Cold. That was the first sensation to violently caress my body as the numbness faded.
Slowly, I pulled myself off of the insulated metal grating that stretched across the floor.
I leaned myself against a nearby console and looked up at the machine I was ejected from, which
was now spilling a strange liquid across the floor. I looked down at my body, surveying it slowly.
The same liquid soaked my golden fur and my mind was only filled with questions.Why was I encased
in that machine? Why was I let out? To add to the strangeness, why was I alone?
I slowly began to walk, my vision blurring slightly, my body stiff and unwilling to move,
and my lungs burning. I reached the end of the room which led to a hall, I instinctively navigated
right when I heard a metallic voice echo in that direction.
The room where the voice was eminating from was dark, save for the glowing computer consoles.
The voice was nowhere to be heard this time. I looked around puzzled and I opened my mouth to speak,
a pained voice escaped my lips. "Hello?" Suddenly a massive hologram shot out of the middle console,
a swirling mass of blue and it began to speak. "Unknown entity detected - accessing relevant research
files. Organism HK-592 identified. Please stand by for senior bioscientists to resume your current
I assumed this must be the shipboard AI and I hoped it could be useful. "HK-592? My
experimentation, what are you talking about?" The AI began to shimmer with each syllable, "HK-592
is one genetic-" The AI's monologue was cut short with a groundshaking boom. "Caution: fatal
malfunctions detected in the engineering wing, stasis wing, propulsion wing, and hydroponics wing."
I felt my heart speed up with my growing concern. "Is there any way off of this ship then?"
"There are 24 appointed and unmanned escape shuttles along starboard and port divisions,"
the AI chimed. "Just point in me in the right directions, machine, if this ship is falling apart
I'd rather be miles away," I nervously surveyed the surrounding room and distant halls. "The nearest
shuttle is approximately 46.89 feet west of your current position programmed for jettison."
I looked behind me to my left, down the hall where the supposed evacuation shuttle lay past,
it was decorated in smoke and electrical sparks.
I looked back to the AI who was silent and breathed deep, "Wish me luck machine, I seem to
have none." I eased myself through the doorway and stopped at the mouth of the hall. Sparks cracked
and smoke piled up throughout it's length, with a muffled alarm sounding off past the wreckage.
I slowly bent legs, testing their stiffness and strength. When I was satisfied with the results,
I lowered my head, raised my forearm over my face, and quickly dashed into the smoke.
I could feel my eyes burn from the smoke and was left running with no sight of where I was
heading. After a short time of wading through I felt my body collide with a wall, the pain knocking
me to the floor. Slowly, I raised myself up to a sitting position and looked around. To my right
was a cylinder shaped shuttle, one of which I was searching for. I quickly shot up and prodded at
it's control panel, with the shuttle's doors opening in compliance. The interior boasted several
seats with safety harnesses and a small console along it's furthermost wall.
The console lit up to my presence and a metallic voice projected from it, which I
recognized, "Subject HK-592, this evacuation shuttle is in working order with minimal damages and
is ready to depart on your command." I sat myself into a seat close to the console and buckled
the safety harness around me. "Where exactly will this thing be headed?" I asked, certainly
worried about arriving on an inhospitable planet, or headlong into a star.
"I have programmed this shuttle's autopilot system to direct this vehicle towards the
nearest life-supporting planet, which lies on the fringes of Proxima Centauri, approximately
2,390 miles from your current position." I sighed and pondered about it for a moment, heading
from a dying ship in the middle of the blanket of space to a planet where danger was an unknown
quantity. I looked up to console and spoke firmly, "Take me there, it can't be worse than here."
"Affirmative, Subject HK-592, preparing shuttle for immediate departure." The shuttle's doors
closed shut behind me and made a loud shriek as the vehicle was being depressurized. The engines
began to whir and roar as the shuttle detatched from the ship and picked up speed towards the
planet ahead. I turned back to gaze at the ship I had just left and I noticed something peculiar-
the ship was heavily damaged and was heading on a crash course for the planet as well.
I looked ahead throught the cockpit's window at the planet and shielded my eyes from it's
brightness, if I wasn't in a life or death situation it would be a thing of beauty. Whatever issue
comes my way once I set foot on it, I would face in due time, I thought to myself. I then decided
to not worry about it any longer and laid my head back, breathed deep, and closed my eyes.