I woke up and stared at the cold, uninviting metallic walls that surrounded me. I don’t know how long I’ve been on this ship. I don’t know how deep into space we are. To be honest, I don’t even know why I decided to join the crew. We were told this was an “experiment in life”, I don’t understand what that means. However, I’m glad I joined because there’s a girl on board, Zoe, she and I were at the same school but never really talked. I noticed her as soon as I got on board, she’s beautiful. She’s got the sort of aura about her that draws you in. She has long brown hair and big, pretty hazel eyes. Her body is gorgeous too but unfortunately it’s hidden under these damned bulky suits. They consist of a skin tight, silver, full body, latex style outfit that covers you from your feet to your neck. You have to step into it and pull it up like some sort of perverse man-sized condom. On top of that we have a huge piece of armour which contains a number of compartments in which we keep various pieces of equipment, it looks like an army vest that’s been taken to the extreme. They come in a range of colours which correspond to your position, rank, role, job etc on the ship. Mine is yellow. The vest comes with a matching belt which resembles a chunky pair of Y-fronts. Our legs are covered with oversized boots and pads, and our hands with gloves of the same nature. We also have helmets which, despite looking more stylish than the old fashioned fishbowl helmets, are still quite cumbersome which is why I’m glad we don’t have to wear them very often. The entire outfit is colour co-ordinated so I’ve ended up looking like an out of place bumblebee. Zoe’s was blue.
I left my small cabin and walked along the hallway to Zoe’s room. Other crew members were in the hall performing safety checks, fixing cracks, some were just talking. I had noticed that they seemed to be acting a little off but I didn’t really question it, I just put it down to boredom or homesickness. I stood outside Zoe’s room and took a deep breath as I did every morning before checking in on her. For the last couple of weeks she has been sick, and it was only getting worse. A number of crew members had come down with the same illness but they seemed to recover soon enough. I went in and tried to appear cheerful. She lay on her back, her head propped up by those useless, uncomfortable pillows. Sweat poured from her, making her face gleam under the lights in the ceiling. She smiled weakly as I approached the side of her bed. It broke my heart. I took her hand and asked her how she was feeling, wiping her soaking head. The fever was worse than the day before. She said she was feeling better, but I knew she was lying.
That’s when the Captain came in. He never wore the same outfits as us. His was more like an actual suit, the top had long sleeves and went down to his waist where it met his trousers, held up by a slightly more ordinary looking belt than ours. He had pointed shoes and leather gloves. Everything he wore was black. He had black hair and a moustache. I never liked him.
He spoke to us for some time, enquiring about Zoe’s state and asking if she would like anything. He spoke slowly and calmly, showing no emotion. After some time observing Zoe, he left. That’s when Zoe turned to me and grabbed my chest plate. She pulled me towards her until I was inches from her face. Sweat continued to drip from her and her eyes trembled. She spoke in a rushed, panicked, whispering tone. She told me to watch the Captain. She told me he was dangerous. She said he wanted to kill her, to do something to her. I wasn’t sure what to make of it, she did have a high fever and she could’ve easily been hallucinating. But then she kissed me. In that second I forgot everything else and only believed in her, she was all that mattered. We kept kissing and she pulled me further towards her. Just as I was about to completely lose myself, I heard a noise.
I looked up to see the Captain standing in the doorway, he was focused on Zoe. He stepped forward never breaking his gaze and wrapped his hands around her throat. I screamed at him, shouting at him to stop. Zoe tried to scream but it was stifled by the Captains grasp around her neck. I tried to pull him off but he was strong. Too strong, stronger than he should’ve been. I grabbed the nearest thing to a weapon I could find, a steel pipe that was attached to the wall. I ripped it off and swung it hard against the Captain’s head. It made a thud but he stayed standing. I hit him again and again, striking at his neck, back and legs until he eventually fell to the floor and stopped moving. Zoe gasped for air and tears ran down her face. Her neck was badly scraped. I stroked her hands, brushed the wet hair from her face and told her I would go to the store room to get some ointment as well as some more medication for her fever.
I hurried out and ran down the hall to the store room, worried that the Captain would get back up. When I got to storage, I rummaged around for a few minutes before I found what I was looking for. I also grabbed some food because I was sure Zoe hadn’t eaten today. Then I heard the door slide shut behind me. I turned around to find the Captain blocking the exit, he had a sinister grin on his face. He lunged at me, knocking supplies from the shelves, and forced me against the wall. He was trying to strangle me. I groped around the shelves, striking at him with anything I could get my hands on. Eventually I grabbed hold of a metal tin and began thumping it into the back of his head. After a few attempts, he fell to the ground. I kicked and punched the body then struck it again with the tin until I heard his head crack.
Just then, I heard screaming and crashing sounds coming from outside. I opened the door to see the crew being pulled to the back of the ship. I leaned out and instantly felt the intense pressure that was sucking out the innards of the ship, there at the back of the ship stood the Captain. He had his hand on the cargo bay button, he had opened the bay doors. Crew members, furniture, tools, fittings all fell horizontally past me. The Captain laughed.
I dragged myself back to Zoe’s room, clinging to the walls for safety. When I reached the room I told her that we had to get to an escape pod. I kissed her and told her we’d be alright, then picked her up and turned to leave the room. Again, the Captain entered. He asked what I was doing and I told him he was a maniac and I was getting off of the ship with Zoe. He asked what would make me say he was a maniac, I screamed that he had just sent our crew out to drift and die in space. He laughed and told me that the crew had died long ago. He told me that this “experiment” involved killing humans and replacing them with androids. These androids would have memories from their human counterpart programmed into them so they would believe that they were in fact the original being, all in an attempt to create ever lasting life. He explained that this had been done to the other members of the crew and they had been imperfect, meaning they had to be disposed of. He told me I could hurt him as much as I want but another model would take his place.
I was trapped.
I looked down at Zoe’s pained face. He wanted to experiment on her. And he wanted rid of me. Did that mean that I was one of these prototype immortals? I wasn’t sure. And I didn’t care. At that point, Zoe was all I cared about. I shoved the Captain out of the way and ran to the hallway. The pressure was still incredible, I struggled to support Zoe while holding the walls but eventually made it to the escape pod dock. But to my horror, when we got inside we found the whole room was full of people. All of them shared the same menacing face of the Captain. I turned to run back out but more Captains blocked the doorway. They all started to close in on me, they surrounded me. The circle of Captains got closer and closer until I couldn’t move. I dropped to the floor holding Zoe tightly until everything went black.
[1st of July 2009]