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Shades of Black 一 Part II

Posted Sept. 19, 2021, 10:33 a.m. by Lieutenant Commander Hir Ra-Mhadreii (Chief Science Officer) (Trinity Fister)

Posted by Lieutenant Commander Hir Ra-Mhadreii (Chief Science Officer) in Shades of Black 一 Part I
Thump!

Dull throbs pulsated through their skull as mangled fingers seized the table’s blunt edge. Hir paused. Shaky breaths accosted the air, sending pangs of fear prickling up their spine. Shhh! They bit their lip until a familiar, salty taste filled their mouth. Shut up! Drawing themself from the floor, inch by agonizing inch, they peered across the tabletop and into the murky recess ahead.

A lurid shadow crept through the lab, tackling any whistle or flash with grisly, hooked claws. It was searching for something. And it was angry. Bellicose and bent, it ripped through every unbarred nook as the clatters and clinks of troubled gadgets saturated the air. Hir ducked, narrowly dodging a chipped beaker. What did it want? They frantically scoured their mind for any clue—just a hint—but the thunderous wails of their heart beguiled them.

Then, everything went dark.

Hir sank to the ground and braced their hands, ready to pounce. Their gaze flitted. To their right laid an impervious black. To their left, the feeble flicker of a mutilated terminal. They sucked in a slow, frigid breath that filled their lungs with anguish. They knew. The shadow was right beside them.

— Hir Ra-Mhadreii

Eeiik!

Hir stiffened and quelled the urge to tremble with faulty, duct-taped willpower. Though panic flooded their heart, begging them to flee, Hir knew the path to safety was inky and paved by peril. They would not be shadow chow. Flight wasn’t an option.

They had to fight.

Hellbent on escape, Hir scrambled to their knees and frantically swept their hands over the tile. They needed something to defend themself. A broke stylus. A vial of cyclohexane. The apple Ensign Konrad illegally sneaked into the lab. Anything.

Another shriek pierced the air.

Hir felt the pangs in their chest grow. They retracted their hands from the debris and lifted their blurred vision to the abyss. A dying flicker beckoned them to a nearby bench. Absent and utterly hopeless, Hir stumbled to grasp a tray too feeble to carry their weight. Clank! Their breath hitched. Clatter… clank. They muttered a silent prayer… CLASH!

And bolted.

Weak, wobbling legs struggled to keep them upright as they stumbled toward the bench with hands outstretched. The wails intensified behind them. Thoughtlessly, they seized anything in reach and yanked it behind them. But it served only to infuriate the beast. Turning to behold their assailant, they couldn’t discern more than a dismal figure and ravenous, beady eyes tinged a lethal yellow.

The odds of them becoming shadow chow were higher than ever.

— Hir Ra-Mhadreii


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