Trinity - Chapter One
Awareness returned with the pin pricks of his muscles waking up. His arms and legs twitched as he fought to regain mobility. Excited to get home. He never should have taken the damn mission to Earth in the first place.
“Commander Ashvalor, please lie still. You’ve been under much longer than you realize. We need to make sure everything is in proper working order.”
Longer than he realized? What the hell did they mean he’d been under longer? How much longer! He opened his mouth. Tried to force the words out.
“Shh, Commander, rest. Let the effects ware off. Someone will be in shortly to talk to you about your situation.”
He glowered at the ceiling. Why the hell couldn’t they just tell him now?
The Medics must have found him in relatively good health. After a few minutes, they packed up and left without a word. He felt a boiling anger at that. Fucking cowards.
“Commander Orion Ashvalor?” A man around his age asked, leaning in his doorway. “I’m Dr. Olsen.”
Orion stiffened. He could tell right away this wasn’t a medical doctor. His clothes and demeanor made it all too clear. Orion’s glare sharpened in defense. The Doctor sighed, stepped into the room, and shut the door behind him.
He hesitated a moment. Intelligent eyes searched his face for something.
“…About midway between Mars and Jupiter your transport was high jacked.” He pulled a stool over to his bedside and took a seat. “As you can imagine that Transport has been missing for a long time.” He put stress on the last two words and narrowed his eyes, studying him with a cautious tension. “Five years, three months, and thirteen days to be precise.”
Orion’s diaphragm spasmed as he choked down a deep breath of air. He’d had a suspicion it was going to be bad. But he hadn’t even begun to imagine it’d be that bad. …Five years! It only took one for family to legally declare a person dead. Three years was mandatory. Out here in space, when someone went missing, death was just too high of a probability.
“Your records indicate your wife stalled six months after the three-year marker.” He paused to let that sink in. Or to give him a moment. Or for fucking dramatic effect. Orion didn’t know or care. Pain erupted down the side of his ribcage. He curled away from the man, gripping at the fabric over his side.
Olsen fidgeted in his chair before leaning over to place something on the bedside table.
“…But, you are as of currently for all instances and purposes considered dead. We’ve put in a special order to fast-track the reversal of that. However, you will have to get in contact with your wife. To settle the legalities surrounding your marriage and personal belongings. I believe she was left everything.”
He stood up with another morose sigh.
“I know this is hard. I can’t even begin to imagine what you’re feeling right now. And it’s going to be a rough journey reclaiming your life, but it is there waiting for you. Certain things might not be the same as they were before, but this is a chance to get them back. This is my number.”
He tapped what Orion assumed was a business card he’d set down on the side table.
“And a Black Card with access to all of the Credits you would have accumulated in the last five years.”
Orion sucked in another unsteady breath. That number clawing at his mind.
Olsen moved towards the door. “I’m here if you need anything, just give me a call or send me a message and I’ll make any necessary arrangements.”
Orion clenched his eyes shut and tried to even his breathing. He knew he’d have to contact him eventually, if he ever wanted to reclaim his standing in the Military. But he was glad the man seemed to have enough sense or respect not to have to remind him.
As soon as he left the room Orion was up on unsteady legs. He snagged the wireless phone from its cradle and shut himself in the bathroom.
He leaned against the wall by the door and stared at his reflection, momentarily grateful that the Moleculagenic Icepod worked on an atomic level. He’d hate to see what he would have looked like after his hair had been allowed to grow unchecked for five years. His diaphragm seized with a choke off breath. Would that number ever get any easier to think?
He ran a hand over his buzzed hair, punched a number into the phone, and prayed it went through.
“This is Admiral Price speaking.”
“…Oh thank God,” Orion steeled his nerves. “Alfa Delta Two Echo Ind