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We were walking through the forest which seemed to go on forever, when we came across a huge opening in the vegetation. Beams of sun shone once more on our heads. "Uh... I'm not really sure about this, Huk." Krut said. "We need somewhere to set up or something, we can't just keep on." I thought for a moment. No, he was right. We should rest for the night. We strolled up and down looking for a good position to setup.

Then, the arrows started whizzing from all angles. I decided to move behind a rock to shelter from this "rain" and they snapped and ricoched around me. I left Krut exposed. Then I saw him roll up in agony as two arrows passed through his head and knee. I cursed myuself for cowardise, then I jumped from my position and dragged him back. The blood had stained most of his clothes. Could you call them clothes? I asked myself, rags more like. And then as if by some divine intervention, thunder. Lots of it. It came crashing down on the whole swarm of men sending them fleeing. As I sat there looking after to Krut in the overwhelming silence that followed, I felt truly lucky. My name is Hukten Ree and I'm on the run. Kind of a fugitive or something like that.

From whom? The evil king of this damned planet they dropped me on. The justice system back on earth has changed so much in recent years that they drop minor criminals like me on distant godforsaken shit holes chock full of warlords and crazed mercenaries. That's only half of it. Krut's life on earth was one of a tramp, a bum, a hobo and the type that all governments want wiped from their countries. It was a hiding game. If you don't see the tramps and the poverty then there's no problem. So the international community decided they would round up all the poor and the likes of me and send them off to these newly discovered planets. I forgot the name of my planet, actually I didn't really feel the need to take note of it.

Every day here has been a struggle, that I am sure of. The first day I arrived or rather was thrown from the spaceship, the friendly locals had turned up to greet me with knifes, stones and a firing squad. It was kind of a haze at the time and I can't even build up a clear picture of it all but I know that somehow me and Krut escaped. The survival drive takes over your whole body and it does things faster so I guess we ran as fast as hell that day. Now Krut was dying but I had experienced many moments like this and was hardened emotionally. The rain clashed down as I left Krut in a pool of blood. Now what? I asked myself. The weather is pretty unpredictable here, so I'd better settle down. Satisfied with the answer I ventured back into the woods to find some shelter. Damn! I had a bloody raincoat earlier and now where's it gone? I fumbled around inside my rucksack to find nothing. It was freezing now and my whole body shivered, but as I got further into the trees the howling wind reduced slightly. I got onto the ground and covered myself in leaves. God knows how I'm going to get asleep tonight, I thought.

*****

The night was uncomfortable, to put it mildly and the hard soil beneath me dug into my back like a knife into butter. I awoke the next morning with leaves and undergrowth hanging from my face. It was disgusting and it was in my mouth as well.


I cannot over emphasize the alienation I felt on this planet and was longing to go back home. To be honest I was a petty thief back on earth, a no good scoundrel, but they didn't realise that I'd changed. All of my aspirations and ambitions were welling up inside while in that prison cell and suddenly. I kepty working out how I would make good later. Then at the click of a finger they brought me here. Whats left for me now? A life of running and constantly fighting against the inevitable odds of death? That's what drives me on, I want to come on top of all this, go back and make something of myself.

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