Note: As much as I am focused on finishing Lights and Shadows, Paradox is worming its way onto the front of my mind. The more I resist it, the stronger it becomes so here’s something to keep the demon at bay. 😉
His eyes opened into dim light and a pounding headache. The last thing he remembered was a bright flash filling the cockpit and alarm klaxons. He was laying on a cot, the thin mattress barely protecting his back from the metal strips that crisscrossed underneath. He sat up and took stock of the surroundings. No windows in the rounded metal walls and a single heavy door with a slit peephole and a passing slot at the bottom made up the entry and exit points. The room was colder than a metaphor and he resisted touching the nearest wall.
Then he saw her. She was crouched in a far corner, slowly rocking to herself and muttering a string of syllables that he barely heard. Her rumpled yellow jumpsuit was caked with dirt and her long blonde hair hung in equally dirty stringlets that covered her face. When she noticed him, she cringed and shrank farther into the wall.