Dreams – Lost Ship

((Names and some details have been added to fill out what I internally had built in my head and knew as I was dreaming this. Too much Lovecraft, Battlestar Gallactica, and Yellow Dawn lately lol.))

We have been in space for nearly a year now, having left behind an Earth no longer inhabitable by normal human beings. I am a fighter pilot aboard the battleship Opilio, we are undermanned with few renewable supplies, but still we search for survivors. It’s all we can do.

We came across a civilian ship, Cassilda, drifting near the star cluster Hyades. There were refugees aboard from our infested home planet. They were grateful but quiet and withdrawn as they had run thin on their food supplies and many were malnourished and weak. Out of the thirty-one human beings brought onboard, I myself helped bring over eight. We housed them in an unused sector of the ship, a long corridor that branched into habitable living quarters.

We had long since stripped majority of the lights and electronic components from the sector for use in our operations areas. The sector was dimly lit, but we were pleased to hear the sounds of life echoing from its halls. So few of us were left to man Opilio when the exodus began, even the smallest addition to our numbers was a relief.

Dr. West, our only physician onboard, cleared all of the refugees as healthy and sane aside of the lack of food and rest needed to restore them back to tip top shape. But that wasn’t the case after a few days had passed. Something was wrong, something escaped our notice. The refugees grew crazed and aggressive. The quiet sounds of life in the dimly lit corridors changed to screams of predators and their victims. Infected.

We initially quarantined the sector at the first signs of violence, preventing any of the refugees from accessing the rest of the crew on the battleship. Our fear overruled any thoughts of humane compassion in trying to save any of the refugees who may have not been infected. I no longer slept peacefully, and when I managed to finally close my eyes I met horrifying and vivid dreams that drove me from my bed again. A dark city haunted my sleep, and I imagined black stars hidden in the Hyades.

After the screams ended, and the refugee sector grew quiet, a team was gathered to investigate. My squadron, the few marines we had available on board, and Dr. West were suited up protectively prior to entering the sector. The lights flickered overhead and the heavy door sealed shut behind us. In the faint light we could see dark wet spots spattered against the walls in areas, bits of flesh clinging to the cold metal. It was quiet except for the sounds of our shallow breathing and our boots traversing across the tacky floor.

I followed at the rear of the team alongside Dr. West, assault rifle gripped tightly in my hands. From the farthest end of the corridor we could hear movement, faint and shuffling, with raspy breathing. The only sign of life was ours and that of the un-dying. Dr. West began to panic and was muttering frantically, his eyes were wide and rolled looking back towards the entrance to the sector. Seeking a way out of here. His voice grew frantic and shrill and hoarse screams erupted from the darkness in a cacophony of sound. The horde swept in to attack, crashing against the marines and my squadron first. Dr. West ran for the door, condemning us and screaming curses for bringing the refugees aboard. Gunshots and unearthly shrieks rattled against the walls as flesh was torn and bitten into. Anger welled up inside of me and aimed the muzzle of my rifle at the fleeing doctor with a guttural snarl. Then I dropped my weapon and opened my arms to embrace the horde as they swept over me.

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