He emerges from the pressure cloth, choking and sputtering. He pulls it away from his skin, sitting up and out of the stasis fluid. He tries to open his eyes but he cannot see a thing. He flails around, before feeling a pinprick in his wrist.
“Don’t worry, it is only an analgesic.”
Blackness. His mind has been blank for an eon.
Did he even dream? He is dreaming now. He is lucid. He can wander inside his mind.
He slips and falls, tumbling down.
He is perched on the side of the stasis tube. He is naked, swimming in the vat that preserved him. When he opens his eyes he can make out faint lights kilometres away.
“It will take some time for you to regain your senses. Don’t worry, things will come back.” It isn’t his mother. A woman’s voice. Calm. He manages to feel at peace.
“Where am I?” He is speaking through mouthfuls of wet sand. He throws up stasis fluid onto the floor. His stomach convulses. Pain spikes through every muscle. His bones shudder.
“You are aboard Electra, one of the probes of the Pleiades mission.”
“Who are you?”
“I am Emma, your computer AI.”
“No more questions. You need to recover more. We’ll talk again.”
On cue he blacks out; tumbles into the stasis fluid. It feels like an ocean.
There is no dream this time. He lies in blackness. Drowning.