A constant droning surrounds me, an eternal, humming hymn of solitude and solace. The red giant looms, dwarfing the fleet hanging in motionless orbit. The airlock hisses open and closed – there is no-one there. There hasn’t been anyone there for almost as long as I can remember.
An expedition was organised, the ship echoing with false bravado as the eager scientists donned their lightweight exo-suits and prepared to brave the void. A monolith, an unnatural stone finger was detected, scrapping against the thin Ionian atmosphere below. First contact, even if it was with a long-extinct alien race. First contact.
The airlock hissed open and closed – the advance team departed, their shuttles disappearing like shooting stars down toward the alien artefact, sliding down the giant’s gravity well. A secondary team departed, when contact with the first was lost.
The airlock hissed open, then closed. Sirens wailed, klaxons sounding throughout the ship. I hid. Discretion is the better part of valour. Cowardice is the better part of survival.
The sirens died off – suddenly choked into silence, as the hammering tread of monsters echoed throughout the hull, their reflections grotesque, clawing at human faces, devouring them. Hungry after uncountable aeons snap-frozen. They faded into the shadows, waiting. What was another decade?
More humans have arrived, their steel cocoons now trapped beneath Jove, the mighty Red Spot burns beneath them like a hungry maw. They too will be devoured.
The airlock hissed open, then closed.
Fresh screams filled the air.
The monsters are hungry.