Nobody can hear a scream in the vacuum of space, or so they say. That doesn't stop me from screaming inside of the aptly-named spaceship, The Screaming Agony, with every bit of breath I can manage. Partly out of sheer, excruciating pain.
Partially out of utter spite.
I never wanted to be here. Not on this damned ship. Not on this cold slab of metal my former shipmates - now my tormentors - have the audacity to call a medical table. Not splayed open before them, delivering the unwanted spawn of one of them in the crudest way.
The next scream I loose is one of jagged agony. There is no dulling the pains of my labor; we were not equipped to handle this situation. Not that it even matters to the rest of the crew - none of which will ever be put into the position they have put me into. I grit my teeth and glare at them all, lungs burning with my next throat-tearing screech.
This one, one of pure fucking anger.
Once again, I try to pull at the restraints binding me to the slab. My wrists are bruised, sore, and raw nearly a full day into labor. Everything of mine is exhausted: my lungs ache from so many hours of heavy breathing and screaming, my body overall completely spent and shaking from exertion, and my mind has only two settings right now - unbearable pain and blinding rage. As sweat cools on my body, I shake worse from laying on the cold slab, parts of me numb from my state of extended immobility.
Something seems to be wrong with the delivery; my despicable crew-mates suspect that the unwanted spawn is turned inside the womb. They've been discussing if they should try to turn it around for what's probably only been minutes.
It seems like hours.
Of the eight formerly-respected crew-mates gathered around me, only one is barely sympathetic. That doesn't stop me from baring my teeth at him as he offers to the others to try to right the spawn; I no longer refer to them as people I know, just as insults that match them. As the baring of my teeth is about the extent of what I can do currently, he ignores me and proceeds to start washing his hands after the rest agree that he should try to orient it.
My head falls back against the metal slab as I gasp for air through the next pains of my labor. They seem to have been growing more and more intense, but the pain has been so constant, it is difficult to tell if they actually have or if it's just a result of the duration of my agony. This time, instead of a scream, all I can manage is a gurgled moan.
The barely sympathetic jackass visually examines me as he pulls on sterile medical gloves. While not equipped for births, the ship is geared for some medical emergencies; there is only so much that can be done in space in 2304, despite hundreds of years of growth. The lack of ability to perform deliveries in space aboard ships is precisely why I had been selected to join these men; the other two "reproductively female" candidates had both become pregnant as the date of departure drew near.
"Someone get her some water," he says flatly as he tugs the long gloves into place.
"She's been screaming at us since she found out she was pregnant! Let her suffer!" another crew member snaps back. He's been an absolute dick to me since I was announced as a crew member.
"Given just how this pregnancy came about - and just what she's been put through since - I can hardly fucking blame her! Now get her some water! She's fucking exhausted."
Dickhead grumbles, but leaves the immediate room to get water. A heavy silence falls over the room, leaving my heavy panting as the only noise. I close my eyes as a small bit of relief - a brief moment of less pain - allows me to try and catch my breath.
But now I have a moment to think and assess. The mention of the how I wound up pregnant aboard The Screaming Agony drags up the horrid events of the last twelve months.
I hadn't even wanted to be aboard this ship. I had requested to join another much more suited for the issues of my reproductive needs. But when the other candidates who were supposed to be on this crew became pregnant, I had been asked to join this team. It was a shorter program, so I accepted.
It started out a few months into our program. At first, I thought I was becoming disoriented on the ship at irregular intervals. I was sluggish, tired, and just felt off.
As the first months wore on, however, I began to suspect that someone was drugging me. Possibly even doing things to me while I was unconscious. I would awake, not only feeling off, but feeling physically sore. I would wake with clothing that was either different than what I recalled wearing or the clothes would be inside out or otherwise put on incorrectly. Most suspicious was the sudden, unexplained wet spots I began finding in my underwear in the mornings. I even resorted to wearing the old-style space suits (packed for emergency situations where modern spaceship comforts failed) in hopes that the strange activity would subside, but by then...
By then I was showing early signs of pregnancy.
The dickhead returns with a single serving of gel-water just as another shooting pain wracks through me. With my head thrown back in a gasp, eyes now open, I can see the pleasure he takes knowing that I am suffering so. My jaw clenches so tightly next that I fear I will break my teeth, and he approaches, waiting for the moment I relax my jaw just a little.
When it does, he grips me by the throat, forcing my mouth open roughly so he can shove the gel in. He looks me in the eyes as I struggle to breathe with his fingers digging into my throat and the gel filling my mouth. His sadistic show is short-lived though, as he doesn't want the others to take too much notice of his cruelty. As he pulls away, I am able to swallow the gel-water and gasp for air.
"Everyone step back and give me room," the gloved fucker states, seemingly unaware of the violent interaction that had just occurred feet from him. Self-conscious as he nears, I am barely able to close my knees some due to the restraints. The slight movement doesn't go unnoticed, and the gloved man gives me an amused smirk.
"Now, come on. It's nothing I haven't seen for the last day. Don't you want your bab-"
"Don't you dare... dare call it, "my baby"!" I seethe hoarsely, baring my teeth in a true snarl.
For a moment, he waits, observing me. As my muscles begin to fatigue again, my legs fall apart with the influence of the restraints. He comes closer as I resume panting, another groan growing low in my throat.
"Regardless," he begins, "don't you want all this pain to be over?"
"Haha... Right. This torment... ends with... this delivery, does it?" I reply sarcastically. Who does he expect to feed the unwanted spawn aboard a spaceship? I am expected to breastfeed it and care for it, even after being an unwilling surrogate. "I didn't want... any of this."
Whatever his reaction is, I can't tell, as he has turned his back on me to lubricate the gloves. When he does turn, I can't stand to look at him, so I let my head fall back against the metal slab, waiting for the next level of discomfort.
It comes with the chilly gloves and the fingers within them entering me without much care. As he inserts first one hand and then the other deeper, the pressure becomes increasingly uncomfortable. Long minutes pass as he works to figure out how it is orientated.
"Think I've found the head," he states finally, "it's no wonder she hasn't been able to deliver - it's completely sideways". The discomfort grows as he begins trying to move it into birthing position, until the sharpest pain I've ever experienced forces me to cry out. Following this, he removes his hands from me, claiming, "It's turned. She should be able to deliver now."
Despite the manual turning, there is now more pain than before. Within minutes, we are all aware that something has gone terribly wrong. I can feel it inside of me; something is very wrong. While some tearing has left a cold pool of blood around my hips, as contractions continue, I notice hot gushes. It feels like a lot.
"Shit!" one of the other crew members exclaims, turning to the gloved man. "What the fuck do we do now?" he asks.
"I don't know!" responds the gloved man angrily; he clearly thought turning it would solve the issue.
"We don't have blood on board - if this continues, she'll bleed out!" a fourth crewman pitches in.
Oddly, his words are more comforting than frightening; I'd much rather die than birth and care for the unwanted spawn. As long and rough as the labor has been, I wonder if it will even survive its birth. A rueful part of me hopes it won't, even if it means my own torment and possible demise is all for nothing.
"What else can we do?" the fifth inquires. A moment passes in silence as they all think.
"We could... Could we-?" the sixth member begins, "If she won't make it, should we... remove it?"
"A C-section? We don't have the tools for that! Nor the knowledge - we could wind up killing the bab-"
"Shut...the fuck... up. It's not a goddamn baby to me, you sorry fuck - it's a goddamn abomination!" My outburst leaves them all quiet; they all know I'm right. There is nothing natural about how this unwanted spawn came to be...
The paternity of my despised unborn is unknown. The wet spots I'd found in my undergarments in the first few months of the program was a mixture of all the crewmen's sperm. Part of our program required their frozen specimens - deemed quality specimens due to the status of the reproductively male persons supplying them - to be delivered to another ship where reproductively female persons who actually wanted to be impregnated in space waited. Like those who wanted to be impregnated, I had been artificially inseminated. Except I had never desired children, nor had I even given consent to be used in this matter.
No one has yet been held accountable for this - I doubt anyone will be - nor do we know who it was that did this to me. Was it one man? Multiple? Were they all in on it?
"What should we tell them happened to her? If she..." one crewman trails off.
"The truth," states the utter dickhead, "she died in childbirth."
"They know she wasn't pregnant when she boarded!" exclaims the same crewman as before.
"We can't keep the body anyway - we throw it out, claim she impregnated herself with our samples and died in childbirth. They can't prove otherwise," the dickhead reaffirms.
"All of you, shut the fuck up! She's not dead yet - this is completely unacceptable!" shouts the gloved man, his face red with anger.
I scoff at his rage, "Oh, now you're worried about what's acceptable behavior... That's fucking rich." I watch him balk, grinning softly as things begin to go out of focus. Labor pains wrack my body again, and this time I can feel the stretching as the head of the unwanted spawn finally begins its dreadful emergence into existence. Fear fills me at the realization.
"Oh, no..." I mutter, terrified. My words draw the crew's attentions fully, and they all crowd around again.
"It's close. You're gonna have to push," the gloved man states shakily. I damn near sob as he instructs this. "I know - you've been through a lot. It's almost over. Push."
"Almost over" turns out to be another 2 hours of labor. By the time the unwanted spawn leaves me, I am already unresponsive on the slab, surrounded by my own, cold blood. I can't move. Can't speak. Can hardly even recognize a thought.
A long, mournful silence follows the expulsion of it. A string of cusses break out from various crew members.
"Is it...?" asks one crew member.
"Stillborn. It didn't make it through the birth," replies the gloved man. My heart swells with glee that these deranged fucks won't get exactly what they wanted from me. Then, he walks over to me with it, and nearly lays it down next to me. I use the last of my strength to glare at him and bare my teeth in another, soundless snarl, and he instead wraps the body in a towel and hands it off to another crewman. "She is nearly gone too; we can't do anything to save her now."
"We just... watch her die?"
"Pretty much. She's practically bled out."
Time passes, though how much I cannot tell. My eyes stare unblinkingly. My body no longer responds. Everything is cold and numb; I have so little blood left to keep me warm. I am only vaguely aware as they draw near me again, examining me for signs of life.
They find none.
Despite my semi-consciousness, I am unable - and moreover unwilling - to inform them I'm not quite dead. I am ready for this nightmare to be over, forever. So I let them move my body into a chute, knowing full well what will happen to me once they eject me into open space.
Before they close the chute, one asks if they should place it with me. The gloved man grants me one final courtesy; he states they will launch the bodies separately - in the hopes that I may find some peace in that.
I do - but only just a little.
Nobody can hear a scream in the vacuum of space, or so they say. I'm sorry to say I am unable to test that theory before my life finally comes to a violent end.
About the Creator
A Colorado native and secondary caregiver to her younger brother with special needs, Megan enjoys her adventures in World of Warcraft, various types of documentaries, and making homemade items for the critters and people in her life!
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