They found Skyrider’s chopper years later, in ’73, while cutting through the jungle to build a road. The Cloudburst was shot up pretty bad, but it had also been claimed by the jungle, with its entire chassis and blades covered with strangler figs, entombing it in overgrowth. The crew cut into the chopper to get to Skyrider’s body, and there he was, sitting in the cockpit as if not a day had gone by. He’d been completely overtaken by the fig as well, leaving a vaguely human shape made out of hollow wood, still with a flight helmet on. The fig had gotten in through a 7.62mm bullet hole in the crown, probably the reason the chopper had last been seen speeding away at such an odd angle.

Nobody ever figured out how it touched down safely. Me, I think that there was just enough fight left in Skyrider that he was able to do it before he bled he brains out into his helmet. And, while I’m at it, I can’t think of a better tomb for him. That fig’ll still be there in a thousand years, when everything we were fighting for is dead and gone.

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