Aaand here’s the first chapter of that significantly shorter serial I was talking about earlier, Derelict. This one is meant to have instalments not much longer than 1000 words each, and should the definite schedule come about, it should be published more often than the other one. Anyways, enjoy for the time being.
I could feel a stinging sensation upon my head as I struggled to gain full hold of my consciousness. At that moment I had no idea where I was or what had happened, but the unbearable headache with which I was afflicted made me assume I had been unconscious for a much longer amount of time than I could ever be comfortable with. I lay there for a few minutes, taking short breaths, until I felt able of turning my head enough to look around without immediately feeling like I was going to vomit.
My vision was blurred at first. This made me wonder if I was in need of some sort of eyepiece I may have lost, but as I tried to remember, I found that I could immediately recall nothing about that– or anything else– beyond what had happened to me since I opened my eyes. As I tried to grasp at some memory of any events immediately prior to that, I came up with nothing but a blank, one that quickly threatened to evolve into an even greater headache, causing me to give up on that for the time being. While I tried this, my vision had slowly become clearer. Finding that the headache had receded enough to allow me to stand without overwhelming me with sickness, I did just that. As I remained standing, I noticed some kind of subtle movement below my feet, as if the room I was in was somehow in motion.
As I could perceive it, this room was a rather empty chamber with a wooden floor and scratch-ridden metallic walls. Like with everything else, attempts to remember any details about the nature of my location were futile, so I limited myself to inspecting it. The room’s bareness was fairly disconcerting; however, I could clearly see a faint stream of light pouring in from a doorway in one of the walls. Having no other place to go, I chose to follow this path next.
Going through the doorway, I next found myself in a larger room, one that was fairly well illuminated. Unlike the previous one, this room was not empty, but was filled with a number of peculiar devices; they looked like boxes, silver-coloured, half-inlaid into the walls, with a multitude of switches and buttons strewn across their surface. As I examined one of these devices, I found that it seemed to inspire a certain degree of memory within me. Choosing not to meddle with this machine, however, I made my way to the other end of the room, where there was another doorway, though this one did contain a door.
However, this door would not open.
At first, I tried forcing it open somehow by running towards it, but the door, which was made of metal, one that looked to be the same the walls were made of, refused to give way or even to budge. However, I did find that whenever my side made impact with the door, the nigh-imperceptible motion I had felt below my feet until that point gained some degree of magnitude, confirming its existence.
Regardless, this failure made me feel quite frustrated. Looking at the machines on the walls once again, I thought– or rather, knew, somehow– that blindly fiddling with them would cause nothing but disaster to come about. In my confusion, I tried to remember once more.
Surprisingly, the headache did not come back– at least not with a force that was anywhere near as great as the one it had struck me with the first time– but instead, I was able to conjure up a memory, foggy as it was, concerning the function of those machines. With an instinct that came over me as soon as this began to fill my mind, I went over to one of these machines and pushed one of its buttons.
Though this had no immediately obvious effect, I could hear a telltale noise revealing that something had indeed happened nearby– something I had intended to make happen. However, my mind still confused by all of this, I could not immediately tell what it had been, so I looked around once more. There were no discernible changes on the machinery, the walls, the floor, or the door (this last bit much to my disappointment). However, I did realise the noise had been distant enough that it could be attributed to something that had happened in the other room, the one I had woken up in.
Sure enough, the room in question now greeted a new source of light; one that had just been opened on the wall opposite the doorway. It seemed a bit impressive to me, how a window of such careful proportion had managed to appear on a wall that I had thought seamless when I first examined it, but far more impressive was what lay outside. Gazing through this new opening, I could see nothing save for sky, clouds, and below, an endless layer of water.
Though this befuddled me to an undeniably great degree, I tried my best to focus. Firstly, I now knew for sure what had been causing that strange motion I had been feeling all the while. Second, the fact that I had managed to open that window meant that even if I had a hard time remembering exactly how or why, I had at least some idea of how to work those strange machines, which I thought had to mean something. With this in mind, I went back to the room with the machines in question.
As I walked in, I stopped and looked above me for a moment. I noticed there were no light fixtures of any kind on the ceiling, but it still gave out a noticeable, colourless glow. Somewhat subconsciously, I knew this was a result of a fluorescent substance or material of some kind– a thought that let me grip a slightly better degree of clarity in my mind.
Turning to the machines again, I examined their surface, their mechanisms, trying to work out what each of them did, keeping in mind how I already knew that one of the buttons opened a window. As I thought, a series of realisations came to me like long forgotten memories– the buttons near the one I had pressed opened different windows on different parts of the wall, a knob above those three regulated the brightness of the glowing ceiling. And the lever immediately above that…
As soon as this thought struck me, I pulled said lever. The door slid open with a quiet hiss as I made my way out onto the hallway.