I'm back! I wrote about a third of my original story, but was feeling a bit blocked so I decided to work on this for a bit. I hope you guys are happy to see me writing again! If you are reading this first, you should really go back and read my first story, because otherwise this one might not make much sense. Last time I wrote, I published a chapter every 2 days. I won't be able to keep that up this time as I'm working hard on a job hunt. Expect one every week or so.
Disclaimer - I don't own Falling Skies, only my OCs.
Chapter One – Radio Silence
"Come on, Evey! Don't be such a girl."
The little girl with red hair sitting next to the little boy with brown hair folded her arms and huffed dramatically. "It has nothing to do with whether or not I'm a girl, Hal, I am not eating that earthworm. It's gross, not to mention unsanitary. Do you know how many germs could be on that thing?"
"Oooh, Evelyn knows all the big words," he said elbowing her in the side and dangling the earthworm in front of her face. "You know, I think you're just using all those big words of your to hide the fact that you are chicken. Buc-buc-bucah! Chicken."
The little girl rolled her eyes and stood up from the bench where she was sitting. "What are you, five years old? Go hang out with Ben if you're going to act like that, you idiot."
"I'm not five, I'm ten," he said getting up off the bench and following her, "and you're chicken. Eat the worm." He waved it in front of her face like a pendulum, back and forth as if he was trying to hypnotize her.
"Why would I eat the worm?" she demanded with her hands on her hips. "I bet you haven't even eaten one before."
"Sure I have," he said quickly.
The little girl narrowed her eyes at him. "You're lying."
"No I'm not," the boy proclaimed, "and I'll prove it." He closed the worm in his fist and raised it to his mouth, throwing his head back enthusiastically.
The girl scrunched up her face in disgust. "Ewwwwww. Hal, that's gross."
"It's not gross," he replied through a wide smile. "It tastes just like chicken. Just like you probably do. Because you're a chicken."
The girl flipped her braid of bright red hair over her shoulder over her shoulder dramatically. "Yeah, well, at least I'm not diseased."
Then the boy ran up to the girl and quickly pressed his lips against hers. He took a couple of steps back with a massive grin covering his face. "There you go, Evey! Now we're both diseased!"
"Hal! Why would you do something like that!" she screeched, wiping at her mouth as he laughed maniacally. "Now I've got worm on me!"
But the boy kept laughing. So she reached down and pulled off a shoe and threw it at his head. It connected with a loud thump.
"Ow! Evey what was that for?" he asked, rubbing at his head.
The girl was marching out of the backyard with loud, angry stomps. "For being a jerk!" she shouted over her shoulder.
"Oh, come on Evey! I didn't even eat the worm! Look, it's still in my hand!"
"You're still a jerk!" she shouted back.
"What about your shoe?"
"I'll come back for it later!"
Evelyn woke with a start. She had had a strange dream. Only it was more of a memory than a dream. It was like looking at an old photograph, one that had aged and yellowed a bit where everything and everyone seems so happy, but are now so far away. She could feel some of that residual happiness but it was fading away fast and it was replaced with cold.
There was a strange sort of light shining directly in her eyes. She still kept them squeezed shut, but she could see the veins in her eyelids from where the light was seeping through that flimsy bit of skin. When she finally opened them, she found herself in a tiny space with strange tubes running all over the place. Her mind raced as it tried to work out where she was and what had happened. She remembered the tower exploding, the ride home, Hal's brain-jacked sort-of girlfriend appearing out of nowhere, and then walking onto that ship hand-in-hand with that pretty, blonde Chucky doll. Then something with way too many hands had grabbed her and forced into that tiny little compartment saturated in that harsh blue light. That's when she had started to freak out, hyperventilating to the point that she passed out.
There were a lot of things to be scared of in the world—especially now. Life had become pure, unadulterated 24/7 combat. There were guns and explosions and people were dying all around you. Every time you blinked you had to be prepared to say goodbye to a friend, or to die yourself. Fear floated around through the air like pollen during springtime or like some airborne virus. You would think that after everything she had been through, she would have built up a sort of immunity to it. Some sort of antibody against anxiety. But even after everything she had been through, Evelyn found something new to be afraid of. She was claustrophobic.
What a joke. She was claustrophobic. It was like she was some sort of kid who was afraid of the monster under the bed or the boogeyman in her closet. She liked to think of herself as some kind of badass fighter, but shove her into a tightly confined space and she turned into that stupid chick who dies at the beginning of bad horror movies. She felt weak, and Evelyn hated feeling weak. One thing was for sure—being a martyr sucked.
Evelyn knew that time was passing, but for her there seemed to be no concept of it. There was nothing to mark it by. No clocks, no sunlight, nothing. She didn't know how long she was in that little pod, or whatever the hell it was called. It felt like an eternity. That's why she hated being closed off like that so much. She could be there for months and not really know it. Or, what's worse, she could have only been there a day or two. What would that mean for the rest of her life if the rivers of time moved so slowly for her? She would lose her mind—but then again, given that thing growing in her brain, losing her mind was inevitable. She would just rather that it didn't happen sooner rather than later.
Evelyn tried to maintain her cool, to stay calm. That didn't last too long. That squid-headed thing had delivered some cryptic message, told her it wanted to learn from her, and then locked her up? It didn't make any goddamn sense. They could kill her easily, so what was the delay? Evelyn was sick of all the bullshit. And she wanted to know what was happening to Ben. Eventually she snapped.
"LET ME OUT OF HERE!" she screamed, kicking and punching at the metal walls that surrounded her. "WHY DID YOU TAKE ME, HUH? TO LOCK ME UP AND THROW AWAY THE KEY? WHAT'S THE USE IN THAT!"
Evelyn could feel herself starting to hyperventilate again, so she stopped thrashing and forced herself to breathe more slowly. It left this feeling of a gaping hole in her lungs, like they were trying to fill with that stale, sick smelling air, but she just wouldn't let them. She braced her hands against solid surface in front of her and gritted her teeth, trying to use that physical action to stave off the anxiety that was choking her.
"Think about the good things," she whispered to herself. So she closed her eyes and ran through the images in her head. Max and Marjorie and Cecelia, that little family they had formed. Even at the center of the massive shitstorm called life they found each other and they were happy. Maggie's face when she had showed Evelyn the first ultrasound. Ben and Amy sitting together and laughing about some very rude, although accurate, comment the little blonde girl had made. Evelyn even snorted thinking about little Amy. If she had a little sister, she would have wanted it to be Amy. Then there was Tom and Anne kissing, proving to her that even old people could find love. And then there was Tom and Matt and Ben and Hal. That family…..they could make it through anything. They would always manage to find a way to cling to each other. No matter what. And wasn't that beautiful? Wasn't that what life was all about? It was something worth trading herself for.
Life is a pile of good things and bad things, she thought to herself, the good things don't always soften the bad but vice versa the bad things don't necessarily spoil the good things or make them unimportant. That was her favorite quote from Doctor Who. It seemed to fit her situation in that moment. No matter how bad things got, you could always hold on to the good bits. Evelyn smiled to herself again. In the corner of her brain there was a little voice screaming the word 'nerd!'. That little voice sounded a lot like Hal.
Hal. She really missed him. She had kissed him the last time she saw him and then walked away, probably to her ultimate death. He didn't care that she was slowly dying or that in a few years the tumor would turn her brain to Swiss cheese. He didn't care that she would start drooling on herself and wetting herself when one by one her bodily functions failed her. What was it that he said? 'I'll take whatever I can get,' that's what he had said. Or at least that's what he said now. He'd probably change his mind when she became incontinent or when her IQ dropped by 40 points. But still, he was Hal. And if she was being honest, she would take whatever she could get, too. That was probably selfish of her. Not that any of that mattered anymore seeing as she was going to die on this ship. Poor Hal. The last two girls he kissed were kidnapped and/or brainwashed and/or dead. The boy must be developing some sort of psychological complex. That probably shouldn't make her want to laugh, but it did. It would probably make him laugh too.
Evelyn wanted to sleep. God, she really, really needed to sleep. But that damn light just kept shining in her eyes and never ever stopped. Her eyes were aching in their sockets. They were itching so much that she almost wanted to tear them out to get some sort of relief from it. Her mouth was so dry that her lips seemed to stick together every time she tried to open her mouth. She started kicking again, more weakly than before.
"Hey!" she croaked, her voice raspy from both dehydration and disuse, "Hey! I am NOT going to die in here! You want to kill me? Shoot me! But this is complete bullshit! At least do me the decency of looking in my eyes when the light goes out of them! I refuse to die in the dark like a scared little girl OR a busty co-ed!"
Evelyn kicked some more. "I AM TALKING!"
Then she heard a scraping noise and looked down at her feet. Holy crap. They had listened to her. A panel had been pulled out and was now revealing a skitter. She stared at it in shock. It was the first living creature she had seen for over—she didn't really know how long. Then she started kicking some more, getting a few good shots in before it managed to grab hold of her leg.
With one good yank she found herself sliding out of the pod and crashing onto the floor of the ship. Strange. She didn't remember the pod being at an incline. After all the time she spent in there she must have forgotten and just assumed it was horizontal. Evelyn rolled onto her back, disoriented, and looked around her wildly. The floor of the ship was smooth and cool and the walls were sloping and had this sort of lattice-work pattern of beams that was bathed in even more glowing blue light. It almost looked like a hive.
Evelyn coughed a bit, taking in ragged breaths of air. It was somewhat fresher than what she had in the pod, but it still smelled vaguely putrid. Before managed to catch her breath, she felt a sort of pressure at her abdomen. She looked down and saw a staff that was pressed into her stomach. Her eyes followed the length of it until she saw that it was being held by the skitter. And about half a second later her entire body was wracked with mind-numbing agony. She heard screaming, and it took a moment to realize that it was her own voice ringing out through the corridor.
The pain stopped for a moment and Evelyn glanced back at the skitter. She tried her best to look defiant. That damned alien was not going to see her beg for mercy. The skitter cocked its head to the side in a way that seemed unnervingly human. Then it pulled the trigger or flipped the switch or did whatever it had to do to send waves of pain coursing through her body. It felt kind of like those seizures that she had had when she was little, before her first surgery, but somehow managed to be more painful. Evelyn could see those blue waves of electricity coursing down her body as it flopped and spasmed uncontrollably. She was really starting to hate the color blue. It was some sort of depressing form of aversion therapy.
Eventually the pain stopped, but Evelyn felt another sort of pressure on her chest and throat. She opened her eyes, but everything was blurry. She was seeing double. The two images slowly moved together until they reconciled themselves into a single clear image.
The skitter leaning over her was incredibly ugly. When it came to the skitters, she didn't think that there could be varying degrees of ugly. She just thought they were all hideous, but this one…It's face was asymmetrical, with one side sagging more than the other. It looked almost as though his face had been melted like candle wax. And one of its eyes was a deep blood red. For some reason it made her think of some crazy, intergalactic version of The Phantom of the Opera. Nerd.
Evelyn grabbed the foot that was pinning her to the ground and struggled against it.
"What do you want from me?" she demanded through gasping breaths. The foot planted on her throat wasn't choking her, but it was making it very difficult to breath. "I said…what…do you…want…from me?"
She didn't know why she was talking to it. It wasn't as if the skitter could respond. It kept leaning in closer and closer until she saw that it was holding some sort of needle in its other hand. Evelyn screamed. Not one of those terrified screams but one of the angry, vicious kind. Her hands started clawing away at the foot forcing her to the ground and she kicked wildly and violently.
"GET THAT THING AWAY FROM ME!"
But it didn't make any difference. Pain flooded her body as she got zapped with the wizard staff again, making her so numb that she almost didn't feel that light pinch as the needle was being forced into the side of her neck.
Then all the sudden the skitter stepped back, releasing her from the floor. Evelyn pushed herself up on her arms and pushed herself backwards and away from the creature until her back hit the wall behind her. She used the wall to force herself to her feet and tried to run, but it felt like she was moving through water, like the air was fighting her and trying to slow her down. Her limbs began to feel very very heavy and her brain began to feel fuzzy. And then there was that sinking feeling. Evelyn recognized that sinking feeling. She had been drugged enough times to recognize the symptoms. But this time Max wasn't sitting next to her and smiling like a smug sonofabitch.
Evelyn knew that she wasn't going to be able to escape, her mind was dropping out too fast, but she kept running anyway. Even though it was futile, even though the skitter was just playing with her, she owed it to herself and to the 2nd Mass to at least try. But for some reason she couldn't make herself shake the feeling that she was the rat in one of those psychology studies that was trying oh-so desperately to find the cheese. And the skitters were that PhD with a lab coat and clip board looking down at her and watching her flounder.
Eventually she started stumbling. Then she was falling. Then she was crawling. Then she was being dragged. Evelyn could feel herself fading in and out of consciousness. She could never see anything clearly. It was like she was looking through a fog. All she could see were scales and metal and all she could feel were numbness and pain. She tried to fight to wake up, but she couldn't. Eventually everything faded to black, and she felt nothing.
Reviews are love. And kill skitters. Seriously please review. It makes me feel like there's a point in me writing this.
In the meantime...LERRRRRRROOOOOOOOOYYYYYYY JENKINS!
Also, you should really check out the story 'From Your Lips' by LMScatterbrain. It is a seriously interesting story, with loads of creativity in terms of point of view. I'm serious, check it out.