The day's sky was blue and bright. And now the night comes with dark blue and streaks of white frost. The cold is as welcoming as ever. The elders and "fresh" born continue their work on clouded ice, picking through and depositing precious items, personal items that will see the surface if we want new family to stay. More family means a happier guardian, they think. They look up to the sky and see them. The dim and flickering of the stars. Their stars were up as well. They just knew it was the same ones from home, they shined in the same way but only in a new position. They never believed that their stars would burn out. Because that would mean their home would stop existing, and that can not come to be. It was their first and favorite home. More cramped than the current, but it was still home. It held more children, fresh born and adolescents. There were also the singing mothers. They kept their place watching and protecting those who were just brought into the family. They missed the mothers, and the comforting environment of soft tissue that was with them.
A fresh born bumped into them, dropping their tool. It stared and bent to lift the pickaxe from the snow. Their yellow eyes stayed on them as they stared back. After silent moments, they chirped and turned back to the path they wandered. They watch the fresh born leave and look at where they had dropped the tool. In the indention of snow now sat a chunk of flesh infused ice with a strange language. They pocket it and glance at the stars once more before turning back to their home. Not yet time for bed, but time to check on the comm and guest again.
The door screams as it shuts behind them. The guest still lays by the machine, their face still cold. More frost had gathered over them after the few days left alone. They had not realized they spent countless suns and moons outside until the storm came twice. They missed their bedding in the quarters. They leave the guest be and tap the comms systems. It's dim light greets them and is unmoving for a mere moment before flashing with something new. It was odd and unexpected. They force themselves to remember what to do with the line of foreign text that appears over the new selection. A few attempts and audio comes. A voice of a breather, a voice of teeth and tongue.
"Hello? This is Ellie Langford, former Class IV heavy equipment's pilot of the CEC. We received your distress calls! Are there others with you? How are you alive up there?" It's voice pauses and a sound of air comes from it. "Look.. I want to help you, whoever you are. And me asking so many questions now may be putting you at more danger. Let me be quick. Send another message, with... I don't know, your eye color or what you are wearing in that cold! So we KNOW you are alive and this is not some pre recorded message being sent out for some god awful reason. I hope you get this and are still alive. So we can come for you. We are ready to go if we receive your word. Please. Please respond if you are alive out there."
The audio ends and the screen is still on. Eyes? Cold? They look at themselves in the reflection of metal. Their head held very little hair, none ever growing in properly due to them tearing it out long ago. The eyes stayed the same, but the face was dark in some places making them pop more. The rest of the face was almost as pale as the guests skin. Their face never changed anymore. Their R.I.G. has become a dull dark grey after so long in dirt and some spots were a deep dark color due to what could have been blood and tissue. They like it this way. They tap the comm and tell the voice of their ice blue eyes and old patients suit before drifting off to speak of the incident with the pickaxe, how the fresh born stared. He paused when a scream of a child came from below. Loud and clear, indicating they may have gotten into the ventilation. They let the communications device know they have to leave quickly and turn it off. They quickly rush to the elevator.
The child was in no danger. It was only searching for food to satisfy it's hunger. Thinking of hunger made them realize just how hunger they were as well. It hurt to think about such a thing but there was no helping it. They needed to rest to forget the growling of their digestive system and the pain that came with it. The make it to the door frame of their own room and they glance up. The name still written in that foreign language, yet understandable only due to constant memorization. They smile and tell it good night, knowing it will not respond. But the thought, the dream, of the home whispering a response was always something to keep them happy.
"A response! A response!"
Ellie all but shrieked to the others aboard her ship. She immediately hits the PLAY button once it fully loads onto the main computer, Isaac and Carver having entered while it began. Carver furrowed his brow at the voice, Isaac stood silent and confused. The voice was almost identical to the patient Nolan Stross. Though he had died long ago... This man whoever he was, began to talk about a "fresh born" and a pickaxe with ice. Another survivor, Isaac thinks. The clip continues on for almost ten minutes of detail of the pickaxe fresh born until a sudden shriek makes the three almost jump out of their skin. Then their was silence. Ellie was on the edge of her seat, hands tightly gripping her desk until the man's voice returned.
"I have to leave." He whispers and then the clip ends.
The three and the crew, that had all heard the grotesque noise, sit in silence.
Heads turn when they hear the clicking of a keyboard and buttons from where Ellie is sitting. The sound of mechanical whirling grows load and the crew begins to quickly join her in the sounds of clicking and tapping. Carver and Isaac are at first dumbfounded by the sudden excitement but quickly recover.
"What the hell was that Langford?! And what are you doing?!" Carver shouts.
"We can only assume that it was a necromorph. That man could be in danger, we are leaving. Now." She is determined to get to the planet as soon as possible. Carver glances out the large windows of the ship and gasps. Before he can speak, Isaac starts
"Just like that? After about a week of waiting for his response, and then getting... this. We have no further planning, no nothing, just plunging straight in? We are going to kill ourselves for one man who may be dead, him and whoever he was talking about, this.. "first born" or whatever is before we even get there, " he paces and sighs " not to mention that the planet, we barely escaped from, is infested with necromorphs!" He throws his hands up.
He again sighs and reaches over her, typing in coordinates. "...we need to atleast check the debris and outer most parts of the space around the planet..." Carver gawks at Isaac as Ellie lights up. She nods and stands, giving orders to the crew. All of them scatter to their workstations, set on heading straight to their seemingly inevitable suicide. None of this crew, the crew of the Shooting Star, had experienced what lay on Tau Volantis, only hearing of the story from Ellie. With this ship they would without a doubt get their fast, but one thing remained with them.
They all feared for their lives.