CCSF 2012 Day 14: Writing Prompt Entry

One of the CCSF activities centered around a writing prompt. Only one entry was submitted, but enjoy reading through this wonderful piece of Creatures fan fiction! Can you imagine just what's going on on this Shee world?

Written by SpringRain

PROMPT: “The home world of the Shee, established thousands of years ago, has finally crumbled. The species has fled from the derelict world, leaving very few behind. At the last working space port, a pieced together mess of a ship lies in wait. Abandoned crates litter the area, left to crumble in the last places where they were dropped during the last mass exodus. Dust has already begun to creep into every crevice, but there is a newly marked trail of timid footprints from the entrance to the spaceport. The lonely sound of the wind rushing through the empty corridors sends an eerie emptiness hurtling through the air. Yet something stirs among the rubble..."

A pair of shimmering grey eyes peered out from behind the pile of rubble at the remains of the dilapidated ship lying in wait. Shards of broken eggshell of an unassuming dusty grey were all that remained of the owner’s former home. Perhaps that was why it had been overlooked and left behind when the mass exodus had occurred.

Tiny paw prints led from a broken crate near the entrance to the port, the only sign of life pressed into the thin film of dust which layered everything like old icing sugar in an abandoned bakery. From the moment it hatched, it was led by an urge…an instinct stronger than any other emotion; to seek out energy sources to absorb. That was the way it would feed. Delicate filaments like waving threads of spider silk fluttered either side of its translucent greyish skin, sending signals back to the brain, much like a bat’s sonar system, creating images. It could pinpoint faint energy sources, marked out by differing colours depending on their potency.

Pale, dragonfly styled wings rustled and flitted upon its back as it stumbled out from where it had been foraging, too weak to lift its own weight by hovering just yet. A long, tattered and distinctly leafy tail drew a wavering line in the dust between the footprints, undulating in the cold wind that whistled in ghostly howls through the empty corridors.

Falling upon an old piece of machinery, it clawed off the hatch concealing an ancient battery and pulled out the contents with a sigh as energy was drawn into its palm, glimmers of bluish light cascading through the veins networking its body and wings. Licking its lips hungrily, it gave a noise of disappointment when the scant supply all too quickly faded out.

Large batlike ears swivelled atop its head and the creature closed light silver optics to detect another food source, sensing hints of dormant energy in the mass of broken ship that had drawn it here. It wavered towards the structure on wobbling legs, scrambling, wings flitting weakly so that sometimes it half-hovered, half crawled, continuing in this way until it fell against the rickety door that led into the structure with a soft thwump that disturbed a cloud of dust. “T-chih!” A sharp sneeze ricocheted off the silence that lingered in the absences of the wind’s moanings. The creature shook its head, rubbing at the bluish grey pad with a paw and a sniffle.

Gnawing instinct drove it to perseverance. In the gloomy half-light, it lifted its spectral body and placed padded palms against the slightly rusting, warped door, leaning into it with desperation, willing itself to pass through into the empty space behind, to somehow get in.

The wind picked up again and shrieked around the puny form, rippling the short, downy fur and fluttering the scarf-like tail, making the thready whiskers dance. It let out a tinny sounding cry and began hammering upon the unyielding portal which barred access to the vital energy. The sounds of its pummeling were swallowed up by the thick metal and invisible gusts. An inexplicable panic set in.

It had to get through, it had to get to the source, it had to, it HAD to! – all at once it felt itself falling forwards, tumbling onto a hard surface with an unexpected jolt and a searing pain in one arm.

Sitting up with a whimper, the creature cradled one elbow in its free hand and slowly opened wide eyes to see itself within new surroundings, cast in a faint light from the eerie glow its own body gave off. It stuttered to its feet again, almost able to taste the hidden energy in the air. Following the signals tingling through its whiskers, it let its paws lead it through empty corridors, cluttered jumbles, giant rooms and hollow spaces, across bridges over unseen depths and strange terrains…

Finally, it stopped, deep into the bowels of the ancient vessel, a pea sized figure before a puzzling complexion of buttons and gadgets. Its fur frizzled out with the static electricity that clung to the cold atmosphere as it looked up at the panels, ears quivering expectantly. There was some way to get to the idle food source, but how?

Fluttering its wings, it stretched on tip-toe, reaching out one splayed hand for all it was worth and making sounds of effort as it hopped up and down, trying to reach the coloured bumps and switches. It tripped, falling back on its lengthy tail with a crackled squeak of dismay much like an out of tune radio. Hot liquid stung at its eyelids.

Rolling onto its belly, the creature took a couple of steps back until it was about in the middle of the room, just far enough for a running start. Its wings whirred with renewed passion as it started a shaky jog towards its target. With a spark of glee and a swoop in its stomach, it launched successfully off the ground at the last meter, wings whirring loudly, tail acting as a rudder. The searing ache that shot through the tender appendages could not have been expected. Crush! It lost momentum as the flimsy insectoid wings gave out, dropping it forcefully onto the slanted, knobbly panel where it rolled over them in a painful tumble and bounced off, spiraling across the floor before crashing into a machine in the middle of the room with an injured cry. Head ringing, blackness closed in on it for a moment, while scrambled messages were sent through its brain.

Eventually, it realized the ringing sounds were being joined by other noises, alien bleeps, boops and mechanical whining…a pale lilac grew in its image maps, blossoming steadily into an electrifying blue. Slowly, the creature cracked open its eyes, gasping in breaths of air. Its entire body felt the surges. Tingling, buzzing energy was circulating through the area, spreading outwards, filling the environment. Old parts creaked and bioengineered techno-organisms began to stir. Licking its lips in excitement, it turned and scratched frantically, almost madly at the covering panel of the machine that had smacked its head only moments ago. It had to get in…it had to get the energy…it HAD to – Pwoop! It’s paw phased through the hatch without warning, disappearing up to the elbow. Grasping the components and wires within as instinct told it, the creature felt an explosion of blissful joy at the flow of blue light pouring into its palm, fizzling throughout its body in sparking, glimmering blue networks. Wings outspread, it looked like it was in pure heaven.

Closing its eyes, it began to feel, to sense…other things outside its own body; the shape of the ship, every part, every wire, every tiny movement as the beast awakened and began to heal. It could feel the crunchy ground under its belly, the layers of dust powdering the windows and outer shell, the jammed doors. The energy lit up everything in its mind, showing where it was strongest, where it flowed to and from. Essentially, it now was the ship.

In the empty Shee spaceport, the sound of powerful engines roared to life.

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