Chen Li marvelled at the vastness above her. It should have been normal by now, but she was constantly amazed that only her magboots kept her clamped to the underside of the City.
She was checking a report about a foreign object on the hull. Vinni, her in-ship co-ordinator thought it probably just another glitch in the computer.
Her HUD lit up as it scanned something unexpected.
It looked like a boil had grown on the side of the ship. It looked wrong, it looked alien.
“I’ve found it.”
“And it is?”
“Damned if I know Vinni. One thing, it’s definitely not ours.”
“OK, get me readings. Another thing, an access hatch near you just opened for two seconds. We’ve got no records of anyone getting through, but be careful.”
Li brushed it off. Two seconds wasn’t long enough to step through in vacuum, just another glitch.
She walked towards the growth until her comms started to break up.
“I think it’s interfering with comms, Vin.”
Li turned back. Something was crawling across the hull.
It had too many legs to be human, but it had hands and feet and in one of the hands was a weapon.
“It’s got a laser blaster!” She screamed
The thing fired and the shot knocked her clean off the hull. For a moment Li could only watch in shock as the ship span out of sight.
Then she screamed.
Her signal to Vinni was gone.
As the ship span in and out of view she saw the creature enter the growth, the growth lift off and then fly to a larger ship that waited nearby. That ship then vanished.
The City had no rescue ships; the endless void was all that awaited her.
© Robert Spalding 2011