The rock-slabbed cell wall felt cold against her back. Somewhere nearby, across the room that was akin to a pit sunk into the ground, a dripping noise echoed softly. It was the only sound that made its way to Vera’s ears. Everything else was hauntingly silent.
The walls that enclosed the room formed a tight circle, their tops capped with a roof of metal meshing that let only trickles of light through. The small pinpricks of light did little to light the space, instead just lacing the dimness with weak beams that felt cold to touch.
Vera made no movement from where she sat, pressed tightly up against what she felt was the far side wall, or the furthest she could get from the small hatch that was inset into the dark stone across from her. That’s what she reassured herself. In truth, she couldn’t see where it was in the darkness, and she couldn’t remember the last time it had opened.
She gave a shiver and clawed tighter at her arms, her nails scraping at the patch sewn into the shoulder of the heavy jacket she wore. She chuckled weakly to herself. That patch meant so little now. A stupid symbol of false hope. That ship set against a split diamond gave her the chills, the letters stitched below it putting a vile taste in her mouth.
Did they call themselves that because they were all mentally broken? Snapped? It wouldn’t have surprised Vera. The false cause didn’t matter to her anymore. More words, more lies. Just more things to put in her mouth.
All they had managed for her was to lead her here, stuck at the bottom of a stinking pit, quivering in the darkness and soaked to the bone. She had tried to tell herself she had some solace left to cling to, but the only thing she clutched to her chest was the tattered remains of a letter. The words on there she had memorised from her repeated readings. At first, those words had surged a warmth through her chest, soaring feelings and joy. Now, each time her mind wandered back to those words written, she felt a sour bitterness. A loathing, rage, feeling of abandonment.
She clutched the letter tighter in a fist, the words swirling again in her mind, no matter how she fought to cover them.
Wait for me. –Peter
That bastard would pay. Him, his ‘Core’, the fleet. They would pay. Vera didn’t forget betrayals.