[Black Sabbath - Planet Caravan]

The Rune-People’s missile corvette had surprised them and in two days had managed to corner and damage the cycle-barge beyond repair.

The hyper dense silicon planet's gravitational pull was immense and imminent. The crew had 6 hours before impact.

“You fought well rudelings. We will give you mercy. You will not have to suffer.” And they launched a final blow; then gathered their drone fleet and folded out of the system.

A sudden solar burst obliterated the torpedo salvo and by some stroke of luck threw the barge into a gentler, but still deadly, landfall.

Nanofactory was their only hope for survival and it could equip 27 of the crew with Gorilla-class EVA-chassis.

Considering the situation they were quite aloof about the whole affair.

Crashing on the ground they lost 3 and thankfully coms were offline so they couldn’t hear any screams.

They had an arsenal, but no provisions.

The last life-scans had detected a stable bubble of atmospheric gasses of unknown composition.

It was a large plant, not unlike a dull grey porous mushroom.

Their giant suits stopped working after they reached the bubble. Energy banks died instantly and when they jettisoned, the EXOs weren’t faring much better, the drain was brutal.

“Maintain shields only.” was the command.

The plant opened a portal to them and started to undulate light. The whole flesh of the place rippled and warped until they reached the center.  There was something moving but it was too bright to make out any details.

The biomechanical tendrils of the foreign engine reached forward. It didn’t mind fired upon. It seemed to enjoy the blaster shots.

A hirsute smell evaporated while it poured the AstroHastati a boiling liquid chalice dropping some crystals into it.

They would not have survived the atmosphere otherwise.

So began survival on this silt-planet. Both people were, after all, alien castaways with limbs for words desperately trying to breach the gap.