((17 - Red Eye))
May 30th, 802 AT
Zebra curled up in the small bed, wishing she were somewhere else. Goat and Giraffe were in their own rooms in the apartment Ammon had given them, but they seemed perfectly content on the Roost. The three had gone exploring earlier in the day, as they were for the most part able to blend in to the crowds. Owl and Skunk didn't have it so easy, and were functionally confined to their quarters, and Spider... well, Spider was still sulking, as far as any of them could tell.
Zebra was not particularly enjoying the Roost. She had never been much of a social person, back on Face, preferring the company of her forge to that of other people. The month aboard the Quinn had been mildly boring, but far from unpleasant. Here, though... there were too many people. She'd gotten used to the quiet.
It didn't help that yesterday had been full of constant reminders of Jaz. She had grown to like the pilot in the two weeks they'd known each other, but had long moved on. The deaths of everyone she'd known on Face had somehow barely hurt. Maybe it was the way she didn't see it, or the sheer immensity of the situation--she wasn't really sure. Jaz' death had hurt more than that. It was visible, it was personal, it was brutal.
And now she was remembering it. She let out a frustrated sigh and rolled over, pulling the blanket around her tighter, trying to sleep.
The hallway she stood in felt familiar, yet violently wrong. It was a metal corridor, looking very much like the ones she'd spent the last days wandering. Every surface, though, was lined with thin red wires, which seemed to pulse quietly, almost like they had a heartbeat. Here and there, she could see blue and silver wires, buried beneath the mass of red.
She walked down the corridor, eventually coming to a small balcony, facing out onto open Void, and another balcony across from that. With a dawning unpleasant realization, Zebra understood where she was. She turned and went back the way she had come, trying to remember which way to go, and wishing she weren't alone in here.
After what felt like the right number of twists and turns, Zebra found herself before the sliding double doors.
They stood wide open.
Beyond them was a room lined in copper wire, floor covered with wide mats. At the far end of the room was a small altar, with two pairs of hooks, that looked like swords belonged on them.
The red wires seemed to flow from the doors, erupting outwards, spilling around the doors and across the floor, walls, and ceiling.
After staring at the unpleasant sight for far too long, Zebra hazarded opening her mouth. "... Jaz?"
There was a footstep behind her. A rustling, a sound of movement, a hint of laughter. She spun, pivoting on her heel, and caught a glimpse of a face, made of a vibrant horrific bloodred, lunging forward--
Zebra's eyes snapped open, locked onto the cold metal ceiling overhead. Blank gray. Not red at all. No wires anywhere.
She decided not to tell Kasby about that dream.