The air was thick with moisture, cold and dark as a shadowy tomb. The cargo hold echoed with the whisper of claws against metal grates.
Devyn heard the drips. Alone in the dark with alien monsters hunting her Devyn feared death.
In the dark, with no one to help and monsters after her, Devyn was trapped.
Droplets of water ghosted over her skin, an icy mist in the cold air.
Dancing on the Edge of the Waterfall
By Meyari McFarland
Devyn shut her eyes, held her breath. The air was thick with moisture, like standing outside of the shower as the water pounded down and steam rose to fill the bathroom. It was a cold moisture, though, not warm and welcoming. She could have sworn that there were droplets running along her arms but when she rubbed one hand over her wrist her palm came away dry.
The hold was dark, lights on dim to conserve energy. They’d all agreed that there was no need for bright lights in rooms that weren’t currently used so everywhere, not just the hold, dimmed the lights after they left the area. That made the hold a shadowy tomb full of nightmare fodder when she opened her eyes again. The little girl who’d been terrified of the dark screamed inside of Devyn for her to turn the lights on so that the monsters wouldn’t get her.
Lights wouldn’t protect her from monsters. The ‘monsters’ they’d picked up were sightless, claw-bedecked beaked monstrosities that enjoyed gnawing on plastic and skittering through the ducts. Even if Arlana thought they were no different than rats, Devyn had private intentions of wiping every single one of the little monsters out before they made planet again. Stupid things didn’t breed fast, didn’t seem to breed at all, so it shouldn’t be hard.
Somewhere, deep inside the echoing cavern of a hold, a water drop pinged against metal. A leak. Three seconds later another ping echoed, as loud as a shout in a silent room and three times as hard to trace given the way the sound bounced off the walls, the crates, the curve of Devyn’s ears.
“I have a leak,” Devyn announced over the comm.
“Fuck, where?” Isleen demanded.
“I don’t know,” Devyn said as she pulled out her scanner. “Three second interval, somewhere in the hold. That’s all I’ve got so far. It’s damp as hell down here, though. It’s been going for a while.”
She went silent as a double ping echoed through the hold. Devyn cursed under her breath as she set out down the main aisle of the hold, scanning for any pooling of water. Unlikely given the grates under their goods but you never knew. There were places where the floor was solid. Not many, mind you, but a few that had been designed as spots to hold high priced goods that Isleen had never managed to book. Nya had taken to storing crates of dehydrated food there strictly because it was easier on her weak leg to walk on solid plates than open grates.
“How much water are we talking?” Riley asked. Even over the comms her voice came out gruff and so deep that you’d suspect vocal cord damage.
“Too much,” Devyn snapped as her sensor pad came back with entirely too much water under her feet. “It feels like I’m in the middle of a waterfall in here. I think it’s all pooled in the pit under the grates. Not sure yet how much but even with the spin of the hull we’re talking enough to nearly fill the pit.”
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