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In The Vacuum of Space (part 1)

“Nobody can hear a scream in the vacuum of space, or so they say. I wouldn’t test that.”

And so began an awkward afternoon of unspoken dialogue between the stranger and Dora, each one holding back their suspicions of each other.

The stranger wore an unremarkable gray suit and held himself regally, as one would expect from the General on a space cruiser. He seemed to watch Dora all day long with his piercing blue eyes. His every motion and thought made Dora think of nothing, but their conversation the night before.

They arrived at an outpost, and Dora followed suit and took leave. “Ah, yes. The atmosphere out here can be quite foul. Try to ignore the stench and breathe as little as possible. These suits do their job, but for now, leave them off, okay?” They both nodded silently and as their shoulders pulled apart, the stranger stepped forward and touched his helmet to hers, as if the space suit never had its protection before, or at least not enough.

While walking in from the stasis rooms back into the cargo bay, Dora felt like something she had never felt before was moving all around her, the air, if air could act in that sort of a way. A buzzing would start to ring out as though tiny insects were biting at her ankles, though nothing could get close to her skin to lay the slightest itch upon it. It didn’t help that she was so out of breath and didn’t dare take the breath needed. Still, Dora trudged on down the stairs, through the doors, the stranger following closely behind…

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