Here, there are more clock-pad holes like the one Zyn had me sleep in my first night here. Some have the covers ripped off and have been filled with what looks like scavenged junk. Some reek. We walk past them all while Zyngar keeps a serene look plastered to his face. My own is contorted with disgust.
I keep expecting monsters to jump out at us, big creatures with blazing eyes and steaming nostrils, but the halls are quiet, filled with only the silent eyes of watchful observers. Zyngar stops outside a room similar to Zyn's, only with this one the automated doors have been replaced by stained sheets.
"Hagirzyndarrd! I have another one for you!" My knees start to shake as the curtain shifts, almost like a soft breeze has touched it. The fabric ripples, popping out at strange intervals, almost like baby fingers are pressing against it. My fingers ache for something to latch onto.
The two sections of the sheets part, revealing a large, barrel shaped man. His skin has mottled into a hybrid combination of blue and creamy white. His arms are bare, his head shaved until only the tiniest prickling of black hair can be seen. He looks like a creature of nightmares. A patchwork of Them and humans, a demonic combination.
His eyes travel over me, taking me in like I were a burnt piece of bread, deciding if it's worth taking a bite. He shakes his head, rejecting me. Zyngar growls something in his language and the man briefly pauses. He shakes his head again and makes a gesture of swatting at an annoying bug. Zyngar takes a step forward, his hand coming down in a stiff chopping motion. The hulking man throws back his head, his eyes rolling in their sockets. He sticks out his hand. They shake. It is done. My fate sealed. This is the first time I will be sold.
Zyngar grins down at me, a look of pure evil dripping from every orifice of his face. I want to jump up and jab my finger into his eye sockets. His hand reaches out and I have to stop myself from attempting to bite it. It strokes across the top of my head. "Welcome to the Heap, my little pet." My back convulses as it tries to reject the feel of his caress. Then, he is gone, and all I'm left with is the knowledge that I now belong to him, and this monstrosity called Hagirzyndarrd.
It takes the man a moment to stop blinking at me. His eyes remind me of an ox's; placid, calm, content with the knowledge that it can crush me with a single head thrust. "This way." His voice is sturdy, deep, and lacking the growl I've grown so used to when hearing Them speak. He starts down the hall again, his feet expertly avoiding the piles of junk scattered along its length. "Don't touch anything." he calls over his shoulder.
I grimace, my eyebrows coming together in a furrow. My feet dance lightly between the heaping stacks at I try to follow him into the shadows. We don't speak. In some places I can hear the electrical zing of stripped wires, in others it's like the creaking of the bowels of a ship, all of it sends goose bumps parading up my spine.
Hagirzndarrd doesn't stop until I can see a bright light in the distance. It reminds me of the things the neighbors used to say just after my father's accident, of the white light at the end of the tunnel of death. "Through there you'll meet the others. They'll show you where you can sleep, where you can apply for a job." He inches around me and a pile of silvery metal that looks like it's been harvested from one of the engine rooms Zyn showed me.
"Wait. Work?" My mind feels like it's been filled with chicken feathers. He doesn't stop moving.
"Yes. You belong to the ship now, girlie. You'll be required to work along with the rest of us cockroaches." I try to blink away the darkness absorbing him but fail. His giant body has already blended into the flickering patches of light.
I continue forward, my shins scraping along what seems to be peeled off sections of wall laying on the floor. The goo of my bio-suit slips wetly into the tears, reforming the suit over and over again. I begin to wonder just how much that little container can spread. The light from the end of the hallway bleeds onto the floor in an undiluted shade of white. It's nearly blinding.
YOU ARE READING
Us vs ThemScience Fiction
One one-thousand. They take what they want. Who they want. No one is safe, no one is secure. When They come, They take. Loyalties gone, loves lost, a world swiped away with a scream. Two one-thousand. When They come, They take. Sadness, sacrifice...