Empty; it was completely empty. They hadn’t expected that. Finding that docking station had been pure luck but it was still surprising that it should be so.
“Emma, check the upper levels. There has to be someone here. Or they left a short while ago.”
Emma could tell. The entire machinery of the docking level still buzzed. If anyone had been here and left, they were only a few hours away. Or was it one of these new stations that scanned ships from two parsec away? No. It looked to be at least 50 years old, it couldn’t be.
She kept her weapon in hands; it wasn’t that rare to find pirates this side of the system. This station might still be a trap; why was it here after all? Caporal Jenkins was one of the best pilot in the fleet, she knew most of the systems, was even rumoured to have scored 100% in her geography exam, the first in all of the Academy history: not one mistake in placing any of the 72 stars and 743 planets and 1877 moons in the 26 systems the Republic had discovered since its inception. No way she wouldn’t have known about this station. Yet she didn’t.
Emma wasn’t nearly as good in geography as Theresa Jenkins; her strength lay elsewhere. She left her team to search the levels below docking and climbed to the upper ones. No point in taking the buzzer system; who knew if it even worked?
The stairs creaked under her feet, the metal rusted. Definitely not a recent station. She walked through empty corridors and pipes. Wait… the screeching sound of a radio. Could it be? She strode towards the sound ignoring a couple of doors on the side. Cautiously she opened the airlock to the room; why an airlock? It was only the… Shit! By God. What the hell was that?
She took careful steps inside the room: unlike the rest of the place, this looked like state of the art, super new technology. Was that a Nano-Angstrometre? She’d only seen one at the Ministry of Science lab. Who would leave something like this here? That technology was worth the GDP of the entire ψ system. This room was… like a dream come true. She could work from here and pursue her research. It seemed to have been designed just for her. Wow! Still it was empty, except for two test tubes, one filled with dark nano-crystals and one empty. She approached the tube with the crystals; they seemed to be flowing and floating. She knew enough about these not to touch the darn thing.
“Emma, Emma come in.”
“Nothing worth noting here. That station is rusting. We found what we need to get the vessel to Epsilon’s capital though.”
“There’s a research lab, latest tech’ here. That’s weird.”
“Don’t you touch anything doc!”
“Won’t touch anything but… it looks like this place was made for me. SHIT!”
What the hell was that? Goosebumps spread across her entire skin. Not unlike when she heard… How had she missed this?
“Emma, what the hell? What’s going on? We’re coming.”
“No it’s fine. I didn’t notice, one of the machines is on. It’s emitting subsonic waves.”
“You’re a freak Doc.”
“Hey, everyone has their own talent Captain. Don’t forget how you found that place. That’s the machine I heard. Not sure how I didn’t notice it before.”
She approached the machine; it didn’t quite vibrate but the sound waves seemed to be leaking instead of being set up in a logical sequence. She’d never heard of that. What?
“I know this must look fascinating to you but I need you to come back down. We’ll be done in 10 minutes. Peterson has found the pieces he needed.”
“Ok. I’ll be right there.”
She turned to get out but froze. There was something in the subsonic sound waves. It washed over her. She had to… take the tubes. No she had to leave now. The waves were… No. She must take the radio.
“Captain.” She called; only her fingers hadn’t moved and she wasn’t actually radioing him in. She must leave. Something was wrong. Something was… She had to… take the test tube. No! She tried but couldn’t prevent her hand from reaching for the test tubes.
“Vlad,” She breathed desperately… in vain. There was no connexion with the Captain now.
Her hands moved of their own volition to the tube filled with dark crystals. She couldn’t open this. She knew she mustn’t. But she couldn’t help herself. The sound waves were compelling. Who would? Who cared? She needed to take the test tubes. She needed to open them. She pulled the stopper off the tube that imprisoned the entity that needed her as a vessel. That was what she was. A vessel. She breathed in the crystals. And blew them out: those that returned in the tube were white.
It was such a perfect choice it thought as it made her way down. The body and the mind of its vessel were perfect it thought pushing the tube of white crystals in the vessel’s bag pack. It would be so easy to mate and reproduce with such a body. And she had access to the best labs in the galaxy. For all that it was now empty of its soul, there was much to learn from the mind and body of the woman. Still who would have known that humans would need so much time to mutate and hear subsonic waves? So much to do…
“Yes Vlad,” It answered with a slight smile. The man looked surprised but pleased.
“Anything worth noticing.”
“No. We can leave. I turned out the subsonic wave machine. It’s not good to have it running.”
“Well thanks to it and to you, we’ll be making it to Epsilon so I’m not complaining.”
Neither was she.
In response to the Daily Post writing prompt Empty