Author: Mikhail Gladkikh
First, there were thoughts. I acknowledged my existence. None of my senses functioned, but I felt their presence. Somehow I knew they were taking care of me.
Then my vision started to return. I realized I was submerged in liquid. I remembered I was human, but I could not feel my body. I saw green light instead of my arms. But they were around, and it gave me hope.
As time passed, my memories materialized. Along with my limbs. I felt my feet. I could move my fingers. They continued to restore my essence. I recalled who I was, and what had happened.
I’d worked at the space station. A comet had passed nearby, and then strange events had started to occur. Sergio had torn his clothes and smashed his brains against the wall. Alexander and Mei had disappeared without a trace. Camilla had attacked me and opened the airlock. The last thing I remembered was being sucked into the open space.
Magically, they had saved me and brought me back to life. Who were they? Extra-terrestrials? Why had they helped me? Sentient life recognizing its own kind? They were the healers. They gave me the second chance to live.
Gradually, I grew stronger, until I felt the liquid surrounding me receding. I rejoiced in anticipation of making contact with my saviors.
And they indeed came. Many of them. I felt their eagerness and tried to communicate with my thoughts, expressing appreciation and gratitude. Their response was bizarre, incomprehensible, they did not even recognize my presence. Yet they were restless and…craving for something? There were sinister undertones in their demeanor. I was scared, and they sensed my fright.
Suddenly, a sharp pain pierced my limbs. Bewildered, I observed with horror how thin rays of light were carving out pieces of flesh. Unimaginable agony inflamed every organ and every cell of my body. Darkness descended as my eyes burned from the inside. I became the embodiment of pain and suffering. Yet I stayed conscious, able to think as if my mind was undisturbed by this torment.
They were ecstatic and triumphant. Convulsed with agony and terror, I realized they were feeding off my suffering. My anguish was their narcotic. Why were they doing this? They, who brought me back to life?
Before my flesh disintegrated and my mind receded into the bleakest madness, they gave me the final piece of knowledge, taking this abysmal torment to its zenith. They attacked our station. They restored me so they could destroy me again. This had happened many times before. The dreadful torture would never stop. This thought completed the eternal circle of inevitability. It finally broke me.
When they exulted in my comprehension, I understood this was their objective. Not pain and suffering, but total obliteration of every rational thought and emotion, except the darkest fear and despair. As all light inside of me was extinguished, I knew I was destined to experience this torment over and over again, for all eternity.