Let Us Prey...

in Writing & Reviews3 months ago (edited)

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Image by kalhh from Pixabay


Sophie stepped out of the hibernation pod, slightly dazed. It took her the best part of a minute to adjust her eyes to her new surroundings. And when she did, she realized that the room she was standing in was filled with similar looking pods to the one she just stepped out from. She also noticed that about half of these pods were open too. So perhaps more people were closeby...

More out of confusion than impulse, she called out.

"Hello... "

The echo of her voice across the large room threatened to trigger a faint memory, but it was too faint to recall with clarity. So she called out again, this time deliberately...

"Hello... anyone here... "

Again the echo that ensued brought with it just that faint hint of an event in her past, but whatever it reminded her of, it still laid just beyond the reach of clarity. Sophie momentarily decided not to bother about it just yet, as she moved towards the door at the end of the room.

As she walked, she noted that the hibernation pods were numbered serially, hers bearing the number 7194. She also noted that the already opened pods had lower serial numbers, the highest she could make being number 6957. Perhaps, she thought, it was her turn to wake. Why that was though, she still couldn't say. She shoved the thought out of her mind as she approached the door, and turned the handle...

The door opened into a large hall, filled with tables and chairs, arranged in a way like a mega canteen. Three men were occupied with arranging pieces of clothing on the tables and chairs, as if preparing the place for an executive dinner. They didn't notice her at first, so she called out, her voice betraying her obvious relief at finding other people...

"Hi... "

The three men turned, and for the first time Sophie saw their faces. They were human quite alright, but they looked different. Their eyes bulged out like they were about to fall off their sockets, and thick blue lines ran from the base of their skulls through their faces, disappearing beneath the collars of their uniforms. Sophie couldn't make much sense of it, but it looked to her like they had blue blood, and those were veins...

The men had surprised expressions on their faces, like they never expected anyone else to be in the hall with them. But it was when they spoke, or rather attempted to speak, that the first of Sophie's memories came rushing back.

That familiar gurgling sound...

Sophie recalled the research laboratory; the breakout and spread of the Silla virus, the fatal result of man's futile quest for an extended lifespan. She also recalled the mass deaths that followed, and the fear of humanity going into extinction. That was the reason for the mass hibernation, she remembered now, those with pure genes were to be preserved until the wave of mass infections had passed. And the "life police", as they called themselves, gathered all those who had pure genes, regardless of their willingness to join the program, and hibernated everyone of them...

Still something important tugged at Sophie's memory, something she couldn't yet grasp...

Two of the men started approaching though, and this stopped her train of thought. They didn't look like they were pleased to see her, and Sophie also didn't feel so eager to meet them anymore. Her half memories of the infected humans were not nice ones. She needed to be sure of her memories before they came in contact with her...

She also noticed the third had somehow disappeared, and just the two were approaching her.

Sophie's eyes darted around in search of an escape route, the only way out was back into the hibernation room. She made her move, darting quickly for the door from which she had come out only a few minutes ago. The man to her right attempted to block her off, but she pushed the table nearest to her in his direction. This led to a coming together of some tables and chairs, effectively blocking his path to her. Sophie noticed a tablet-like object had fallen off the table she had pushed, she reflexively picked it up and ran into the safety of the hibernation room.

Safely behind the door, Sophie turned the manual lock. To make double sure, she pulled one of the empty pods behind the door as well. Then she began fumbling with the tablet she had retrieved. But in her state of trepidation, she couldn't make sense of it. Just when she was becoming certain she couldn't operate it, the tablet lit up, showing a picture of the Eiffel Tower with the words "WELCOME PILOT" written across. Then it faded away, and a calendar appeared on the screen. The first thing Sophie noticed about it was the date, 13th October 2335.

She gulped, she and the others had been in hibernation for 300 years! Suddenly she felt her legs become weak, and she held the pod closest to her for support. Her mind was racing; where were the ones already awake? Why were others still asleep? Were there any uninfected humans left?...

The sudden bang on the door jarred her back to the present. She looked around, there was nowhere to go, and she had neither the expertise nor the physical strength to open up the still closed pods. Information was her only hope, so she focused again on the tablet...

It still had only the calendar on the screen, with a highlight on the present date. Sophie tapped on the highlighted date, and a number showed, 6972. She returned to the calendar page, and tried to navigate the dates away to no success. So she tapped on another date, and it showed another number. After about three more dates, it suddenly hit Sophie. The numbers represented the serial numbers on the pods, and this tablet was some kind of list, perhaps a wake up list, only that hers wasn't due yet...

The door banged again, this time much louder. The slight shift of the pod she used as a wedge also showed the banging had become more effective. Sophie was on the verge of hysteria now. She tried to convince herself that it was all a dream and that she would soon be awake, but the renewed banging on the door only convinced her that this horror was real.

She ran to the nearest closed pod and started banging on it, willing it with all her spirit to open and for whoever was inside to come to her aid. Needless to say it was futile, and as the door gave way, Sophie crumbled on the floor, with an expectation for the worst.

Then like a miracle, she saw him... and her face lit up...

He looked way different than she had remembered, but she recognized him straightaway. Michael had tried to get her to date him ever since she had known him, and though she had consistently refused his advances, seeing him now flooded her with relief. His face was slightly disfigured like the others, but he had retained much of his handsome features.

He smiled at her as he approached, the three men from before coming up behind him. His slightly disfigured features made his smile much more reassuring in a way, like a superhero who had completely forgotten that his handsomeness was his superpowers. But Sophie smiled back more with relief than pleasure.

Michael held out his hands when he got to her, and she held them, allowing him to pull her to her feet. He didn't say a word, he simply led her towards the broken down door, the smile still plastered on his face. She followed without fuss, something about Michael reassured her, but when they were halfway across the outside canteen-like hall, she had a sudden idea. She looked up to him...

"Frellian seacows", she said.

It was a game they had played when he had first asked her out. He was supposed to respond with another extinct animal to show that he was up to the task.

Michael simply stared at her and smiled. He made no attempt to break his walk. Sophie tried again...

"Mike, the dinosaurs."

He simply stared and smiled, the movement seemingly automatic. The door at the end of the hall opened, and as soon as she saw what lay inside, once more Sophie suddenly understood.

That list she was unsure about was a menu list, and she was being led to the slaughter. She wasn't due yet, but her coming awake had pushed her up the pecking order, and so she had to be taken care of today.

She suddenly yanked off her arm from Michael, or whatever humanity was left of him, then turned and ran. There was another door to her left, she ran straight for it.

Michael shouted and his voice echoed throughout the hall. The full memories suddenly came flooding back. She remembered it all now, the voices of the others echoing through the hall, Michael's voice echoing much louder as he gave the commands, and the squeal of death as each pure human met their end.

She may have been in a hibernation pod, but she had never been truly in hibernation. The whole thing was a sham, and the infected ones simply used them as antidotes to the effects of the infection...

Even now as she stumbled and fell, she heard the gurgling sound again, and a swish through the air.

She felt no pain..

Her last thoughts was that dying human was better than living forever like those who would feast on her carcass...

THE END

#SladenSpeaks


I hope you loved this entry...

Cheers, and thanks for stopping by!

Cc: @belenguerra @fendit @writingnreviews


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