It was my first day stationed at the sector 9 D.S. (Deep Space) Depot. This remote post was one of the quietest spots in this sector. News has been coming out that something big was going to go through hear but as usual it was top secret stuff that a Private (Ulu Osen) like me would never know about. My whole quadrant was stationed there, so you know there was going to be something news worthy happening, or maybe we were just a decoy again for something happening somewhere else. Since the Sector 9 commander got shot security has been beefed up all over the surrounding sectors.
Word had got out to the crew that the added security was not a result of our commanders’ death, but rather the result of him passing along classified materials to the officers on his staff. He knew what was going to happen at Sector 9 and wouldn’t stand for it. Marshalls already had arrived at Sector 9 and a manhunt was underway to find those officers before they escaped. I was torn, what would I do if I stumbled upon one of my commanding officers? Would I aid him? Would I turn him in? I think that is all dependent upon what the information was. I would have to know what was so important that would make the Sector 9 Commander give up his life. So at that moment I determined I would leave my post in search of the truth even if it meant that I too would be considered a traitor.
I began to think back on my conversations with the commander. I was hoping that he had left me a trail of bread crumbs to follow after the previous... incident. He had been acting strange lately. After thinking for some time, I came to the realization that I had been wondering around for quite some time. In times of such heightened security, I could not have a lapse in judgement; I mean I have gone through rigorous training programs. I needed to find a quiet spot to think safely. The alcove next to the elevator shaft was in an area of very low traffic. Just as I was rounding the corner by the mess hall, the last thing I saw was a black blur and did not remember anything after that.
I awoke to find myself in a rank pit that resembled the deepest deserts of my home world--but more desolate. I scoffed at the thought. The cave is dry, with a small peering of sunlight juxtaposed against the stark mass to which I was leaning against. With my ears ringing, I gathered stability enough to realize that I was bonded to a heap of what can only be described as a mass of melded bone fragment and dry rock. I have a gaping wound above my left eye--a mark that strikes me with a profound sense of nostalgia. The cause of the protruding tissue that stretches from the corner of my brow to deep into my hairline, was made from a tactical level stunwire whip that I used quite often during my days working the rounds on the penal colony on Cephalon VI--a confederation-mandated volunteer service from when I reached the adult age of 14. A part of my life that seemed like lifetimes ago. A part of my life that still looked at the Confederation as a necessary authority to protect us from the barbarism of Deep Space--the barbarism of the Eli Khun.
I gain traction. I have enough strength to rise, arms agape against the massive protrusion that I tried not to even brush against with my rashed and sunburned skin. I was weary and afraid. I was alone, or in some sick way, I hoped I was. There wasn't a lot of time for me, this i knew. I needed to figure out the meaning behind my abduction, though I feared what that cause actually was. "What do you want from me??" I screamed with what was left of the saliva on my palate. The cave began to tremble. Dust began to bellow from the walls in way that caused me to gasp for what little air remained. The pit began to rotate, but not in a way that body was used to moving. As the cave began to shift upwards, I started to hang like an ornament for the crowd of dust to admire and claim as its own. The room stopped. Bits of what I hoped weren't fingers and toes still sporadically fell from the melded boulder that which now held me from falling straight down. The sunlight that was once my only vision of hope was now gone and it was dark. A female voice startled me. "Uuuuuulllu." Where haaaaaave you beeeen? The voice was robotic, yet organic. Her tone deep and hissing like a serpent. I knew it then, I assumed I was to die. Her voice, a sentient barbarian. She was an Eli Khun.
I went limp as I was hanging there. It was not a conscious decision. My body acted on its own. My mind tried to be elsewhere.
Starlight. That's all I wanted at the moment. To see starlight. To see the twin stars of my homeworld from a hundred light-years away. I longed for distance. I longed for peace.
"I want to show you something, Ulu," the voice said. It was many voices together, but it was one to me. It brought me back to a place I desperately did not want to be. "I must show you something. This is important, Ulu. I must show you something and then I will ask you a question." There was silence. Then: "Do you understand?"
I couldn't respond, but somehow the voice knew that I agreed. A moment later, my brain exploded.
"GYUUUUNNNNNHHHHHHHHHH .... AH AH AH AH .... UNNNNGGGGGHHHH ... GOD! MY GOD!"
My body was a supernova. My nerves were fusion reactions as I struggled for comprehension. "SSSSSSAAAAAAAAAAAAA .... FO FO FO FO ...." Plasma arced from my eyes. My veins bled fire.
"NO!" I screamed. Or I thought it. "No .... ECCCKKKKKKKKKKKK! Too much! Stop! Stop!!! STOP!!!!"
There was nothing. But I was alive. I was alive.
The voice was there, then.
"I must ask you a question, Ulu," the voice said. "This is important," it said as before.
"What did you see?"