Cast in its own light, a slightly rusty plaque at the front of the ship read in large letters:USAF PROELIATOR The house-sized craft rested on the ground for a few moments, its engines slowly whirringdown and the streams of steam dissipating in the lukewarm night air. A sudden sharphissing was heard as a hatch at the back of the ship lowered until it met the ground, forminga ramp into the ship’s brightly-lit interior. The light was broken by a silhouette in the formof a human, silent and unmoving, surveying the area from the top of the ramp. An unknownarrival on an unknown mission.The figure slowly started down the ramp, and as it stepped onto terra firma the lightsinside the ship automatically dimmed, extinguishing the blinding effect and throwing theperson into view. It was a woman, and her appearance was one quite akin to the ship she’d just left. She wore an advanced, hi-tech suit and was decked out in a variety of gadgets andequipment, most noticeable of which was the intimidating and futuristic-looking rifle sheheld at her side. Something about her strict appearance and demeanor indicated she wouldn’t hesitate to use it. A small patch on the chest of her suit identified her read “CAPT.E. AMANTI”.She paused, reached up to her temple where a sort of device was mounted to a smallheadset, and activated a little switch; at once, a powerful beam of light materialized from adeceptively small lens that was affixed there. She slowly looked around, scanning the dark surroundings, the headlight illuminating the ground for dozens of feet before her. Her lefteye was hidden behind a flickering screen mounted to the headset, casting a pale green glow over her face which gave her a slightly sickly look. Even with this however, she was stillremarkably pretty. Her shoulder-length, reddish-blonde hair was tied back in a tight bun,and her deep green eyes, glittering in the ship’s lights, were sharp and calculating as they focused on the Vision Enhancement Display Scanner (VEDS) screen deployed over her face.The enhanced display allowed her to see with superhuman acuity even in the lowest-lit of environments. A slight breeze blew by, rustling her hair. Captain Amanti looked slightly uneasy as shesurveyed the area through her VEDS screen, taking in every detail of the land. She and the
had landed in some sort of vast clearing, where the gentle slopes were covered ina patchwork of grass that struggled to take hold upon the barren soil, the relatively flatterrain broken only by myriads of what turned out to be old, carbonized tree stumps. They were haunting reminders of just how lush with beautiful greenery Central Park used to be,now so very long ago.