Smile, It's the End of the World: Part One

Year 2027

It's been eight months since I first set off on my voyage. I had been sent into space, the last frontier. The wide-open, empty blackness was visible for millions upon millions of miles. It was sometimes lonely, for Lieutenant Scott is constantly busy with his work in the lab.

Our vessel, the Pequad 3, was a state of the art space vessel specifically designed to sustain life for long periods of time. There's no hyper-sleep here, just work. There's so much to analyze, yet I feel almost empty sometimes. I need some companionship, ya know? Scott isn't my type, way too bossy. I never seem to find the right guy. Maybe I'll find what I need when I get back.

Astronaut Kristen Kubrick, over and out.

"Hey, whatcha doing?" asked Roger Scott, the ship's first in command.

"Oh, just recording my daily journal. You know, to help pass the time," said Kristen.

"Well, I need you to man the controls while I do some paperwork. Call me if anything happens."

"I know protocol. Everything will be fine." Kristen went to the control room, where all command given to the ship. The ship, being a state of the art vessel, had voice command capabilities along with the standard knobs and levers. The ship had coordinates to circle around a certain galaxy for nine months while the two-man crew took data samples and analyzed them. No one had to steer, just keep a look out in case a malfunction took place. It was a grueling expedition if not a mind numbing one, but the spirit of exploration pervaded the travelers' thoughts throughout the journey.

"Yo, tell me what ya want, what ya really want! I'll tell you what I want what I really really want! I wanna wanna wanna wanna, wanna really really really wanna zigga-zig-ah!" sung Kubrick to herself while watching the knobs and gizmos.

"I wonder if Scott is having fun with those papers…" said Kubrick, reclining on the comfortable seat.

A jarring blow quickly woke Kubrick, and she hurried to check the monitors. They were being sucked into some sort of vortex that had formed. The ship's parts were bending and breaking, and the all the systems were quickly failing.

"We're going down! Hold on to something!" shouted Scott through the intercom. It was too fast for them to try to save the ship. All they could do was wait it out, and hopefully they would survive. Unfortunately, Kubrick wasn't conscious long enough to see the final descent.

An Unknown Time Later

Kubrick awoke in the middle of a vast desert. She was in a daze, unaware of her surroundings, and most certainly unaware of protocol.

"General Scott! Where are you?" she shouted as she got herself up. She slowly but surely realized that she was not in the shuttle, and she was breathing air. She quickly put on her visor and checked the air on her analyzer. The atmosphere was fine. 21 percent oxygen, 78 percent nitrogen, 1 percent other. Very peculiar.

Kubrick walked around the massive desert and observed that the sand was a deep yellow-orange, almost carrot like in color. Very similar to the deserts of Australia, in fact. She was beginning to think that they got lucky and the guidance mechanism in the shuttle took them back to earth. Now, to find a phone.

She tried to use the two-way device in her headpiece, but she couldn't reach anyone. Neither the shuttle nor Scott were anywhere in sight. The heat of the desert was starting to get to her, and without any water, she would dehydrate soon. Had she been thrown from the shuttle? If so, at what point?

After a few hours of walking, Kubrick saw a familiar shape in the distance. The shuttle! Ecstatic that her source of shelter had been found, she scurried towards the humongous vessel. It was in pretty bad shape.

"Scott?! Where are you?" yelled Kubrick.

"Kristen? I'm over here. My leg is broken," said a faint voice underneath the wreckage. Kubrick, panic stricken, followed the voice until she found a very injured Scott.

"Sir…I am so sorry. I should have been paying more attention," began a frusrtaed Kubrick.

"Kristen, don't worry. It was a freak accident. Plus, scanners indicate we're on a landscape nearly identical to Earth's. I think we'll be ok," reassured Scott. Kubrick helped him up and propped her left arm underneath his right to help him walk.

"So, which direction?" asked Kubrick.

"I don't care. You're guess is as good as mine," came the exhausted reply.

"Lets try west." The two began their difficult trek towards the setting sun.

It got dark very quickly. The blackness surrounded the two souls in what seemed like an empty world. But they soon found out that it wasn't.

"Hey, I think I see someone!" shouted Scott at the top of his voice. Kubrick thought he was joking or hallucinating, but she herself also saw the figure. It was a humanoid shape, and a few more of them appeared as well. Four of them were now visible. The darkness made it impossible to make out any characteristics, though.

"Hey! Over here! Come over here! We need help!" shouted Scott, but Kubrick saw something peculiar. They weren't walking normally. In fact, they were almost alternating between running like a human and running on all fours.

"Scott, something's wrong," said a startled Kubrick. Something creepy was happening, an almost surreal experience. The visitors were almost upon them, and Kubrick began to back away.

"Come on, we have to leave!" she shouted, but Scott was too intent on getting rescued, oblivious to the danger. But it was too late.

The visitors were now visible, and they were certainly less than human…or perhaps something more. They were wearing red body suits that covered their entire bodies with the exception of their eyes, hands, and feet. The hands and feet were almost furry, and the feet had a paw like structure to them. They sported razor sharp claws. The eyes shone like the bright moon.

They ran straight up onto Scott and dug their talons into him. Scott shrieked in immense pain as he tried to fight them off, but it was futile. They slowly started ripping his flesh from his body as Kubrick started running away.

She stayed long enough to see one of them take off the mask section of the suit and start eating Scott. The face had a somewhat human feature to it, but it was clearly catlike, with whiskers and sharp fangs. They hissed at Kristen as she ran off.

She was hysterical. She just let her partner get killed. Fight or flight response…why did she fly? Why oh why? She was still flying. She was too frightened to stop. She was so panicked that she didn't realize that she was entering a strange graveyard of ancient spacecraft. Her surroundings gradually came to focus, and she stopped in the center of the humongous field of broken ships.

"What happened? Is anybody out there? Is anybody…human?"