Nobody can hear a scream in the vacuum of space, or so they say.
I tried to push the stupid thought out of my mind. Now was not the time for all the trivial blasts of information my mind was so used to spewing. A brief image of my mother fluttered through my mind before I forced myself to open my eyes. They closed again involuntarily as the sound came through my com.link. Nobody can hear a scream in the vacuum of space… Or so they say. They were probably ignorant of the fact that we have com.links built into our suits. His scream was truly deafening.
Open, damnit. Open! I thought, forcing my eyes open once again. Not the camera… I hoped. I couldn’t get a clear visual on that sector. I checked the vitals panel again just in time to watch the fast beeping line blink out.
“Fuck!” I shouted, bringing my fist down on the prompt. Maybe a small piece of me believed it really was an error. But there was no error. This was nature telling us what we had always known was true – there is chaos in order. The two are one in the same. As much as we can try, we do not control it.
Locus Musculus is what we named them, but they’re far beyond the animals we pretend they are. Bodies as long as ten of our vessels.
“Henshaw!” I called out, pressing my fist down harder onto the panel. Of course, no reply came. I dropped to my knees, my breath fogged up my visor. I could only imagine him being torn apart. There was no question about it.
My mothers face came into my mind again with flashes of old memories. The two of us cuddled up together reading from old graphotapes. The tiny holographs accompanied with little floating words. “And what makes this large one here so important to us?” She would gently ask me with a kean smile. I followed her sleek outstretched finger towards the floating image. “We use them to fly!” I giggled back to her. The sounds of hacking and retching with all its glorified gurgling brought me back to reality.
“Turn off your com.link damnit!” I shouted at my distraction, “You’re gonna make me chuck, Benson.” He may be an idiot, but for once we felt the same.
I looked back up to the screen overhead, a large optical system with cameras, sensors, and various other features and displays. The image was as it had been before — large orange spheres; the eggs (if you can call them that) of the great whale itself. Our vessel was still placed alongside the beast's dark left side. RIght where we should be, in order to harvest our priceless cargo. A loud clang on the hull of our ship pulled my attention away from the monitor.
“Get your suit back on this ship, now!” I shouted at Benson. Silence was the only reply. “Benson!” I hissed into my visor. Another loud clang about five meters in front of me. Pulling up vitals again I kept my eyes focused on where the noise had come from. “We have to cut our tethers and push off.” I said to Benson, outlining our escape protocols.
I began to head down towards the door to the control room. I paused at the door, eyeing the ceiling once more before I ducked out onto the bridge. My mind was racing. How could this have happened when we were so careful?
I tried to recall the exact protocol for this situation. “Fuck the protocol.” I whispered to myself.
Each ship has three tethers. If we cut the ties, we are free of the beast and can leave. All should be accessible in the engineer dock, located on the bottom level of our ship. The main hatch used for boarding and disembarking was, of course, on the second level. I was torn between heading straight to the tethers or assisting my crew with getting back inside.
Who am I kidding? Crew? Hardly, anymore. It’s really just Benson left to worry about.
Jaxton’s scream was still rattling around in my head. By the time I stopped my mind from picturing Jaxton’s generous smile, I was pulling my finger away from the button labeled “2”. I guess that I’ve made my choice.
The door opened to the main hatch and I peered out into the lobby. It was empty. I rushed over to the Gateway, the large energy field that sealed the ship's interior from open space.
“Benson!” I called out through the com.link.