Benetnash leaped from the bush forest, past the tree and jumped over the stream halfheartedly which easily cleared it. Atlas barely had time to get a glimpse of her helmet that still lay among the foot prints she had made there many days ago, because they were already speeding out into the middle of the plain. She clutched her sharpened bone in her hand. Something didn't feel right about this. Something was going to go wrong. She just wasn't sure how severe.
The storm clouds had thinned out here. Just enough for her to begin to see the flickers of evening stars. She gripped Benetnash's fur the best she could. Every time he took one of his long strides, she felt herself almost lift from his back. As she clung on for dear life as he ran at top speed, she rested her chin on his back and stared over his head, between his ears. Nothing had made an appearance in the distance. How was she really so sure that he was taking her back to the crash site?
She wasn't paying much attention to her surroundings at the time, but she felt Benetnash begin to slow. It took him a few moments to bring his pace down, for stopping immediately at that pace would have flung her off his back. When Benetnash had finally came to a pull stop, he stood about twenty feet away from a pile of rubble. He turned to face it head on and Atlas pushed her self up with her arms to look over his head. There sat the wreckage of the space craft.
Without any second thoughts, she slid off from Benetnash's back, her knees crippling beneath her when she landed from the long drop. When she began to stumble towards the wreckage, Benetnash slightly edged in front of her, giving a growl of warning deep in his throat. But she pushed past him, her heart pumping with excitement, but it quickly plummeting to dread as she approached the bodies of her crew mates. Oliver still lay motionless on the ground where she had last saw him. But she didn't have time to waste weeping. What was done was done, what she needed to worry about now was the future of her still living friends.
She neared the largest chunk of the rubble spread out around the dusty plain. It was the pod where they had all sat while maneuvering the vehicle down into the planet. Which, in the end resulted to this horrible crash that she had some how, miraculously survived. Within this pod, sat the bodies of Thorn and Ezra, still strapped to their seats, almost looking alive. But behind those visors she knew their empty faces were, so as she squeezed herself into the pod, she avoided contact with them because she knew it would only make her grievances worse. What she really needed, was what was attached to the wall in the back of the pod.
She pushed between the two empty seats where her and Oliver had sat and spotted it. A small, metal box strongly welded to the wall, many bindings holding the lid securely shut. She came up to it and began the process of opening the box. Just outside the jagged hole torn in the side of the pod where Atlas had entered, she heard Benetnash. He was making a whining sound as he peered in at her. She turned to see his face filling the entire wound in the side of the wall. He was much too big to enter this tiny room, but he was attempting to, placing a paw within it and trying to squeeze a way in. All this did was rock the pod to a dangerous angle that almost made the floor into a wall.
"Benetnash, stop it!" She called at him as she clung to the metal box for dear life, wincing at the sight of the limp spacesuits flopping to the sides of their chairs. Benetnash gave another loud whimper as he shied his foot out of the shuttle, returning it to its regular angle. "Its okay," She reassured him as she turned back to the box and continued trying to open it.
Finally she was able to push the lid open. Inside, she pulled out the small tracking device. A look of relief flushed Benetnash's face when he saw her turn and begin to make her way back out of the vehicle. As soon as she got out, she held the device in her left hand and pulled the top with her right. The lid popped off, revealing a little red light that began to flash. This meant it was working. A signal was being sent to the station!
Benetnash did not share the same happy mood she now had. He still gave his worried whimpers and was trying to usher her away from the crash site.
"What are you doing?" She asked as she looked up at him, his terrified eyes darting left to right. "Ben, what is it?" She felt one end of his tail wrap around her good arm and pull her away with him, out into the open.
They were a good ten feet away when they stopped, Benetnash holding her close to his body and not letting her go, no matter how much she resisted. He did not look at her, but at something off in the distance. When he finally let a little slack on her arm, she pushed herself to get into view to see... There, walking up ahead on the plain was a tiger creature. A huge tiger creature. Both white eyes narrowed at them as he strode their way, one eye shut a little more than the other from a clean, straight scar that ran along its eyelids...