An Inheritance of Stars

A cold awakening

“drstand…hey…with it…been rescued….”

Richard groaned around a thick tongue which felt like sandpaper in his mouth. Someone was talking to him, but his blurry eyes couldn’t make out much more than the bulk of a helmet-less figure in a space suit.

Hearing this sound of regaining consciousness, the figure spoke, his words more understandable than before. “Hey, are you with me there? Can you understand me?” Richard answered with a groggy head movement,and the man continued. “You’re a luck man my friend, you’re alive and that’s sayin something.” After a momentary pause he continued, “the rest of the ones in your pod didn’t make it.”

Richard squinted trying to make out details about the speaker, his eyes were starting to focus better as the cryo-sleep wore off. His mind was still filled with cobwebs, he struggled, but managed to croak out “what? who?” before his throat seized up. The man leaned closer and Richard could make out an insignia on his suit, the patch stated Breaking yards – SR-651.

“Look here lad, my name’s not important. You just gotta take care of this.” He passed an electronic tablet to Richard. “That there says you understand that you’ve been rescued and you’ll receive medical treatment to the best of our ability. Your vessel will be used as collateral or cost against any expenses and fees occurred during your rescue. Makes it easier that you were the only survivor. Sign here.” He pressed the stylus into Richard’s hand.

Richard paused, trying to collect his thoughts and to read the still blurred and dancing lines of text. “Water” he croaked.

The suited man in front of him didn’t move. “You do agree to be rescued don’t you son? I cant provide any aid until you sign, saves us from liability an all.” He paused for a moment before adding “you do have the option to decline, and we can send you back to your vessel. I gotta warn you though, that escape pod looks about a thousand yours old, and none of the other cryo-pods are still working.”

Richard signed the data slate.

“Thanks lad, makes it easier on all of us.” The man passed a glass of water and said “now understand, this boat here, shes for salvage and not set up for medical type things. Since we don’t got the room or the training in case you’re sick or something, we’re gonna put you back to sleep for now. When you wake up you’ll be in the medical bay of our station, about 10 days I’d think.” He ignored Richard’s feeble attempts to talk, and pressed a hypo-spray against his arm.

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Karthos

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