The Sand of Time (Part 1, page 1 of 3)

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Part 1

A few years earlier ...

The plane was falling. He felt it with every cell of his body, as if he were one with this wounded machine, fighting in the air for its life. Such wounds inflicted on a huge beast flying through space were incompatible with life. Kai understood that. But he fought, fought to the last.

Fuel leaked from the holes, leaving the huge body drained of blood. The last growls, coughs, groans, and sobs came from a motor beating in death throes.

"Don't die, my friend in battle! You've saved me in this battle, save me now! Do not take with you to this endless blue sky! I want to live so much!"

Kai did the incredible - they were still flying. He kept the machine in the air with the last of his strength. Then he began to descend, realizing that there was no other way out. Beneath them, there was a desert. An endless eternal desert of sand. They couldn't cross it.

The machine was dying. It was dying in his arms. A few more moments - and he would hear the last death whine of the motor - then the end would come for both of them.

It was going down. Now the main thing was to have time to touch the ground, or rather the sand before the engines were turned off.

The earth was rapidly approaching. The machine groaned, vibrated in its death throes.

"Darling, be patient! A little more!"

A tail of smoke lay behind them. Flames flared up, licking the metal, and then extinguished, blown out by air currents.

The plane, like a shooting star, left a trail of smoke in the blue sky.

The surrounding space looked indifferently at the struggle for the lives of two - a huge plane and a man in it.

The plane touched the sand and came into contact with this surface at great speed. They were covered from above by the sand wave lifted by the plane. There was a rumble in his ears. Kai was thrown from side to side in the chair he was strapped to. The plane began to roll over. He heard the groans of twisted metal in his ears - the final scream of a dying machine. And then everything disappeared. Rather, it disappeared for him. He lost consciousness, lost touch with reality, time dissolved for him ...

The plane was moving forward by inertia for some time, but, getting deeper into the sand dunes, it stopped and froze. The tons of sand he had lifted into the air began to return back. This sand, it saved them, it extinguished the flame, strangled the fire, not allowing it to flare up with renewed vigor. There was no ammunition on the plane, they were all used up in the battle. The remaining fuel leaked out into the air. The dead bomber lay in the sand under the arch of the sky, indifferent to everything that was happening.

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