Original Art, Fiction
and other projects
by Rod Galindo

Distress Call

1

Emerald Pearl: Cryogenic Stasis Chamber


A jolt of electricity yanked Rae out of hibernation.  She gulped the icy air as if she had just burst to the surface of a deep, dark ocean.

     Where am I?

     She flailed her arms, searching for something, anything, to make sense of her world.  Cold metal and glass met her fingers.  It was only inches away, surrounding her on all sides.  Confusion assaulted her mind.  If only she could see.  She smelled ethyl alcohol.  A tanginess offended her tongue.

     Something pulled at her skin when she moved, and she ceased her frantic movements.  Rae carefully ran a hand up the length of her left arm.  She found a small tube and a string.  No, a wire.  Then another.  Rae discovered countless items jutting from her body in all directions.   A chill ran down her spine.  Her breathing quickened.   She tried to pull the wires out but her fingers wouldn't work.

     A yellow flash filtered through her eyelids.  What was that?  Rae tried to open her eyes.  An inky blackness surrounded her.  Had she succeeded?  Or did her eyes not work?  Was it simply too dark to see?  She held her breath.  A pulsing in her neck matched the thumping in her ears.  She counted the racing heartbeats to calm herself.

     One, two, three ... six, seven, eight—  Another flash.  There it is again!

     Her arm dropped to her side, and the familiar texture of clothing brushed against her palm.  My purple blouse!  She remembered picking out her favorite top for… for what?  The first day at her new school?  No.  Not yet.  A trip?  Yes, the long trip from—

     A sound louder than her own heavy breathing crept into her consciousness.  It was a klaxon, an alarm like on a vessel.

     That's right.  I'm on a ship.  But not at sea.  Not this time.  The yellow flashing now made sense.  It, combined with the alarm, meant danger.

I want my daddy.  Rae's chest tightened.  Where is Da—

    "Emergency.  Emergency," said a lady's voice.  It was oddly calm.  "Hull breach detected.  Life Support and Environmental Systems at risk of failure.  Immediate evacuation recommended.  Emergency.  Emergency—"