Dark Matters: Excerpt
Shouting reached my ears. I looked up and saw three human figures climbing up the plateau, running towards me.
Here they were. My first human contact in a dozen years. Strange, weird creatures with minds of their own.
A huge, well-built black male of about forty, Captain Darak, no doubt, his first officer Terry, I presumed, a tough looking white woman with short black hair, who looked about thirty and a very young, cute white girl, very small and thin, maybe 18 years old, probably the passenger, Lucile. All of them wore rather fancy clothes, not uniforms, and all three of them had such happy faces as they approached me.
I could do nothing but stare at them with very big eyes, fear in them. I leaned against the Orbiter for support. Then they reached me.
“Hey! Oh! Thank all the gods that ever lived in the universe! Our savior!” The girl Lucile shouted and embraced me.
I stared at that weird autonomous human living thing that had just touched me. Still clinging to the wall of my Orbiter, I looked up at the other two, having no idea what to say or to do.
“Hello Captain. So nice to meet you! My name is Darak and I’m the Captain of the Gao. This is my first officer Terry and this is Lucile. We’re really happy to see you! Thank you so much for coming down here! So what’s your name Captain?”
I stared at them as if they were ghosts. I especially stared at Terry. Somehow, just a little bit, she resembled Laurie, the same stern look, the same energetic, beautiful features, but the hair was different. Eventually Darak’s question got through to my overwhelmed brain.
“My name? Um…my name…um….“
I wrinkled my brows and slowly panic seized me.
“My name, I don’t remember my name!” I muttered.
Do you know that feeling? When you look into the mirror and have that weird, highly disturbing notion that you’re not familiar with the person you’re looking at? It was like that, only worse. My name…I had honestly and genuinely forgotten my name! I didn’t know who I was! There had been no necessity for my name the past dozen years. It hadn’t been necessary to distinguish myself from any other human being by name. My name had left me!
I felt Terry’s astonished look. Lucile looked up at me, still clinging to my body.
“What happened to you Captain? Darak said your ship has problems as well….”
“Um? What? Um, oh, yes, the Luminous. We got into a solar flare, blew half the ship away and the bridge, left only the engine section. But star-leap doesn’t work—nothing much works anymore. Um…shit! My name…um….”
Terry wrinkled her brows even more. “When did the solar flare happen?” she asked.
“Um, eleven years ago, something like that, Clint can tell you the exact figure.”
“So there were other survivors. How many are still on board?” Darak asked.
“Um…well, um, actually, um, there was only one survivor…me.”
“But you just said someone named Clint could tell us how long exactly…” Lucile didn’t finish her sentence as she saw the distress on my face.
“Um, well, I still talk to the others, in order not to be so alone.”
“Oh my God! You’ve been alone on your ship for eleven years? That’s terrible!” Lucile shouted out.
I could do nothing but awkwardly grin. I noticed how Terry gave Darak a look, both seemed to sigh inwardly, their savior was a madman!
“Um, yes, so what happened to you?” I desperately tried to divert from the subject—me.
“Oh, that’s a long story. Why don’t you come down to our little camp and take a rest? You haven’t seen a tree in quite a long time, I guess,” Darak said.
“Yes…Mara? Please close the Orbiter and secure it.”
“Yes Captain,” she answered.
“Who’s that?” Terry barked, startled.
“The computer,” I explained.
“Oh, you gave your computer a name.” She eyed me quite skeptically.
“Yes, I designed her to be more human.”
“Couldn’t your computer tell you your name?” Lucile was a bright little girl.
“Oh, well, yes, she could, but I guess I should try to remember it by myself, shouldn’t I?”
“You will Captain. Pretty soon. I’m sure.”
She smiled encouragingly at me and I nodded awkwardly.
I hadn’t sunk that far yet! And I wouldn’t sink this far! I wouldn’t have the computer tell me my name! I felt deep down in my guts that it would be highly important for my sanity to remember my name by myself.