The World Today

The World Today
Earth in 2013

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Day 1 on Hypnale

Something that's in its outline stage.

I slowly begin to regain my senses, but for the life of me I cannot remember where I am. Have I always been here? It certainly felt like I have been locked in this bubble for years. Yet, it also feels like I only entered it moments ago. The canopy of my bubble breached, letting in bright lights from without. For a second, I wonder if I am dead. No, if I were dead I would not have a wave of nausea, to say nothing of a pulsing headache. My memory was in no great hurry to return, and for the moment I am unsure of even my own name. The last thing I recall was entering this pod—

Now why did I do that? I usually have a pretty good reason to do anything. I have made it a point in life to not do anything without reason, or even say anything without reason. The latter I have not always been so successful, but the former had turned into part of my personal code. Once the bubble was fully opened, I took in my surroundings. Mine was not the only pod. Tens of pods lined either side of the narrow, metallic hallway. The hall is a rather sterile place, with smooth and glistening walls where bubble canopies did not protrude, as well as a long series of yellow lights. No, it was a room. I recall that all the rooms were narrow, as the ship I was upon was a long, slender object.

Yes, it was a ship. I remember now. I am a xenobiologist with a minor in biochemistry, and I boarded this ship at Earth Station. A smile came to my face as reality began to reform. I happen to be the only xenobiologists within eight light years of this place. I stepped from the pod which had been my ‘home’ for the past twenty-two years. It was not much of dormitory; just enough room for me to sit down and be removed from time. I have no idea how the stasis pod works (I am a student of the life sciences after all) save that it removes the user from time. By the calendars back home, I am twenty-two years older than when I started this voyage, but by my own physiology, I aged a few hours at the most. I suppose it is not a total loss that I cannot recall a second of my time in stasis.

My age is not all I notice. My weight seems off too. No, it is not just because I have not eaten a bite in over two decades. If my memory serves me correctly, and there will be no guarantee of that until the effects of stasis wear off, standard gravity onboard ships is five meters per second squared, about half that of Earth. Being born and raised on Earth, I notice these little things. The crew of the Venture Star are all Spacers, accustomed to this low gravity. I suppose having ships this low makes sense, given how many people live on Luna and the other moons.

Speaking of my fellow voyagers, I stumbled towards the nearest pod to check up on the crew. The room is so quiet, I wonder if I am the only one awake. This revelation breeds a horrifying thought. What if I am the only one awake and we are only halfway to Lalande 21185? Or worse yet, what if I am the only one alive? It would not be the first instant of a disaster in space. The first interstellar mission (Venture Star is the second ship) ended in the loss of the ship. Nobody ever did discover the fate of the Trail Blazer, and I really would not want to learn the hard way.

I peer into the nearest pod and let out a sigh of relief. It is empty. Naturally, if I were the only survivor then the pod’s occupant would still be inside, twisted in some agonizing death pose. I quickly check the pod across from it and discover it too is empty. As is the third and fourth pod. I stop my search after that. I do not require my advance degrees to figure out that I am probably the last of the ship’s compliment to be revived. Typical. I only hope they have not finished construction of the warp gate and headed back to Earth before reviving me.

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