As it turned out, Avery was fine.
Walsh and I had been walking for a good few hours when suddenly someone spun out from behind a tree, held a blood-slicked knife against my back and whispered in my ear.
I slammed the butt of my rifle into the assailant's stomach and then turned and placed my bayonet right up against their throat.
She laughed, slightly hysterically I noticed, and batted away my blade with the back of her hand.
"Avery!" Walsh had evidently noticed the Lance-Corporal's reappearance.
"There you are, lughead." Avery disengaged herself from me and bumped fists with the Sergeant, who was grinning behind his visor. "You need to keep this guy on a leash, sir, he almost impaled me back there." There it was. Reunited less than 30 seconds and already I was being insulted.
"Where's your helmet?" I asked, changing the subject before Walsh could respond.
"One of those sharp buggers slashed through the visor, so I slashed through his arm." I looked down to see that what I first thought was a knife was actually a thin, matte-black claw.
"Y'all killed one of those things?" Walsh butted in, looking visibly impressed.
"More than one, sir. I've been fighting them since the sun-set."
"Fighting them? How?! They move so fast..." I was shocked. She seemed slightly amused by my outburst.
"Just because you're too slow, doesn't mean we all are."
"Hey, this kid's actually not too shabby. He helped me out of a pretty sticky situation earlier. How many Entity soldiers'd you kill, Phoenix?"
"About 5 or 6, sir."
Avery snorted in amusement. "What, were they asleep at the time?"
"Can we just move on?" I sighed. Walsh laughed at my discomfort.
"We best not hang around long. The more ground we cover, the more chance we'll bump into Lt. McAndrew."
"McAndrew's been captured." said Avery.
"I heard a large firefight off in the distance a few hours after we crash landed, and when I got there I saw him being thrown into the back of a flying vehicle, still kicking. I'd have gone in and done something, but there were forty plus foot mobiles guarding the ship. After a couple of minutes it took off and flew North - that's where I've been heading."
"So, he's still alive?" I asked, fearing the answer.
"Well, my guess is that they wouldn't have bothered with the effort of capturing him if they were just going to kill him anyway."
"Good point. North, right? Let's move out." Interjected Walsh. He was taking authority, now that there was a goal.
Avery took point, practically dancing through the trees.
"Oh, you won't need those lights on anymore," she called back, "those things won't come near me anymore."