For the longest time, I felt entirely lost. Wounded, bleeding, and exhausted, I climbed and crawled my way through the darkness and the filth of the lower decks, moving ever upward.

The gravitational forces increased their hold on the ship. The whole vessel trembled and shuddered with increasing intensity. These were the same gravitational disturbances that nearly caused my ship to break in half. It made my balance and footing difficult to maintain in the dark. I stumbled a few times but managed to stay on my feet. I had to reach the Medical Lab. I wasn’t going to let myself bleed to death. I also had to leave this stinking ship. I didn’t want to go wherever these space-time ruptures were taking it.

My shoulder wound was severe. The muscles ached and the flesh burned. I could smell the blood and I could feel it running down my wrist and hand. I couldn’t move my arm. Injured in the earlier fall, my throbbing ankle also had me hobbling.

I will make it. I thought. I will get off this ship. And I will find a way to punish Spegg and the rest of these vile creatures for what they have done.

Throughout the ship, the emergency lights appeared damaged. They gave off almost no light at all. When I reached the mid deck, I was exhausted and dizzy. I felt around for the personnel lift but couldn’t find it in the dark. I returned to climbing. By the time I reached the upper deck, the ship was being hammered from the disturbances outside. Tumbling trash and debris filled the corridor and battered my legs as I made my way toward Medical.

Upon arrival, the lights in the Medical Lab instantly activated. The bright glare momentarily blinded me and sent me stumbling backward into the corridor. Even though most of the ship was in near darkness, the Medical Lab had its own back-up power to feed lighting and equipment. As I made my way in, I put my hand out in front of my eyes and squinted. I was weak and my shoulder was bleeding profusely from where the LMO attacked me. I was light-headed and cold. A white-out clouded my vision, surely an effect of the continued blood loss. Fortunately, the room was organized for easy access to all supplies depending on the injury type. I quickly located the med lockers that housed emergency injury supplies and tore through them. I needed a coagulant to seal the wounds and stop the bleeding and some stimulants to keep my heart beating. I came away with a spray bottle of hemostatic aerosol and a fistful of ergogenic stim autoinjectors.

I backed up to an exam table and sat. The stimulants came first. I snapped off the tops of two injectors and stabbed my thigh with the needles. After a few seconds, a warm sensation came over me. My face felt flush, hot even. I then realized that the stimulants would set my heart racing, causing more blood loss from the open wounds. I pulled the short needles from my thigh and dropped the spent cartridges on the floor. I opened my shirt front and peeled the fabric back from my injured shoulder. It made me almost physically sick to look at the damage to my body.

The wound consisted of dozens of deep perforations in a semi-circle around the entire shoulder. The wounds were irregular, jagged. The beast had dug into my flesh with its long teeth and tore viciously from side to side. As the shirt came loose from the wounds, the blood began to pour again. I grabbed the bottle of aerosol and sprayed an even coat of thin whitish foam across the front and back of my shoulder. The foaming agent went to work immediately, thickening and expanding in and around the wounds. The resulting mass was five or six millimeters thick, pink in color, and dense like foam rubber. I looked down at my hand. It was pale. I tried to make a fist. There was no response. I was worried.

Another tremor seized the ship, sending the contents of the open cabinets in the Medical Lab across the floor. A noise, like a cavernous growl echoed throughout the entire ship. The disturbance that Maxim spoke of was threatening to shift the ship again. If I didn’t disembark soon, I might be forever trapped… helpless and lost.

Get moving.

[Communication sent: 13FEB2186 Shinkai Maru 5]

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