Terror in the Cosmos

Reads: 213  | Likes: 3  | Shelves: 2  | Comments: 3

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Flash Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

Josette, an engineer on the spaceship Echo, is the last living human amidst former crew-members. Can she reach the safety of the escape pods on Command Deck, or will she become nothing more than another victim?

 

 

 

Star-filled bay windows flashed past. Jo couldn’t stop to admire the new galaxy now. Her thick-soled boots pounded on the metal floor. Her ragged breath sounded in her ears; not quite drowning the wailing alarms. She tore around a corner and slid in a pool of blood. Another body. Another nameless crew member.

 

“Damn it!” She rasped, skidding to a stop.

 

She raced back and dropped to her knees beside the body. Beaten to a pulp, covered in scarlet, but wearing a white uniform. All of Echo’s command crew wore white.

 

“C’mon…c’mon…”

 

Her pale hands frantically searched the pockets.

 

An inhuman, high-pitched scream made Jo’s heart stop. The sweat coating her skin turned ice-cold. Every nerve burned. Her joints became jelly. 

 

“Shit.” She breathed.

 

She yanked the white coat open; gold buttons scattered. Clipped to the inner pocket was what she sought. With a moan of relief, she snatched the laminated card and staggered to her feet. Another, louder scream sent her running for the atrium stairs.

 

She took the wide steps two at a time, tripping on the last when the lights suddenly went out. As her stomach plummeted the lights flickered back on. The ship groaned and shuddered. If she didn’t reach the command center before all the systems failed…

 

“Where…Where…” She lifted her wrist.

A black device was strapped to her arm. A glowing green screen displayed a map of the ship; a brilliant red arrow showed her location. The cafeteria and recreational facilities were to her left. Observation Deck was dead ahead. Administration and Command offices were to her right. There would be elevators in each section, but only one led to the Command Deck.

 

Jo hurried to regain her feet as the lights flickered again. She made for the Admin and Command section. The security director’s office was the first she passed. Her stomach turned at the sight of the blood smeared windows. The lights on the authorization terminal were dark. She threw up her arms to cover her face, and ran head-on towards the glass barrier. She fell to the floor on the opposite side; her green engineer’s jumpsuit protecting her from most of the glass. 

 

Something crashed behind her, followed by a scream. Too close. She scrambled upright, cutting her hands on the glass. Empty room after empty room blurred by. Ahead, the silver doors of the elevator. The security panel still glowed blue. She was nearly there!

 

A figure rocketed into her path. It came from a corridor leading to the medical wing. Smashing into the opposite wall like a cannonball.

 

Jo lurched into an office, vaulted the desk, and crawled into the space underneath. She held her knees tight against her chest. A terrified child. She could hear it coming. Creeping. It exhaled harshly, then inhaled in a purring snarl. 

 

It was in the office. Close to the desk. a grey-white hand gripped the edge of the desk. It had climbed on top of it.

 

Jo pressed a hand to her mouth. Hot tears poured down her cheeks. 

 

The second hand appeared. She recognized the championship ring of Wyatt Morgan. His hands. His rattling breath. It would be his face snarling over the edge next. She saw the top of his dark, curly-haired head. Then his forehead; once ebony now ashy grey, scored with black veins.

 

Jo squeezed her eyes shut. She didn’t want to see it. Didn’t want to look death in the-

 

The scream echoed down the corridor. Another one was nearby. Wyatt shifted on the desk above. His hands vanished. His feet hit the floor. At the second scream, Wyatt took off running; sounding his own scream in reply.

 

Jo remained crouched under the desk. Relief trickled through her numb body. Her lungs burned as she gulped in oxygen she’d been withholding. She crawled out and peered over the desk. The snarls and screeching of Wyatt and his competitor sounded like raptors from Jurassic Park. Without wasting another second, she darted from the office. She made it to the elevator and slammed her palm against the digitized surface.

 

“Identification Code.” An emotionless computer demanded.

 

“Josette Dekker. Engineer Nine-One-Nine-Two. Section Alpha twenty-twenty.” She blurted out.

 

The snarling increased in intensity.

 

“Commencing scan.” 

 

“Sonofa-.”

A brilliant wave of blue progressed slowly from the top of her head to her torso. It would catalogue everything. Her wild blond hair. Bruised and bleeding skin. Soiled green jumpsuit. The fear plain on her face. It could see and understand everything. 

 

“Complete.” Compassionless. “Access Granted.” The doors slid open.

 

“Stupid machine.” She ducked into the car and slammed the door button closed. 

 

The command deck control was locked behind a panel. Using a screwdriver from her pocket, she wrenched the door open. A green grid panel flickered on. She slapped the card onto it. A red light scanned the information.

 

“Commander Adam Conrad, confirmed.”

 

“Thank you, Commander Adam.” She breathed as the elevator moved upwards.

 

In seconds the car stopped and the doors slid open. Jo stood gazing into the control room. Command Deck. A place only the top engineers saw. The place were the escape pods waited. Where another figure waited.

 

“Permission to come aboard…Captain…” Her voice sounded weak and thin.

 

The Captain—former Captain—stood in a predatory crouch. Liquid black eyes fixed on Jo’s face. Scarlet stained mouth twisted in a leer. Regal red uniform torn and stained darker red in spots. With legs like lead, she stepped out to meet him. Nothing but a screwdriver in her hand. Over his shoulder she could see the bank of pods charged and waiting.

 

“Ever play Spread-em, sir?” She asked stupidly. 

 

The Captain snarled as she held up the screwdriver, the metal between her thumb and forefinger. 

 

“Normally it’d be throwing a knife at your feet…” She raised her arm slowly. “But…under the circumstances…we’re changing the rules.”

 

Before he could lunge, she flicked her wrist, letting the screwdriver fly. There was no way it would stick, let alone cross the distance between them. She’d aimed for his eyes, hoping it would be enough.

 

Time seemed to slow. 

 

She moved towards him. Ducking around his grasping arms. The screwdriver bounced harmlessly off his chest. His fingers scrabbled at her back, her hair. 

 

She launched herself towards one of the open pods.

 

She was too far.

 

It was all for nothing.

 

To have come so far only to be-

 

IN!

 

She’d made it into the pod! The hatch sealed securely. The captain smashed his fists against the glass, but it held firm. Jo grinned weakly and flipped him both middle fingers. The captain roared and pounded.

 

“So long, Sir. Consider this my resignation.” She entered the exit protocols and a countdown began. 

 

Nothing had felt so sweet as seeing that countdown hit zero, see the captain slip away, the entire ship to disappear overhead. She was finally going home.

 

She leaned her head back and closed her eyes. Breathing slow and deep. A smile lingering on her lips.

 

 


Submitted: May 14, 2020

© Copyright 2021 C A Sechler. All rights reserved.

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Comments

Celtic-Scribe63

Now that was a rollicking good, fast paced, adrenalin, heart pumping ride.
Conjuring up images of, Alien and one of my all time favourite console games, Dead Space. a nail biter, tension builder.
loved it.

Thu, May 14th, 2020 8:16am

Author
Reply

Woot woot!!! Thanks for the read, comment, fan, and unless I’m mistaken, the shelve! It’s been too long since I’ve written; spent too long trying out genres that I wasn’t comfortable with. All I have to say now is...I LIVE!!! And ready to serve up more chills and thrills!! Also, Alien 100%, however I’ve only seen Covenant so far (trying to get my hands on all movies) and Dead Space, if you can, tell me everything. I’ve seen the game and have been intrigued.

Thu, May 14th, 2020 8:42am

Celtic-Scribe63

OMG! you haven't seen Alien!
One of my all time favourite movies, its style, tension building, cinematography, soundtrack, all have been mimicked in every sci fi since its release. The Big screen is where it shines the best. The first 2 are the best, although I quite like, Alien 3 as well, the directors cut on bluray is the one to watch on that, as is the same for Aliens.

Dead Space, is a frantic, spooky, thrill ride, full of blood and gore. Being locked in a room full of creeping, and screaming alien necromorphs, and having to survive 3 minutes while some geek tries to override the dodgy locks, now that is frantic! You have to play it in the dark with your headphones on, if it doesn't creep you out then you must be dead! lol.

Thu, May 14th, 2020 5:54pm

Author
Reply

Eurmygurd!!! I’m sold. Dead Space is on the list. I’m definitely going to watch Alien...hm...maybe Netflix...binge watch the whole series...aw hell who needs sleep?! Thanks again!!!

Thu, May 14th, 2020 11:03am

hullabaloo22

Total non-stop action, C.A. You did a great job at conveying the urgency of the moment.

Thu, May 14th, 2020 6:52pm

Author
Reply

Thanks, Hully!!! I’ve been trying to use the senses more, kinda forgot a few in this one, but it was a blast to write!

Thu, May 14th, 2020 12:24pm

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