Cryo-sleep, part 1.
The following is a two, possibly three part short story I am working on. The next part will be coming out soon.
Breaking out of his confined cryo-sleep bed, young cadet Nathan Birchof is greeted by nothing. Staring out into the darkness that is the cryo-sleep chamber, Nathan is confused. From what little he could see, the other beds were empty, and the reason for his sudden departure from sleep is not at all apparent. This ship’s air was stale, however, and every breath felt very dank and dry. Feeling for a close-by terminal to view the ships current status, Nathan couldn’t help but wonder what was going on, is he dead? is everyone else dead? What has happened! He kept saying to himself, over and over again. Finally felling what he could make out to be a console he tap at it wildly, trying to turn it on, to no avail. The power seem to have been cut from all systems in that room, lights, cryo-beds, and even the console. Nathan has two choices at this point, wait in a room that was probably running out of oxygen, or find the door and attempt an exit. That is of course if the door even works. The ship was designed to have an automatic door, so if the power was off, likely the door would be too. Nathan stumbled across the room in the direction of what he remembered the door being in. The departure from what was tangible, and he could feel, was not so easy at first. It was like a leap a faith into the darkness, what was out there he did not know, could not know, but he had to push on… for survival.
Surrounded by complete darkness, walking slowly in one direction, he felt as if he was on the right track, although he had nothing to hold on to. A sudden rush of adrenaline washed down on him as he finally hit the door. Nathan said to himself that if this was a video game, or even a movie, the rock music would tune in now tell everyone this was the beginning of something great. His dreams and thoughts were all he had in this darkness, but it helped him push forward nonetheless. He began shuffling to the right along the wall feeling for a door. The intricate wall was very misleading at times, he would run his hands over a pinnacle in the wall, felling it as the beginning of the door frame, only to realize that its just more wall. He had been walking around this room for ages he felt, and the door was just not where he thought it to be, then all of a sudden his hand felt a void. A large empty space in the wall that almost caused him to fall through. He had found the door, and it was open. This meant oxygen was quickly depleting not only in the cryo-sleep chamber, but also in other parts of the ship. He needed to find the reactor and turn the power on, but who knows what lurks out in the darkness of the hallway. Nathan needed a light source, and he knew it.
Stepping into the door frame, and walking out into the hallway, he tripped over something on the floor causing him to fall on his face. He shrugged it off and turned around, crouching. He could make out a figure laying on the floor, shaped like a human, but it was unclear as to what it was. Next to it was a cylindrical object, in the shape of a flashlight, Nathan reached for it, but it suddenly rolled away from him, down the hall. The object faded out of sight until it was invisible. Nathan got to his feet and chased after the possessed flashlight. He caught up with it and picked it up. Realizing that it was indeed a flashlight he fiddled with the switch in an attempted to turn it on. Eventually it turned on illuminating a small portion of the wall in front him. A shadow moved to the right of the light, and Nathan quickly moved his light in that direction. There was nothing, and there was probably nothing Nathan said, his mind playing tricks on him he said out loud. Then suddenly a noise sounded at the end of the hall, and he turned his view that way to see a small screw from the wall rolling on the floor. He sighed a relief and then he noticed the figure on the floor was a person, a very dead person. It was cryo-engineer Nalas, Nathan figured out. He had met her right before he went in to deep sleep. Nalas was nice, but very skiddish always complaining about how things might go wrong with cryo-sleep. Always reassuring to hear someone say something could go wrong right be your are being put under, and then something did happen, Nathan thought. It didn’t matter anymore, because Nathan was in this situation, and Nalas is dead. As much as Nathan didn’t want to do it, he scavenged as much as he could from Nalas’… corpse. He found a red access card for low-level security areas, a small ration, and extra batteries for his light. All very essential for his current situation. He was also took her jumpsuit and shoes, because she wouldn’t been needing them anymore he thought. The shoes didn’t really fit, and the jumpsuit was a bit tight, but Nathan was able to manage for now. Examining the corpse of cryo-engineer Nalas, he noticed small needle marks on her neck, arms and legs. Not sure whether or not she was a drug user, but assured that she wasn’t (because the Military has strict rules on drug use while serving), Nathan could only assume that is what killed her. He looked around the cramp and small hallway for any syringes or needles, but found none. He was no medic, being a simple security officer, he had no real logical thoughts of what the marks could be. Nathan had no idea what he was dealing with, but nonetheless kept his guard up as he exited the hallway towards the reactor.
End of part one.