The Comet Knight - Chapter 1 by R.R. Schultz

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SUMMARY: A knight falls to the surface of a planet.

The Comet Knight
By R.R.Schultz

Chapter 1 - Fall from grace

"Your deeds are unforgivable. You are guilty of murdering in anger. You are guilty of murdering while in a rational mind. You are guilty of the eradication of knowledge, and of stunting an integral scientific project. You are also guilty of supporting a dictator, with the intent to overthrow our governance. By order of the Minds of Pegagon, you are banished from our kingdom. You no longer have the right to orbit. May the Chance of Life bear the decision on your descent to the planet's surface."
The calculations were impossible for the knight to comprehend. If he landed in deep water, he might sink far down and starve while trying to walk up to the surface. If he landed on the wrong side of a mountain, or against bedrock, his armour wouldn't hold him together. It would be wise to aim for a muddy river or a dense forest, but with the speed of the kingdom's orbit, and the curve of the planet, he couldn't anticipate the terrain he would fall upon. The choice of the moment was his. The Chance of Life meant that no other person could decide exactly when he would be free. It hardly mattered, looking at the planet unravel far below him. What mattered to him was what felt like a good time to let go. Brixon had always talked about faith in intuition, and she had survived freak events where most others were finished. When he was younger and more naive, he had doubted the validity of the seventh sense, but years of winning fights, and living ahead of death, had converted him to new beliefs.
His gloves embraced the frame of the door, as he spaced his feet to match his shoulder-width. The more he watched, the more he tried to judge what kind of land would appear over the horizon next. He wished he had studied the planet more. He wished he had removed himself from their politics. He wished he was banished via shuttle. He wished for another day to live. Stop looking, his childhood voice told his adult self, Stop trying to figure it out. He closed his eyes, yet in the darkness shades of red played about. Count to eight, then just do it. It was groundless advice for a groundless man, but just as likely to work out for him. One. It was all a matter of chance, a play with fate. Two. His sentence was already passed. Three. He couldn't turn back. Four. He was already dead to his friends and enemies. Five. He had done it for them, with them, but only he was caught. Six.
His knees bent on their own, and his arms swam back, sending him forward. I thought I was going to jump on ‘eight'? What happened? The silence, which he thought he had within his helmet, was replaced with the deafening rhythm of his heavy breaths, and the fierce drumming of his accelerating heart. Brixon had once laid her hand on his chest, and he liked to think that she could feel him beating. His head looked up, at least whatever ‘up' was to him then. It must have been forward. He couldn't wait in darkness anymore, clueless and unexpecting. He opened his eyes to judge where he was heading, but he was heading into a field of cloud, and what lay beyond was still a mystery.

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