The Blonde Returns

April 9, 2012 in general by Aemeth

The blue light flickered against the wreckage of the space ship, mist seeping out from one of the back rooms.  They had been hit hard.  No one had seen it coming.

Something was in the cargo they picked up back on a Mars trade station.  There was a thick air of tension as they docked there, mainly due to the pirates that infested that area.  As soon as they headed out from the refill station, there was a commotion from their newly acquired crates.  The engineer had no time to alert anyone to what was happening before his feed was abruptly cut off.

It would be days until his body was found, slashed to bits, his innards consumed.  Whatever had him for dinner, didn’t stay long.   Remaining elusive was its key to survival.

The history of its movement, is this: one hour later, the first mate noticed a series of claw marks in the hallway. The observation was fed in to the system log along with an urgent message to everyone else.

>Who let their pet loose in here?

No one responded.  Ten minutes later:

>Anyone caught with a biological pet on vessel will be responsible for damages.  Your pay will be docked.  Drop the animal off at the next bay.

There was nothing else for a day.  The crew convened for dinner, noticed the engineer was missing, but assumed he was in his room since he was an ornery asshole anyway.  No one suspected he was dead, nor that the shadowy creature would follow them all out of the dining room once they got to a dimly lit area.  Three crew members broke away into two, and then one.. who took the stairs down to a sweaty, lonely hallway full of empty bunk beds, where she found her own and pulled back the covers.  It wasn’t until she turned around to retrieve her hairbrush that she saw it, and screamed–

Aemeth squinted at the monitor replaying all this back to her.  When a shadow ducked through the hallway again, away from its latest victim, she cringed.  Looked over her shoulder, checked what was behind her.  Nope, nothing there.  Her datapad went off just then, causing her to jump.

“Hello?” she responded, glancing at the movie still going on behind her.

Aemeth had been staying as far away from cities as possible.  She liked orbit, she liked silence.  She appreciated the solitude and the network she piggybacked off of when she “accidentally” drifted by her favorite space stations. But now, her food supply was running low.  That was something a gamer girl such as she couldn’t abide by, and so she would be forced to take up work again.

She negotiated a price that wasn’t too demeaning with the company hiring her, remaining as enthusiastic as she could until she hung up again.  When the call was over, she phoned her brother.  No visits to Mars for a while.

And unfortunately for this client, she would have to come down to Hangars to work.  She wasn’t looking forward to that, either.