Goodbye Sol – Page 1

I had experienced it dozens of times before, but I still could not get over how much it hurt as I took my first breath. My head felt like it was splitting in two. It was like the worst ice cream headache I had ever experienced multiplied by a million with the added discomfort of near lava like burning shooting through my lungs.
Flickers of memory, almost dreamlike in nature, passed through my mind – sunlight, the sound of birds, a gentle breeze tickling my skin. It faded away before I could hold onto it and was replaced by nothingness. The absence of senses. Even though I’d gone through this so many times before, it was still so uncomfortable.
The constant hum in my brain from the absence of noise. I opened my eyes to a grey fog of sightlessness. I commanded my hands to move, but had no way of knowing if they were complying.
I was aboard Lalonde’s Dream. All of this was normal. I shook my head to try and rid it of some of the cobwebs. I swallowed hard a few times, trying to get my ears to pop. A warbling noise faintly broke through the silence and again a few minutes later. It was happening at regular intervals. There was something recognizable about the sound. It was not good. It was very not good!
Swallowing again, and straining to hear, the noise blared again. Two short pulses of a loud horn alarm. “Collision warning,” the deep male computer voice stated emotionless.
Adrenaline started to fill my veins. I knew I had to get to the captain and make sure he was awake and able to deal with the situation. I pressed my palms against the semi-transparent glass and the pod door lifted away.
I could finally make out basic shapes, the crimson warning lights flickered and the emergency alert repeated again. I felt a momentary bout of confusion as the alarms were only supposed to sound every two minutes. I remembered how waking up from cryosleep made the passage of time feel elastic in nature, with seconds feeling like hours and minutes passing by in a blink.
As I stumbled forward, I kept one hand on the cryopod. My fingers, though grasping, felt nothing. I tried to remind myself of my goal to check on the captain, but the disorientation was distracting. The wall to my left offered a constant and reassuring resistance and I used it to guide myself to his pod. A wave of nausea hit me and the world started to spin.
‘All perfectly normal,’ I reminded myself.
Another prodding from the emergency alert propelled me forward. I could make out a shape jutting from the mostly smooth wall and flopped forward to lean on it. I put my face approximately where I thought the information display should be and the high contrast screen came to life. A fresh wave of pain hit me in the face, the light of the screen almost blindingly bright. Its status showed that the captain was being awakened.
‘Should I check on Asher as well?’
With his cryopod situated further back in the cabin, and my continued convalescence, it seemed risky to attempt it, but without knowing the danger we were facing, I assumed it was better to have everyone awake, rather than dying for some unknown reason out here in deep space.
As I twisted back around, there was more clarity in my vision. I could make out the some of the details on my open cryopod and beyond that, I could make out the shape of Asher’s. Not wanting to take any chances, I pushed myself along the wall. A strong tingling sensation all over my body let me know that I was getting closer to the final stages of waking from cryosleep.
I waved my hand in front of the display, and it showed that it was waking up our engineer without issue and was only a few minutes behind the captain’s.
“Ahh, damn I hate these things!” The captain growled.
I turned to see him groping blindly at the edge of his pod. He pulled himself forward, as if willing the effects of the cryosleep to wear off quicker.
I crawled over to my pod, and pulled open a drawer beneath it, getting out my medical kit. I flipped open an inner compartment and took out a bright green syringe. I held it between my teeth and crawled over to him. I still felt more confident on all fours as the room continued to twist and rock around me. Using his pod for support I lifted myself back up to standing. I took the syringe from my mouth, and pulled the cap.
“Sorry, Sir,” I said as I jabbed the needle into the captain’s bicep.
“Oh, for the love of!” He hollered. By his volume I knew that his hearing wasn’t quite back to normal yet, and he was going to have a pretty sore throat when his senses fully returned.
“We need you to do your captain-y things.” I loudly explained, removing the needle and allowing myself to flop back down. “We have an emergency!” I hollered as loud as I could, hoping his hearing had returned enough to make out what I was saying.
“I kind of figured the alarms were for something like that!”
Looking up at the captain, I could see that the stim was already starting to take effect. Captain Emeric took a deep breath, squeezed his eyes shut briefly and then opened them wide. He stepped from his pod and stretched his arms above his head and his legs spread shoulder width apart. The captain began to hop in place, swinging his arms and moving his legs.
It was his typical post-cryo routine, something I had seen countless times.
He fixed his gaze on me and offered me his hand. I took it and he pulled me back up to standing. The vertical rush, seemed to pull on my brain and it thumped with pain again.
“All right, Anaya?” He asked.
I nodded slightly.
Captain Emeric turned away, facing towards the front of the ship. “Make sure Asher is up and ready. I’m going to find out what the heck is going on.”
Without waiting for a response, and in a less than confident march, the captain moved quickly from the cryostasis room towards the bridge.
“Good luck,” I quietly said as the doors closed behind him.
A noise from behind me caught my attention, I turned just in time to watch as Asher fell face forward onto the deck. The loud thud resonated through the room.
“Are you okay?” I asked. I stumbled over to him and flopped to sit at his side.
“I bet that’s going to hurt!” He yelled.
“I have never seen anyone do that before,” I said, playfully jabbing his side with my index finger.
He flailed on the ground before twisting over. On his back now, he looked up at the ceiling.
“Are you okay?” I asked again, this time nearly yelling.
Asher’s eyes swam around in his head, looking for something to focus on.
“Do you want a stim?” I yelled as loud as I could.
He flinched, his whole body tightened. “No. Please no! Those things make me sick for days,” he yelled back.

Read Page 2

3 thoughts on “Goodbye Sol – Page 1

  1. I love it! I’m intrigued!! I want to know more!!! All very good things having after having only read the very beginning of a story.

    That being said … you have asked more than once for feedback. So, here are a few picky (mostly grammatical) observations:

    *Page 1*”near lava like burning shooting through my lungs” – This statement is grammatically confusing. Is it burning or is it shooting? Or, is the lava-like-burning the thing that is shooting?

    “The constant hum in my brain from the absence of noise”. – This in an incomplete sentence so it hurts my brain and slows me down like a speed bump would.

    “I was aboard Lalonde’s Dream.” – Could you choose to elaborate here (at least a little) about what this is? My brain stopped to explore the possibilities – is Lalonde a character who is dreaming this story? Is Lalonde’s Dream the name of a boat? Wait, could it be a spaceship?! Maybe you WANT your reader to engage in this kind of questioning this early in the story.

    “the deep male computer voice stated emotionless.” – with total lack of emotion? I guess I have some issue with the use of this adjective following a verb.

    “As I twisted back around, there was more clarity in my vision. I could make out* the* some of the details on my open cryopod and beyond …” – remove the extra

    *the”*I waved my hand in front of the display, and it showed that it was waking up our engineer without issue and was only a few minutes behind the captain’s.” – the *display* was only a few minutes behind the captain’s? Incorrect pronoun antecedent.

    “”Sorry, Sir,” I said as I jabbed the needle into the captain’s bicep. – period after Sir rather than a comma

    “”Oh, for the love of!” He hollered. – “Oh, for the love of …” he hollered.

    Love, Mary

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