The Harpy

part 1 - another way to die

“Ugh. Stop. Go away!” I chase away the light and the fingers forcing my eyes open. „Where’s the horse?“ I crow.

„What horse?“ Who’s voice is that? The light hurts my eyes.

„That kicked me in the chest? Catch it, before it runs off.“ Sighing. The light and fingers retract. “Proto? Is that you?” I try to sit up, but the floor is spinning.

“No. Don’t you scare me like that, EVER again! Stay where you are, you hear me?” Looks like an uniform. I know that uniform. I know that shape. A captainshaped uniform… Oh… I’m in serious trouble. His silhouette swims into my field of view. Why is he kneeling beside me? Huh… I’m soaked. Why? I’m definitely too groggy for any of these answers. „Still on the ship, aren’t I?”

“Yep. Still on the Harpy.“

„No horses, right?“ Think! What am I doing down here? Something went wrong. Terribly wrong… Was it an experiment and I miscalculated the medication dose?

„Right. Oriented to location. Good. Now tell me your name.“ Oz. Oscar Wellington. Doctor. „Good. Who am I?“ Captain Edward Wong. „The one and only. Year? Don’t roll your eyes, you know the drill. Location, person, time, situation.“ 2098. „Now, do I have to run a drug test on you? Were you high, or what?! How do you explain THIS?“ He waves a hand at me, the destroyed electronics and scattered data sheets on the floor. „Besides… Why were you locked in, and floating facedown in that tank? Spill it! What happened?!”

“I, I honestly – I dunno. I can’t remember.“ Just look at that mess! Everything’s smashed… All my work! I can’t believe I did this. The quarantine doors are destroyed. It must’ve been the captain trying to get in. Did I lock them? Wires? What am I hooked up to? A defibrillator unit? “How many shocks did I get?”

“One to 250 and three to 310 Joules. Jump starting you wasn’t easy. It looked like you won’t make it. You’ll feel like a schnitzel… I might have cracked some of your ribs, I guess. Now tell me, what happened to you? Who did this?” Eddy’s eyes search for mine, but I can’t stand the look.

“Thank you for saving me, Cap. I’m sorry, I’m no help. I simply don’t remember.“ My clothes are ripped, muscles sore… I start pulling off the electrodes of my chest and back. Why was I fully dressed, if I was doing a hibernation experiment? That’s strange… „I tell you, what I remember. It was an experiment for induced hibernation. I was testing new chemical compounds. So- ” Shaking my head, I admit,„this was my first incident ever… Cardiac arrest is not an option. Damn…“ Strix Genome won’t be pleased with my near-death-experience… Not the first accident with hibernation research anyway. Where was my safe guard? CPR is been taking a long time, which means that my electrolyte metabolism is off balance…

“You mean, you did this on purpose?! You little prick! You were DEAD! No breathing! No pulse! What do you call that?! Fuckin’ power-napping? God!”

“… You exaggerate a bit, cap…” Oh-uh. I should’ve kept my mouth. That shade of red can’t be healthy. A human volcano is going to spit a ball of anger right into my face.

“WHAT?! The ships life-monitoring alarm went off, like a fucking X-mas decoration, to your vitals. And YOU tell me, I exaggerate? FUCK YOU! Next time-“

“Eddy, I’m sorry. Okay?” He grabs my torn shirt and pulls me up to his face, lips tightening.

”- NO! NOT OKAY! What if I hadn’t pulled you out in time? Or that liquid destroyed your lungs? There are no prosthetics on board! And you are THE doctor. IDIOT! Even downloading and printing would take nearly half a day!” He lets go and turns to leave, but got some powder left. He’s not done with me.

„Where’s your lapdog? Where is Proto? Isn’t it supposed to watch your back? PROTO? Where are you hiding, you little shit?”

“HE is doing research. I sent him.” I wonder, did I?

“Is it? You should stop protecting it. Processing useless data. Don’t make me laugh! The ship does that way better. Just ask!” He glares me down. I don’t understand… „Do you, or do you not know, where Proto is?“ I shake my head. What the heck? The captain turns to the surveillance panel. „Babe? Who’s on board?“

Note:  this piece is the original and the inspiration to SLEIPNIR, ergo influenced FENRIR too

- part 2 - confused AI
- part 3 - code 330
- part 4 - perks of jumbled memories

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