Posted Monday, Mar 10th 2014 @ 22:50

The static is starting to get to me.

I have to keep the radio on. There's no other option. It's my only shot at reaching human contact. My last viable recourse.

I must have sent out that distress signal hundreds of times. Hundreds of times, repeating my call signature. Last known coordinates. Conditions. Rank. I've been stranded, and injured, and alone for days and my last words may be an attribution of the rank of junior officer. I can hear myself saying it, now. "This is Ensign Aaron Rhodes." That, and the static.

That, and the affirmation that nobody's listening. Hundreds of transmissions later, and it still breaks my heart every time I lower the receiver to my hip, and listen back to the low, electric hum of an empty sky.

I was wrong about the provisions. I've stretched three days' worth over at least a week. And I can go longer. But it won't last forever. I've thought about making a break several times. I could walk maybe twelve hours if I leave at night. But I can't seem to leave earshot of the radio. I can't wonder whether the response came as I scouted for higher ground. Whether I squandered my chance for survival because I left the radio. No. I can't take that chance. And so I'm bound to the radio. Bound to the noise.

The static hisses and whirs. As I sleep, my mind threads the noise into whispers; a thousand voices rising in the desert heat as I toss and turn and try to wake but cannot seem to rouse myself to answer. Paralyzed, helpless, I struggle toward the radio. The voices are louder, now. A chorus of wind. They're responding. They're asking for my coordinates.

I draw the dry air into my lungs with a shock, as though I'm remembering how to breathe. I look to the radio. Static. I let out a frustrated, pathetic sound as I drag myself to it. "Please," I say to it, as I reach for the receiver. "Hear me this time."

"This is Ensign Aaron Rhodes of the Algiers. Signature A3802. Please respond. The vessel has crash landed and I am the only survivor. I am unaware of either my coordinates or my exact circumstances. I am injured and dangerously low on provisions. Please. Find me."