This is an unedited flash fiction piece inspired by the Merriam-Webster Word of the Day to get the creative juices flowing. Hope this possibly provides you with some inspiration as well!
“How long have you been a resident here?”
A voice from another room I assume, crackles over the intercom.
The red light blinks deep into my eyes, illuminating the camera. Water drops from about two feet into a puddle that has formed in the far corner of the room. Mold slithers it’s way into my nostrils.
“Inmate 01, answer the question immediately.” His voice, rough as sandpaper, seems to have a slight stutter. My guess is he was born with the speech impediment: a burden that has been his shadow every waking moment.
There’s no reason for me to answer him. In a few moments I will be thrown back into the padded room high in the sky. No light so much as creeps into my cell, but the sounds it bring to the world outside can faintly be heard through the six feet thick steel walls. Small particles can be heard clinking against the outer hull as we cruise through space. Bleeps from communication capsules sending messages to other holding ships frequently soak into the walls.
It wasn’t long ago that I was operating one of those communication capsules. Life was simple back then. After gathering incoming messages, they were sorted, then sent back out across the galaxy. Most incoming signals would be from main operating bases on planets around the area. Outgoing signals would be broadcast to the various transport ships coasting through various stretches of space.
The drops of water have synchronized with the blinking of the red light. Or at least my eyes are telling me they have. A flick of a lighter comes over the speaker.
“Inmate 01, your time of release solely depends on your own cooperation. Crimes against several species can be reprimanded with answers to our questions. We do not speak for lifeforms on any particular planet. Our only agenda is for the strengthening of The Corporation.”
Not very many species throughout the galaxy knew exactly how The Corporation operated. The few that have gotten close to the truth are on my cell block or have been terminated for energy consumption. This isn’t my first interview. A guard’s elementary interview tactics aren’t going to break me. My body and mind have withstood everything from water boarding to the black hole simulation tank.
The red light on the camera disappears. The water ceases to drip. A click of the intercom brings a cold draft across my shackled ankles. Hot breath blows down my back as a rough hand rests upon my shoulder. Saliva drips onto my shoulder, sliding down my chest.
“Your time has come to leave Transport Alicia. We need you back on Signal Echo immediately.”
The voice seems familiar, but yet so distant in my memory. Signal Echo was my final communication capsule stationing before being banished here on Transport Alicia. My former signal commander had been sent to Infar on the far side of the galaxy.
The red light on the camera begins to flash again. My ankles regain warmth. My chest feels dry. I touch my shoulder. There is no rough hand resting there.
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