Please. Please you have to hear this please come on come come on bastard thing why won't you work jesus please I don't know how long we have before they cut the pow-
-no the light's on it should be transmitting goddamnit please be transmitting- Okay. Okay this... this is Corporal Patrick Chalke of the freighter Idiom's Child, I need to report an attack, jesus no a fucking massacre. I have a few minutes, I think they tried to cut the comms power but I routed it through the life support, they cut that the whole damn place will shut down I don't think they want that-
This is Corporal Patrick Chalke. I don't know if anyone's hearing this, but even if no-one gets here in time... someone should hear this. I don't think there's anyone left on board so- I don't know.
I think everyone else is dead.
We'd came out of Baeronis, set for some shitheap mining colony spinwards. The usual cargo, food and liquor and other things that they couldn't get where they were, and returning with light ore for the shipyards. I'm ship security detail, I don't deal with the merchandise, just guard it. Fact is it's easy. I didn't even fire my gun until to-
-the fuck... They're on the hull. I don't know how long I have. I don't even know what happened here, just that a week ago reports began trickling down from the higher decks, bit by bit. That we seemed to be taking too long. That we were off-course.
That we were lost.
I ignored it. People get superstitious about every flight, about sudden engine failure or inertia collapse, and there's always whispers. People panicking about the Black. It's natural I guess, but I've been on the bridge, seen all the equipment up there, the way they've partitioned the Black out in lines of green light, made it safe, made it known, and I don't worry. Maybe I'm stupid and I don't understand the vastness out here, but I put my faith in the Child and the nav computers. It was always enough for me.
Then we heard about the song.
It's like that story from Old Earth, the one about those rocks with the beautiful women, and you had to close your ears with wax when passing them because if you didn't then all you would want to do is run aground. Once one nav computer got it, they all did. But some didn't break down, just... some just turned to follow whatever the fuck it was they were hearing and gave out coordinates to bring us right up on the fucking rocks.
-us Christ it's getting cold. They must be in the engine block now, feeding off the heat. Maybe that's all they actually wanted, and we were just in their way... I mean, it has to be cold out here, out at the very edge of everything. I don't think there could be anything colder. We shot them, but what's that to something that could live out here?
I'm going to set this message on repeat. I don't know what good it'll do anybody. This is Corporal Patrick Chalke of the Idiom's Child. If you hear this, don't come for us.