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I am green

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We are astronauts. Our kind has spread over planets all over the galaxy, therefore we are tasked to travel from planet to planet, exchanging information. We aren’t given names; however, our space suits are color coded. We call each other by these colors. This is to prevent attachment to each other.

Black unbuckles the seat belt holding him down. He is the unofficial leader. The one who knows a little more, the one who we can trust.

“Everyone!” he speaks up, his voice distorted by his space suit. Gestures are all we can go by as our entire bodies are covered by our suits and our faces are covered by our blacked-out visors.

“Recently there have been several reports of imposters infiltrating space ships!” Pink flinches, perhaps he hadn’t heard of these reports before.

“Does everyone know what imposters are?” Black continues, turning to face pink. Pink fiddles with his fingers before looking up and shaking his head. The space ship rumbles.

“They are carnivores capable of shapeshifting. Their true forms one can only guess though it seems they are tentacle ridden. They hunt by disguising themselves as their prey, infiltrating groups before devouring the entire group. Be careful everyone. The imposters could be among us.”

A loud horn notifies us that it is safe to get up. Pink stays on his seat. I unbuckle my seat belt, as do most. Black approaches pink to comfort him. Everyone splits up as we have tasks to do. This spaceship is older and has many faults. Wires will get loose and we might lose course. But no matter, we were trained for this.

I head to admin to register myself. I pass through the cafeteria, it’s nice and spacious though the white lights give it a cold glow. Orange is clearing asteroids, I watch her for a moment, fascinated by the abyss lurking just beyond the window pane and don’t get any farther.

The alarm blares ear shatteringly loud.

An emergency meeting has been called.

Orange and I look at each other before we sprint back to the cafeteria. Neither of us have a chance to say anything as blue starts to scream.

“I saw white kill yellow just as I rounded the corner. Then she jumped into a vent!”

Panic spreads through the room as white frantically gestures.

“I did nothing! You killed yellow!”

I watch as they yell at each other. Everyone has questions, except for me. I had no chance to even get to know yellow, so I find nothing to say. Black slams his hand into the table.

“Are you certain you saw her kill yellow?” His voice is factual and cold.

“Yes!” Blue sounds exhausted.

“Then let us vote.”

Black keeps an eye on white as we simultaneously pull out the task tablets. I select the voting screen and click “confirm” as it asks me whether I truly wish to eject white. The vote is near unanimously.

Black stands up and commands I grab whites’ arms. I shoot upwards and grab her before she can even react. Her arms behind her back, she should not be able to overpower me. She struggles, screams and cries.

Cyan fetches yellows body. Blood is still flowing out of their severed lower extremities. The sight of their organs nearly makes me puke.

Screams rise up. Murderer, monster, beast.

Chaos and discord as I struggle against white. I shove her towards the airlock and shoot black a look. He places his hand on the sensor as do I.

Ejection confirmed.

I push white into the airlock and lock the door. She pounds the walls, screaming beastly.

I hear a sob.

The light over the airlock lights up and flashes. I step away from the door and walk to one of the large windows that decorate the walls of the cafeteria.

Behind me someone wails louder. I hear a “We can’t bring her back like this what are we supposed to do now? She was my friend I can’t…. I won’t put her into a casket…” as white reveals her true colors. Tentacles burst from her suit as she tries to penetrate the glass, only to find herself unable to.

Purple and red stand beside me, one shaking their head and the other pressing their hands against the glass. I turn around to see orange surrounded by cyan and pink. Orange is sobbing as pink and cyan try to comfort her. I walk over and bend down, placing one hand on her shoulder. Cyan doesn’t move their head before explaining “She and yellow were friends. It was their shared dream to work as astronauts. This was their third mission.” I softly run my hand up and down her shoulder.

“I think I’ll… take this day off….” She can barely get out her sentence in-between sobs. I nod and look over to cyan and pink who gently coax her into getting up. Black taps my shoulder before pointing to yellow body. She’s still here.

I pick up the corpse and follow black into a room I had never seen before. As the door slides open, I stop in my tracks. Training hadn’t prepared us for this.

“This is the morgue. I hoped we wouldn’t have to use this room but…” Blacks words were accompanied by a deep sigh. This wasn’t the first crewmate he lost.

I looked around before I found one casket open already.

“We take the bodies with us so that the families can have peace. 50 years ago, they used to just throw them into space…”

I place yellows body down carefully and just as I’m done the alarm sounds again. I hastily hurry out of the room; notice I’m covered in blood and look at black.

“You were with me. Don’t worry.” A nod and we start running.
Blues hand is still one the emergency meeting button. Everyone else is still arriving, except for pink.

“Pink is suspicious! He jumped into a vent!”

Pink is sobbing and shaking. He can’t form words to defend himself.

“He probably wanted to kill orange too but I saw him and went right here so he couldn’t!”

We take out our tablets and vote. Pinks sobbing still fills my ears as I skip the vote. He seemed so scared; I just cannot bring myself to throw him into the void of space.

I watch as nearly everyone else votes pink.

Cyan jumps up and drags the sobbing mess of pink into the airlock. I hear the outer doors open and close before walking towards the window. Pink floats outside. He waves his hands around wildly before they reach towards his helmet. Air escapes from his helmet as he tries to secure the screws that came loose. Success isn’t his as his hands sink and blood starts to pour from his suit.

Silence overtakes the room. Blue doesn’t apologize. The first person heads back to work. I stand there, looking at the body for a minute.

What senseless death.

I head back to work. Reactor. The trash chute needs to be cleared, it collected leaves and dirt back when the spaceship was still docked. Some lazy idiot forgot to make sure it’s clean before take-off. And no, I won’t take the blame for that.

I finish clearing the trash as the doors close. I stand there uselessly before shrugging and heading to admin. Red greets me, I wave back and look at the cameras. Black passes cyan in a hallway; they have a short chat. On another camera blue is hanging around in the hallway looking at his task list. I hear the hissing of an opening door as purple greets first red then me.

“The doors are malfunctioning again. This really is the oldest fucking ship they could’ve given us, huh?” She jokes. Red chuckles before noting that he was sure there were worse ships out there. I just shrug before stretching and getting up to finally swipe my card in the admin room. On the way there I pass by black who is fixing wiring in electrical.

I take a detour and walk into electricity. Black is still connecting wires as he sees me. He looks at me for a second before he speaks.

“You know, imposters kill because they’re plagued by hunger. They consume everything they come across as they’re afraid their hunger will devour them.”

I connect two blue wires. Luckily, they are color coded.

“Back when I was still in training that’s what they taught us. It seems that they don’t do that anymore.”

Poor pink.

“You’re not very talkative, are you?” I shake my head. He chuckles.

“Fair enough. I suppose I wouldn’t be either. This is your tenth mission, right?” I nod and finish connecting my wires. Then I turn to him.

His hand starts a gesture before the light starts to turn off. Darkness surrounds us as we can’t even see further than our own hands. Luckily the controls for the lights were right by me. Some fiddling and the lights were turned back on.

I head out of electrical and walk towards admin finally. Down a hallway, one turn left, another hallway and one right turn and I’m there. I get my card out and start to swipe. I try again and again before finally it registers my card. What an awful old system.

The reactor alarm starts to sound.

“REACTOR MELTDOWN IMINENT IN: 30 SECONDS”

I start to run towards the reactor, meeting a startled purple on the way. I grab her hand, two people are needed to stop the meltdown, and drag her along. We arrive at the reactor and cyan is already there. We rush to slam our hands onto the second panel.

“Reactor stable”

Purple sighs in relief. Cyan is already gone by the time I take my hand off of the panel. Purple and I start to walk together, I didn’t feel like doing anything so I could just as easily stick around purple. She heads into electrical. More wire work to do? This really was a faulty ship.

I leave electrical and head upwards once again. I stop by the cafeteria where cyan is hanging around and wave towards her. She walks towards me and tries to strike up a conversation.

“Did you get all your tasks done?” I shake my head.

“Oh… Are you bored?” I nod and stretch a little.

“Do you think there’s ano-“

She’s cut off by a sharp scream.

Our heads shoot up and we start running towards the direction of the scream. Cyan overtakes me, she actually seems to know where she is going. I see her round into electrical. I slide in, nearly falling after I stop abruptly.

Red, blue and orange are standing over two bodies. Orange is covered in their blood. She’s in tears.

Black and purple are dead.

Their mangled bodies are lying over each other in a gruesome display. Blacks helmet is ripped off, his face twisted in pure horror. His eyes are widened and staring towards the ceiling. The lower part of his body was gone. Completely. It looked like it was twisted off.

Purple was cut open along her sides. Organs hung out sloppily, like someone had decided against eating the first thing they came across. Several stab wounds decorated purple chest. Perhaps that was the reason she had died. At least I hope it was.
Blue tears me out of my thoughts.

“Red did you see anyone?” I looked up at red.

“I….I… only orange walked towards here… But that was minutes ago…”

Cyan and blue look at each other, then at me.

“Do you agree that we should eject orange?”

I was still staring at black’s face. And slowly nodded.

Orange started to cry even harder.

“I didn’t do anything! I just found them like this! I could never kill anyone!” slowly her words were consumed by sobs. Blue and cyan tore her away, only leaving a trail of blood behind. Red put his hand onto my shoulder.

“I know he was your friend. I’ll… let you grieve alone, okay?”
I hardly nod enough for red to see. He slides his hand away slowly and turns to go.

“If you need me, I’m here to listen to you, okay?”

Then he was gone.

I sit there. Maybe for 15 minutes, maybe for an hour. Before I slowly get up.

I make my way through the hallway. Cyan jogs towards me. Perhaps she wants to join me on my way to the trash chute. Some rocks had gotten stuck in it.

I arrive there and pull the handle as I hear another alarm.

Slowly I walk towards the cafeteria.

Red and blue were waiting there.

Cyan had been found dead.

As soon as I sit down around the table, blue looks at me.

“You’re awfully suspicious. Have you done any tasks? You always seem to be alone too!”

I look at red.

“Blue seems suspicious. He’s thrown two people out without any evidence.” I say.

Blue votes. Red looks at me and then at him. I hear him sigh and vote.

“You’re right. I can’t believe I trusted you blue.”

Blue jumps up and leaps towards red.

“YOU IDIOT, YOU PIECE OF SHI-“

I jump over the table and wrestle him off of red before he can hurt him. Blue is strong, I nearly loose the struggle but once I reach the airlock red has recovered from having his face slammed into the ground and has thrown his hand onto the first sensor.

I press my hand against the second one and throw blue into the airlock. I slam my hand against the button to close the door.

It hisses shut right before blue can escape.

Red wanders over to the window, arms wrapped around himself.

Blue floats past the window.

“We did it!” Reds voice sounds exhausted.

I am standing behind red.

Blues insults fade as the vacuum of space tears him apart.

Reds shoulders drop as he sees that blue was not the imposter. He doesn’t turn around but the reflection gives away my tentacles.

 

I am green.

And my hunger is insatiable.