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

Submitted: April 28, 2011

A A A | A A A

Submitted: April 28, 2011



S'thaen looked down at the one remaining nourishment wafer. The moment had come at last, he had finally run out of food. His barbed tail lashing and his neck frills laying flat in frustration, he placed that last precious wafer back in the container, then, still holding the container, he fought a momentary wave of dizziness that nearly brought him to his knees.

He was so hungry, and growing weaker by the day. He no longer remembered when he had begun rationing his food. But he knew it had been at least six or seven times that the triple moons had changed their phases.

And that was not good, for a single phase of just the largest of the three moons was nearly two and a half of his kind's m'ryn's. Which, if he could still rely on his wits, meant he had been locked in the hermetically sealed safe zone of the ship for nearly three quarters of a y'dra'an.

The safe zone had its own air supply and ran on a power source that was self renewing. The charge units drew their power from the very engine turbines that they ran in a never ending loop. Unless something broke that loop the ship would run forever.

Not that it did him any good.

His amber cat-like eyes narrowed as with flexing wings he began to pace, staggering now and then as waves of weakness and dizziness would wash over him, forcing him to grab hold of something. His three fingered, taloned hand that was not holding the ration container clenched as he fought to remain on his feet. He thought back to how it had all began...

He and a crew of eleven others had been forced to land on a strange planet after the ship was damaged in a meteor shower.

They had temporarily sealed the damaged area with a portable force field generator that closed the area it was in off from the rest of the ship, but the generator would stop the minute that they left zero gravity and landed. They had meant to begin repairs the moment they landed...

But they never got the chance.

The area they set down in contained a strange, heavy green mist that seemed to undulate and move almost as if it were alive. He had gone back to the cargo bay to get some tools even as they were setting down. He had to pass through the safe zone entry portal to get to the cargo bay and he had barely gotten halfway to the bay when the klaxons went off...

And the safe zone door sealed as the force field activated. He was trapped.

He had rushed to the monitoring station that covered the entire ship and had watched in alarm as that green mist seeped through the damaged hull and quickly invaded the entire ship.

As he watched, unable to escape to warn the others, he noticed something that made his eyes widen, for the mist had begun to separate and go down every single corridor and into every part of the ship, almost as if it had a form of intelligence and purpose.

But the greatest shock had been yet to come, for as he watched in stunned disbelief, that mist had come up behind, then covered, his best friend, T'nyr for just the briefest of moments, then moved on...

Leaving behind nothing but a skeleton where only moments before T'nyr had been sitting at the controls. And as the mist had moved on, it seemed to have grown.

Helpless, he watched the scene being repeated time after time as the mist moved throughout the ship, till none were left save himself.

And then he watched in growing horror as that silent menace began to gather at the head of the hallway leading to the safe zone...

And to come down it towards the door.

He did not know how long he stood staring at the monitor that showed the mist outside the door, roiling and twisting against the force field, but he did not relax until he saw it move off.

He watched as it made its way through the ship and back out through the breach in the hull.

He stood watching that place for what seemed like days, unmoving, not taking his eyes from that screen in case the mist returned. When it became apparent that it had indeed gone, he collapsed into a nearby chair as the tension left his body.

He did not know how long he sat there before it finally began to sink in...he was doubly trapped, both by the mist and by the security system that had kicked in the moment it sensed the strange presence of the mist in the ship.

And as he realized that, he also realized that he would be wise to check for what foodstuffs had been stocked in the safe zone. Water was no problem, as the ship was built to draw moisture from the air itself.

He discovered that there was enough food that, if he rationed himself, he might be able to last till a passing ship responded to the automatic emergency alarm that played in every known language in that part of the galaxy.

He returned to the monitors that covered the entire exterior of the ship and found that the mist had totally enveloped it in a heavy layer.

What he did not know was that the mist muffled sound to such an extent that the emergency alarm simply bounced off of it. There would be no help coming.

At first he ate once at sunrise and once at dark time, but it was not long before supplies began to run low, even though they had been meant to support twelve of his kind.

He paced, watched the monitors, and read ship maintenance manuals. And he slept much of the time. But eventually the day came when, after taking stock of his dwindling rations, he made the grim decision to only eat once a day.

It bought him time, but during that time he grew weaker and weaker and began to feel ill.

That had been nearly nine weeks back. And now he had one remaining nourishment wafer left.

As he paced,8 another wave of weakness hit and he stumbled over to the bunk, then lay down, still clutching the food container like a talisman, almost as if he was afraid to release it.

He did not know how long he lay there, looking out the porthole over the bunk at the night time, star filled skies. As eyes drifted closed, he had a rather strange thought, "Sometimes in the silence you can hear the stars speaking to each other."

It was the last thought he would ever have as the food container fell to the floor from his lifeless hand.

© Copyright 2020 MARANTHA JENELLE. All rights reserved.

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