The Undying

You feel so alone.

Ventilation fans buzzed above a body lying on the cold metal floor. Lights from the alarm system flickered in the darkened room, which signaled a once chaotic, but now calm scene. Blood was sprayed on the walls and pooled on the floor as it swelled around the body. The distant cry of a crew member caused the body to jolt back to life.

A gasping breath invaded his lungs as his eyes widened to his surroundings. He climbed to his feet and wobbled slightly as he stood. The red light drew his attention as it swirled. How long he was out, he did not know, but he looked at his torn clothing and examined the damp blood spatter on his shirt. Fear did not strike him, only curiosity. He tried to recall where he was, but could remember nothing.

He heard the gnashing of metal echoing around him and he tried to locate its direction. Taking his first step took focus, as if he was relearning what he mastered so long ago. He looked around for a possible exit, but the room lacked lighting and was sealed shut from the outside.

As he explored, a sudden flash of light invaded the dark. A large monitor illuminated with static. He was drawn to the strange occurrence and stared into its consistent chaos. Within the static, there was a woman becoming clearer as she fiddled with cables from her seat.

The man stood motionless, staring at the computer screen. He noticed how familiar she looked. She had on a strange suit that was similar to what he wore, but hers was not torn or bloodied.

She seemed ecstatic of her find, but he could not understand what language she was speaking. She rambled on for a few moments and then paused, staring at him, as if she was waiting for a reply. He continued to gaze at the screen and noticed the familiarity of the room she was in.

The woman figured the man couldn’t hear what she was saying, so she thought of another way to relay the information. She pointed towards him and then towards the security door on the right. Then she directed her hand up and pointed at her room. After she motioned a few different times she nodded and smiled at him. There was a deep connection from the computer screen, but a disconnect from the man staring idly in reply.

The red light stopped flashing and turned green as a large door opened. He noticed, but glanced back to the screen. She pointed towards the door once more, but a riddle of gunfire forced a short scream before the screen cutout.

The emergency lights flickered and provided poor lighting as the man stumbled out into the hallway. There was an eerie calm about the spaceship with the absence of a crew. Blood streaks trailed into different rooms and also on the walls. Bloodied handprints streaked across the metal and bullet holes were planted into the sealed doors. He walked down the hallway staring at each room, but when it no longer held his interest, he continued to wander.

Stuttering across a glass skyway, he noticed a large vessel hovering above him. It powered on its lights and began scouting for life. As the lights pierced the shadowy halls, a voice echoed through the ship’s PA system. He could not understand what the man said, but he sounded firm in what he was saying. As the voice rambled on, he continued across the skyway and into the main control area of the ship. He saw a large set of stairs that spiraled upward. Pausing for a moment, he looked at the familiar stairs and the bodies idle against the walls. Using the handrail, he pushed himself up the steps to a destination that left him curious.

As he approached the fourth step, he turned to witness the large vessel fire at the ship. Its beam pierced through the glass skyway and followed a path through the living quarters he just walked from. The tearing metal pierced through his ears and the blinding light drew his gaze away from the carnage. He heard screams and wails trail off as the cold nothingness of space breached the newly cavernous halls. A massive fireball shot through the hallway, fighting for more air to consume. The fierce cone flew toward him recklessly as he stared at its circling embers. As the fire was about to cleanse the spiraling stairs with its unbiased flames, the emergency door in front of him closed to keep the craft’s pressure stable. It clashed with the metal, but died quickly with no fuel to sustain its pace.

He peered out of the small window and saw bodies floating in the sea of black, speckled with distant stars. Their clothes were also bloodied and bruised, but they seemed to have perished a second time with the absence of oxygen. Half of the ship laid in ruins as it drifted into a meandering orbit.

The large ship overtook his view as it hovered close to the vessel. The searchlights shot on again and they peeked into the windows of the undamaged area. After he lost interest in the vessel, he continued up the spiraling stairs. Every step seemed familiar; as if it were just by habit that he was walking up them. Each step seemed more in sync with the next. His route brought him to a massive security door masked in blood. Bodies laid themselves on the stairs, marred and wounded both by bullets and gouges.

He saw a small space in the door where a key card would go and he examined it with his hands. Making a swiping motion with his hands, he felt as if he’d performed the action before. The lack of a card left his motion futile, but the action felt right. A few more times he slid his hand down the card reader, eyes glazed over, waiting for the next step.

A small monitor on the door flipped on and she was staring at him again. Her excitement was ridden with a slight fear, but after a short deliberation, she opened the door.

Next to her was a man that also looked familiar, but he held a rifle and judged the man entering. He quickly pointed the gun at him, noticing his bloodied garbs and started talking to the woman. She cried and placed her hands on his shoulder trying to disarm his anger. He turned to her and pointed at him signaling the areas were blood was most drawn on his tattered clothes. He looked down at himself and noticed the areas where he was missing pieces of flesh. Stepping closer to them, he noticed the man’s flush pigment and tender skin. Each detail of his face and also the woman’s seemed soft and appealing.

The man turned back at him and raised his gun quickly, noticing how close his past friend encroached. He yelled at him and tears formed under his eyes. He flipped the safety off on the gun and placed his finger firmly on the trigger. As he carefully aimed for his head, the vessel shook suddenly as the large ship latched onto the side. The bloodied drapes moved quickly, and pounced onto the man, disarming him of his gun and pressing him firmly to the ground. His flesh seemed more appetizing up close. His cries of agony were drowned out by the loud noises of welding through the side of the hull. The woman screamed as she saw the gruesome scene and cried through an intercom to the other vessel. His attention drew from his previous prey to her as she ran for the gun. She grabbed the rifle and ran to the other side of the room near the welding lights slowly making an entrance.

She turned around and aimed, assuming she was being chased, but instead only saw blood pooled where her friend once was. She trembled and shot wildly around the cabin. The bullets bounced off the metal walls and the piercing growl of the gun was overtaken by the hum of vents when she released the trigger. She turned to see the progress on the welding, but noticed it stopped. The man over the intercom spoke to her as she heard the large ship detaching itself from the hull. She started to cry and sunk to the ground as she heard the quick pattering of feet around her. As the ship detached, the welding holes breached the pressure of the cabin and started to drive air from the room. The rifle sunk by her side as she saw the large vessel steadying itself a safe distance from the ship before turning. The man spoke on the intercom once more before the cannons started to charge.

Hiding behind a pillar, he stood and waited to taste flesh once more. As he felt the air being drawn from the room, he ran from his spot and lunged at the woman. She quickly raised the rifle and shot through his stomach as he latched onto her neck. She held the trigger down, tearing him apart with superheated lead. She raised her eyes to the window, watching the beam charge.

“My life with yours,” she whispered. “That’s what we wanted, and that’s what we’ll get.” He released his grasp and turned towards the window. The bright beam tore through the vessel and every broken promise in its wake.

-Iverson

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