This week’s prompt:
Outer space, a pillow, cabbage
“Destination in 48 hours, 7 minutes, and 15 seconds.”
Tracy sat up with a jolt. She was not at home. Where was she?
“Who said that?” She hated how thready her voice sounded. She felt like she had not spoken in days. Clearing her throat, she looked around. The room she was in was minimalist to an extreme. There was a counter with a sink, a chair and a desk with monitors on it, and nothing else. The lights were low and soft, but no one was in here with her and there was nowhere to hide. She looked at where she was sitting. It was vaguely egg-shaped, a clear lid with images and text scrolling across it was open and standing vertically behind her. She was on a thin mattress and switches, levers and tiny screens lined the inside of the pod.
She felt the name should be something far more interesting. Pod sounded like a simple thing. This was not simple.
How did she know that? No further memories came. Tracy stood cautiously. Her legs felt shaky, but held. She limped toward the sink, her thirst overriding everything else. She glanced back at the thing and noticed the indentation where she had been laying was already filling back in to make a flat surface. She rubbed her neck as she got to the counter. That thing needed a good father pillow.
The sink had no faucets. She stared at it for a moment in confusion. She started running her hands along the fixture, looking for a sensor or hidden switch. Maybe a control panel? The wall and counter were bare.
“Damn it, I need some water now!” She growled in frustration.
There was a soft chime and the voice from earlier came back. “This beverage is made specifically for those of you who have been in stasis.” A section of the blank wall developed a crack and slid aside, revealing a glass of greenish liquid. It was transparent, and she was thirsty. Tracy grabbed in quickly, in case the hidden door closed before she could reach it.
She drank half the glass before the taste hit her. It was almost like cabbage soaked in sports drink. She gagged, but her thirst drove her to drink more.
As she drank, memories slid back into place, almost like twisting a Rubik’s cube to get the colors aligned.
“How long until we arrive?” She asked.
“Destination in 48 hours, 2 minutes, and 23 seconds.” Was the response.
“Why are you waking us up so late?” Tracy asked.
“There is no us, Tracy,” The flat voice said. “There is only you.”