TITLE: ORIGIN OF THE OTHERS
GENRE: Adult Science Fiction
After her sister is taken by a covert group of humans, a celestial named Essence avenges her by taking one of them, only to find that the human she captured may be the key to getting her kind off this wayward planet—a Beauty and the Beast meets Arrival retelling.
In two hundred thirteen years, Essence had never killed a human. The thought of ending such a delicate life brought on a crippling nausea. The back of her jaw clenched, rot gripped her throat. But now, shivering against the metal plank, weaponized vapors burning her lungs, she knew one thing—death came for all.
Down the concrete corridor outside her cell, a heavy door scratched at its hinges and rattled open. Soldiers dragged a woman along. The scrappy push and pull of resistance clanged in a lopsided rhythm. Someone limped. Maybe it was the captive, maybe it was one of the soldiers.
The unit stopped at an empty cell and aluminum batons shoved the woman in. A stifled sob escaped before the block door sealed with a hiss. Essence searched the vocals, isolating the rich timbre of the young voice. No. The new captive wasn't the one she searched for, the one that led her to this place, the one that got her caught.
Trudging past Essence’s two-way mirror, the soldiers headed out the opposite way. As she watched the grey figures leave, she couldn’t help the smile that tugged at her lips. They thought they were safe on that side of the mirror, hidden under the darkness of the barren hall. They didn’t know she could see them all. And after today, she never planned on seeing any of them ever again.