Amanda sat down on the warm rocks, her legs were tired and shaky, her mouth was dry, she’d run out of water about an hour back and hadn’t come across any water out here so far. Her stomach rumbled lightly but she ignored it, she’d been hungrier before, there was still plenty of time for her to find food before she starved. As she caught her breath she surveyed the land, rolling green hills stretching out as far as she could see, gnarled, twisted trees dotted the landscape but there was little else. She glanced behind her and could see the large black plume of smoke rising in the distance, she looked ahead, it was better not to think about that. She still had a long way to go, sighing she stood from the rocks and started walking. The ground was slightly spongy, her feet sinking into it as she walked, it was almost like walking on cushions. The green grass wasn’t as soft as it looked, the blades felt waxy and sharp and occasionally they scratched her ankles as she went. She wasn’t dressed for cross country travel, wearing a pair of shorts and a t-shirt, everything wasn’t supposed to kick off for another two weeks but it made no difference to her. She had planned on bringing nothing, she just wanted off this shit heap of a planet. There was still thirty years left on her sentence and that was thirty years too long.
Amanda could see people in the distance, ten in all, all moving towards the hidden building. Even though she knew it was there it was hard to distinguish, whoever had built it had done an excellent job of blending it into the landscape and it looked just like another low hill, the only difference was the thin green door on one side. She started walking faster, ignoring the ache in her legs, she didn’t want to be the last to arrive. Behind her came a dull roar, faded by distance. She spun around, heart thumping, there was nothing behind her, at least not that she could see. What the hell could make that kind of noise? Most of the planet had been catalogued and she could recall no animals larger than a small dog. What ever made that noise was big. She broke into a light jog. She’d heard rumours of the genetic labs creating Goliaths but she had never really believed them, they were just stories that the other prisoners whispered to each other in the dark.
The door opened before Amanda could knock on it, there was no one on the other side. She entered, turning sideways to squeeze through. Inside was lit by low light casting shadows around the small room. “Please take a seat. We will be departing shortly.” a spotlight lit a single chair, Amanda collapsed into it. It was soft and comfortable, as the restraints lowered over her shoulders she felt herself starting to doze off. The chair jerked backwards, startling her it went down a short corridor and joined a row of filled seats. One or two people were reading, most were sitting silently. Amanda let herself doze.
The rumbling woke her up, the countdown started a moment later. Light flooded the room revealing large windows. Amanda felt that familiar spike of adrenaline and started smiling. The room shook as the ship rose into the air. She watched as the landscape stretched out, giving her a larger view. She could see more plumes of smoke and moving through the haze were giant creatures, impossibly large. They were humanoid in shape, two legs, two arms, their bodies were naked, she could make out little else. Then the ship was too high and they were out of view, people were muttering to one another. Amanda closed her eyes and took a slow, deep breath, she was finally free of that place. Everything else was secondary.