Killgrace and the Alien Threat

“Let me.” Yemec tapped a few keys and the machine started the scan. Over the hum and whirr of the machinery, Susan sat down, taking the weight off her legs for a moment.

“Your crew seem a bit nervous,” she said.

“Comms are out,” he said, with a nod to Susan. “And with the storm this bad it always makes the crew more nervous. You can feel very isolated down here.”

“Cabin fever?” She asked, knowing it was unlikely it would hit everyone at once.

“No, we all know the signs and we check for that regularly. No reported cases. Then the Captain died.” There was a brief pause. In the background she could hear the faint groan of metal as part of the station shifted, and she shivered. She knew deep tones and noises below hearing could produce a feeling of doom, but that did not entirely explain the chill down her spine.

“Were the staff on edge before the Captain died?” she asked.

“A little. It’s looking out of the window and seeing colours not stars. It gets to you.” Thank you, Susan thought, for telling me that your civilisation is space-based, not just space-faring. She remembered looking out of the airlock window, at the swirl of colours and mists. For a moment she had thought she saw a face, and then it was gone. It would be very easy for a person’s mind to play tricks on them.

Her thoughts were derailed as a soft chime filled the room. Yemec jumped to his feet easily, as Susan clambered up a little more slowly. Time in this gravity must do wonders for their strength, she thought.

“The analysis is complete.” He blinked at the screen, in obvious surprise. “Nothing.”

“You’re certain?”

“No alien matter at all. No chemicals we would not expect.” There was something he was not saying. She stepped behind him before he could shield the screen, and glanced over his shoulder. The results had her raising an eyebrow, as Yemec glared at her obviously about to protest. She spoke first.

“That alcohol may have come from me when I prepped the slides. I’m not used to keeping a steady hand in high gravity,” she admitted. He relaxed as she continued. “So, so far we know it’s not a disease we can identify, it’s not a virus, and the doctor had a head wound that could be consistant with a blow.”

“But if the doctor was attacked, how does that fit?”

“I need to talk to Megah. Just in case he saw something you didn’t,” Susan said, and Yemec looked up suddenly.

“He did. I remember.” He started walking to the lounge. Susan closed the freezer doors, leaning against the wall for a moment. She knew she was forgetting something, but when simply moving was tiring, trying to fish something out of the depths of memory was not easy. Giving up – she knew the answer would come to her eventually – she left the med bay and followed Yemec’s route back to the lounge, slowly. She was getting used to the extra weight, but it was still tiring. The lounge door was standing open ahead of her and she could hear raised voices.


“Tell her,” Yemec said, as she stepped into the lounge. Megah glared at her.

“There was something moving outside the airlock.”

“What did it look like?”

“A long snake-like thing. Blue, I think.”

“Was it silvery, surrounded by a blue glow?” Susan asked, thinking of the storm clouds, and Megah straightened suspiciously.

“How do you know?”

“Because I saw the same thing earlier.” He blinked, not expecting that response, and turned back to Yemec.

“We’ve reinforced the locks on the workers section, and shut down comms.”

“Won’t that make them panic more?” Susan asked. Megah ignored her.

“Any traitors in that lot won’t be able to stir up the rest, or open the airlocks.”

“Why would someone open the airlocks when they know it will kill them?” she said in exasperation.

“I don’t know. Why don’t you tell me? Alien.” Jayan’s last word was said more as a sneer than a serious accusation. Susan rolled her eyes as her patience snapped.

“Yes, fine I’m an alien. But my type of alien are at war with the evil nasty aliens that have you trapped here, and we’re trying to get you out of the line of fire. That’s why I’ve been sent to help,” she said, far too brightly, in exasperation. Megah stopped, looking baffled. Jayan giggled.

“That sounds reasonable,” he said. Susan blinked incredulously, wondering if he was joking. “Us getting dropped into a warzone would be about fair and funny and typical.”

“OK. We’re going to keep looking into things,” Yemec said, stepping towards the door. As Jayan laughed, he looked at Megah and lowered his voice.

“Megah, watch Jayan,” Yemec ordered. “Don’t let her anywhere near the controls. She’s drunk.”

“Understood.” Suddenly Megah’s suspicions seemed to switch to his companion. Susan backed out of the room and Yemec shut the door behind them. He locked it quickly, giving her a frantic glance.

“That’s not them,” he said, urgently. “They don’t act like that.” Susan swallowed and nodded. On a base like this, the selection process would have chosen the best, not someone who would break under pressure and threaten his commander or someone who would stare at walls giggling.

“Then we need to find out more. Back to the sickbay – you don’t have a seperate laboratory, do you?” He shook his head, and they hurried back to the medical bay. Susan glanced out of the airlock window as they passed it. There was another groan and shriek of stressed metal. She ducked down on instinct, and then chuckled darkly. If the metal gave, the external pressure would do a far better job of compacting her than she would ever manage.

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