Siren of the stars.

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Science Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
Short science fiction story.

Submitted: January 02, 2010

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Submitted: January 02, 2010

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The Siren of The Stars sailed noiseless through the void of space. To it's left two gas giants drifted, slowly pulled in an endless rotation of a distant sun. Captain Ross Harolds gazed out the command console's window at their majestic beauty, one a deep ocean blue, its comrade a lava-flow red.

  A flashing light on the intercom panel, situated on the right side of the viewing post,broke the captain's admiration.

"What is it?" Harolds snapped, barely hiding his annoyance.

"Davidson, we found him dead in the cargo bays," the voice said in panic.

"I'm on my way," Harolds answered, his green eyes turning to slits, as he ran a shaking hand through the graying black hair.

  Marching stridently down the ship's wide curving corridors the Captain met few of the two hundred crew aboard; a solitary cleaner here, a couple of maintenance people there.
 
  He reached the sealed doors of the cargo holds after half an hour, which was good going on a ship of this size. He stood Entering a code the doors slid silently open. Inside three of the security detail stood over the mangled remains of Davidson. Harolds winced, as he noticed the unnatural angles of the dead man's legs.

  Regan, a small, stocky, bug-eyed man, with tussled brown hair that clung tightly to his scalp, looked directly at his Captain, as the doors closed behind the officer. Henderson, a blond block of muscle, toyed with the gun in his holster his almost blue eyes staring down, fearful, at the broken corpse. Weller, their Chief, turned, and saluted the captain, his hazel eyes unreadable, beneath the shaven dome of his head.

  Captain Harolds walked round the deceased a couple of times, taking in the grotesque scene.

"Report, Weller," he said in a clipped tone coming to a halt.

"We came across Davidson about forty five minutes ago. Looks like he fell from the walkway above. Hard to tell if it's an accident, or something more sinister. The corpse remains in the position we found it," Weller shifted his feet uneasily. "That's all we have at the moment, Sir," he finished.

"Suicide?" Harolds said, arching an eyebrow.

"Unlikely, doesn't fit his profile. Davidson was a psychiatrist, hardly likely to kill himself," Weller intoned.

"Hmm, this is a disaster. The first long range spacecraft launched from earth, and we have a suspicious death aboard. Hardly the stuff of Legend. Is it?" The Captain hissed.

Weller looked ashamed. "No, hardly," he shrugged.

"Do some forensics on the body, bag it, and keep this quiet. No need for a panic. Weller I want that report ASAP You got that," snapped Harolds.

  Weller nodded, his face grim. Harolds departed, the three security men flicking crude signs at his back as he left.

"Alright boys, cordon off this bay. No one gets in," the shaven headed Chief ordered.

While his men moved off, he knelt down taking a closer look at the body. Gently lifting the dead man's head he examined the back of the skull. Wellers breath caught, as his fingers ran across a soft line in the skull. For about the width of two fingers, the skull became spongy, splintered. This was no accident, or suicide. This man died from a blow to the head, not from throwing himself off the walk-ways high above. Whoever killed Davidson attacked him from behind, tossing the dead,or unconscious man over the rail. A cold shiver ran between his shoulders.
****

  The computer screen flickered lighting up the tanned face of Harolds. Information, ran in detailed lines down the screen, cargo, crew, and supplies. He wasn't looking for anything specific, just routine stocktaking. Wellers visage blinked into existence in the top right hand corner of the screen. Harolds closed the stocktaking report, putting weller full screen.

"News? Mister Weller," he asked, anxiously.

"Yeah we got a murderer on the ship. Davidson was struck in the back of the head with a blunt instrument, and pushed, or fell from the walkway. What's you're orders Captain," Weller said, his image fuzzed in, and out.

"Just keep this quiet, for the moment. You bag that body."

"Yes Captain. We bagged it."

"Put it in deep freeze then. I'm coming down, you, and me are going to take a good look at that walkway," Harolds commanded.

"Right Sir, I'll wait here for you." His image faded from the screen.

  Harolds, and Weller carefully walked along the steel walkway, dimly lit by strobe lights. Scanning their surroundings, all they came up with were a few disparate threads of a uniform, snagged on the sharpened burr of the rail.

"Not much to go on," sighed Weller.

"No, but at least It shows somebody was here," consoled the Captain.

"I'll cross match this with Davidson's uniform, at least then we'll know," Weller bagged the evidence as he spoke.

"Right, I've have to go. A meeting with the science department. You tidy up here," informed Harolds.

"No problem," the security Chief assured.

  Weller double checked the area, and returned below to the cargo bay. His trained eyes surveying the ground where the dead man was found. So intent on his investigations, he never heard the soft steps of boots creeping up behind. A black gloved hand violently gripped his mouth, Weller let out a muffled cry. Too late, the blade flashed before his vision, just before it plunged into his neck. Hot blood flowed out, seeping into the collar of his black shirt. The cargo bay grew dark as the knife struck again, his breathing slowed, the room slipping from sight.

  His attacker bent down, wiping the blood-slicked blade on the twitching figure. The last thing Weller ever heard were the foot-falls of his killer as he stepped away.

  Henderson repeatedly hammered on the door, his fists' hurting by now. A weary Harolds opened the door, dressed only in a blue dressing gown, rubbing his eyes'.

"What's eating you? Henderson," he said round a yawn.

"Somebody fuckin' killed Weller. He's lying in the same spot as Davidson, his fuckin' throat slit ear, to ear," blurted the burly man.

"What? Jesus Christ! Take me there," said a stunned Captain.

Weller lay in a pool of his own blood, a ragged smile carved under his chin. Henderson, and the Captain were the only people there. Harolds felt the dead security mans' neck.

"He's still warm, so it can't have happened long ago. Here check for yourself," advised Harolds stiffly rising from the gruesome mess.

Henderson took his Captains advice. He didn't know what hit him. Harolds did, it was a bronze statue he'd won as a young cadet in the space core. Relentlessly he pummeled the big man, his blond hair turning red as the blood flowed. Harolds placed the statue back into the pocket of his gown, his breathing coming in great heaves.

  Harolds sat at his command console, the lights reflecting of his twisted features'. With a rictus grin upon his face he opened the intercom channel.

"ALL MEMBERS OF CREW REPORT TO CARGO BAY SEVENTEEN. REPEAT. ALL MEMBERS OF CREW REPORT TO CARGO BAY SEVENTEEN. THERE BEEN A MAJOR INCIDENT. THIS IS FOR YOUR OWN SAFETY. YOU HAVE ONE HOUR. THIS IS YOUR CAPTAIN THANK YOU," he laughed as he lifted his finger from the button.

The hum of excited, and fearful conversation filled the cargo bay. Reagan stood nearest the door,where the hell were Weller, And Henderson. His thoughts were interrupted by the crackle of the speaker above.

"WELCOME, MY CREW. WELCOME TO YOUR FIRST, AND LAST LESSON ON THE BEAUTY OF THE UNIVERSE. IF YOU LOOK TO THE DOORS AT THE REAR, YOU'LL FIND THEY'LL BE OPENING SHORTLY. DRINK IN THE VIEW, ENJOY, FOR NOT MANY HAVE THE CHANCE THAT YOU WILL HAVE. DON'T THANK ME. NO THANK THE UNIVERSE. YOU'RE SO LUCKY." the speaker went dead.

The crew rushed for the door, flinging their bodies at the strengthened steel, it was no use. Reagan roared at them to move, as he leveled his pistol at the lock. Too late, the gigantic bay doors ground into life behind. The whistle of air escaping out into space followed. Then silence, as people drifted off towards the ever increasing gap. Reagan struggled to hold his breath, as all about him the wide-eyed crew floated to their destruction. His last thoughts being, Captain you bastard.

  Captain Harolds stood watching the fading gas giants for a week, before blowing out his brains with his weapon.

SPACE FLIGHT # 13345 REPORT BY DOCTOR BERTRAM
Captain Harolds ship The Siren Of The Stars was retrieved in the Nexus Quadrant. All crew being( bar the Captain, and his three murder victims.) jettisoned a week beforehand. This is the first occurrence of the problem known as DSS ( Deep Space Syndrome.) As yet no cure has been found. Some Human minds cannot cope with the greatness of the Universe. The mission lies moth-balled until we find a way round this problem.


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