As consciousness drifted back some moments later, Cass awoke to find found herself crumpled in an awkward position on the floor. Her suit had popped the visor while she had been out cold, which had allowed her to breathe the faintly scented air now filling the airlock, instead of suffocating in her own carbon dioxide. She felt light headed; possibly from the oxygen rich atmosphere, but more likely from the cocktail of drugs the suit had dosed her with, to aid and speed her recovery.

Struggling up into a sitting position, she leaned back against the wall and took a deep breath, which she sighed, contentedly, out. She had just won a reprieve. If she was lucky, she might cheat death long enough to escape this ship. If not... That wasn’t something she wanted to consider, but she’d be damned if she was going to take it lying down.

The suit’s compressors were already at work, storing the air, which gave Cass extra range and mobility around the ship; so if she lucked out and found more airlocks like this one, she might even be fortunate enough to be in the position where dying from thirst or starvation might be an issue.

She couldn’t help but smirk at the ridiculousness of the idea.

Peering down at the suit controls on her forearm, she activated the psi-scanner and set it to work, searching for other nearby sources of oxygen. If there were more, Cass figured she could start to formulate a plan. She desperately hoped there were more.

The first thing she needed to do was to head back to where they had docked. If the White Giant was still there, she could use it’s longer range and more accurate scanners to look for her compatriots.

On the off-chance they were all dead, she wondered if she should try to recover their corpses?

It was probably unwise to endanger herself just for the sake of sentimentality; and besides, what was she going to do with them if she did? Better to leave them where they were.

Cassandra’s lip curled at the thought. This was all assuming that they hadn’t just fucked off and left her to die here.

They wouldn’t have done that, would they?

Things were still very hazy about what had happened, and why she had wound up, aimlessly wandering this ship for the best part of eight hours. Had Jade and everyone else succumbed the same way she had?

There was no way to say - Only time would tell.

The psi-scanner interrupted her ruminations by chiming an alert to let her know the scan results were in. Sliding the visor back down to engage the HUD, Cass grinned triumphantly at the sight of several other similar airlocks in range, each with their own emergency reserves to spare.

The chances of her actually surviving this had just gone up!

Settling back, she hunkered down to wait for the compressors to finish their work. The airlock she was in wasn’t colossal; big enough, perhaps, for a three or four man squad, so there would probably only be enough atmosphere to half fill her air tanks, but that was considerably more air than she’d had a few minutes ago, so she figured she couldn’t complain.

While she waited, Cass initiated a more detailed scan of the area and tried the comms, but again, received no response. Everyone was either dead, out of range, or no longer aboard this derelict, she glumly surmised.

The journey back to where the White Giant had docked, took just under an hour, with the suit’s psi-scanner confirming Carrandra’s suspicions about fifteen minutes before she reached her destination; but she pressed on regardless, wanting to see what awaited her with her own eyes.

Staring out into the black emptiness of space, through the hole in the hull where the ‘Giant had once been docked, Cass felt a wave of despair well up inside her. She’d been fine with her detached analysis of the situation she found herself in, but being presented with the cold facts was something else, entirely.

The White Giant was, quite simply, no longer there.

Why there was a hole in the hull was open to debate. It was possible that her erstwhile compatriots had suffered some sort of mechanical failure that meant they had to tear the Giant away from the airlock.

Perhaps they had to leave in a hurry?

Or perhaps they had not left at all and the White Giant had been smashed from the derelict by an asteroid?

Whatever had happened, it left Cass more alone than she had ever been in her entire life. She took a deep breath, to calm herself and began to formulate her next steps.

Now that she had ascertained that there wasn’t going to be an easy way out of this situation, survival was the priority. There seemed to be enough airlocks dotting the hull, with their emergency air supplies intact, but these would only last so long before she depleted them. Water, or the lack of it, would become an issue before that. The vaccsuit she was wearing was better than the ones Cass was used to but it lacked the food and liquid dispensers some of the military models came with, but she assumed she’d be able to find something to drink and eat in what remained of the crew quarters, wherever they were.

What she needed most of all though, was to get the hell off this derelict as quickly as possible. For that, she needed a functioning communications array to send out a distress signal, but that could take days or even weeks to find; and maybe even longer to actually get a response.

Shrugging, Cass turned away from the yawning black void where the White Giant had been. She could do this. There would be tools in engineering; rations in the crew quarters; and maybe even chemicals she could use to generate oxygen in the science labs. If she was really lucky, she might even find a functioning escape shuttle. Learning to fly from scratch in an alien spacecraft wouldn’t be easy, but she was confident she could to it.

She would survive.

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