Saturday, April 7, 2012

Limited Series: Savage SciFi

It's dark as you open your eyes, straining to make out the motion and faint lights that woke you. Heavy isn't the right word for how your head feels--stagnant, like water that hasn't moved in years, yes, that's it.
Light attacks your eyes, harsh, and abrasive. Someone is walking into the room, beyond the plasteel covering your cryo-pod. It is a cryo-pod, isn't it? The last thing you remember is the technician attaching a tube to the shunt in your arm, telling you to count back from one hundred. Yes, this must be a cryo-pod--you can see your breath now as your lungs warm up.

The movement is a man. Or maybe a woman. But not like any you've seen before: deep cerulean skin, black as tar hair, lizard-like movements. You think it's a male, assuming its species has a biology anything like your own, and watch him through barely open eyes, hoping he won't notice you're awake.
Where are the technicians? Why haven't you woken up for your maintenance rotation on the ship? You were supposed to be woken up by the ship every five years to check the ship. Everyone gets woken up, in shifts, to make sure the ship is sailing smoothly.
There are no humans in the room, but now there are two of the blue people, and one of similar build and biology but with a deep, emerald coloured skin. This one seems to be giving orders, barking something in a language full of clicks, pops, and buzzes. All the while, the green one is staring at you and the other pods in the room.

Only five pods in this room. You can see all of them, and you know that's standard thawing procedure--five at a time, in a room just off the main cryo-hall on the ship. There are two thaw rooms, actually, so it's a total of ten at a time. Not that it matters: these probably aren't friendlies thawing you out.

You have spent the last three years preparing for this expedition. The team was put together by Phoenix Corporation, a company contracted by the United Earth Defense Organisation--UEDO. Phoenix is a privately held company, but then all groups capable of interstellar flight are, as governments have other things to spend money on. Like contracts with those companies. This arrangement allows the innovations of the private sector to benefit the federal governments of earth directly, and leaves the private firms open to private customers, too.
The expedition launched, the ship left the station orbiting Earth, and made only a stop at Mars for a send-off from the colonists. After that, it was down for cryo-sleep, with the last sleeper having to plug herself in and let the computers pump in the drugs.

How long has it been? Where are we?