The Ancient 1.4

By now, Edward’s vision has cleared enough that, once they adjust to the lights, he can make out the details of his surroundings. The hall is at least twenty feet wide, and twice that in height, extending far into the distance and gradually bending out of sight. The floor above them is just a walkway along the walls with a few bridges spanning the gap every hundred feet or so. The walls are lined with hundreds of metal capsules like the one he had recently left; only a few of them are open, exposing the empty cavity inside them. These are, Edward assumes, the ones that he and the other four came out of.

Most of the capsules are still closed with their viewing plates in place, but Edward notices a number of them are missing the metal covers over their windows and can just make out the mummy-like faces of the dead inside some of the closer ones. Most of the 300 west-coast survivors that he came on board with seem to be in various stages of decay, from recently deceased to skeletal remains.
“What happened?” The quiet man from the room asks.

“Your technology sucked,” replies the tall man from behind the group. With the blinding lights and the distracting interior of the ship, the entire group had stepped out right past the man as if they hadn’t seen him. Now, the quiet man, and the lady who was standing turn to face him and gasp in surprise. The sound of their shock draws Edward’s and the others’ attention and they turn to see what the fuss is about. Edward finds the two staring up at the tall man, and when he sees him he can’t help but drop his jaw and draw in an involuntary gasp of breath.

The man is almost seven and a half feet tall, but that is hardly his most surprising feature. The man has dark grey skin like the color of ash, with white speckles splattered across his face like stardust. His eyes are pitch black with small, round, yellow pupils. He is almost completely bald, except for one thick, dark red pony-tail that hangs from his right temple and wraps several times loosely around his neck like a scarf. The rest of his body is covered with a dark cloak that hangs from his shoulders to his knees, with heavy boots on his feet. Edward can’t make out any details below the cloak but he gets the impression the man is very thin for his height.

“We only found 15 of you alive,” the speckled face man states. “Three of you sort of alive, and the rest of your 328 pods in various stages of decomposition.” The speckled faced man motions down the hall toward where the surviving groups open pods are, but none of the five follow his direction. The survivors stare up at the man with wide eyes and mouths agape. The speckled face man stares back at them for several seconds before rolling his eyes and looking away. “And yet I fear that those still living may have soup for brains.” The man sighs.

“This way, come on,” the speckled face man turns is back to the group and begins walking down the corridor, not waiting to ensure that they follow. The group is hesitant to follow as they exchange glances. Edward steps forward, away from the small group, and walks as quickly as he can to catch up. He notices that the others follow him shortly after.

Author: CJ Stark

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