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The silence burned in his hears.

20 pulses.

He must’ve really pissed the wrong person off this time. This wasn’t his first solitary, but it was the longest. They said that after 30 pulses you lose your hearing.

I could be so lucky.

He closed his eyes and pretended he could hear his breathing. Suddenly the comm exploded noise into his head. “Unit X187, solitary sentence over.” The cold robotic voice wouldn’t care if he argued or not.

Damn, just starting no enjoy myself.

With a jolt, he began receding back into the ship, from one cold black expanse to another. The airlock closed in front of him and he became painfully aware of sound again, the machinery of the ship click and grinding as he descended. The platform slammed into place sending a painful shock through his body. Piece by piece the restraints withdrew into the platform. When the last strap around his abdomen released he collapsed to the floor, his muscles weak from disuse. As he began slowly getting up to his feet it became increasingly clear something was very wrong. It was dark except for the single orange emergency strobe. There were no guards.

Is this some new test?

“Hey! Anyone there?”

Tentatively he made his way down the corridor leading to the rest of the ship. When he reached the door it occurred to him he wouldn’t be able to get it open without an access card. He peered through the little window. He could only see black and the occasional pulsing orange. He crouched down and pressed his ear against the door. For a few seconds, it was only silence, but then he thought he heard gunfire. He pressed harder. He heard a faint scream that ended all too quickly.

What the hell?

He stood up and considered the door. There was nowhere else to go; maybe he could rig the controls. As he reached for the controls he heard more gunfire. Close. Another scream was cut short by a sickening gurgle and then a spine-chilling growl.

It’s coming this way.

He slowly backed away from the door as monstrous footsteps grew louder. Tripping over his own feet he fell backward. When he looked back up at the door their eyes met. The creature was glaring through the small window. Its eyes looked like they burned with a purple flame.

It can’t be…

With a deafening roar, the door burst inwards flying only inches over his head. He had nowhere to go.

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