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Starship Mine by Peter Cawdron

Starship Mine by Peter Cawdron

Author:Peter Cawdron [Cawdron, Peter]
Language: eng
Format: epub
Tags: N13
Published: 2016-03-12T05:00:00+00:00


Casey

“—still largely considered by the government as a con perpetrated on a gullible public. Conspiracy theories abound as to who could have orchestrated a planetary-wide hoax, but most scientists maintain The Dream was nothing more than a glitch in the system, a natural electromagnetic phenomenon that induced a common sensation in our minds while we were sleeping—at the point we were most susceptible to suggestion.”

I’m groggy. The voices I’m hearing are high-pitched, coming from a small speaker rather than someone talking in the room. I open my eyes, but my sight is a blur.

“Sort of like releasing laughing gas at a party,” a woman says.

A man says, “If I didn’t know better, I’d say one of the villains from Batman was behind all this.”

“You mean the Joker?”

“Well, the joke’s on us.”

I’m lying on a hospital bed with a thin sheet draped over me. I try to move, but I can’t—not easily. My motion is coarse and ungainly. I feel stiff. The muscles in my back ache, while my head is pounding. Blood throbs behind my eyes, pulsating inside my skull.

One blink leads to another. Each blink lasts progressively longer, cloaking me in darkness.

“Jay,” a familiar voice calls out. “JAY!”

“Case—” I whisper, trying to respond to him by name, but I can’t speak. My mouth is dry. My tongue is swollen. Something’s stuck to my face—a tube feeding up my nose and down the back of my throat. I try to sit up, but another blink arrives and darkness descends.

I’m not sure how long I sleep, but when I wake, it’s night. There’s a chill in the air, coming from a vent directly over my bed. Someone’s covered me with a blanket, keeping me warm. My head rests on a pillow. Although my sight’s fuzzy, I’m staring out a window. Slowly, my eyes start to focus.

Rain lashes the glass, coming in waves. This isn’t the soft, soothing rain I woke to this morning. This morning? Is it still Saturday? The trees outside sway, rocking with the surge of the storm. Lightning illuminates the night, racing through the clouds before disappearing from view. I’m not sure how many seconds pass until the thunder rolls around me, but the heart of the storm is miles away.

Casey is asleep on an armchair beside the window.

“H—” I say, attempting a “Hey,” but not quite making it. Casey doesn’t move. I raise my left arm, reaching for him. My arm moves in a peculiar manner, rising from the shoulder in a stiff motion rather than bending at the elbow and wrist as I expect. It’s as though I have a cast over my shoulder and arm, but there’s nothing beyond a flimsy hospital gown.

My breathing is labored, rasping. A medical mask has been slipped over my face to help me breathe, only it’s askew, sitting partly across the bridge of my nose, missing one corner of my lips. Oxygen hisses softly from a plastic tube feeding into the mask. I try to straighten the mask, but my right arm doesn’t move.



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