Chapter 4: desperate

Chapter 4: desperate


Chapter 1: (Part 1/ Part 2) Chapter 2: (Part 3 / Part 4) Chapter 3: (Part 5 / Part 6 / Part 7) Chapter 4: Part 8 / Part 9


If there were any crucial lessons the instructors managed to drill into my head when I was a wee private, it’d be these three evergreens:

One. Never lose your weapon. Duh, obviously. Forming a finger-gun and screaming pew-pew at the enemy was a lot less fun than one might imagine.

Two. There were no glory-holes worth the hustle! Trust me on this one. I won’t disclose what -uh- embarrassing mistake I made and why all rookies needed a medical check-up afterward. I planned to take that to my grave.

Three. Never take off the fucking helmet of your spacesuit if the atmosphere wasn’t safe. And when did you know that the atmosphere was safe? When the Sergeant told you so.

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Chapter 4: not a helping hand

Chapter 4: not a helping hand

Chapter 1: (Part 1 / Part 2) Chapter 2: (Part 3 / Part 4) Chapter 3: (Part 5 / Part 6 / Part 7 ) Chapter 4: Part 8


“NO!”
“KODA!”
“Koda! Are you alright?” Hands grabbed me and turned me sideways. “Did you let the switch go?” Something smelled burnt. My ears rang. First thing, I thrust my left fist up the dead-man-switch securely in my hand, then I opened my eye. “Thank God, I thought I; you’re – here.” We locked eyes. Mother Goose kneeled in front of me, face pale, eyes shining as I’ve never seen before.

Huh, there were a lot of things I experienced for the first time today. Might be my newest hobby. I grabbed his arm, and he pulled me up and into a bear hug. Okay, unexpected, another first. Well, uh, I surprised myself by blushing hard, and you guessed it. Definitively a new hobby to show off. The heat in my chest and cheeks made my heart forget how to kick my head into gear. I drew a blank. “Attaboy,” Sam Spade waved from afar. I wasn’t sure he meant me or Mother. Awkward, but nothing to be ashamed of, just sayin’.

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Chapter 4: Negotiation Tactics

Chapter 4: Negotiation Tactics

Trigger warning (grief, mutilation, body horror, suicide)

Chapter 1: Part 1 / Part 2 (Scenario Green) Chapter 2: Part 3/ Part 4 (K-Black) Chapter 3: Part 5 / Part 6 / Part 7 (Cricket)


The little drone marched up the wall, dollar signs still running around its spherical body. We looked at its slow progress. Shepherd put her hand on my shoulder. I was about to compliment her, but she only wiped the goo off of her hand. ”Thank you, doll.”

A huge bang made us jump and crouch. The room shook, gave way a bit. The structure was unstable, or was it hit by floating debris? It was enough to persuade us to follow the spider-drone’s example and to leave the floor.

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Chapter 3: Mutiny Shuffle

Chapter 3: Mutiny Shuffle

Chapter 1: Part 1/ part 2 Chapter 2: part 3/ part 4 Chapter 3: part 5/ part 6/


We went for a little walk on the scrap metal ball, aka the not-fancy mining satellite. The scans showed, there were nominal pressure and a thin atmosphere in several chambers, but not in the center. The heart of the structure was occupied by a heat source with strong magnetic fluctuations. Whatever was causing it, it could most likely produce a devastating explosion.

If Bayard was caught in it, the fuel onboard would start a chain reaction with all the methane and hydrogen clouds around that particular area. Even a fart could ignite it… So no farting on the job! It occurred to me, it could also be a high-energy weapon the size of a glider, or just scrap metal holding an unstable reactor together. Still no farts. Anyway, we shouldn’t stick around for longer than necessary. Holding in farts wasn’t healthy, so there was that.

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Chapter 3: eh, some plans

Chapter 3: eh, some plans

Chapter 1: Part 1 / Part 2 Chapter 2: Part 3 / Part 4 Chapter 3: Part 5

The day started out to be a boring one. I was tempted to search for entertainment, but the mind-numbing duties on deck yanked my chain. I had my clipboard, paper, and a crayon. Yes, they gave me a green crayon to do the work I was allowed to. I never liked green. My crewmates lacked trust. I’d never sabotage the ship, or harm myself, at least not with a pencil. 

I had to tick off a bogus checklist. Shepherd had me check the tanks on board, not just the oxygen and nitrogen tanks, but also the algae tanks, the pressure control, preparation plant tanks, and finally updating the star charts. Dull! Duller, dullest. I could try to program all screens to broadcast one of my favorite songs from Earth simultaneously. The Surfin’ Bird was destined for greatness!

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Chapter 3: Cricket

Chapter 3: Cricket

(Part 1 / Part 2 ) Chapter 1; (Part 3 / Part 4) Chapter 2

I despised the med bay by now. Nobody could blame me for that. A month in quarantine coma had been enough to resent every hint of that particular shade of green. Mother and I were back to engage in another excruciating hour of exams. Scanning, fidgeting, neurological and psychological testing, drawing blood, and other unpleasant procedures, I endured them all. Who else was the guinea-pig on board? At least he took down the images of my eye, my brain, and that parasite inside my head, so I didn’t have to look at it.

Cricket’s appearance made Mother suspicious and quite worried. He wasn’t expecting it to appear so fast, he told me during tomography. The parasite had taken over one of my eyes and the connected neurological tissue all the way to my visual cortex. So, it could make me see things, among other inconveniences. Like taking over the rest of me, for real, kill my personality, maybe even my body.

Parasites didn’t kill their hosts, did they? I imagined myself as a puppet, moving through the ship, vacant look on my dumb face, drooling like a proper zombie. Couldn’t hide the shivers. Mother stopped what he was doing and asked if I felt fine. “A bad thought, buddy. Just a bad thought.”

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Chapter 2: K- Black

Chapter 2: K- Black

Chapter 1: (Part 1/ Part 2) Chapter 2: Part 3

“Big K, you look like shit,” Shepherd put my coffee mug filled with hot steaming caffeinated bliss on the table in front of me. This was my first breakfast with the whole crew since I was allowed to leave the med bay. Of course, I had met everyone while navigating my way through the ship one eyed. Well, not really one-eyed, but my bandaged one didn’t technically belong to me anymore, so… Yeah.

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Chapter 2: K Black

Chapter 2: K Black

Trigger warning (eye injury, body horror, grief, strong language, dissociative behavior)

Chapter 1: Part 1 / Part 2


“UV-irradiation in progress.” 

My body felt absolutely whacked. Had I lost a boxing match against a grizzly? Somebody said something. I swear, I won’t accept any more bets from Shepherd. No way I’d ever keep up with her chemical implants. I was the one doomed in this drinking match, felt like death already. My head hurt, my eyelids were glued together, and it felt as if I licked the ashtray. Worst hangover ever.

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Chapter 1: scenario green

Chapter 1: scenario green

part 1

“Let’s deal with one catastrophe at a time, shall we?” I had the feeling Mother Goose rubbed his forehead after a face-palm I didn’t hear. “Is the sample secured?”

“Uh-huh.” I answered the best I could.

Distant typing came over the comms. “Poe is fifty yards to your left, pacing up and down a corridor. And… I see, darling.” I felt his annoyance ooze out of my ear piece. “Shep, it’s a Kong Green. I owe you fifty. You stay put, I’m sending Shepherd to collect you.” Great! One-woman-army was coming to save me, like a damsel in distress.

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Chapter 1: Scenario Green

Chapter 1: Scenario Green

“What the?!” Pomona stared back at me, hands helplessly outstretched. The soft empty shell disintegrated with her body heat. “How? No, wait. Why?” Her lower lip started quivering, her eyes welled up. Here we go. I shut the bulkhead and locked it. At least we were safe in here from the guards, until we got picked up. “Poe! Pull yourself together. Nobody got time for the waterworks.” She let the thin fabric that contained the sample fall to the floor and covered her face. She shook.

Great. What did I do this time?

I felt another sensitivity training looming.

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