory, my next order of business will be getting rid of the bodies. I'm in the middle of what I think to be some kind of rainforest, so it's pretty hot and humid, here. I doubt I'd have more than a week before the bodies start smelling, and if I don't do something before then, I'd have to evacuate this area, and forgo the shelter the fuselage provides." He leaned back into the chair and groaned, before he lifted up his arms and inspected them.
"Going to have to check these injuries of mine, too. So far they haven't been bad, but if they go untreated, the little things will stack up quick." Aldric chuckled mirthlessly, his deep voice overwhelming the crackling of the fire. "Who knows? Might've been a surgeon onboard, I'll be able to raid his go-bag. Probably just have to settle for the next best thing... Air marshal. Get his gun, run out of food, start hunting. Thank you... Grandpa Charles - uh." The teen sighed again. "I'll leave it at that, for now. 'Till next time." He leaned forward and his hand covered the camera's lens, before the video cut out.
Aldric never, once, remembered his dreams, though he always knew he had them. The first night after the crash, he knew something was different about the way he slept, in that there had been no dreams whatsoever. He had been so exhausted that his mind hadn't even conjured up phantoms to haunt him with during his unconscious hours. He awoke after six hours of sleep, the sun was just beginning to raise into the sky. The dark-haired teen stretched his sore, aching body, and after a few moments of staring off into space, in the general direction of his long since dead fire, he got to work.
It took him until noon to empty the main passenger's area of all of the luggage. He'd appropriated the drink and concessions carts to help expedite the process, loading them down with luggage and wheeling them all out in bulk before going back for more. After tossing out all the luggage from under the chairs and in the overhead containers, his next, obvious target was the food and water, which he placed in one large pile next to his chair. The medical supplies were easy enough to carry out, unfortunately - only a few first aid kits and a single, smashed AED. He also found a few dozen small bottles of alcohol, which he also placed with the medical supplies. After the medical supplies and the alcohol, he looted everyone for their tech and utilized a few of the emptier bags and suitcases to store all of it in, such that, if it rained, they wouldn't all be destroyed.
Around noon, the increasingly sore teen went back to his chair to retrieve the emergency radio. It turned on without a fuss, and though the interface was largely foreign to him, Aldric had enough common sense to guess his way through it, after some fiddling. He spent a good fifteen minutes, searching the airwaves and polluting them with his voice.
"Mayday, mayday, mayday." He spoke, clearly and calmly, making his voice as deep and his accent as suppressed as possible. "I am a survivor of International Flight six three six. I have crash landed in an unknown location, and will broadcast every day at high noon. If you read me, please respond, I have no method of charging my radio and am in need of medical help." That was good, right?
There were no responses, and after his watch told him a good half hour had passed, he shut the radio off, and got back to work. It was well after five o'clock before he emptied out the belly of the plain of all of the luggage stored inside, and the moon was in the sky by the time he got everything sorted out into general piles of half-organized belongings: Tech, clothes, water, food, medicine, and miscellaneous, like books, soaps, or sewing supplies. He finally called it a night after he downed some of First Class' dried steak, and a glass of orange juice.
The next morning, Aldric dipped into the medical supplies to deal with his injuries. First, he took a few pain pills to deal with his headache and the pains in his chest, before he grabbed what he prayed were the alcohol swaps, and disinfected the areas of him that had been cut open. He wasn't very experienced with bandaging anyone, let alone himself, but common sense went a long way - or at least, he hoped it did - and he had the worst of the worst bandaged up, and counted himself very, very lucky he didn't have to perform any stitches.
After a hearty breakfast of water, pretzels, and a few crushed skittles from his messenger's bag, he began to take inventory and sort everything out.
-For the Record-
"Alright... For the Record, Day... Three." The video picked up as the first one had, with Aldric backing away from the camera after making sure it was stabilized, and collapsing into his increasingly well-worn airline seat. "So..." He picked up a clipboard, and gave the camera a peek and a sly grin, before he tapped it twice with a marker. "That way I don't have to rely on tech." He looked back down and cleared his throat, "thirty two, thirty ounce water bottles... Which goes out to about twenty eight liters. Three dozen cans of various soft drinks and juices... Three dozen salvageable bottles of alcohol -" He peeked back up to the camera, "- uh, jesus, these people drink -" He looked back down, "sixty salvageable bags of various, small airline snacks, including pretzels, peanuts, and other assorted dry goods... Fifteen first class meals of varying types, including chicken, bargain-brand steak, etcetera...
"A cubic ass load of pants, shirts, and socks in my size, and an even bigger number of clothes not in my size -" He looked up again, "- there had to be some kind of pornstar on this plane, by the way. I found this monstrosity, and a few others like it... I figure, if I need a good amount of smoke for a signal fire, I'll light those up." Aldric picked a bra whose cup size was almost as big as his head, and displayed it for the camera. "And no, there weren't any lardballs in there, in case that's the explanation you're thinking up. And yes, actually, Aldric, the rugged survivor, is single. So when I get back home, ladies..." He couldn't keep a straight face, and broke down into laughter, before tossing the bra away.
"Damn it... I rehearsed that one three times. Anyways, four pairs of monstrous bras... A literal bag of condoms, that I actually think came from one of the stewardesses, given where I found it - IF airlines, might wanna start checking these things." He chuckled, "more fuel for a signal fire. Anyways, tech. Got about... Sixteen laptops, two macbooks, a few apple laptops, fifty two cell phones - of which, thirty are of the same brand as mine. Android all the way." He said, giving the camera another sly look, "damn thing survived a plane crash, I don't think I'll ever sell it... And yes... Uh... People who make androids, I am open to bribes, if you want to give me free phones for the rest of my life." He looked back down to his list, the orange light of the fire casting him in a warm glow, and catching the clipboard, drawing his chest into deep shadows.
"Got one and a half dozen tablets, all of which are of similar models to mine, though only half of them have removable storage. Chargers for all of these things, though I have no source of power at the moment, gonna have to work something out, there... One hand-cranked radio, for some reason... A bunch of DVD's I doubt I'll get use out of... A lot of books and flash drives, the latter of which I'm willing to bet has the Bra's casting footage on it." He looked up and pointed past the camera, as if there were people there listening to him. "Ten bucks a pop! Who's interested? Anyone? Ah..." He waved them all away, "anyways...
"Not all of these have removable batteries, but I think I've got enough supplies here to rig up some kind of charger... Kids! Stay in school, take all the science and engineering classes. Joe, fuck your Marching Band, shop class is helping me out. Anyways, got the radio, and maps from the captain's cabin. Our flight path took us out to sea, so I may be on some island, somewhere. Joy..." Aldric groaned, "got a few first aid kits, and various bottles of pills, ranging from actual, literal opiates - including one bottle of oxycodone! There's a goddamn druggy on this plane, guys! - to various allergy and pain meds... Oh! Damn, I almost forgot...
"Haven't found the sky martial, yet, but boy did I find someone just as good." He put down the clipboard and reached to the side of his chair. "So, I dunno what this crazy bastard was hoping to do... Maybe he wasn't going to do anything, but Jesus, this is a big knife." He pulled up a knife, wrapped tightly in a leather sheathe. "The sheathe says Gerber... So I guess it's expensive." He unsheathed the blade and inspected it in front of the camera. "Two serrated edges, a pretty damn sharp point... Fuck, this guy was ready to kill people." He shook his head, and sheathed the blade before setting it down.
"So, here's the deal. If I ration everything out, I can reasonably expect to survive... A month, out here on my own. Maybe a bit longer if I cut back to the bare essentials. But that's not taking into consideration possible medical emergencies, the appearance of other survivors, rain, and things of that nature. So, I should say about two weeks to be safe. Two weeks of supplies before I'm in dire trouble.
"So... After I figure out how I'm going to bury everyone, my first goal will be to get myself first a good place to hunt for food and replenish my water supply. I'm also thinking that the reason the radio isn't working is because of all of the trees around me... So here in a few days I'm going to gear up and try and hike out, find some higher ground and try it there. In a perfect world, it'll work, but just in case it doesn't, that's why I've got all these efforts as a fallback plan... Aaaand a pill-bottle full of oxycodone." He sighed, briefly breaking eye contact with the camera. "I... Really hope I don't have to use that oxycodone.
"But I digress, I'll also be bringing the flare gun with me, just in case I see any planes or helicopters fly by during my hike. So... 'Till then, I need to find, or improvise, a shovel. Because I really don't want to give up the fuselage. It's the biggest, most recognizable thing here, and burning it like a funeral pyre would just be accepting defeat. So... 'Till..." He paused, and looked past the camera a moment, as the sound of the fire filled the camera. "The fuck? Did you hear that?" He turned down to the camera, "sounded like... Twigs, or... No, it was louder than that. Sounded like branches breaking... God, I hope there aren't any bears around here. I don't want to test out my Dicaprio impression." He reached forward and cut off the camera.
I should go to bed... I should go to bed... I should go to bed... God damn it. Aldric knew he heard something, and if it was some kind of wild island-animal, he wouldn't be safe just going to bed with it out there, watching him.
So, Aldric grabbed a nearby, dried branch, and wrapped an unused dress around its end, before setting it ablaze and creating his improvised torch. He held the torch aloft, casting a great ring of bright orange light around him, as he started off in the direction of the noise. He made it to the edge of the clearing the pane had made upon landing, and listened again, focusing past the crackling fires and the distant bugs. After a moment, he heard another few snaps and the sound of feet hitting the ground. He turned around, and froze as his eyes beheld the first living thing he'd seen in days.
An enormous creature that seemed to be made of the night itself, its thick, black fur absorbing all light that touched it and its exoskeletal growths covering its head and extremities. The creature was twice Aldric's size, and at least four times as burly, having the appearance of a wolf mixed with a gorilla. Its eyes glowed a bright, blood red beneath its skull-like mask, and it breathed heavily as it regarded Aldric, and Aldric, it. The two seemed to be at an impasse, neither knowing what to do, yet also clearly not willing to make the first move, at the risk of pissing the other one off.
Just... Uh... I... Um... Thought Aldric, his dark, blue-gray eyes wider than they had ever been in his life, as he beheld the demonic creature. Is... what... It looked familiar, but he knew for a fact he had never, ever seen anything like this before, he would remember something this terrifying - and it was terrifying. One look had Aldric quivering in his boots, and with the way it seemed to absorb the light and steal the warmth of his torch just screamed of evil. The demonic creature just emanated can-not-be with its every breath, and Aldric realized, it was salivating.
It was looking right at him, and salivating.
This fucking thing was hungry.
It was hungry for him!