While They Sleep
Writing Exercise: Describe a place. Use no characters or dialogue.
Dark corridors stretch as far as the eye can see. At least they would, had anyone been present to see. The dull red glow of emergency lighting provided the only illumination, and would reveal nothing to an observer beyond miles of untreated metal panels and non-slip flooring. The air itself is stale and lifeless, carrying only suspended dust particles and the scent of exposed steel. Here and there an exposed wire pokes out from the unsealed intersection of ceiling and wall, breaking the monotony.
There are few sounds out here, so far from the unceasing engines. Sometimes those exposed wires will spark, disturbing the silence and adding a faint scent of ozone to the already metallic air. Then the accompanying puff of smoke will drift through the red lighting, like a ghost trying to escape this sterile limbo and out into the dark void of space beyond. Rarer still is the occasional echoing clang of an external impact, an ancient traveller shattering itself against the reinforced walls.
There is a strange grandeur to this spartan desolation, not only in the sheer scale of this facility, but in its very nature. It staggers the mind to think that flesh and blood creatures, took the metals of their world and hurled them into space to form a new artificial home. Creatures that would never survive the harsh coldness of space had stolen the bones and breadth of the world that birthed them, and had created something wholly new, wholly unnatural. Yet this Frankenstein’s monster of science and desperation may well be all that stands between us and extinction.