#TeamSFHorror - Part Six: To Distraction

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To Distraction - Part 6 - krazydiamond

The world cracked at the edges.

She could taste the dust on her tongue, feel the bones of Lane's wrist, his frantic pulse tattooed against her fingertips. They were coming for her. To kill and carve her like roasted meat on a spit. The sky split open Above her, sucking the stars into an endless void.

"Please," she whispered.

Tears left searing tracks along her temples. Temples? But she was running, running for her life. The tears defied gravity, painting a horizontal line along her face. Lewis stopped running, ignoring Lane's grunt of pain, ignoring the pounding steps behind her. She reached up, touching her face.

Not her face.

Not her tears.

The ground ripped up around her, torn away into the ever growing void closing in on her.

"Please," she whispered. Not her, not her voice.

Not Lewis.

The jack released with a soft pop. Hale sagged against the chair. Her mouth was full of salt and copper. The back of her neck was numb, the deadened area spreading like a pool of ink over her senses. Another tear leaked from the corner of her eye, hot and bitter, tracking down to her salt encrusted hair.

Hale tried to shift, to lift her limbs. Her body refused to respond at first, her wasted limbs too weak to move. She hovered on a precipice, teetering on the edge of that endless void. This is what dying must feel like. She never gave it much thought before, never gave much thought to any consequences for her actions but she didn't want to die. She didn't want to be here, in this damn chair. How did she end up in the again? It didn't make sense.

I went to sleep in a safe place and woke up in hell. Hale clenched her teeth to stop the tremor in her jaw. She needed help.

There was no one. The bots were dead. There was only the storage bay, full of cryo tubes.

I don't want to be alone.

Hale mustered what strength she could and heaved herself from the pod. She lay on the floor, concentrating on the inhale and exhale of air from her lungs. It could have been minutes. It could have been hours, but she finally forced herself to move, dragging her body along the floor. She almost wished for the artificial gravity to fail again, if the thought didn't terrify her. She needed the drag, the pull on her body, reminding her what was real. This was real.

Her vision was smudged, edges and colors blurring together. Every movement was pain, except for the frightening numbness trickling down her spine. Her body was dying. It was only a matter of time before death finished catching up to her.

I don't want to be alone.

There was a point where the body couldn't come back from and Hale was certain she'd long passed it. She shouldn't be doing this. She should be dragging herself to the Medical Station. Except it wasn't safe there. Nowhere was safe.

Her arms gave out. A fresh surge of pain shot through her skull as her chin cracked against the floor. Blood washed over her tongue. After a moment, she spat and kept crawling.

She knew she reached her destination when the familiar hum of the cryo tubes surrounded her. She made it.

I don't want to be alone.

This was the hard part. It took several tries for Hale to gain purchase, to haul her body semi-upright so she could reach the operation panel of the first cryo tube. She shouldn't be doing this. It was selfish and she might fail, but the ship needed someone to take over.

And she didn't want to die alone.

She gripped her arm at the wrist to keep it from shaking as she input the release code. Hale slumped to the side, staring up the tube as the outer shell split and eased open, spilling nitrous fog. She stared, waiting to see if she'd awakened a man or a woman, praying for someone compassionate, someone who wouldn't despise her in her final moments.

The fog cleared.

Hale stared.

Tears slid across the bridge of her nose, hot and fast, stinging her eyes. Such a cruel joke. She swallowed down the threatening sob.

Empty. The tube was empty.

The vitals were always normal. Even when the ship lost power. She thought the auxiliary power must have protected them, but that wasn't the case. It made sense now, why they would trust her with a ship full of 'innocent sleeping settlers'. Someone like her. Unstable, unsuitable. A moment of blistering clarity let her remember those hours in on the quack's couch, remember the cuffs on her ankles and wrists.

Hale rolled over, staring up at the ceiling. The hum of the empty tubes let her mind grow quiet as her body grew still. She was going to die alone and part of her knew she deserved it.

She closed her eyes, listening to the hum. Inhale, exhale, inhale, exhale...

The warden ejected the jack.

"Time of death, 21:30," he said The clerk turned to the small gathered group behind the glass. There was a group, the ones who gathered to make sure their monsters met their ends.

"Prisoner ID 216 418 83 562 369, Lt. Myra Hale, charged with several accounts of 1st degree murder, including matricide, and murder of her superior officer Captain Lane Jackson, has answered for her crimes on this day, September the 6th, 2189 through execution by the VRI simulator. May the stars take her."

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