Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Post 11- Derelict

Now, depending on how I feel, I may continue this one. It could become something awesome. The following is titled 'Derelict'.


Derelict



It wasn't the cold that was getting on his nerves. No, it was the lack of all pattern; the randomness of his situation, the unknown that could at any time take his life.


Brady was sitting in a command chair with rusted springs. It creaked as he leaned left and right to view the displays layered in front of him like a bunch of cards. Each one detailed some important aspect of the station: monitors, cameras, scans, life readings, oxygen levels, and more de-humanizing numbers. One in particular kept his rapt attention. It was a simple one, intended to allow the ship's crew to assess life loss in certain areas. Currently, the Command Bridge read as 'occupied'.


As if to say that all he was doing was 'occupying' the space. Hmph.


He had been in this station since he landed several years ago. Well, he liked to think it was several years ago. In all honesty he had no idea how long it had been. Perhaps decades. Maybe only days. Time was relative, and in his situation, every moment he was alive and trying to survive in this place lasted.


Even though Brady had learned how to use most of the emergency systems on the station, a few sections of the hull still couldn't be viewed. Either there had been catastrophic failures there, or, more realistically, there simply was no surveillance in those areas. The latter implying that there was no need to watch over them, or something more frightening, a dark thought at the back of his mind that kept coming back: he wasn't meant to see it, or something was there that had turned it off. Each thought intrigued him and left him a goal to reach.


Outside the sun remained undying; it's bright UV rays were dissipated with a dimmed 'windshield' of sorts, so the bridge crew wouldn't be blinded. The massively thick and dense opaque glass circumnavigated the entire bridge, outlaying the borders of the station and allowing a grand view of the solar system and it's bewilderingly shiny star. But as long as Brady watched, nothing changed. And, if by chance something incredibly fortuitous was to happen out there in the cold space of the solar system, he had no way to contact anyone. And, even more likely, he wouldn't even see them.


While he was far from giving up hope, the long days and cold life he was living had taken it's toll, and he needed to get his mind off the endless problems ahead of him. Looking at the readouts for temperature, Brady noticed a small spike somewhere nearby the food and loading bay. Just for the change of pace, Brady stood up, donned his freshly washed 'Crew' jacket and left the bridge.


While not nearly as dark and imposing as a derelict station may imply, it was still quiet, and that was what gave Brady chills. Sounds were always preferred; it allowed him to know where or even what something was, and it gave him warning. But no sounds...no sounds meant anything could come at any moment. Luckily about the only thing he heard over the low din of emergency lights and heating tubes was the sound of his metallic boots clanking along the floor.


The walk was long, but soon he was standing in front of a large sealing door. If he wanted inside the food bay he'd have to open it, so he bent over and turned on the magnets on the bottom of his boots. He stood up and looked over the edges of the door, looking for an access panel that could somehow open it, but it seemed reluctant to release its secrets; there wasn't one. But before long his curiosity won out, and he managed to find a hidden latch attached to a small panel that was flush with the wall. He opened it and saw a single lever, which he pulled, turned, and manipulated in the only way it would go. There was a loud whoosh as the door's pneumatic locks disengaged, and it opened. Immediately it was obvious it still had an atmosphere and gravity, but Brady got a whiff of something terrible. A smell undulating out of the food bay was overpowering, and only getting stronger as the door continued to open. It was as if the entire bay's refrigeration had failed and everything had rotted. In a rush Brady grabbed the jacket and put it on his face as a sort of makeshift filter, and while he could still smell it, the bay wasn't making him sway or stagger anymore. With a loud thud the doors slammed into the opposite side and sat, opened fully. Brady could now listen, and inside, he heard soft sounds and little dings. It was apparently something small, or several small things, moving around inside the bay. The reason for the stench was still beyond Brady's grasp. He stepped over the threshold and crossed a light beam along the bottom of the door's entrance. In a moment likely reminiscent of when the doors were originally closed, the sensor triggered by his foot started to re-close it. 'Started'; there was a single warning tone and then they slammed shut faster than Brady could have anticipated if he had even wanted to get out. If he hadn't already stepped inside, then the pressure from the giant doors would have popped him open and split him in two. Brady remembered there wasn't any sign of a struggle outside the door, and there wasn't anything here, so maybe whatever had been blocked out had managed to get in. That worried Brady.


Walking forward he began to see signs he'd never had on the other levels of the station that pointed to its age. Evidently the food bay had been abandoned a ridiculously long time prior, and it's stocks were crumbling over the counters and left out all over. There were no crumbs here, no bits of left overs, no sign there had been any food except for the containers and their symbols. Indeed, the scent was a mystery. It hadn't killed him or made him pass out, so it wasn't a gas leak; then again, if the station had been offline as long as he thought, all the gas would have dissipated by this point. So what was this stench?


Brady kept walking, but the bay was large and the smell seemed to get worse as he ventured deeper. There was barely any light in the ceiling above, with only the odd pinprick showing the evidence of what used to be there. Ahead, from one of the side rooms in the offices, Brady heard a crash. It sounded like paper or cardboard toppling over; maybe some papers being blown off a desk or something, he thought to himself. He tentatively took a step forward and put his foot down on something wholly different from the metal floor, something so soft he nearly lost his balance. He looked down to see a small circle of dark material oozing out from under his heel. Lifting his foot he saw it was in fact a small scaly oval, nearly flat, bleeding dark blood onto the grating. Brady kicked it over, and recognized it as one of the creatures typically used in trash compactors. It was a bottom feeder, with a mouth underneath its body. Harmless. He breathed a sigh of relief; they were known to give off terrible stenches thanks to their digestive tracts and the long time it took them to process food, which simultaneously allowed them to eat nearly anything and survive for long periods of time. Even, Brady surmised, in zero gravity that had been on many sections of the ship. He had a lot more of these little guys to look forward to.

17 comments:

  1. Nice post. I like how you described every little/minute detail. And not too often do I see the word undulating used. Nice choice. I soooo thought he would find a dead body or something. Maybe I watch too many horror movies.

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  2. Very nice reading, keep it going, i will follow your posts.

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  3. I'm an occassional writer myself..how do you manage to overcome writer's block?
    also, I need to get Support, need regular help

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  4. Sounds like a cool concept so far.

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  5. Good to have your back.

    bigunicorn.blogspot.com

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  6. Continue, continue. 'Tis awesome indeed.

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  7. agh. too much to read.

    still supporting though :]

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  8. I'm truly inspired by your blog! Great to read once again. Keep this up!

    - Pappa Püllï

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