Canton got a sinking feeling in his gut. He slammed the throttle back and jerked on the control stick, sending his shuttle flipping ass over tea-kettle back towards the Exodus. That’s when he saw them.

A line of craft travelling away from the Exodus and towards the alien ship. They weren’t fighters, they looked more like small cargo craft. What’s worse, they were coming from the colonist section.

Tess woke to the sound of something tapping on the transparent polymer shell of her cryo pod. Everything was dark so she couldn't see what it was, then her pod began shaking and she could feel herself being lifted up. She could see lights pass by, bright greens and blues, but nothing much else. Then her pod shook one last time and she stopped moving. After a few minutes Tess decided to pull the emergency release lever for the pod's hatch. Small explosive bolts fired, causing a loud bang and flash which sent the hatch flying upwards and clattering into the darkness.

Cold air filled the pod and Tess noted it had an odd taste to it. Something wrong had gone down, that much she realized. She immediately withdrew her hacking computer and switched on the screen to illuminate her surroundings.

She wasn't on board the Exodus.

The room she found herself in looked like a large storage bay full of cryo pods from the Exodus. She carefully climbed out of the pod and clambered down the side of the large pyramidal pile of pods she found herself atop of. Much to her horror, she soon realized most of the other occupants in them were starting to wake up as well. One attempted to use the emergency release, and when the explosive bolts fired it was was Tess was right in front of the pod. The hatch didn't release due to the weight of the other pods that were stacked on top of it, but the shock and force of the bolts exploding sent Tess tumbling down the side.

When she came to she was on the floor, the entire compartment was beginning to flood with the sound of muffled screams and dulled pops from other vain attempts by people to activate their emergency releases. Tess quickly found her computer and got to her feet just in time to hear heavy footfalls approaching. She shut off the screen and ran in the opposite direction of the footsteps. When she rounded the corner she stopped and peeked back around to try and see what was coming.

In the darkness she could make out a tall figure, too tall to be a human, marching down the aisle between the stacks of pods. The footfalls were metallic sounding, heavy, unbelievably heavy. Tess could feel the floor vibrate with each step the thing made. It stopped and inspected the hatch from her pod which had landed nearby. Then a series of unholy metallic groans and burbles erupted from the thing and it marched back into the darkness.

What the hell kind of nightmare did I wake up to? Tess asked herself before slinking further into the vast compartment seeking a way out.


Before Canton had to bank steeply and roll away he caught a glimpse of something, a ship perhaps attached to the hull of the Exodus. He grit his teeth and thumbed his comms again.

“Captain, be advised there is something attached to the ship, I can’t get any closer at the moment. It’s all we can do to not be blown out of the sky. I suggest you have VanDraeger and her combat teams investigate. We’ll attempt to return fire and keep the fighters distracted until further orders.”

Dr. Miles Pendergast woke to the sight of an inhuman creature staring into his pod. It was tall, mechanical in nature yet shaped very much like a human with two arms, two legs, and a head. However the head was oblong and its face was nothing but an empty crater with no discernable features.

Instead of screaming, Pendergast marveled at the thing. It was quite the experience, to see some alien being, mechanical or not, standing in front of you. It was not the first thing Pendergast expected when he first woke up. However, the feeling of the ship rattling from what Pendergast already determined was some kind of weapons fire and the muffled screams of other colonists being taken clearly told him that whatever this creature was, its intentions were not friendly.

Immediately, Pendergast pulled the emergency release lever on his pod. The explosive bolts triggered and the front hatch of the pod was launched right into the creature, which fell back with a disgruntled, metallic shriek. Pendergast took this opportunity to jump out of his pod and sprint down the corridor. At the moment he was merely looking for a safe place to regroup and figure out what the hell was going on. He hoped that Kruger and the security teams were already awake and attempting to address the new threat that had managed to board the Exodus...

< Prev : Contact Next > : Surveying the Damage