In space, no one can hear you scream, but in a pressurised ship on a metal floor, they can hear you vomit.
I awoke to a bad case of the DTs, my stomach emptying everything from the last day or two onto a metal grating. My head ached through the usual mix of dehydration and hangover. I couldn’t move my arms for some reason and there was a piercing pain in the back of my neck.
Wherever I was it was hot, humid and so very noisy. A voice deep inside my brain was yelling to me not to open my eyes, some things you can’t unsee. It sounded like reason, but haven’t listened to reason yet, so I opened my eyes. I was on my knees, my right arm and what was left of the other one, was bound by a blue cord, which seemed to be coming from my neck. I was in my jeans, trainers and a teeshirt, but there was holes and blood on it. I looked around. I immediately regretted it.
I was in what looked like a long corridor, it was split into several cubicles cut into the walls, which were a battle ship grey metal. The only light was a fluorescent tube sort of light in the middle of the ceiling, which was at least ten foot above me. It looked like I was on some kind of cargo ship, I suppose I would’ve been able to deal with that, Somali pirates or something like that. Ordinary world, scary situation. I held on to that fantasy for six or so seconds, until my eyes could focus on the people in the cubicles. Yeah, I said people, shows how much I’ve acclimated to all this.
Straight ahead of me was quite possible the largest person I had ever seen. But also the strangest. His was even sitting down as tall as I was standing, he was almost as wide across, his skin was more like alligator, or gila hide than anything else. His eyes, were yellow, with vertical ellipses as irises. His mouth had thick lip like things and as it opened a row of sharp teeth. It looked like a he, but I was guessing, he was reptilian and I wasn’t expecting boobs or anything, but he worse purple trousers (very MC Hammer looking things) and dark boots. He saw me looking and his head tilted towards the side and he…. was that smiling? Next to him, in another cubicle, was a four armed creature, looking like a big insect, that stood like a human. It’s large compound eyes were red and the rest of it’s body was a muddy brown. No clothes to speak of, but a blue amulet sort of thing around it’s neck. Next to that was what looked like (doing the maths in my head) a 12 foot long millipede, with reddish body, black legs and eyes and one of the same type of blue amulet on it’s head. It was coiled in a ball. Next to that was a spider looking thing, all covered in shadows, it looked like it was munching on a leg. Next to me was a huge sort of mountain of cloth, some creature with thick rust coloured fur underneath, from the part I could see. I looked around more and things only got stranger. There were creatures of all kinds, a sorts of colours and shapes, smells and sounds. The walls seemed to be closing in on me and I started having a panic attack.
I collapsed back into the cubicle, shaking, panic setting in, I was praying to a god I didn’t believe in, wishing on stars I couldn’t see, for all of this to be not real. I wanted nothing more than to wake up in that crappy flat, in my crappy life. There are song lyrics by the Rolling Stones, you can’t always get what you want, but sometimes, sometimes you get what you need.
The wall to my right slid open, just enough for a cloaked figure to the be thrown in to the corridor, although I now realised it to be a room, from outside. The cloak was a dirty brown and the person underneath worse some kind of boiler suit sort of thing. From my left, two sort of blue-ish sort of creatures walked towards this new arrival. They were thin, very thin, with skin that looked like powder blue ceramic. Their eyes were like sharks, round and black, their mouths no more than slits and their nostrils seemed to be on the sides of their necks, rather than above their mouths. They wore what looked like silver togas, but had nothing on their feet, which had two long toes at the front and another two at the back. Their arms were as restrained as mine, but I could see their hands had two long fingers and on each side a thumb. They may have been male, but it could just has easily be female. Then I saw what they were doing. They started kicking the person on the floor. I wasn’t sure where I was, who anyone was, or what anyone’s deal was, but I knew hate when I saw it. I stood up, unsteady at first, but that changed once I heard something I didn’t expect. “Please stop.” I understood it, when heard it, I felt a tickle in the back of my neck, where the pain had been. I strode in front of the two blue men and squared up. Yup that’s right, one arm, hungover and shackled and I thought two aliens with hard skin was a fair fight. “Back off now.” They stared at me, at least I think they did, hard to tell to be honest. Their heads tilted. “You ‘eard. Back off, we don’t need this to get violent.” And that’s when they hit me. “Not need, want.” a raspy voice, but clearly understandable. There was a warm tickle at the back of my head as it spoke. “You’ll not hurt us… savage!” I heard that and saw red. Their skin looked ceramic, I’ve broken cups before. I charged at them.