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Walter Reilly gazed up at the stars in the heavens, he had been marrooned on the planet Epsilon for three weeks and was hungry for revenge, and food. His green uniform was torn and dishevelled and soiled in orange mud and he badly needed a bath and a shave. Ensign Maynard was dead, he had decided to take an early morning swim in the river, to freshen up. Unfortunately he was unaware that the river was filled with sulphuric acid, rather than water, he was not a man to paddle in the shallows and had dived in at the deep end, a fatal mistake.

Ensign Johnson sat on a yellow rock, chewing his finger-nails, "I'm fucking starving, haven't we got any rations left at all?", he asked.

Leftenant Stevenson cracked his knuckles, "You've been asking that same question for the past week and the answer is still 'No'."

"It's just as well Maynard snuffed it, or we'd have starved to death by now.", sighed Johnson. "someone must have received our distress signal by now."

"it's just a matter of time before we are rescued..", replied the middle-aged leftenant.

"But how much time do we have left?", asked Johnson.

Captain Reilly sat down on the grey sand and stroked his untrimmed beard, "When I catch up with that pirate, I'm going to tear out his guts and wear them for garters, I'll pickle his bollocks and eat the cowards heart."

"Do you have to talk about food?", sighed Johnson.

Leftenant Stevenson stood up, "Captain. May I have permission to go hunting?"

The grey-haired captain laughed. "Again? The only thing that you are liable to catch is amnesia, have you seen the size of those psi-spiders out there?"

"Well, there must be something edible on this shitty little planet."

"Have you seen any other wild-life?", Captain Reilly raised his eyebrows at the leftenant.

"Maybe there is some fruit or a plant that we can eat?", suggested Stevenson.

"The water is sulphuric acid, Leftenant, I haven't even seen any vegetation.". Captain Reilly gazed at the barren landscape around them, nothing but a luminous green river, volcanic rocks, grey dust and an enormous yellow mountain.

The three men sat outside the shuttle, at the mouth of a small cave, blasted into the face of the cliff with a vap-gun. "Remember what happened to your face when you went out in the rain.", asked the grey-haired captain.

Stevenson rubbed the burn-scars on his forehead with his left hand. "Luckily it was only drizzling."

Ensign Johnson stood up, "I don't feel so good."

"Maybe you should lie down.", suggested Reilly.

"I need to eat, Sir. If I fall asleep now, then I don't think that I'll wake up again.", Johnsons shirt was torn to rags and undone and his ribs were clearly visible through his pale skin.

"What do you suggest we do?", asked Stevenson, "Eat each-other?", the leftenant was bare-chested, his stomach was swollen and he looked visibly malnourished.

Captain Reilly stood up and smiled at his two crew-mates, "That's not such a bad idea."

Leftenant Stevenson gazed up at his captain, "And how will we decided who to eat?"

Ensign Johnson raised his hand, "Maybe we should draw straws."

Walter Reilly drew his vap-gun and pointed it towards the young ensign, "I've got a better idea.", he pulled the trigger and Johnsons head exploded.

"Well, that's the food problem solved.", grinned Stevenson.

"Beep..beep...beep.", a light flashed on the communications consule, inside the shuttle. The doors of the small grey vessel rose with a churning sound and the two survivors entered the ship. Leftenant Stevenson pressed a button on the console, "I'm picking up a signal, it's from an Association vessel, The Swallow. They will rendevous with us in one hour."

Captain Reilly rested a hand on Stevensons shoulder, "You'd better throw the body into the river, we don't want anyone to find the evidence, do we? If anyone asks, he went swimming with Maynard, is that understood?"

The leftenant stood up, "I never liked him anyway, he talked too much." 2002-2015. All rights reserved.
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