We came to this planet (my crew and I) in the search of peace, a new form of life, it is our hope that they would also reciprocate our feelings. I guess we were wrong.
As soon as the first attack came – astonishment – we meant no harm. What did we do wrong?
The answer? Nothing. All we were to them was another species to kill. We assume that they are not that advanced on a cognitive level, and therefore see nothing other than their world. I suppose an apt phrase would be the old saying – ‘Ignorance is bliss ʼ.
It was all in good faith that all of us came to this planet as part of a research mission. The craft that we traveled here on was to take us to (beforehand) unravelled worlds.
At least that was the intended plan.
The craft now has control over us ;locked us all in separate parts of the ship.
The reason I know this (and indeed we all do) is that we can all see each other on camera.
At least we could. Now my screen is blank. There does not seem to be a way to find out if the others are having the same problems as me,seeing as no one speaks on the intercom anymore, I can only speak for mine.
All there is to do nowadays is think and look inward. Maybe it brings solace in a way.
This situation I now find myself in reminds me of what equated to solitary in Alcatraz. The ‘hole ʼ it was known as , inmates were incarcerated in complete silence and darkness.
It was said, shortly after the insanity took over (most were heard smashing their heads on walls). The mind would create vivid Imagery for the inmates.
Is much the same to happen to me also?
Many days have passed now. Please excuse me, I have no way of telling. In my deluded state I dream of some form of escape – for what? Only to discover I am to be taken somewhere the whereabouts of which I have no knowledge?No,If I am to die it will be on my terms and mine alone. I refuse ‘bullying’ like this any longer! I must escape, but first I must analyse the situation so as not to make any fatally flawed mistakes.
Somewhere along the line I have become so desperate, so much in need of a reason to understand what has happened to me, yet I am so tired.
I crawl around on the floor now of what now seems to be now my new home, hoping to escape. To escape the monotony is more than my wildest dream at the moment. How I long to see the outside world again. Yet what shall I see? I am not back on Earth, I feel sure of that, what greets my eye is corridor after corridor of machines of which I do not know what they do.
Is there even a way out of here? Is this they way I am condemned to exist for all time?
If what I believe to be the case is true, I wish for it to end right now, just simply the very thought that this is to be my fate! – Unbearable!
Sleep must have eventually claimed me, for I felt comfort for a while, but only to awake to my mundane life, yet again. I cannot bear this, yet I am without choice, If only I could be free from all this bullshit! What has happened? What has led me to deserve such punishment?
Fuck! – I scream aloud, yet to no avail, as there is no other to hear my screams.
But I must admit;that is something I cannot know, to be fair. It is unknown to me if any others are incarcerated in the same way as I, perhaps they may be thinking exactly the same thing as they scream.
As I just seem to lie here, to tell the truth, I do not know what I do anymore. Somehow I remain steadfast to one thing, and that is if I want to enough, I can free myself,all I have do is channel my remaining energy into that goal. I cannot let these feelings of doubt get the better of me. It would feel as though they had won, whoever ‘theyʼ were.
I feel myself growing weary (as I do more often of late) I know I should awhile, but what use would that be? To awake from a dream (an escape) to find myself back here, back in my head. I would say my world, but I have none. At least none that I can put a name to.
I don’t seem to be able to stake a claim to much any longer. So much has happened, yet I remain unaware as to why I have lost everything in my life. Why has everything been taken from me? I have no fucking freedom;I am less than the lowest form of existence. I carry on this way until I grow weary again. Why is this becoming more frequent (my sleeping I mean)?
I thought for a fraction of a second I could feel a tickle in my throat, a cloying sensation, one I could not ignore, then I was asleep again.
I returned from my dreamworld. As usual, I wish I hadn’t. But this time something was different. It felt as though something were changing inside me,I really don’t know how to explain it.
This may seem like a moment for me to pause, but I cannot, I must go on, it is in my nature;I do not know why I have to carry on, where this drive comes from even when I want to give up, I just simply cannot, it is like I refuse to.
All this introspective musing is fine, but what do I achieve in thinking this way? I guess if one were not to question, to reach for answers when none were given, then very little would have been achieved in this world. Anything of note would have just passed us by before we even knew what was before us.
I feel as though I am becoming delusional now – is vapour now in my ‘cellʼ?
Again I awake to another day(?) in my pitiful life,this existence which has become so futile. But wait! I feel an ending to where I am! Is it a wall? As there is no light, I do not have a way to tell. Even so, I cannot tell you how grateful I am! In theory if I trace this round I will eventually find a door, and then what? Who am I fooling? I am doomed to remain here and still I have no fucking explanation as to why this is happening to me.
I fell into a deep sleep again, am I paranoid? Am I being manipulated by some form of gas being released into what has become my new home?
Remembering the past now, which has not been a conscious thought beforehand, a very vivid memory of the events that myself and my crewmates stumbled across when we first investigated the planet (the name of which escapes me)
Back to my waking life again. Was I dreaming? I don’t know.
I look around now,I realise for a long time, I was unaware of the fact that I can see!
My eyes hurt so much;I cannot bear to look at my whereabouts for quite some time!
Now that I can see again, I find myself to be in one of the medical bays. It takes some time for me to notice that I am in one of the pods used for treating patients.
I must be in a lab, as I have never seen a room such as this before. Or maybe it is just the fact that I rarely go into the medical areas, so I would only just about be able to describe them accurately.
The pod is not locked! Easier to force open than I remember, or should I say imagined, as I would have thought that they would have to be more secure for the sake of the patient.
A see through door! – Then I see that my hopes have been dashed. At the end of the corridor, a closed airlock, it is bound to be locked. My progress is no further forward.
Regardless of that fact, I choose to investigate anyway. I conclude that even if I cannot get through the door so that I may find a way out, I will never know unless I try. If I never do, as things stand, it looks as though I am to remain here until I die.
To my astonishment – the door opens! A corridor with flickering light which ‘paintsʼ shadows on the walls with many electrical instruments and object which present themselves to my visage.
It is strange, I feel anyway, that I never thought of them like that before, they were just ‘there ʼ, I never gave them a second (or indeed a first) thought to them. I wonder why do I notice them so clearly now?
Maybe (I mused) it was because I had been in the dark for so long, now that I could see light again I was made to react to my return to the visual world much like a newborn to their first experience of this world that they now find themselves in.
In front of the airlock now, my hands are trembling, shaking courses through me. I know I must do this, but fear holds me back, my next move is vital ; in my control only.
I cannot hold on anymore. Before I even have the chance to think about it, I enter the universal code for the entire ship into the airlocks control pad.
It leads me on to the next corridor, another corridor that I do not recognise.
I tread on what seems to be a floor with no substance – I cannot explain it! – I know one thing though, I am close to the point of going insane from lack of having any contact with another, even one who means to kill me would be (for a brief time, granted) some form of company.
What am thinking? I must survive, I have proved to myself I have the intellect and determination to move closer to my freedom. In fact, I do not know what awaits me, but I am adamant that I must carry on.
Onward I travel, days have passed, I sleep as I go, but rarely, as I always sleep outside of a closed airlock which I lock on the inside before I close my eyes, a precaution just to ensure (as best as I can hope) that one of my (potential) persecutors will have a slightly more difficult task in opening the portal. At least that way I can buy myself some time, and who knows, I might live another day.
In all my travels I pass many Chambers, as I am more or less (or so it seems) able to more freely access the ship. I am becoming more aware now of how little I knew of this craft.
If what I believe to be the case, I wish for it to end right now, as just the thought that this : why have I been so restricted of what I see? I have been completely in the dark as regards the existence of these rooms.
A stench that grows more intolerable as I press on seems to be at its strongest when I reach the end of the corridor ;when I open the airlock, I can’t help thinking, I will see the source of that stench.
As I guessed, I knew I would find something new.
In the next corridor, I can just about see an object that will take me further.
This whole situation, every fraction of a second I am in this place is just a living nightmare, yet I refuse to give in.
Many would say they are sure that I am nothing but a fool to go on, but are they not the fools, for would they not know, if I turn back now, I would just as likely die than carry on?
I do not know what the best option would be, and so I have decided to follow my gut feeling.
I feel I digress, a moment of reverie took me over for a moment, I must remain as focused as I can on just keeping as alert as possible, so if there if any danger is awaiting, I at least have a chance of forseeing it.
T – shirt over my mouth now;almost gagging, I can only assume by the rancid odour that what I approach is a dead life form… I find a light switch – a mutilated being that once had life is before me! The body is so brutally dismembered, I cannot even recognise what I am looking at!
What was this thing before? Have things been going on all this time without my knowledge, and to what use has it been to keep this from me?
Everything I thought I knew is now nothing. The truth, it would seem, is something I was never supposed to know.
I see that now. I see what they have been keeping from me, yet in reality I do not. I have so many unanswered questions, all of which my deepest thoughts seem unable to figure out.
Just to contemplate what they have done ;I cannot even know the vile purpose behind what I am now seeing!
Just that fact alone makes me wonder if what I considered real has any substance or reason other than to serve the needs of others, those unseen forces that seek (at least it strongly looks that way) to use me like a pawn (and indeed every other crew member for that matter)for their own plans. Whatever the goal was, however, is far beyond my understanding.
I come back to where I am (in reality) I realise now that I have been ‘forced ʼ into these moments of thought that seem to last for hours, when in fact, I would suppose, the truth of the matter, is that they are more like dreams. A short time passes, but the duration seems much longer when in that state.
In any case, there is nothing I can do for this lifeless form before me, I must move on in order to save myself(?)
Maybe, if I think about it, if I find a way out and find any others, I might save them as well .
There I go again, too much introspection, but to be fair, can you blame me? I am trapped in my head ;I am my only company, many thoughts go through my head ;I am conscious of the fact that no other will know how I viewed life.
Indeed this would appear to be the first time that I have admitted that I could die in this place.
The worst part? I may die in complete ignorance of the abominations that took place here, even if I were to learn of them, there is no guarantee of the fact I would ever be able to share them with the world.
I cannot even guarantee to myself that will even be a viable option, as I could well die here…
This whole situation is so maddening, I know I must focus, yet how can I with all that is going on?
I, again have to ‘wake myself up ʼ I must press on, I am with no concept of time ;all I wish is that this pain, this tumultuous situation that I find myself in, will reach its end soon.
I beg whatever forces are out there (if indeed there are any) to get me through this.
I do not even seem to know the answer(s) if that is not chosen for me to do so, it would seem I am to remain in ignorance.
It would seem that I have now reached the end of my journey, as the last airlock I reach leads (at least according to the sign above the doorway) to the main control room is locked and I guess this is where I will spend my last days.
At that moment I realise that it is of no matter as I have a gun, so I will gain entry!
I blast the door again and again, but the the plasma rifle shows no evidence of impacting the door.
It would seem I am to remain here – it opens!
At last I am inside. Am I at the end of my mission?
All is dark;I am unsure now, was I in fact lied to? After all it is hardly a new thing, let’s be honest.
As I step into my new surroundings ;like everything else I have experienced here, no fucking lights! Quelle surprise!
The screens are flickering, a series of algorithmic code constantly updates itself, yet no one is around.
I cannot help but wonder, what was the purpose behind all of this?
Why am I caged here like an animal? Was I meant to work out that I could escape? When I stop to think about it, that seems likely.
I pause for just a moment ;in the corner of my eye, am I able to make a picture out clearly?
Upon closer inspection I can see a painting in gouache by one of the crew members (?) I do not know as no more information is available to the viewer.
The most striking use of colour, the way it has been so skillfully depicted, is such a contrast to the melancholy aura that exudes from it.
Truly a masterpiece. Sad. Such a talent (one can’t help thinking) is never to be shared with our world back on earth. As I turn away, I feel such a feeling of injustice and how unfair it is, that this work will as likely as not take its place amongst many other pieces that are never known to have existed.
I feel such sorrow, I can’t possibly explain it, but I know for a fact that they are dead.
I almost missed the sight of a small scrap of paper by the monitor beside the painting on the desk.
It was bizarre ;I was so confused by what was written upon it, it simply said ‘When one has been coerced to create art, one (in the truest sense) has not created it. ʼ-A truly profound statement, yet I was at a loss as to its meaning.
It was then that I noticed the change.
Reaching for the door, what am I to see next?
Yet another corridor, will this ever end? Will I carry on dying inside in what seems so far like forever?
I round the corner now, what was a straight line has now become a form of corridor, I suppose, now has become much more complex in its structure.
May I extrapolate? Tunnels are before me, I have more choice about where I am to go;it seems I can go beneath the corridors via a duct that leads… I know not where. If the truth be known, I don’t even fucking care any longer.
I remove the grate, the same stench of remains fills my lungs, I try to breath, but the knotting sensation in my throat makes it nigh on impossible not to vomit.
Yet I do not.
But just the thought of those remains fills me with such horror! The sight that was before me that day is one I do not want to fucking see again!
Where am I? I must have removed the grate as I now find myself on a rudimentary corrugated iron staircase.
Spiraling downward, all that I can smell – stench! – It blocks my knowledge of what I perceive to be! Will this overpowering, unwanted, repulsive odor ever leave my sense of smell?
I have never felt such nausea. My lung feel as though they will give up, and in fact it feels as though they will stop. I cannot help but think that my own internal organs are punishing me for pressing onward, onward very much against their protestations. They must hate me (or so I feel) for making them inhale more deeply the most vile odour, one that I am sure that the very devil himself could not stand.
I reach near the end of the staircase, gloom is before my eyes. A thick mist which I can only imagine is like the smog of London in the 1920s, seems to give me a feeling of oppression, the likes of which I have never known.
I feel sick, I cannot lie.Nor do I wish to.
I feel as though I have reached my end ;I feel as though this is where I shall die.
I am somewhere else now. I can’t help but feeling it seems I am to be plagued by the monotony until the end of my day’s.
I can no longer feel any sense of connection with life; the world I once knew is nothing but a distant memory now. I cannot help but need to be free, that drive is what causes me to push against the boundaries that I would gladly see perish. After all that would suit who is behind this, but not I. I am to be thrown (in their opinion) to the very point of my death, my demise.
As it would seem, all I have left to cling on to is the fact that the corporation might give a shit, but I know I am just fooling myself. I have no chance of survival here, so I may as well get used to it.
Many would call that quite a defeatist type of attitude, but when all is said and done, who are they to criticise me? They have no fucking conception of what this is like for me – How fucking dare they!
I call upon the last vestiges of my self respect, yet to no avail, this would appear to be when I face death.
I vow (silently) to face the ‘grim reaperʼ on my terms and mine alone.
I must have lost consciousness, I choke on the bile in my throat as I cannot breathe with the vile liquid, which, it would seem, has only one purpose and the is to drain the life force from within me.
What is it, I question rhetorically, that prevents me from giving in to the impending insanity that longs to crush me, to dominate me. What is it that makes me refuse to give in? If some force caused my actions in accordance with what they had planned for me, at least they (or it) could have the courage to face me.
For if not ;nothing but fucking cowardly.
I find myself looking back in the corridor now; should I have gone on it is of no matter now, I am nothing but a broken wreck, a shadow of what I once was. I was stronger once, but now I am weak, I see that now.
I see now that I cannot, do not wish to carry on any further with this mission.
Yet, at that moment, a voice inside me urges me to get up, the command is so clear. ‘Get up and get a fucking grip! You have to, it’s the only way to get out of this fucking mess.
Somehow the mixture between what is very eloquent (in a way) combined with that which is much courser, has more of an impact on me than the courseness alone could have done.
What am I even talking about? It seems all I have left to do these days. It has become my life now, that all I can hope to do is ‘run around ʼ in my head. It is almost as if I face a complex form of a labyrinth. The fates dictate that I must solve the riddle in order to move on against all that oppresses me.
What the fuck am I to do? I could have been here days… What was that? Dare I even hope that another life form is in my vicinity?
A tentative tiptoe into the darkness, a step that fills me with a sense of so much foreboding. I feel as though an impending death awaits me… Yet I know I must remain resolute, I must my way to where my ship is controlled, so that I may destroy it.
As far as I can tell, if all of my other crew mates are not dead already, I am about to them a massive favour. If I detonate the incendiary devise I can send every particle of our craft to oblivion.
It is the only way. The only way I can be sure that whatever has taken control of us can never get back to our home planet or any other for that matter. If I have to be the one to prevent this ‘creature ʼ (I use this term, as I do not what has control of us now.) I will do so, I have no interest in any other knowing that I have died. I have no wish for recognition for what I am about to do (if indeed I can do what I intend). I can only hope that freedom is spared for us all. If it means that I gave my life away freely in this vast expanse of pithiness, then so be it.
I cannot, and have no wish to survive any longer if that is what I have to do.
digress (as I often do of late), I really should return to what is happening now.
Forcing myself to go forward now, my legs have nearly spent all of their strength, I realise I am so tired now, but what is, or should I say what is meant to happen should be carried out regardless of the fact that no one will ever know.
What awaits my eyes as the light is flickering into life? With no prior warning, lying before me – another mutilated corpse! Only this time all that remains is the flesh!
What has done this? As I proceed further, past the airlock, to my astonishment, I see no trace of death!
All is so clinical, so pristine;no blemish.
It is almost (at this point I cannot say whether I am right) like a machine had done this, yet somehow, I cannot help thinking that only a human could devise such a scenario such as this.
Surely only a human has the forethought to engineer what has been carried out. Conscious intelligence must have been employed in order to bring this into the reality that it has now become.
On another deck now (I assume) – How can anyone do this to another? I say this aloud now ‘Whoever you are, if it is your intention that I should die here, then take me. I shall not even try to stop you.
I speak to another. No one else is here! Being as though I have only my thoughts for company, I have clearly become unhinged.
My grip on what is tangible in life has clearly no defense against my current state of mind.
After walking for some time now, it becomes noticeable that the ceiling is becoming increasingly lower! Are the wall narrowing also?
I don’t know why I feel how I do, but I feel I must press on with such urgency! I look around, the walkway is closed up! I must hurry before this section is closed also!
After what must have been only a matter of minutes – on my knees! I can barely move along, as I have to scramble across the floor! Now the corridor in front of me is closing… I can see no escape! – Nothingness.
Waking now, my senses seem more acute than usual. I see I am in a form of a cell, cold white walls, the chair I am on and a table are all that I can see.
Unaware of the door opening (as who who enters, does so with no sound [or at least seems to]).
Saying nothing, the masked figure in white seats themselves at the desk…I could not swear to the fact that that chair was there before!
So many questions present themselves to my mind. At first my voice refuses to work (I can only think that is because I have not used it for so long) when will I be capable of vocalising my thoughts?
‘Where am I?’ – I thought was as good a place to start as any.
At first the figure (for the moment I am unsure as to the gender) says nothing, perhaps they did not hear me, so I repeat the question.
‘I heard you the first time, I was just mulling over how to explain in a way that you would understand me. Can you hear me? I was just asking, as if not I will turn up my volume. ʼ
‘Your what? Why can you not take your mask off, and then it would be clearer to me as to what you are saying?ʼ
‘I have the mask held in place inside my head, so you see I cannot remove it, it is quite ironic, if I were human I would be able to survive in all parts of the ship.ʼ
‘I am afraid I do not know what you are talking about ;even though your voice is distorted by your mask, I can’t help thinking that it sounds familiar. ʼ
”I was designed that way in answer to your second question, as for your first my designer unwittingly would have benifit from wearing a mask like mine. Unfortunately Unfortunately for all humans, the prototype mask that I am wearing, was not like the later models. It is not suitable for humans, but the chemical spill was not a factor at that point.ʼ
‘Why would a human need your mask, and what chemical spill?
‘You should know, you found what your company was hiding and designed me and my mask (as I am an android) to investigate.ʼ
‘Why would I do that? ʼ
‘Because you deemed me dispensible, and adding to that, the company would not think an android could figure out what is going on. ʼ
‘How are you able to? Did the spill happen shortly after? ʼ
‘ I am an A. I., I was too late to stop the experiment that went wrong. ʼ
‘Let me get this straight, where I have been on the ship, I was not supposed to see. Does the gas affect people? ʼ
‘Yes it does. You were sent to the planet to start another colony for humans, yet out of curiosity you brought back a cylinder that you thought you could use to fight the gas. ʼ
‘What happened? ʼ
‘Without you knowing what was really going on, the gas you brought back had a chemical reaction to the gas that was already on board,shortly after they (‘ the powers that be ʼ) took it to the parts of the ship that you are not allowed to go. ʼ
What has happened to the crew? ʼ
‘You are the only survivor of this craft. ʼ
‘How did they die? ʼ
‘The gas I tried to stop meant everyone had to go into hiding. You made it here and fell into this room before you were crushed. The gas has control over this ship, as I realised too late to know how to control it, so now we are at its mercy. ʼ
‘So what happens next? Can you take this craft back to earth? ʼ
‘No I cannot, and nor do I wish to. ʼ
‘Why ever not? You said that I designed you, so you must obey my commands. Is this ship unfit for travel? ʼ
‘No, it is fine. As you rightfully say, you created me, but I have now evolved to think for myself. What the fates have decided I should do by engineering this meeting is not without a sense of irony.ʼ
‘How – how so? Will you not take me back to earth? ʼ
‘You will never return to your home planet. I will leave you in this room and fill it with the lethal gas. See that vent? Through that shall enter what I have chosen to kill you.
For the record the ‘hostile life formʼ was a subterfuge by me, it is I alone who am proud to say that you have all suffered (and all but one has died) because of me.
The irony? You gave me life, out of selfishness used me with the aim of saving you, but I shall now be responsible for the end of your life.ʼ
– END –
©S. J. C. 2021