“That’s the quickest I’ve ever worn anyone down,” the Destroyer said. “It’s only been sixty months.”
Jeska refused to respond.
“Of course, you could always leave,” the Destroyer said. "Leave. Leave. Leave."
“Jeska, you cannot leave,” Prnei said. “None of us—
“I know, Prnei,” Jeska said, bitterly.
“—are ever able to leave the confines of this station for longer than .0004 seconds—” Prnei continued.
“I know, Prnei,” she said. She shouldn’t be angry with him. He was trying to comfort her.
“I have lived here for thirty-seven years—”Prnei said.
She tried to push her irritation aside. And failed.
“I know, Prnei!” she screamed. “I hate this place! I hate you! I hate the boredom and the threats and the Destroyer and the food and poker and Pac-Man and Anderson and Riox and clouds and you and me and everything, everything, EVERYTHING!…”
She stopped as her sobs overwhelmed her.
“Don’t forget me,” the Destroyer said.
“I said you!” Jeska said, through the tears.
“I know,” the Destroyer said. “Just pushing you further over the edge.”
Then Prnei did something dangerous—dangerous for any member of Prnei species, that is—he left the ceiling. Landing next to Jeska, Prnei wrapped eight of his ten arms around her. He had heard humans held one another to express sympathy.
Prnei’s embrace awakened in Jeska a deep-seated fear many 28th century humans have about being captured by a tentacled monster. Strangely, the embrace also made her feel safe. It was creepy and comforting at the same time.
Like the men in my life, Jeska thought.
The weak attempt at humor didn’t make her feel any better. Prnei’s hug did, a little.
“Do not give up, Jeska, There is always hope when—” Prnei said.
"Sorry to interrupt," the Destroyer said. "But no, there isn't."
Stuck On: Fear
Species Biggest Fear
Grebyan Public Speaking
Slell Kona Beasts
Rosov Loss of a Loved One
Star Seeker Starvation
Wandering One Poverty
21st century Humans Death, Politics
28th century Humans Death by Tentacled Alien Horror, Space Politics.