"He's waking up! Quick! Get some water!" a voice ordered, which was followed by an agreement and some footsteps trailing away.
"We shouldn't have taken him from the cargo dock... The Admiral's gonna kill us..." another voice mumbled melancholically.
"He was dying! Phrygisians can't take in too much warmth. Heat stroke, Violet! Extreme heat stroke. That's what he was going through. So now, we're helping him." the first voice responded to the sadistic tone.
The other person sighed. "Whatever you say, Clark."
I opened my eyes to find I was laying down on my back, staring up at a hard ceiling. The lights were turned down low, so I didn't have to blink against them. Several monitors and many cords were here and there, all connecting to me somehow. The room was empty except for me.
I snapped my head down, seeing that my entire body was covered in wires and tubes. The tubes were half inside me, pumping in something bright blue and cold. I realized in horror that I was strapped onto a hospital bed like an experiment.
I tried to break free, fear clawing at me rapidly. "W-what is this?" I shifted around under the restraints, grunting as I felt something sharp move unpleasantly in my leg.
A door opened, a human man walking into the room. He wore a black uniform with the Galactic Federation symbol stitched on his shoulder. His hair was blond, and he had dull green eyes. The man approached the bed I was lying on, fumbling with some medical instruments on a cart that sat nearby. "Hello, Phrygisian. It's good to see you're awake, finally. I was beginning to think we' d lost you."
I swallowed. "How so?" my voice was a tad shaky.
"You were unconscious for about two days. If Violet and I hadn't of found you, the Admiral would have had you murdered." he gave me a smile, which wasn't intended for joyful purposes. "How lucky you are."
I started to sweat again. "Where am I, human? I've never seen this place before."
He removed a bottle filled with something thick and blue. Phrygisian blood was that same color. I shivered. "You're on the Galactic Federation Starship Omni. We're a hospital ship, taking care of troops who were injured and can't go back into the field till they're better."
"Why are you healing me, though?" another human man came in through another door, pushing a stand that carried a huge jug of water.
The man holding the blood stopped and sighed. "Because I care about people."
"But I'm no-"
"It doesn't matter if you're human or not, Phrygisian. All life matters to me, including alien life." he looked at me, "I hope you understand that."
I nodded slowly. "Yes, I do."
He smiled again. This time it was happy. "Good, are you thirsty?"
"Yes, very." I resigned my confusion and tried sitting up, but was held back by the straps on the bed. "Uh..."
"Oh! Here, let me undo these for you." he leaned over and undid the restraints and buckles, letting me loose. I was still, though, hooked up to canisters that were pumping the cold stuff into me. "How does that feel?"
I sighed and moved my joints around, most of them popping loudly. It felt good. "Much better, sir...?"
"Sergeant Clark," the man told me his name. "May I ask who you are, Phrygisian?"
"I'm Rundas." I told him who I was, and gratefully accepted a glass of water that he handed me, downing it in seconds. "Could I have more?" I held the cup forward.
Clark made a surprised face. "Okay, Rundas." he took the glass from me and refilled it, giving it back. I drank a little more slowly this time, actually tasting the water. It had a metallic twinge to it, but was cold and refreshing. I sighed again with contentment.
"Now that you're awake, would you like a tour of Omni?" Clark asked, raising an eyebrow.
I nodded. "Let's go."
"Violet! Come here!" Clark called, a human woman stepping into the room. She had long, black hair and electric blue eyes. Her skin was fairly pale, and she wore heavy dark makeup over her eyelids. On her curvy, skinny body was a gray jumpsuit. Her hips swayed when she walked.
"You got it to talk?" she asked, and I recognized the depressing tone in her voice. "I thought all savage aliens spoke in their own language, not english." Violet studied me with her shocking eyes, her full, black tinted lips curving into a scrutinizing frown. I stared at her, thinking that she resembled underground worms that inhabited Phrygis. They had bad attitudes and were often dark in color.
"Phrygisians speak english because we learned it from the first humans who visited our moon." I said, recalling the mind-numbing history lessons back on my home planet taught by my monotone teacher. "It was passed from generation to generation and we eventually lost our own tongue."
Violet folded her thin arms. "Well, aren't you a smart one? Could you tell me why you boarded Explorer in the first place? I'd love to know."
Clark looked at me, quickly changing the subject. "The reason I called you here, Violet, was so you would kindly help us guide Rundas around Omni. That is, if you're not too busy."
She frowned again. "Sure I've got time. Loads of it." Violet approached and unhooked a few of the tanks from me, yanking out the cords from my body. I winced as they wiggled out of me like snakes. She dropped them on the floor, the parts that were inside me slick with blue. "Well, come on, Rundas. (I'm surprised you have a name) We should begin the tour."
Clark gave me his hand, which I took and used to get off the bed. I almost fell over from weak legs, but was able to catch myself. I had to keep the canister of liquid nitrogen I was connected to next to me, rolling it along on its wheels. I followed Violet out the door with Clark right next to me.
The hall we emerged out of was narrow, but wide enough for me to fit in. I listened to Violet explain things as we walked around Omni. "This is a hallway, very good for transportation," her voice dripped with boredom and sarcasm. "out there is the Galactic Federation fleet, which is at standby for anything to happen.... ....The doors you see on either side of you are filled with wounded soldiers, all being gradually healed so they may return to duty someday.... ....Beyond this passage is the kitchen, where all the computers and cooks make the food we eat.... ....That is where we keep the logs of all bounty hunters, Space Pirates, Metroids, Chozo, and many other aliens that crawl around space.... ....This is the containment room, home to all the psychos and nutjobs we come across...." she continued on for an hour as we walked around behind her, viewing the vessel Omni from the inside.
After the tour, we arrived back where we started. I wanted to fall asleep, for all of that had mysteriously tired me out. Clark noticed, opening the door for me an letting me walk inside.
The room was cleared of all the wires that were there previously, and it was stark clean. I sighed, feeling cold again, which was pleasant and comforting. I went over to the bed and laid down, sitting the liquid nitrogen canister next to the bed.
"You going to sleep?" Clark asked, and I nodded lazily. He went over to the light switch, flicking them downward. "Goodnight, Rundas." he said softly.
I didn't respond, falling asleep almost instantly.