The Ancient 1.5

“What the fuck is that thing?” The quiet man from the room asks.

“I don’t know. Ask it?” The standing lady responds.

“Should we be following it?” Asks the other lady.

“It doesn’t seem threaten-” the other man began to speak but stops abruptly when Edward stops in front of him. He bumps into Edward’s back, who leans back to resist being pushed into the tall speckled face man. The tall man has stopped walking and has turned to face the group. He seems to be frowning.

“Do you creatures talk constantly as though the subject of your discussion cannot hear you? It’s rather annoying.” The tall speckle faced man says. “Do you assume I cannot hear you because my ears are half the size of yours?”  The tall man’s yellow pupils float from one person to the next as he speaks, but none of them respond. They just stare at him. The tall man shakes his head, rolling his eyes again as he turns and continues to lead them on. “Just stop talking for a while, please.”

The speckle faced man leads the group down the long hallway. It seems like it is going to go on forever, as though it might just loop back on itself in a giant circle. If Edward recalled correctly, the giant ships they were supposed to inhabit did seem like they were large circles. They weren’t awake when they were loaded, so he never had the opportunity to actually see the ship.

Edward tried to ignore the dead faces that stared out at him from their pods as they walked by. There were dozens of them. He was thankful that the majority of the pods had their portholes closed and he didn’t have to see them all.

After several very long minutes of walking, the speckle faced man turns down a corridor. He leads the group through a series of turns and past a number of empty rooms, eventually coming to a closed metal door. He knocks twice and someone inside pulls it open. The speckle faced man steps aside and directs them all to enter.

Edward leads the group inside, passing through the door into a large, well-lit room where six more of the large, ash-skinned people lingered. In the center of the room, Edward is a larger group of humans, all seated on the floor huddled together. It takes a few seconds for him to notice that the humans all have their hands bound in front of them by a length of rope connecting each person to the person beside them and that there was another person laying on the ground several feet in front of the group. The one on the floor seems to have a puddle of blood surrounding their head, which elicits a new round of gasps from Edward’s group.

The speckle faced man follows the group inside and Edward hears what he can only assume is a displeased grunt as the tall man notices the body on the floor. He pushes Edward to the side as he heads straight for it, crouching low beside it and begins to examine it.

“What is goi-” Edward begins to ask questions, but as soon as sound comes from his mouth, the nearest tall man steps forward and raises his rifle to point at his face. Edward quickly shuts his mouth, raising his hand into the air and stumbling backward into his group.

“No talking!” The man with the gun yells. Edward nods quickly to express his compliance. Another of the tall men crosses the room and rests his hand on the gun’s barrel. The man lowers his rifle.

“I don’t think we’re going to have any trouble with these people,” the new man says with a calm, deep voice as he examines Edward and his group. Edward notices that the man looks very similar to the man with the speckled face; similar height, and eyes, and the same tone of skin, but this one has red marks over his eyes where his eyebrows would be, and his head is completely shaved. “Are we?”
The entire group shakes their head in unison; no.

“I didn’t think so. We don’t need any more acts of heroism.” The bald man makes a point of nodding toward the dead man laying on the floor as he speaks. “Go have a seat with the rest of your species.”

Edward nods obediently as he steps forward, making a wide arc around the man with the gun, and finding a place to sit at the end of a row of people. The others follow, finding their places beside him as one of the tall men brings an extra length of rope to bind their wrists.

Author: CJ Stark

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