Through wood and dell

Harran tucked a wrench in his belt and leapt from the hovering ship’s airlock.

“Jump, Princess.”

“We haven’t landed yet!”

“Waste of time: a ship’s run aground. Must help fellow Man.”

“Ten minutes ago you weren’t bothered!”

“Ten minutes ago I was grumpy … uff!” He caught her and threw her over his shoulder. The splash of his feet in murky pools drowned out the smack of her fists.

“Put me down, put me …” the Princess gargled as he sat her on a mossy boulder.

“Why did you stop?”

“We found the spaceship.”

The Princess looked about.

“Surely it’s obvious.”

The Princess gave him a look which, not an hour ago, had frozen ministers and sent governors to their knees.

Harran shrugged.

“Elaborate,” she said.

“The leaves and branches around this clearing are torn and smouldering. There’s mud splashed up around us. Something crashed here, and recently.”

“You’re forgetting one thing, savage: the dirty great boulder, as big as a spaceship, right where you’re saying they … oh.”

“Yes Princess.”

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