Battlestar

Artemis

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Adrift

Posted on 10/19/2019 @ 2:06pm by Captain Jamie Perth

Mission: 1 - Twilight
Location: Space
Timeline: MD 1

Jamie woke up in a startle.

His eyes flew open, and immediately the pain hit. A dull yet severe ache that threatened to pound its way out of his skull, alongside a stinging sensation that fiercely gripped one side of his forehead.

He found himself still inside the same passenger cabin of the Raptor they had used to escape from Virgon. Its interior was dark - almost pitch black, as devoid as the expanse of space beyond the cockpit's bubble canopy. The only source of light came as the flickering of a dying computer screen, and the occasional electric spark shimmering from a corner somewhere. That, and the tiny specks of light from distant stars swirling rapidly across the windows. The Raptor was in an uncontrollable spin, like a rotating toy top but in space.

It took Jamie a while to realise that he was, somehow, in an EVA suit and hanging weightlessly in zero gravity. He couldn't recall getting himself into one, but then again he had trouble remembering the events of the past... few hours? Days? He had no idea. His last memory was just before their first jump out of Virgon's atmosphere. Having seen the ruins of Boskirk and incoming Raiders swooping in, they had decided to spool the FTL drive and jumped out of the system. He could remember a voice breaking through the static on the wireless speaker. Word of a safe rendezvous near Rhadamanthus Shipyards. They couldn't be sure, but it was the only thing that came through the comms network clearly.

SSGT Loza had set the Raptor's computer to calculate and make a series of jumps from Virgon's orbit towards Zeus, which was in Helios Alpha. Multiple jumps, decreasing in accuracy with each subsequent computer projection. There was a risk of appearing within the core of a planet, or a star, or some eternal void, but there was no other choice. Loza had hit the button, and they were enveloped in a flash of light followed by a thunderous clap of spatial distortion. That was Jamie's last recollection.

They'd been forced to act quick. So quick, that he hadn't had the chance to properly absorb what he'd seen beyond the Raptor's windows. Boskirk completely flattened, its suburbs engulfed in flames. The immensity of Mount Conara stubbornly intact in the distance, seemingly undisturbed by the nuclear blast, save for a few slabs of impacted snow that had been shaken off. The extent of destruction over the city was a sight permanently burned into his memory.

Forty years of silence from the Cylons, and now they were back. It'd been almost two decades before Jamie was even born when the armistice was agreed to, and the Cimtar Peace Accords signed. And now this was happening right now, in his lifetime.

He thought of Cameron. He thought of his father. And of course his mother, even though she'd passed away years ago. He thought of everyone he grew up with. Everyone he knew who lived in Boskirk. Tina, Wesley, Samir. Jordan, Fiona and their daughters. His friends from school, his teachers, everyone who had helped make him who he was today.

He wanted to stay in that moment, thinking about the people he knew the people he loved. But the harshness of reality returned when the burning pain from his scalp laceration brought him back to the present moment. Back into this lifeless Raptor he was suspended within.

Jamie looked ahead to see the gurney he and Matheson had been transporting Crewman Lewis on. He pushed his feet against the back wall, thick boots coming into contact with the bulkhead and propelling him forward. One single look and he could tell that the poor man was as dead - grey skin, rigid limbs. The breathing tube that had once kept him alive was still in place, though nothing flowed through it. It was as if the man was frozen in time.

The young doctor struggled to turn, reaching out in his bulky EVA gear. Towards his right was SGT Matheson, also in a space suit. Jamie grabbed onto railings and pulled himself in, only to find that the paramedic was also dead. Face pale, eyes staring ahead, pupils obscured by a white hazy material.

Next was SSGT Loza, in the cockpit. Dead as well, even more obviously so. Her body remained strapped onto the pilot's chair. There was an awful concavity over the back of her head, caused by a traumatic force that must've instantly killed her. Streaks of dark blood were either smeared across the windshield, or levitating as frozen globules around her. A jagged hole right in the middle of the front glass canopy meant the cabin had been violently and completely decompressed, and now was without any breathable air.

Jamie panicked at that thought. He raised an arm and looked at the O2 gauge - 3% capacity. He felt his heart rate rise and his breaths becoming shorter and more frequent. The idea of dying here was terrifying. He imagined his body, floating lifelessly alongside Loza's and Matheson's and Lewis'. Forever contained within this Raptor, never to be seen by anyone else again.

He scrambled, pushing his way back into the passenger cabin, heading over to the storage compartment which he knew held an oxygen supply. A sinking feeling filled his chest when he saw that it had sustained significant damage, its outer casing buckled in. He tried prying it apart, but with no success. Not even with the crowbar he found floating nearby.

The harsh, high-pitched sound of an alarm squawked from within. A small, red status alarm flashed over the corner of his HUD screen. The androgynous voice of his suit's computer system announcing just how critically low its oxygen level was.

Jamie began to feel his consciousness waver. Everything was starting to blur, and he shook his head as if it might help. The pieces of debris floating within the cabin began merging together, the walls around him melting into one. A blackness crowded in from his peripheral vision.

A dizzying vertigo consumed Jamie's head, and with each passing second his mind descended deeper through a vortex that would eventually lead to a coma. No matter how hard he tried to stay awake, he continued to spiral towards unconsciousness from progressive cerebral hypoxia.

All his pain disappeared, and the will to live suddenly vanished, replaced by a sense of relief, finality and acceptance. Just moments before his eyes closed, a glaring light streamed through the Raptor's front canopy and into the cabin. He wondered if this was the tunnel of light so often described by those who have had near-death experiences.

Immediately after that was nothing.

 

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