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part 3: gathering a situation

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He was sobbing quietly as his mind entered a state of disbelief. How
long had it been since he had cried? For some reason he thought of a
girl he used to know. His crying stopped and he laid silently on the
ground, exhausted and disspirited.

He let himself rest, because he decided there was no use fighting the
after effects of his twenty two month nap. His mind would have to return
to him naturally, and what he was experiencing was pretty normal
considering how looped a lot of other people had described their own pod

He completely lost track of time as he lay, absorbed in his own internal
world. It was like waking from a coma. The tile floor was cold but the
oil in his suit was keeping him insulated. He felt numb, but in his
mind the dark fog was dissipating, and he was beginning to feel better.

Half an hour must have passed before he opened his eyes again. To his
delight, his vision was returning. He looked around the Hibernation Bay
with his eyes wide open. What he saw was still pretty fuzzy, but he was
able to absorb the hospital-like atmosphere of the place. There were
about 70 pods running up and down the sides of the main aisle, ending in
doors fore and aft.

At the fore was the crew quarters, and behind that was the cockpit.
Aft, behind the other door, was the hibernation prep and discharge
room, followed by a small cargo bay which had an airlock to the outside.
It was a fairly small ship considering the number of passengers, and the
roof was about a foot taller than Thomas.

He was looking around, and it occured to him that it felt like
it was yesterday when they were all standing in this room in their oil
suits, receiving the standard speech about operating procedure regarding
the hibernation pods. They all had lockers beside their pods to hold
personal belongings, because many people felt more comfortable having
some of their things beside them while they slept, instead of in the
cargo hold. That might've been for superstitious reasons, he realized.

He crawled over to his locker, smearing oil across the floor as he went,
and opened it up. His dog tags were hanging from the hook on the inside
of the door. He hated them but he was overjoyed to be holding something
familiar. He threw the chain over his neck, and noticed there was a
small box sitting in the locker that he didn't recognize.

He pulled out the box with suspicion, and looked it over. It felt like
it was probably made out of steel. The bottom had some sort of number
pressed into it, but no identifiable markings.

He opened up the box and discovered a note and three syringes. The note

Lt. Thomas Purcell,

This is your post-discharge treatment:

Blue: immediate
Yellow: 2 hours post
Red: 4 hours post

BMP Johnson

Purcell crumpled the paper into his fist. He remembered Johnson from the
pre-flight orientations, he seemed like a lush. He was probably in a
seedy miner bar right now, drunk off his ass. He was going to face hell
for being absent during Purcell's discharge.

He took the blue syringe out of the box and tried to calm down. As he
pushed the incompetant bumple from his mind, he uncapped the needle and
spiked his upper left arm. He felt instantly the military grade
pharmaceuticals as they entered his bloodstream and began to rework his
body fibers, repairing the twenty two months of disuse. He was going to
need some proteins in his stomach to help the rebuilding process, and
the drugs caused an intense hunger to appear.

All of his thoughts faded in the presence of this insane hunger. If he
didn't get his hands on some food, he was going to kill somebody. He
grabbed his clothes, boots, and watch from his locker and carried them
along with his treatments as he walked towards the fore section of the
ship. There had to be some food in the crew quarter.

The door wouldn't open. The lock used a biometric identification system
which didn't recognize him as a member of the crew, and denied him
access. He'd have to go out the other way. At this point, he felt like a
lion left in a cage without food. He tried to run towards the other
door, and fell to his knees in a reminder of how weak his body remained.

He hoisted himself up with his belongings and walked as fast as his
tortured body would allow him. He walked the entire length of the
hibernation bay with thirty five pods on either side of him, and
unlatched the door to the BMP's office.

As he pulled the door open, the first thing he saw was the blood.

to be continued

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Okie, you just appear like a bolt out of the blue and start churning out the most well-written stories I have yet seen.

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thanks for the praise, i hope others are enjoying reading this story as much as i'm enjoying writing it

this is an experiment for me, as i haven't done any creative writing in a long, long time

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