The ground vibrates with the pile-driver growl of low orbit thrusters. Quall grits his teeth at the sudden nerves clamouring through his blood; tamps the impending flashback down, hard.
Outside the light is brown, thin suns filtering through urban dust, cutting through the dilapidated stacks of prefab housing rising like piles of uneven shale, like a gargantuan card deck mid-shuffle. Jamming on a filtration mask, he races down an alley, skids to a stop along the cinderblocks. Listens, quick glance down one direction, pushing off in the other. Forcing the panic down, breath ragged in the filters.