A Good Night's Sleep

There was a click followed by an inaudible hum and the stasis pod door slid into its alcove with a metal sigh. Blinking several times, junior medic Delphine Moreau, stepped out of her booth and surveyed the surrounding area. She’d never been in stasis before. Sure she’d sat through all the briefings and all the lectures on the prolonged effects of extended periods of time, but she’d never actually experienced stasis.

“Well,” she said to herself. “Doesn’t really feel like anything.”

She patted herself down to make sure she was still in one piece and then stepped from her stasis booth.

Phi’s first thought was to check how long she’d been inside, but that thought was quickly silenced by the inactivity around her. The room her stasis pod had been in was deathly quiet. Save a small green glow from her booth, not a single light nor viewscreen was lit up. She looked to her left and right. None of the other booths were lit up.

“Hello? Anyone?” she called out loudly. “Holly? Are you there?”

Nothing but her echo replied. Phi started to feel very alone.

She cautiously left the safety of her booth and crept towards the nearest booth. It was dark inside, but Phi could make out a large crack down the protective window. She peered through the plexiglass, taking care not to touch it, and looked inside as best as she could. The only thing she could see was a small pile of dust on the booth’s floor. Delphine gulped and turned around, looking at the deadened walls. She crept to the wall and fumbled about, hoping that the light switches still worked despite the lack of an AI.

After what seemed an ice age, her hands came across a large square that responded to her touch. Low level lights flickered into action around her. Phi gasped a little as she realised she was essentially standing in a stasis graveyard. Her booth and the booth next to hers were the closest to the wall of this particular room. Her proximity to the wall had been a blessing she would never know until now. All the other booths in the room with her were broken, smashed or missing. There was a large amount of debris by the central booths and a gaping hole up to the next deck in the ceiling above her.

She didn’t know, but her booth had been wired in to a different power source by the technicians that had put the Blue Dwarf together. When the deck collapse had knocked out the room’s generator, it had left her pod unscathed.

Phi felt a sudden rush of guilt for the crew members who’d not made it. She adjusted her glasses and walked over to the booth with the cracked window. She could make out much more now. The dust was the top of a small pile of bones and ragged material. She tried to remember who had stood next to her when they’d entered the booths, but it was no good. In all the chaos surrounding the attack she hadn’t gotten a good look.

Phi walked over to the door, staring up at the deck collapse intently. She couldn’t tell what was up there but she really wanted to know. Opening the door herself by hand, she could see that the lack of power was only localised to her little area, but lights and monitors displayed colours and words further down the corridor.

She could also see that the deck collapsing had separated her room from all but one of the other stasis areas. Aside from the distant lights and screens, all she could see were the gun metal grey walls of the Blue Dwarf.

“Hello?” she called again.

Still no reply.

“I need to find people and I need to find out how long I’ve been asleep,” she told herself, edging her way down the left hand side of the corridor. She passed another room of stasis booths, only these were all wide open.

“That’s a good sign!” she thought. A brief and low rumbling from some indeterminate distance away, however, was not.

“What was that?” she asked aloud, grabbing her mouth and making a mental note not to speak every thought that crossed her mind. She hurriedly began to move and came across a working engineer’s station.

Phi wrapped her fingers in her lab jacket and tapped at a few of the keys, their response sluggish. She brought the time and date up on the screen in front of her. She frowned and quit the output, before repeating the process and bringing it up again.

“Three million years? I’ve been asleep for nearly three million years? I've heard of beauty sleep, but this...”

She thought back to her medical lectures on stasis. They said a possible side effect of prolonged stasis was hallucination, but that was more for the technicians working on the booths than the inhabitants. As far as they knew, someone could be in stasis indefinitely.

Delphine decided that she had to take action and this meant that she had to find out what was going on. She tried to remember what the captain had said for them to do upon reawakening. He’d told them to gather somewhere, somewhere important.

“Engineering,” she decided. “That’s got to be the most important place on the ship.”

She checked her pockets and readjusted her glasses again before setting off down the corridor.

<OOC - Hello again everyone! It's a pleasure to be back to write with everyone. After writing that flashback post a couple of months ago, I got strong urges to write Blue Dwarf again.

I decided against bringing back the complex/convoluted Trisees, and also found out that my other character Miss Wildflower was gone as well. So seeing as you were without medics and being wholly unable to tear myself away from the Medibay, I've brought us a junior doctor to help put the crew back together.>

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