It’s been a while. My therapist says I should keep writing, that it will help. She says I need to face what happened, that I can’t heal until I admit the details to myself.
The Scope pestered me for weeks to give an interview regarding what happened. When my amnesia finally abated I agreed, just to make them stop asking. Doesn’t that qualify as admitting the details to myself? After all, I heard every word that left my mouth. Perhaps my therapist has no idea what she’s talking about.
I’ll note the details here. She’ll be checking anyway; better to get this over and done with.
The passenger liner had finished its jump into Agoze. Suddenly the deck shuddered and the warning bells sounded. A moment later the lights in the entire passenger compartment went out.
I left my seat. I wasn’t supposed to; all the signs said everyone should stay put and buckle up in the event of an emergency. But my mother had just excused herself to the restroom; the jump hit her hard and in those first moments after, while the ship was aligning to the next gate, she’d felt she couldn’t hold her stomach any longer.
I almost couldn’t make my way. The deck kept tilting violently back and forth and the darkness was punctuated every few seconds by blinding bursts of light from beyond the viewports.
I realized then, along with most of the other passengers, that we were being shot at. The flight attendants started shouting, children screamed, and smoke poured into the compartment.
Mom was in the restroom still bent over the toilet when I finally found her. Really, it took only a few seconds but just like in the holovids, time had seemed to slow down. I remember she groaned at me and made some sarcastic remark about turbulence in space. These were the last words I heard her say.
What happened next is literally blown permanently from my memory. I’m told the hull of the liner breached and set off a series of explosions. Everyone in the passenger compartment was killed due to decompression…including my father and brothers.
The only survivors were those of us in the restrooms and a few crew who became trapped in other parts of the ship when the emergency seals activated. Even then, we weren’t terribly lucky. The explosions twisted the wreck of the liner, tossing us about like ragdolls. I don’t remember that part, either.
My next memory is of lying crumpled up in a corner of the restroom, with part of a stall lying over me. My back was broken and I had shrapnel embedded in me everywhere, including my throat. Someone, not my mother, was screaming about being on fire. I was paralyzed. I couldn’t do anything…but listen. Oh god, the screams…
It took a long time before she quieted. But then, the woman’s death revealed another horror: I could distinctly hear the sound of whistling air. Somewhere, what little oxygen we had was slowly finding a route out into space.
It got very, very cold. The fire was still burning and that kept us from freezing to death. At some point I passed out, from lack of oxygen, blood loss…from the cold… I’m told it was two days before we were rescued.
I don’t know why we didn’t die, why the attackers left the wreck and didn’t finish the job. I know it’s been hell since then. My mother suffered severe head trauma and is still in a coma. She’s not expected to live. Many of the other survivors are still in hospital as well. I can feel my legs again but I’m still relearning how to walk. My speech therapy is taking longer…too long.
Everything is gone. Everything. I can’t sing, I can’t walk. I couldn’t even go to the service for my father and brothers—! There wasn’t one because…because…explosive decompression and no bodies recove