The Spectral Exodus


7/9/20233 min read

Leaving the forsaken cannibal planet was both a relief and a burden. The latter being due to the unknown path we were treading, and the former because we were finally on the move, actively searching for Chef's family. Our ship, as reliable as ever, hummed under our command as we ventured into the star-strewn darkness of the universe.

The once lively, bustling colony was now a spectral shell of its former self. We disembarked from our ship, our footsteps echoing eerily against the desolate silence. The colony was deserted, the buildings standing like tombstones, an eerie testament to lives lived and abruptly left behind.

We split up, deciding to cover as much ground as we could. Each building we entered bore the same forlorn ambiance — abandoned mid-action, left to the mercy of time and the elements. Tables set for meals that were never eaten, personal items strewn around in a hasty departure, dust coating everything like a ghostly shroud.

"This place is like a crypt," Fitt muttered over the comm link, his usually playful tone subdued.

"You're telling me," I responded, picking up a child's toy and turning it over in my hand. The paint was faded and worn, the once bright colors muted with time. I put it back down, the weight of its story bearing down on me.

We searched for hours, the silent colony revealing nothing but echoes of its past. Chef remained stoic, his determination unwavering despite the rising tide of disappointment. He moved through each home with reverence, a visitor paying his respects.

As the hours turned into a seemingly unending cycle of fruitless searching, I found myself in what seemed to be the last building on the edge of the colony. The exterior was no different from the rest, its surface weathered and worn. But inside, tucked away under a layer of dust and grime, was a small glimmer of hope.

There, in the corner of the room, sat a hollow device, the faint glow of its power light indicating it still held a charge. I picked it up, blowing off the thick layer of dust that covered it.

"Moe, Chef, I've found something," I relayed over the comm link, my heart pounding in anticipation.

"Hold on, we're on our way," came Chef's response.

A few minutes later, Chef and Fitt arrived, their faces mirroring the anticipation I felt. Chef reached out, his hand shaking slightly as he took the device from me. He stared at it for a moment, a rush of emotions crossing his face.

"Could be a message from Lilly," he murmured, his voice barely audible.

With trembling fingers, he activated the device. A tough, stern voice filled the room, echoing through the silent building.

"If the woman and her daughter are ready to go, we can make room. But we have to go now! We are running out of ti..."

The message was abrupt, ending as suddenly as it had begun. But in those few words, we found a glimmer of hope. They had been here, and they had left. But where they had gone was still a mystery.

"We're closer," I said, clapping Chef on the shoulder. "We'll find them, Chef."

Chef nodded, his gaze still focused on the device. His fingers traced the surface, his touch gentle as if he were touching a precious artifact.

"We have to keep going," he said, determination evident in his voice.

Fitt, standing a bit off to the side, nodded in agreement. "On to the next clue then."

With that, we ventured back into the cold expanse of the universe, the abandoned colony a spectral beacon in our rearview. We were on a chase now, the breadcrumbs of Chef's family leading us deeper into the unknown. But we were ready. We were a team, and we were not going to stop until we found them.