Steve sits at the table in the second chamber eating oatmeal he made himself. Vector sits at the other end of the table completely still. “How much longer,” Steve asks Vector between bites? “Two more hours until communication is back on.” “What if something killed who ever sent that part and we are just sitting here waiting to die?” “Highly unlikely Steve, Sector 156 has never been inhabited till 2120 when the first prisoners were brought here to make the ten cells for mining and prison purposes.” “What if something does live here and the mining has just started to affect them?” “Not likely Steve Sector 156 has an average temperature of 450 degrees year round except on two days of the year” “Supply days yeah I know, but I’ve lived here no problem for three years. So maybe whatever lives here or could live here is also living underground.” “Impossible,” Vector says before being interrupted. “Nothing is impossible Vector. “There is no life on this planet other than what was put here.” “I hit a nerve there good buddy?” “I have no nerves Steve only circuits.” “We’re not alone on this planet. I’d put money on it that, that is what got who ever sent that part.” “What is money Steve?” “Never mind,” Steve says with a yawn. “Maybe you should go back to sleep Steve. I can wake you once communication comes back on-line.” “I’m okay Vector. I think I will take a shower and change though.” “Remember the water is coming to an end so there won’t be much.” “Thank you Vector,” Steve says as he gets out of his chair.
Steve walks into the first chamber and slides a cover on the wall to reveal his cloths. He chooses the usual black he was assigned when he first arrived. Steve takes the picture from his back pocket and places it next to the clean clothes on the bed. He undresses and moves another cover to reveal a built-in shower. Steve steps into the claustrophobic washing chamber and turns the water on high. The warm water feels good on his face he thinks as he holds his face in the warm water. With no warning or announcement the water shuts off. “Seriously,” Steve says out loud. He taps the water button again, but nothing comes out. Steve presses the dry button and warm air is shot from all around him. He opens the door and steps into the bedding chamber. As Steve dresses he begins to hear the sound of scratching from the wall at the end of the small chamber. “Vector what are you doing in there?” From the other chamber Vector says, “Cleaning up the mess in here.” The scratching grows louder as Steve quickly straps up his boots. Steve throws on his shirt and puts his picture back into his back pocket. He walks over to the far wall and places his ear up against the cold steel. Steve can hear the sounds of heavy breathing as the scratching continues. “What the fuck,” he says out loud to himself. Steve backs away at the nick of time as the metal wall breaks slightly to reveal a hand full of claws. A blast of heat comes into the chamber as the hole grows bigger. Steve wastes no time as he runs into the next chamber. He presses the chamber shut off button as he enters the next chamber. “Vector get into the work shop now.” Vector raises his head to ask a question as the beast in the next chamber slams its massive body against the chamber door. Vector rolls into the next chamber as Steve follows right behind him. Steve presses the chamber shut off button as he makes his way into the workshop. He rests his back against the closed-door and slowly slides down until he is sitting on the ground. “There’s no way something else lives on this planet Steve. It’s impossible,” he mocks as he breathes in deep.
“Vector how long can the chamber doors hold back whatever is behind them?” “Data unknown too many factors to determine such an outcome.” “Is communication still down?” “For the next hour at least,” Vector informs Steve. There is constant pounding that comes from the next chamber as Steve gets up and walks over to Vector. He inspects Vector’s Casing looking for anything that can be used for defense. “Steve what are you doing,” Vector asks? “I’m trying to see if there is anything on you that we can use as a weapon. Do you have a defensive system at all?” “No I was built to assist not destroy.” “Great I’m stuck with a giant paper weight in a fight for my life.” Steve walks over to his work bench and starts to take out any tools he can use to carve out metal with. “Vector I need a piece of your casing.” “What for Steve,” Vector questions as he turns his body to face Steve? “I need to send a message to the other sections.” “Bi law 24,” Vector starts to rattle off. “I know what the code and the rule is Vector, but I need to warn them.” “I can’t let you Steve it is against the rules.” “I was afraid you would say that,” Steve picks up the metal pipe from the side of his work bench. “Steve what are you doing with that?” “What I have too,” he says as he brings the pipe down hard on Vector. The pipe hits its mark on the lower back of Vector’s casing taking out his ability to move. Vector tries to stop the second swing but his arm misses the pipe as it lands hard into its upper back. Vector is now unable to use his arms. “They really made a design flaw when they made your components too much like a humans.” Vector turns his head to face Steve, “You didn’t have to do this Steve.” Aloud crash interrupts Steve as the creature breaks throw into the second chamber. “Time is running out Vector can you still send and receive communications?” “Yes I still can and there is still no window.” Steve grabs a tool off the work bench and starts to ply off a piece of Vectors casing. He is able to disassemble a large enough piece from Vector’s lower back. Steve then takes the piece to his work bench to engrave his own message. “What are you going to do with that piece?” “I’m going to write a message and then send it to Section A. They should be within communications by now if they aren’t already dead.” Sparks flay as Steve begins to cut in to the casing. He spells out each word as he cuts them carefully into Vector’s casing. It doesn’t take him long to engrave the case and he places the finished piece into the transfer tube. What if they are dead Steve,” Vector asks as Steve presses the send button. “Then we are also dead.”
The creature finally finds the door between chamber two and chamber three. It pound on the door with all of its might causing the wall to shake with every hit. Steve takes the picture out of his back pocket and stares into the eyes of the woman on it. “What is that,” Vector asks? “My wife and child,” Steve says quietly. “You have a wife and child?” “I had one yes. They didn’t tell you why I was here?” “Headquarters informed that you were here for accidental murder, but not the cause for such an action.” “That is why I am here, but it is much more complicated than that.” Steve’s eyes begin to tear up as he rubs his thumb down the side of his wife’s face. “I am here because I killed the murderer of my wife and child. It was ruled an accident, but I didn’t kill him on accident. I wanted him dead and that’s why I am still here. That is why I can never leave because I deserve to be here.” “He killed your wife and child Steve human emotions and laws dictate that your course of action is justified under accidental. You were not yourself when you committed the act of murder.” “What difference does it make? I’m going to die here anyways.” “Cut,” the director shouts from the front of the set. “Johnny, Johnny listen to me the tears need to be real and I need more than just two. Your upset over the death of you wife and child.” “Dan it’s a direct to DVD movie. Who gives a fuck if the crying doesn’t feel real? I mean I’m on a planet called Sector, What the fucks the number?” “156,” the line reader calls out to the actor. “Right, I’m on planet Sector 156 being chased by a hairy beast underground, and all of this is because the surface temperature is 451 degrees. Come on who wrote this shit? Ray Bradbury should sue. Look I know I said I would do the project, but this is really not working.” The actor gets up and starts to walk off the set. “Someone get me my agent. I don’t care if my careers in the crapper I’m not doing any more of these shitty movies. The government can have my fucking money.” “Johnny come back,” the director calls out to the actor. “God damn it I knew I should have gone with an unknown.”