PrologueMature

Lost and alone aboard the Cassiopeia, an ancient star ship, for nearly a hundred years, a man awakens from stasis and recounts his astounding journey through the stars, through adventure, love, and tragedy.
"Human curiosity is a curious thing. We shall fall victim to temptation every time, and be none the wiser for it. So it has always been, and so it will always be."

"Sir?" she asked?  Adrenaline was pumping through her veins, blood pounding in her ears.  What an incredible discovery!  Everyone was buzzing with excitement after they'd found the ship.  It was heavily damaged, left adrift for gods only know how long.  It looked ancient.  Of course, no one anticipated there would be anyone left.  There were no life signs detected by any of their sensors.  Even life support and other main functions had been inactive.  It wasn't until they boarded her that their scanners picked up the faintest traces of energy output.  A single stasis pod.

As her crew's highest ranking medical officer, she had been on the retrieval team.  Her objective was to bring him aboard the Sagitta and monitor his vitals.  If revival was an option, she was to oversee that as well.  

And so it was, that she found herself hovering over the man's face.  He was remarkably well preserved, and his vitals were stable as she continued the process to revive him.  Even so, she only had a basic understanding of the technology; her own people were only on the brink of a breakthrough with cryogenic freezing.  To think of everything they could learn just from this meager stasis pod.  

She could hear his breathing now, the ragged gasps of the aged she used to care for before she was assigned to the Sagitta.  How old must he be? she thought to herself.  

"Sir?" she repeated.  "Sir, can you hear me?"

"How is he doing, Dr. Landra?" Came a hard, low voice from behind her, breaking through her concentration.  Though startled, she remained steady.

"Too soon to tell, Admiral Evett." Dr. Landra replied after a long moment.  She was still hovering over him, lifting his eyelids to check for pupillary responses.

She straightened and turned to face the admiral.  He was a tall man with broad shoulders.  Clearly a military man.  His hair was graying and his facial hair was fading to match.  He had hard, blue eyes, but he was not a cold man.  His face had the aging look of someone who has had to make hard decisions - decisions he's lost sleep over.  She should know; she's prescribed him enough tranquilizers over the years.  

"From what I understand, the pod has done a remarkable job preserving him.  But I don't think it was meant for long-term stasis.  Surviving the revival process after such a long time would be miraculous if nothing else.  It'll certainly take it's toll on him."

"You know how I feel about miracles, Landra."

"I do, sir.  Still, I've done nearly all I can.  We're still running some tests, but it's out of my hands now.  If he wants to wake up, he's got to fight for it."

The End

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