Grey awoke to the silence. He blinked twice. He was huddled in a mess in the bottom of the pod, the wires and tubes that joined him to the system gone. He raised his head and looked out of the opened hatch into the room beyond. The monitors were all off. The flashing lights, the constant hum of machinery, the clicking; all off. A small orange bulb glowed in the corner of the room, illuminating nothing but the angles. The door. The door was slightly open. A darkness beyond. A suggestion of nothingness. No wires. No tubes. No clicking. Nothing. Nothing but. But. But. Freedom?
Grey shook his head, and faint echoes of symbols floated across his vision. A cutting pain behind his left eye left him retching in the bottom of the tube. This was going to take time. Time to plan. Time to prepare. Time to assess.
Grey sat back down in the tube, his back up against the silent, cold metal. He looked down at his body, lit by the distant orange bulb. Physically fit, not too much excess fat, an ache in his left shoulder, right hand slightly larger than left, a gentle click every time he rotated his right foot past the horizontal, appendix missing, two inch-long scars on the outside of either calf... he blinked twice. Blue eyes? No... He blinked twice again. Grey... apt. All four wisdom teeth missing, the scars from their removal relatively tender. He coughed. Thumped himself on the chest twice, hard, then coughed again. AB positive.
Grey stood, then ducked under the frame and stumbled out into the room. He took one step then collapsed into a naked heap. Laughing to himself, he rolled over onto his back and closed his eyes. The symbols flashing across the bright red darkness comforted him.
Grey opened his eyes and scanned the room. He blinked GET UP then shook his head slowly. He blinked GET UP and slowly pushed himself into a sitting position. He closed his eyes.
Grey focussed his closed eyes on the words floating in the sea of random symbols. Get up? Get up and? Words floated in.
GET UP AND LEAVE
STAND UP AND WALK THROUGH THE DOOR
YOUR LEGS ARE FINE
THEY JUST NEED PRACTICE
Grey opened his eyes, laughed to himself, then stood on wobbly legs and lurched his way over to the door, grasping for objects to steady himself as he went. He paused in the doorway and looked back at the pod. He blinked twice.
NOW GO AND FIND SOME FUCKING CLOTHES AND GET THE FUCK OUT OF HERE
He stumbled out the door into the darkness.
He was free.