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A knock. Someone was on the other side.
His feathers puffed in pride and excitement, and just a tiny bit of fear. Who--what--was on the other side of the disguised wall? Where was he? What had captured him and put him here? There were millions of races in the galaxy. Worst case, he'd been captured for someone's dinner-- he swallowed.
It was a ridiculous thought. This wasn't a stomach. He'd be fine.
He knocked back again, just to be sure, then raced back inside his ship. Where were his tools? Maybe he had something that could take down this invisible wall as well.
He sifted through the box, searching for the fusion cutter. If it was strong enough to cut hull plates, it'd be strong enough to cut whatever this wall was, too! Determined, he pushed the cutter through the wires and pointed it toward the invisible wall, then turned it on.
A powerful beam of light flickered to life at the end of the cutter. A spot in space lit up bright red, metal reacting to the cutter. It was an odd thing to look at; there was nothing there, not that he could see, and yet it was glowing, melting, cutting.
And then the cut healed. The metal went cool, and there was only the expanse of space again. Far as the eye could see, blackness. He stared at it, confounded. What could accomplish that? Maybe his partner had something he could use to help. He knocked again, a kind of questioning lilt to it. Had the partner seen that? Had they noticed? Or was it even going through? He had no guarantee that any of this was working. Maybe it was all part of the illusion.
"We talked about it yesterday.. don't you remember?" Joshua sounded a little puzzled on the phone, but after Chris reminded him, he assured him that the plans for lunch were still on. "I'll be there in ten minutes, then." Chris hung up the phone. They had agreed to meet at noon, but because Joshua had apparently forgotten it entirely, they were running about thirty minutes behind schedule. Chris didn't mind, though, since he had no other plans for the day. He snatched his car keys, gave Mona a kiss goodbye, and started the drive to the diner just a few stop lights away.
He had been on the road for about five minutes. Bending over, Chris grasped at the auxiliary cable stuck between the center console and the passenger seat for only a brief moment, but once his focus reverted to the road, it was already too late. A truck rammed into the side of his car, pushing him off the road and toward a ditch. Chris slammed on the breaks in an attempt to stop the car from rolling downhill but quickly realized there was no escaping it. He slowly opened his eyes and heaved a tensed sigh once the car came to a sudden stop.
With a shove, the driver door was forced open and Chris carefully crawled out onto the grass, kneeling for a moment on his hands and knees as he processed the accident. He grunted as he pushed himself up off the ground, then brushed himself off. The police would be on their way any minute. He started making his way uphill when he noticed an odd sound coming from nearby his car. He stood and listened for a second before turning around and searching for the origin. [i What is that? Scratching sounds?] For a split second, he considered that an animal was possibly trapped underneath his wrecked car, and so he started trying to push the vehicle aside a bit. And then came a loud knock. It wasn't coming from underneath the car. Confused, he followed the knocking sounds, stomping through the tall grass, when a barrier of some kind suddenly knocked him off his feet.
[i Huh?] Chris sat on his knees and inched his head forward, his right ear facing the sound that was knocking away literally inches in front of him. He carefully reached his hand forward, and there it was. His hand was pressed flat against an invisible barrier. He slid his fingers along the wall, searching for some kind of explanation to whatever he was experiencing, but there was none. He paused for a moment before finally knocking back in response to whatever was on the other side.
This wasn't his ship.
He yanked at the wall panel, pulling it off the wall. Screws rattled across the floor. Metal clattered away. Underneath, bare wires were exposed to his claws. He grabbed a handful in each claw and put his foot to the wall.
Overhead, a siren blared. Lights flashed, blindingly bright. If this was his ship, he'd be ripping out the life support.
He gritted his teeth and tore with all his might. The wires sparked as they tore. Electricity arced over his claws and singed his feathers, filling the air with an awful, acrid stench. Electricity arced through him. He was caught in the arc for a second, frozen in place; then it blasted him backwards, against the wall behind him. His head hit hard. He sank down the wall, stunned. The ship's insistent voice shouted warnings overhead. "HULL HAS BEEN BREACHED! SEEK ALTERNATE LIFE SUPPORT NOW!"
No sucking vacuum. No icy void.
After a few seconds of not dying, he opened his eyes. Beyond the wall of his ship was darkness, but not the void of space. He reached out into it. His claws gripped at nothing, his feathers pushed and caught against the edge of the hole. [i Nothing?] he wondered.
And then he hit a wall.
A grin spread across his face. He was right. He'd been right all along.
Carefully, he scratched at the wall. Nothing. He could feel his claws get duller, but that was all. With a frown, he knocked at the wall, then listened intently.
"HULL HAS BEEN BREACHED!"
Narrowing his eyes, he pushed up and stalked over to the control panel. Stupid voice. He'd never hear anything if the ship kept blabbering away like that. He tapped the control panel, navigated his way through the menus and past four confirmation warnings, and finally shut the stupid siren off. The ship went silent, and he breathed a sigh of relief. At last.
The hole! What if someone had answered him? Nervous, he scurried back over to it, almost flying his his excitement. He couldn't miss that. Brushing the still-sparking wires out of the way, he perched beside the hole and waited. Any moment now, surely.
Chris drowsily opened his eyes, squinting at the morning light peaking through his bedroom window. He squirmed over and yanked the curtain closed in an attempt to spare his eyeballs from the sun. With an exaggerated yawn, he forced himself up off the bed, trudged into the kitchen and started brewing a pot of coffee. "Ahhh.." He rubbed at his aching temples and began rummaging through the kitchen cabinets for some pain reliever. [i Guess I had a little too much to drink last night...] After locating the Ibuprofen, Chris tossed a couple on his tongue and washed it down with a gulp of water. "Mona!" Within seconds, little footsteps could be heard scurrying across the tile. The black cat purred and sat at Chris' feet. "Here, breakfast." He filled her bowl up with cat food, then proceeded to pour himself a mug full of coffee and took a seat at the kitchen table.
Bits and pieces of the previous night were totally wiped from his memory. He shrugged it off, though. Considering his pathetic alcohol tolerance, a night out drinking with friends resulted in this pretty often. Chris quietly sipped at his coffee while browsing through his cellphone. None of his friends had posted any photos from last night, which was a little unusual. Typically Anne would already have an entire album posted first thing in the morning. [i Well, maybe she's feeling worse than I am right now.] He set his phone aside and knelt down to Mona, who was already sitting beside him quietly. He reached to pet behind her ears. "Ouch! Mona, what the hell?" The scratch on his hand instantly started bleeding. He rinsed his hand off with cool water and covered the injury with disinfectant and a band-aid. [i Mona's acting strange.]
[i Whatever.] Chris tossed the empty coffee mug into the sink and proceeded to his bedroom to get dressed. He lazily threw on the first t-shirt in sight and a pair of blue jeans that had been left out on the floor, then finished washing his face and brushing his teeth in the bathroom before slipping on a pair of vans and plopping back down on the edge of his bed. It was a Sunday, and Chris typically took advantage of Sundays by lazing around his apartment, but today he was supposed to meet up with his friend, Joshua, for lunch. He had a few hours to spare, so slumped back onto his bed with a sigh and scrolled through his phone some more.
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