Russian Roulette

Why not? It would be like one of the movies they had enjoyed in between rigorous training sessions. “To beat death, you’ve got to know death,” Shana said. Now that was a movie quote.

“The Mojave Desert, in proximity to the nearest township. When we go down, assuming any one of us lives, send a flare into the air.” The twins, Petro and Pavlo, grinned.

“If you see the flare, head towards it. We’ll be doing this every half hour, all the while keeping moving. Our primary objectives will be to find each other, find water, and…” She looked at her comrades. “…stay alive.”

The tension was palpable. Dmitry laughed. “They sure as hell didn’t cover this in basic training!” Nobody laughed.

“As always, Vladimir—” she nodded at the quiet engineer “—and Dmitry will be piloting. Everyone else, hang on and try not to piss your pants.”

“I hear dehydration’s a bitch!” Dmitry tried again, to weak chuckles.

Anticipation and fear soured the air.

“Iz ognya da v polymya,” muttered Vladimir as the capsules disengaged.

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