The corridor swayed unnaturally under his steps. He knew the gravity generators were functioning properly, as was his own balance. Yet the massive bulkheads and metallic floor rose and fell gently like an ancient rope bridge.
The power surged and the lights grew intensely bright before overheating. Darkness consumed the area until the emergency lights flickered on. The hairs on the back of his neck stood up, urging him to turn around and run as fast as his legs would carry him, but he ignored that feeling.
His drawn firearm grew heavier as he neared the door to the command bridge. His muscles ached under its weight and his arm began to shake as his gun was being pulled down to the floor by an invisible force.
You won’t need that. The voice echoed into his own mind. It will serve no further purpose. Leave it. His muscles strained to maintain a grip on the firearm as its weight increased exponentially. Within seconds, he could no longer support it, and the gun melted into the metal flooring under his feet. The surface rippled out from the impact.
He was now inches away from the ships command deck, weaponless and weak. Do join me, Captain, the cool voice in his mind beckoned. He placed a quivering hand on the metal door and it undulated at his touch. He recoiled, not understanding what his own eyes were seeing. The waves continued to ripple from where he had placed his hand until they reached the edges of the door, then retracted into the wall.
His stomach lurched and bile spilled from his lips, splattering the tops of his boots. The command bridge was worse than he expected. The crew members’ bodies were slumped and deflated versions of their previous selves, a macabre mockery of the positions they held in life. Warning indicators flashed out of sync on their consoles.
She reclined in his chair, legs crossed in a way that was somehow familiar and yet unsettling. Her lips were stretched so thin they had split in several places, oozing dark blood droplets. Spikes and new bones jutted out from around eyes as dark as space itself, while the now useless skin of her nose and neck dangled loosely.
Such an unnecessary burden, guns. She turned away to look through the ship’s viewing panel. The curve of a planet appeared. A vast canvas of blue with hints of green and white.
Recognition seized his features and his body became rigid. Fear froze his thoughts. There was nothing he could do to prevent the terror that was about to unfold.
I’m pleased you are familiar with this world. Her focus remained on the approaching planet. This body is ignorant of its history.
Her body rose silently from the chair and hovered toward him. The woman’s boots squeaked at they drug across the metal floor. Thin sheets of blonde hair fell to the floor in a trail.
He wanted to run, to scream, to fight. Anything. Instead, he only watched motionless as she placed a graying hand on his chest. The endless void of her eyes consumed him. This will do nicely, the thought floated into his mind as the woman’s body collapsed in a pile.
A hologram screen flickered onto the viewing panel. A woman in an suit like that of the crew members shown on the screen. “Permission to land granted, Captain,” the voice said through the overhead speakers. “Welcome home.”
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