"Calloway! Your drop point is next!"
Reuben clung tightly to his survival pack. The pack and the jumpsuit he now wore were the only things between him and death for the next two weeks. The thought both scared and thrilled him. He had never before felt so intensely... alive.
The shuttle swooped low and the doors opened. Reuben jumped out and then watched as the shuttle became a tiny speck in the sky. The other cadets participating in this survival test would be scattered around the planet. Theoretically, it was possible to find another cadet and team up but it would be difficult and a waste of valuable time. Not a safe strategy to bet on.
Reuben glanced around. Gittern truly was a sight to behold. It seemed to be mostly dirt and rock and fungus everywhere. Mushrooms of every shape and size populated the surface; some small enough to be crushed by his boot, others bigger than full-grown trees.
He could spend hours just starring as the alien setting but that would be foolhardy. His first priority was to find shelter. The second was to find a source of food and water. His survival pack contained enough dried rations to last him two weeks if he really watched how much he consumed. But that was a quick way to lose strength and potentially make him vulnerable. His third priority would be to fashion some sort of weapon. His pack contained a short-ranged pistol but if that somehow got lost, he would be in trouble.
The mushrooms made it difficult to see very far. He noticed, however, that the ground toward the east seemed to slope upward and became rockier. Rocks meant shelter and higher ground meant a chance to scout the area. It wasn't much but it was a start. Besides, he only had a few hours before the seasons changed...