After the emergency landing on a planet experiencing major earthquakes and erupting volcanoes, Shane and his crew are astounded at the phenomena they witness.
Shane sets out to explore a bit of the planet they’d landed on. What they see is phenomenal. A giant black flaming horse with a giant female rider decked out in full armor rises from the volcano.
Not long after, they come across a small group, led by the same woman riding the black horse. She introduces herself as Azgynia, Goddess of Fire, and Shane has never seen a woman as gorgeous.
“Oh, my God! Look at that!” He stared at a city and buildings, but beyond it was a huge mountain alight as if lit from within. It looked like a huge glowing ice cream cone, except for the smoke and fire issuing from its peak. Amidst that fire, the biggest horse he had ever seen ascended from the volcano’s crater. The horse looked like it had burning embers inside its body. Its wings were surrounded by flames, its mane looked on fire, and so did its tail. “Zoom in on that,” he told Buster. He sank to his chair and whistled. “Fuck me! There’s a woman on that horse! And no ordinary woman! She’s got flames coming from her as well.”
“Look,” Sheldon almost whispered. “It’s rising above the volcano. Its wingspan is as wide as the base of the mountain.”
“Are you recording this, Buster?” Shane said over his shoulder. “How far from that city did we land?”
“Not far enough, and yes, I’m recording.”
“Keep recording. Any bio signs nearby?” Resolutely he got off his chair. “Sheldon, Cynthia, Gavin, you three are with me. Sheldon, atmosphere?” Given the circumstances, Shane thought it wise to include Gavin Sturgeon, their chief of security, in the exploration party.
“Compatible to Earth, but we have to consider the emissions from the volcano. It might be advisable to wear oxygen masks,” Sheldon advised. “We do not want to breathe in the gases in the air.”
“Right.” Shane tapped his comm and contacted his chief engineer. “Sprout, begin repairs immediately. We will need to work around the clock. The sooner we leave this world, the better.”
Sprout—real name John Higgins—gained his nickname because of his small stature. “Yes, Captain. Right away. I’ll do my best.”
“Buster? Bio signs in the vicinity?”
“None, Captain. Not close to us. The city appears to be deserted. If I zoom in, I detect thousands of humanoid bio signs at the base of that mountain.”
“Strange. Why wouldn’t they run the other way instead of going toward the volcano? Phasers on stun. Just in case.”
Cynthia exclaimed, “Look, the horse is circling the peak.”
It was a sight to behold—the giant horse with its huge fiery wings slowly flapping as it circled the peak several times.
“It’s beyond my comprehension how that horse and rider emerged from an active volcano, but if they are any indication of the population, Lord knows what we’ll come across. Giants? Does everyone have their equipment? Oxygen masks?” Shane looked from one to the other to see them all nodding. “Let’s go.”