By the time I stepped outside of my house, the leaves were on fire. Literally. It was so, super hot. The whole reason I even had to step outside was to get a break from that stupid party of my sister’s.
She got into Oxford. So what? It doesn’t mean that you should get a whole party! (Alright fine, maybe she does deserve it, but still!)
Mark my words, I’m going to be even better than her. I’m going to be one of the first astronauts to get into The Skeld, the first spaceship to Mars. Humanity has been so careless of their surroundings. I remembered something my history teacher had taught me in class, about the ice caps.
They melted thirty years ago, which made Earth so hot. I blame it all on my dad and grandfather. It’s their generations’ fault that this even happened!
I ran into Candlewood Forest, thinking it would help me cool down. Weak twigs snapped with each step of mine, and the wind whistled in my ears.
I reached a spot in the woods looking up to the night sky. I could see the moon playing hide-and-seek, hiding within the cottony clouds. A shooting star shot through the night, casting a long, fiery tail behind it as it entered the atmosphere.
Wait for what.
Shooting stars didn’t enter the atmosphere. This meant that thing was something else. It came closer and closer towards me, before crashing into a place a few hundred meters ahead of me.
The first sounds I heard after that was the sound of trees creaking and breaking down. Then the extraterrestrial object crashed and bounced towards me. I heaved myself out of the way at the last second.
The object stopped a few seconds later, leaving a flaming mess behind it.
It looked like a futuristic shoe, with a black background and purple highlights. It was giving off smoke at the rear, where I thought the engines would be.
My brain told me to go closer and explore it, while my instincts told me to hide. I chose my instincts.
I ran, keeping about fifty feet between me and the ship, before hiding behind a tree. A hatch started to open at the top of the rocket.
Out climbed a scary looking ... thing. An alien
It had horns running from the forehead, curving and twisting until reaching an end at the top. Its mouth was bared, showing fangs as long as my hand. It ran on four legs like a monkey, mainly using its hind ones for pushing and front ones for support.
Four more aliens trailed after it, one looking even more menacing than the first.
They gathered around the hatch and “communicated” by which I mean they growled at each other for about five minutes.
Suddenly, a figure stumbled through the woods and straight into the clearing the aliens were in.
It was a man, from what the silhouette looked like. He took one glance at the creatures and shrieked. He turned around and ran through the forest, occasionally tripping over the roots of trees.
One of the aliens tore through the woods, in search of the man who had intruded the scene. It came back nearly two minutes later, clutching the corpse of the man. He presented it to its friends and threw it on the ground.
The biggest alien, the Alpha, as I call it, crawled towards it. It studied the body closely, and abruptly tore off the head. I’m glad it was night time, it would’ve been horrible to witness all this.
The alien stared into those lifeless eyes and promptly gulped it down. A strange change happened inside the Alpha’s body. It seemed as if it was vibrating. A ripping sound came, and the alien split into two halves. Out came the body of the dead man. Or was it the dead man?
The corpse was still lying upon the ground. The “man” must be something else. Maybe it was the alien itself!
I stepped back, and in doing so, the aliens’ heads shot towards my direction. But before they could do anything, a loud “BEEP!” sounded, and the creatures ran pell-mell into the woods. Perhaps it just came from a car nearby.
I waited for five whole minutes to make sure they were gone.
Then I ran. Ran for my life, my future, and my dreams.
5 years later
Finally. I’m aboard the Skeld. The spaceship of your dreams. Not really though, because ever since the alien threat, every mission has been dangerous. They could morph into humans and act as Skeld crewmates.
That’s why the trips are so dangerous. No one knows who’s an impostor or a crewmate. Anyone can kill you. As Mad-Eye Moody says, we need, “CONSTANT VIGILANCE!”
As for the ventilation system, it’s useless. Scientists have figured out that the alien, or Covens as we now call them, give off toxic chemicals from their body. Since there have been eyewitness accounts, we know the Covens have been in the vents. So it’s a no-go.
Of course, other Covens can enter the vents, since the chemical isn’t lethal to them.
I put on my helmet and walked into the docking ship. It would take us to the Skeld, which was too big to be launched from the ground.
As I waited, others began to enter the ship. I don’t know their names, just their colors. I’m Cyan, by the way. In came Red, Black, White, Yellow, Pink, and Green. I didn’t talk to any of them, because I didn’t know who I could trust.
We each had a task upon the Skeld, and we could only start the journey to Mars after each of us has completed it.
Because every time the Skeld comes back, it needs servicing. The hatch closed behind us and off we went. It took us ten minutes to reach, and once we were there, everyone left without a word.
I checked my tablet to see what my tasks were. Okay, I have to go to Electrical and fix up the wiring. No big deal. Just the threat of death lurking over your life every time you see someone.
I went there and saw Red and White doing their “tasks.” I stayed far from both of them, doing my job silently, It was simple, just attaching color-coded wires.
Soon after, I decided to go to Admin to check the cameras. Unfortunately, they only show black and white, so I can’t differentiate between colors. I checked each and every one. No suspicious behavior.
I turned them off and left the room, checking my tablet for my next task: Divert Power to O2.
Sounds easy enough. But it is also dangerous. I decided to take a shortcut through the cafeteria, doing my other task which was to empty the garbage. Suddenly, as I was walking towards it, the cafeteria doors shut with a bang.
I was startled out of my wits and looked around quickly and cautiously to see if there was anyone else with me.
Yellow. Standing right in front of me, banging on the door, was Yellow. He looked at me and backed away, his body shaking in fear. I didn’t go near him, just in case, he thought I was a Coven/Impostor.
I just quietly waited for the doors to open. During the elapsed time I finished taking out the garbage AKA throwing it away into space.
Once the gates finally opened, I was back on my way to Electrical. Once I reached, I saw Red coming out and going towards the right engine. He hadn’t seen me.
Only that prepared me for the sight I was about to see inside.
It was Yellow’s body, cut cleanly in half, only leaving a single bone in the middle. Blood oozed out in all directions.
I gaped at her body for a long moment, before pulling out my tablet and hitting “Report Body.” A chat box popped into view. It was meant to discuss who the Coven was. There was also a voting window beneath it.
I saw that particular window and skimmed it. None were dead but Yellow, who had a large, red “X” on top of her. I went back to the discussion:
Me: In electrical. I saw you coming out of it.
Red: I swear I did not do it!
White: I was in the cafeteria. Green was there with me.
Green: I was.
Me: VOTE RED EVERYONE! HE KILLED YELLOW!
Cyan has voted
White has voted
Red: I didn’t do it!
Green has voted
Pink has voted
Black has voted
I glanced back into the voting window. Yup. Red’s had the most votes. That means he gets ejected. The Skeld has special trap doors that open to space. They can detect the color that was voted out, and eject them.
Well, hopefully, Red was an Impostor. And hopefully, we’ll all just be safe.
I spent the rest of my time finishing off my tasks, and when I had nothing to do, I just checked the security cameras every now and then.
I was walking around near O2, checking for any more suspicious activity when I saw White following me closely. I took one glance at her and ran for my life.
Everything went past me in a blur, and I soon found myself face to face with a door. The door that led to the cafeteria. I turned my head around to see White standing in front of me. She walked closer, and I was leaning and pounding on the door.
Suddenly, it opened, and I fell flat on my face, maybe even breaking my nose. I got up and sprinted over to the middle table.
It had a red button on it, and I clicked it. That called for an emergency meeting.
Green: What happened?
Me: White was acting suspiciously. Kept on following me.
White: I was just following you to see if you were acting sus!
Me: It looked pretty shady to me though. I think she was ghosting me to kill me. She could be a Coven.
Green: Yeah, you’re right.
White: I am not a Coven! I think you’re an impostor Cyan.
Me: She’s turning the tables on me! More proof! Vote White!
Cyan has voted
White has voted
Black has voted
Green has voted
Pink has voted
I looked at the voting window to see the results. White had four votes. I had one. White had voted for me, probably trying to frame me.
So now White, Red, and Yellow are gone. There’s a big chance one of them was a Coven. Hopefully.
I was scouting the remaining people, searching for suspicious activity, when the reactor had a meltdown. Everyone rushed to it to fix it, but one arrived late. Green. I regarded this as suspicious behavior and proceeded to stalk him.
I followed him everywhere, into Admin, into Navigations, and even O2. He was trying hard to shake me off his tail, but I managed to stay on him.
But when we entered Admin, he suddenly turned on his heel and ran off at top speed. I decided that publicly following Green was unwise, and I searched for him again.
In about five to ten minutes, I found him back into Admin. I peered around the door and saw him standing on top of the vent. He looked around and pulled out the screws. He lifted the hatch and slid inside.
He’s the Impostor among us!
This fact made me happy, and sad at the same time. Happy, because I could finally save the survivors. Sad, because of the two innocent lives that were taken away by me.
I gathered my wits and ran silently to the cafeteria. I pressed the red button once more. Before looking at the discussion page, I scanned the one which listed all the people on board.
The system is connected with a special badge that is on everyone’s spacesuit. It read their vital signs and told the computer who’s dead and who’s not.
Pink was dead. The only other crewmate left was Black. I quickly went back to the discussion.
Black: Pink’s dead.
Me: You should know Green, after all, you killed him.
Green: No! I think you or Black did it, Cyan.
Me: I saw Green run into Admin and vent. I was following him and I saw him slither into it.
Black: I’m not sure who to trust …
Green: Trust me. Cyan is framing me. Look how many innocent crewmates he voted off. He must be the Coven.
Me: Black, ignore Green. Listen, this can be one of the most important moments of your whole life. If we let Green get into the Mars colony, a whole bunch of people will die. Trust me, please.
Black: Green’s got a point Cyan, you did vote off a bunch of people.
Me: I made mistakes. I was paranoid. People make mistakes all the time. But do you want those people to die in vain? Pink, Red, and White?
Black: No …
Me: Then vote Green. Please trust me, just this once.
Black: Okay. But if Green’s innocent, you’ll have me to answer to.
Cyan has voted
Green: Look, Black. You gotta trust me, ‘kay? I did not kill those people. Cyan did.
Black: I trust Cyan. Die, you filthy Coven!
Black has voted
Green has voted
Green was ejected
Finally. The impostor was gone. All was well.