The utter absence of illumination, the kind that not only shields the light from view; but swallows it whole leaving a vacancy in its place.

Optics flicker to life, opening slowly.

I am.. in a foreign place, surrounded by familiar faces.

My hands are stretched out before me, palms faced outward.

Their mouths are moving, but my audio receptors do not return a ping.

With such excited frenzy, their jaws swing up and down; I can barely keep up.

Is that excitement.. or fear?

Before me, a giant forcefield separates us from certain death.


My fingers push against this nefarious force, the field reacting in kind.

An arc of energy crackles violently over the surface.

The feedback leaves my entire forearms numb.


As the outside force grows expoentially, so does my resolve.

Energy fractures form, stress cracks shift, the field itself hangs in a delicate balance.

Despite the pain, I respond in kind.

My hands cradle the feedback, distributing it evenly across the field as a conductor would orchestrate his symphony.

Energy ripples across the field surface, my fingers busy at work applying force where appropriate.

The management of such energies rips searing pain through my arms, into my shoulders, and sinking deep within my core.

The chorus of agonizing feedback signals only one thing.

Something is not right.

The field bubbles with feedback, the opposing abyss testing it violently at every juncture.

As I swing my hands into place, I already know my defeat is assured.

My efforts are not timed, deliberate, perfect.

I overreach, overreact.

My optics are condemned to witness this mistake that I am unable to correct.

As the field ruptures, my optics wander from the objective.

I cannot be made to bear witness to this.

Yet, I see myself among the others.

The others, flying into panic.

Giving into fear.

My other self, calm and resolute.

He opens his mouth to speak, "..."

His two words are swallowed whole by the blinding white flash that envelops everything in its path.

The ninth vorn of the second stellar-cycle, fifth klik

Optics flicker to life, opening slowly.

I am in my hab suite, familiar place.

As I disconnect from my recharge, the metal tube rakes against my chest.

Feet swung over the edge of the slab, a taste foul comes from the back of my mouth.

An empty bottle of Nightmare Fuel rests on the ground.

Across the room from the slab, I see myself in a mirror.

There are no others.

My fear.

Calm, resolute.

I open my mouth, two words come out.

Two words that were swallowed whole by the white flash that destroyed everything.

"One job."


  • This is a writing exercise for myself.
  • As such, no one probably knows about this unless you're Red Alert and you've hacked into his video feed.
  • Or if you're Chromedome and inserted needles into his neck.

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