You Can’t Hear the Screams in Space
During the sleep cycle, only the thumping whine of the turbo ion generators could be heard reverberating through the space station. Everything else powered down to maintain the crew’s twelve hour stasis pods. Only the skeleton crew of three stayed awake and active, two to monitor the bridge in case of emergency or a glitch in the tech and one in the pod chamber to supervise the machinery. Usually stasis duty was routine, boring even, but tonight at least one of the crew felt nervous and uneasy.
“You don’t think the stories are true, do you?” Harry Jones showed a half-smile, running his hand through the unruly brown mess that he called a hairstyle.
“What? That every ten years the crew of this place ends up dead? That some alien ninja appears and kills everyone on board save one soul to tell the tale?” Remy Girard snorted. “That’s how the story goes right? How the officers warn us enlisted plebes. It’s just to psych us out, Harry. Come on, it’s big joke. Could be based on a case or two of space psychosis, but there ain’t no ninja alien.”
“Yeah, you're right. A big joke.” Harry laughed unconvincingly. “This place gets to me sometimes is all. You know what I mean.”
“I agree, it’s creepy at times. Especially during stasis. It’s so quiet—”
BWEEOH! BWEEOH! BWEEOH! In sudden contradiction to Remy’s words, alarms flared on the bridge.
“What the… shit, the stasis pods are failing! Where the hell is Jennie? Why isn't she monitoring?” Remy jumped up from his chair. “Come on, Harry, we got to get down there.”
Remy raced from the bridge to the air lift, Harry quick on his heels, and they hurtled through the station to the stasis chamber, their panic growing exponentially.
The lift finally arrived and the doors shot open. Remy and Harry tumbled out, expecting… and stopped dead in their tracks.
“Oh, My God!”
As far as they could see, stasis pods were open and the crew inside were dead, their throats slit. Blood was spattered everywhere, and in the midst of the carnage stood the killer, holding a long, sharp bladed weapon.
A killer dressed in black, the spitting image of a ninja. Staring at them with yellow alien eyes that used to be human. A human named Lieutenant Jennifer Harper.
Harry took a step forward, in disbelief. He couldn't fathom what he was seeing.
“Jennie? Is that you?”
Jones heard Remy’s voice behind him, panicked and quavering. “That’s not Jennie. Not anymore. Run, Jones, run.”
Harry Jones heard Remy fleeing, but he didn't move. He looked at the blood leaking from the open stasis pods, the blood of people he was supposed to protect. He watched it pool on the floor as he faced their killer. The thing that had once been his friend.
And Harry Jones, meek ensign of Space Station Omega 9, got angry.
“You damn murdering alien!” He pulled his plasma sidearm and started shooting and didn't stop until the charge ran out.
A world away, observing everything on a view screen, two scientists witnessed the ninja alien that once had been Jennie Harper transform into a scorched corpse.
The man on the right turned to his colleague, a surprised expression on his face. “Well, that’s new.”
“Indeed. We never had a crew member react in such a way before, generally they flee in terror. A pity we lost a parasitic alien specimen, but the post analysis on its physical trauma should be most interesting.”
“As will the psychological assessment of the survivors. We've never had two before.”
“True, true. There should be excellent data from this experiment.”
Mix‘n’ Match primary learning objecting- Exercise your creative thinking and plot development by getting through a story arc using odd story elements. It’s okay if your story turns out quirky or absurd, because completion is key here.
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