He hit something hard.
A noise. Beeping. Screeching?
Something shuffled over the floor…
His eyes flew open. Noises stopped instantly. Where was he? Trying to move, his body felt much heavier than remembered. He wasn’t in his suit anymore. Naked under a silvern soft sheet. How? He checked his torso, hands searching. Everything where it should be. Nothing missing. There were some bandages over his left tight, and his throat. His right arm – an intravenous infusion dripping into him.
What happened before he … How did he get here? He couldn’t remember at all.
The ceiling changed, from a pale blue, to a dark blue. Constellations showed up, first softly gleaming, then sparkling in the blank space over his head. His body froze. He knew them! Those constellations! …Home? A hologram? That must be it, he figured.
Who made such efforts to soothe his waking? And why?
He remembered leaving Earth years ago. Felt like ages… There was a ship. His ship! The Gorgo. Interplanetary freighter…
He had important cargo. Something happened… He had been in the airlock. He wanted to check something… What was that again?
A series of explosions. Why? Gorgo torn apart.
He deciphered an encrypted message, sent from one of the storage units… He had at least one blind passenger.
Gorgo’s gone. They are gone.
He lost them… The hibernation units. All those people… He swallowed.
The hologram evolved to full view. He hadn’t seen the sky for so many years now. The southern cross blinked at him, made him smile, eyes watering up… It was a reflex. Every star flickered in the right place.
“You’ve come to. Good. I was starting to worry.” The voice came out of nowhere, made him jump. He rolled his head, but didn’t get the person speaking into his field of view. “Don’t force yourself. You lost a lot of blood. Surviving so long, pinned to that piece of shell. Never seen a human capable of such a thing. Impressive, Captain.” The voice came from behind him. Spine-crawling. He didn’t like it.
Was he the blind passenger? “Where am I?” He sounded weak and hoarse. It scared him.
“Rescue ship.” Something wasn’t right. The answer was too… He couldn’t put his finger on it. Fishy… He didn’t send any signal. The bridge got blown to bits first… How did they know? “But that isn’t true, is it? I was looking for your ship. Your cargo…”
The voice moved closer, near his head. This was his chance!
He launched his body off the bed.
Which was a poor idea.
With a thud he landed inches near the bed. Flat, on his belly. His head spinning. On the floor, nowhere near the speaking person.
“My, my. What a spirited species! Are all humans like this, or is it just you?” The voice chuckled softly.