• Out in the deep expanse of space, an astronaut named Darren was out on an important rescue mission with his partner Ellie and their colleague Carmen. Their job was to find out what happened to the crew of the S.S. Armada. A couple of weeks before, the Armada had gone out to monitor a dying star and all of a sudden, the crew was never heard from again. The whole group, all ten of them, disappeared.
    The trip out wasn’t very fun. Darren, Ellie, and Carmen took the new ship, the Fire Rocket out on its maiden voyage, but it wasn’t very comfortable. Carmen was irritable, Darren was tenuously stressed, and Ellie was just happy to be finally going out into the Great Unknown. She was the first to spot the Armada, tethered to a space station with an extra dock. Carmen landed the ship but only Darren and Ellie got out in their space suits. Someone needed to guard the Fire Rocket and Carmen was elected that position; forced, rather. She sat back in the pilot’s seat and glared at them as they disappeared inside the deep recesses of the space station.
    The oxygen level wasn’t real high in the station, so Darren and Ellie kept their helmets on. The interior was fairly spacious with a lot of room down the hallways. The two split up and headed in opposite directions, each with a small radio. Carmen had one, too in case anything went wrong. As he was walking, Darren couldn’t help thinking about the missing crew. He thought they may not find them here or that they were floating in space, stuck in an endless loop, never to return again. He shut his eyes against that image and he smacked into something solid. His eyes snapped open to reveal a door standing in front of him. His heart skipped a beat and he radioed back to Ellie, who after a few minutes, came sprinting around the corner.
    ~ Back out in the Fire Rocket, Carmen sat reading a magazine. She resented the fact that she was missing out on all the action. Somewhere, deep in her subconscious, she hoped they died. ~
    The metal door was unlocked, so Darren cautiously opened it. The room was pitch black and had the harsh smell of blood resonating from it. Neither of them had a flashlight, so Darren felt along the wall for a light switch. He found one and slowly flipped it.
    Ellie screamed and Darren felt a wave of nausea sweep over him. They were staring at ten human beings in a large laboratory. All of them were for certain dead because covering the floor were fleshy, bodily organs and an unhealthy amount of blood. Whoever did this had slaughtered the crew of the Armada.
    Darren had no idea what to do, aside from puking, which he held back. He braded himself and stepped into the room, taking off his helmet as he went. A little ways away, he bent down to examine one of the men. Ellie took her helmet off, but stayed put. Darren beckoned to her to come in. She was reluctant at first, but after a slight hesitation, Ellie walked in. Darren smiled at her and told her everything would be okay, then he looked down at the lifeless carcass lying by his feet. He was looking at a guy with permanent look of shock imprinted on his face. His space suit was drenched in blood. A long, metal pipe was shoved deep into his brain, and his whole body was covered in puncture wounds decorated with dried blood. The man’s abdomen had been slashed clean through, spilling his intestines on the floor.
    Darren didn’t realize he was shaking until Ellie touched him on the shoulder. “You think we should tell Carmen what we found?” She asked him. His reply was uncharacteristically quiet. “Yeah, the radio’s in the hallway.” Ellie nodded and ran towards the door. When she was nearly there, she slipped on some guy’s colon. She slammed onto the ground, hard, and the metal door swung shut. Alarm entered Darren’s mind and he sprinted to the door, yanking at the handle…except, there was none. There was no lock, no way of getting the door open again. They were trapped.
    Darren fell to his knees in dismay. Ellie tried to apologize but Darren replied that it wasn’t her fault. That should’ve reassured her, but it didn’t. The look of detriment deepened on her face. She rose to her feet and Darren slipped his arm around her shoulder.

    A sound pierced the air. A loud ripping sound.

    The two slowly turned around in time to see something emerge from the chest of one of the astronauts. They pressed up against the door and stared in horror at something that definitely was not human. This thing—this alien—was about as tall as Darren and had scaly, olive-colored skin. Its long, gangly arms extended into blood-stained, razor sharp claws and its feet ended in Velociraptor-like talons. The alien’s bloodshot eyes darted around the room and locked onto Ellie. The look of pure hunger in its eyes pierced the inner working of her mind and numbed her into immobilization.
    The alien started to approach Ellie, pulling the metal pipe out of the astronaut’s head as it went. Darren jumped in front of her, shielding her with his outstretched arms. The alien stopped for a second but kept going like the Terminator fulfilling his mission. Darren turned his head around to face Ellie, saying that he would do anything to protect her.
    He was cut off midsentence as an excruciating pain overwhelmed him. He winced, tasting blood in his mouth and looked down. Ellie followed his gaze. There was a huge gash in his abdomen and the metal pole was shoved through him, spearing his intestines. Bright red blood pulsed heavily from the wound. The alien pulled Darren’s entire intestinal tract from his body, which was skewered at the end of the pole, and began to devour it. He wobbled on his feet and collapsed on the ground in a heap.
    Ellie, though numbed with shock, bent down to look at him. As he lay there, life draining from him with each passing second, she looked into his eyes; his light green, hers bright blue. A single thought transferred from one to the other without any exchanged words. They loved each other. Ellie closed her eyes, tears running down her cheeks, and grabbed his hand.
    Something warm and wet splattered against her blonde hair and her face. She opened her eyes to see that the alien had slashed right through Darren’s neck, decapitating him. He had a permanent smile etched across his pallid face. Ellie tore her eyes from his dead body just as the alien took a swing at her. She ducked, narrowly missing the whiplash of solid metal. The creature didn’t give up and it attacked her once more, this time faster.
    She only had time to get up before the pipe smashed against her ankle, knocking her over. A searing pain shot up her leg and reverberated throughout her entire body. Ellie tried to stand up but cried out in pain as she realized that her ankle was broken; she couldn’t move without injuring herself further. She stared death full in the face as the alien raised its arm to strike her, Darren’s fresh blood dripping onto her legs. Metal filled her vision and she shut her eyes, feeling the sting of death…that didn’t come.
    She opened her eyes, just slightly to see that the alien had stopped inches from her face. Its feral eyes fervently darted around the lab and focused on something across the room. That was when Ellie notice the box sitting in the corner. It was a dented, corrugated metallic box and the alien seemed to be fixated with it. Ellie held her breath as the creature stalked over to the box very slowly, dropping the pipe on its way.
    Ellie sparked an idea. Bracing herself against the pain, she crawled over to the pipe lying in the pool of blood. Without uttering a single sound, she picked it up and tried to stand. After what felt like forever, she managed to do it. Ellie held the pipe in both hands, about ready to attack, when the alien turned around. She dropped the pipe when she realized what was in its outstretched arms. Her eyes widened as she looked at the onyx-colored sphere in front of her. A clock on the front started counting down the time: T-Minus 5 minutes.
    That bomb would explode in five minutes. The alien’s teeth curled up into a malicious smile and it set the bomb down in the blood. 4 minutes 30 seconds…Ellie didn’t have the slightest idea of what to do. She couldn’t run and there were no windows in the room. She couldn’t escape. Trembling, she picked up the pipe and came around behind the alien. She started slamming the pipe against its skin repeatedly but nothing happened.
    The creature backhanded Ellie across the face with its claws, sending her sprawling onto the ground with 2 minutes left to go. She reached up to the side of her face and felt a huge gash. 1 minute 30 seconds. Ellie stood up and limped to one of the lab stations, feeling lightheaded. She ducked underneath it, concealing herself from the alien. She looked out in the room at the alien and Darren’s body. She said good-bye to him and tightly shut her eyes. The creature stared around the room as the final seconds ticked on the bomb.


    The lab station came crashing down on top of her, as tremendous heat enveloped her body. She heard an explosion that deafened her. She heard the blood-curdling scream burst from the alien’s throat. She was propelled forward, gripping the lab station as it rocketed toward the Earth’s atmosphere. Ellie felt herself falling and her last conscious thought was Darren’s smile.
    The nuclear explosion was so tremendous that it even reached the Fire Rocket. Carmen stared in horror as a giant fireball hurdled straight at her. “Houston, we have a problem…” and in the blink of an eye, the Fire Rocket and the Armada both blew up, the pieces scattered across the universe.