Chapter 1:

Defrost- Part 1

ROCKHOPPERS


"Internal body temperature at thirty-seven degrees Celsius"Bookmark here

"heartbeat stabilizing"Bookmark here

"getting readings of Beta waves from the brain. They're coming to"Bookmark here

Those were the first things I heard when I woke up. The first thing I felt was the icy metal I was lying above. When I opened my eyes, I saw a metallic room with a white tile flooring and a window with what I at the time assumed was the starry night sky. There were three people in blue and white jumpsuits and face masks standing over me. Each was typing information down on their tablets. It wasn't until one of them asked me a question that I started to remember who I was and where I was.Bookmark here

"You're awake. can you remember anything from before you went into stasis?"Bookmark here

My name is Samson Broz, I was born in 2044 and I'm an Astronaut who worked for NASA. At nineteen I was the youngest person ever to step foot on the moon. At twenty-one I spent six months on the International Space Station. At twenty-three I volunteered for an expedition. It was the first of its kind, long term travel via cryostasis. The plan was to freeze me and send my body on a computer controlled spacecraft that would unfreeze me once I reached Alpha Centauri, but that plan did not go through. Whether it be from some disaster on Earth or damage to the ship's computer, I was never woken up and had been drifting through space. Eventually, those people found me and woke me up.Bookmark here

Naturally, I had tons of questions, so I started listing them off. "Where am I? What year is it? Are we in space? Do you still use the Gregorian calendar after developing interstellar travel? I have so many other questions about how the scientific field has advanced while I was asleep." The three of them were taken aback by my rapid fire questions and paused for a moment. One of them, a woman who looked to be in her late thirties to early forties, gave me a solemn look and saidBookmark here

"Mr. Broz, you were frozen for nearly five hundred years, it's 2566 C.E. I'm sorry to say this, but everyone you ever knew is gone and has been for centuries. The only reason we found you was because our company sent us to scavenge debris in this area."Bookmark here

My immediate response was to take a sharp inhale and say, "Ok, I may have been out here longer than I imagined, but the plan was never for me to make it home." The three scavengers gave me a puzzled look as I continued. "My goal was to personally observe Alpha Centauri and establish a space station in the solar system for future astronauts. That trip would have taken one hundred years at the tech level we were at. I've already come to terms with the end of my old life." Another one of the scavengers then asked "Then what are you gonna do now?"Bookmark here

Before I could respond a loud thud rang through the ship as the room we were in listed to the left. The woman then swiped up on the screen of her tablet and pulled up the live feed of the cameras on the ship. I could see a look of dread and urgency in her eyes as she said "Something just breached the cargo hold! It's a harpoon!" She and the two other scavengers then rushed out of the room and sharply turned right. Out of both curiosity and a desire to help, I followed.Bookmark here

I followed these 3 to a room with various equipment adorning the walls and tables. The scavengers were changing into these suits with the same color scheme as their jumpsuits. The woman pointed me towards a spare hanging up on the wall and said, "Put that on Mr. Broz. It'll keep you from freezing or suffocating out there." As I put on the suit, I heard the sound of magnets. Which were sealing the back of the suit and the pill shaped helmet onto my shoulders and collar bone area. The spacesuit itself felt light and much easier to move around in than the ones I was used to, the heaviest parts were the helmet and a rectangular box located over my right shoulder blade where the suit's power source was located.Bookmark here

I then heard from the inside of my helmet the voice of one of the scavengers saying, "Keep your coms line open. If we lose air this is the only way we can communicate." Another scavenger then reached into a locker and started handing out batons to defend ourselves with. The third scavenger then pointed to the other two and said, "go turn off the artificial gravity. We'll meet you down there." As that happens, another thud is heard as the ship shakes from another impact.Bookmark here

Myself and one of the scavengers split off from the others and rushed down to the cargo hold. When we arrived, we saw the heads of two large harpoons jutting into the hull of the ship. Then a hissing noise came from the harpoons as the tips turned out to be hatches for hidden compartments inside the harpoons. From those compartments four figures crawled out and brandished clubs. Their suits were similar to ours but with a gray and white color scheme with bits of dark green armor covering their forearms and chests. As we prepared to defend ourselves, two more harpoons strike the ship and moments later four more figures emerge. Outnumbered eight to two, feeling concern for someone I had only met minutes prior, I turned to the scavenger with me and yelled for him to run. Bookmark here

As soon as he started running, I charged the invaders and started swinging wildly. It was then I realized how frail I was at the time. Centuries of deep freeze left my body weak and uncoordinated. I was swiftly countered and pummeled by these assailants. Slipping in and out of consciousness I contemplated if this was where I'd died. An unknown solar system centuries apart from everything I once knew, beaten to death by unknown space pirates. I thought I'd never get to do what I had forsaken my old life for. I thought I'd never see the stars with my own eyes.Bookmark here

Suddenly, the sound of metal tearing through metal filled the cargo hold as a blade pierced the hull of the ship. My assailants looked up in shock as a pair of metal hands pried the gash in the hull open from the outside. Air and objects flew around the room as the vacuum of space depressurized the room. Both the invaders and I were swept up in the flurry, half of them were sent flying into the void. I almost went with them, but at the last second a metallic hand grabbed my arm and kept me from careening into space. This hand belonged to a figure in a heavily armored red suit. His helmet had dark tinted glass that obscured his face, in his right hand was a large rectangular object with a blade protruding from one end. Within a moment, the figure in red whipped the two of us back into the cargo hold. I then heard a sliding noise as a metal panel sealed off the hole the figure in red made. The remaining four invaders, seeing the figure in red as a threat, Tried to rush in and attack him .Bookmark here

The figure in red thrashed the remaining attackers. Despite the bulky suit he wore, the figure in red moved swiftly and efficiently. One attacker was sent flying and crashed into a large crate. Another was hit in the stomach with that rectangular object and was then slammed face first into the floor. The last two were pummeled with his free hand and forced to surrender when he pointed his blade at them. Within a matter of minutes what remained of these invaders were sent running back to wherever they came from. In my helmet I heard a short static buzz and then a deep, calm voice asked a question.Bookmark here

"Are you ok?"Bookmark here

The only response I could muster in my battered state was to ask a question of my own "Who are you?"Bookmark here

"Agawa. Joe Agawa"Bookmark here

That was the last thing I could remember from that day. I had succumbed to the injuries I got from my earlier beating, that combined with my already frail state caused me to pass out. I had only been awake for a few hours at most and nearly died. If not for a stranger born five hundred years apart from me, all of my hopes and dreams would have ended here with me. I wouldn't get to live out the dream I've had since childhood. I wanted to see the stars.Bookmark here

Chapter One: ENDBookmark here

Next Time: POV Joe AgawaBookmark here

ROCKHOPPERS


Holyoke?
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