Chapter 6: Rescue
Copyright© 2018 by Duncan7
Koluna and I became pretty close, expecting to die together when the power or supplies ran out. I’d never shared a closeness with another being before, there was all sorts of issues with intimacy and customs between different species to worry about. The Tians were different from me and emotionally distant, so they never had any appeal to me. In the later cycles on Tian Prime, I had developed a contempt for them.
Koluna was more like me, just a bit taller. She was so unlike a Tian. It took meeting the Ori for me to learn what it was to have friends, to have something like a real family. From this perilous adventure in an escape pod with Koluna, I got to experience some kind of closeness with a female. I was growing up fast.
I had no clues about physical or genetic compatibility between human and Ori. Even though events had put the two of us together in a small space, I could not think of doing anything more. I was happy how things had progressed, and content to enjoy our close time together, before meeting my impending death.
I could learn more about cultural differences, just by talking with Koluna. She was easy to talk with. Her notion of a life-debt, or the short time we had left, seemed to make her keen to answer even my dumbest questions.
If I had been more experienced, I would have figured that our shared experiences, and facing death together, our closeness and the intimate setting had forged a bond between us. I just knew I was glad to spend my last days with Koluna, and she with me.
But death was not to greet us so soon. Unknown to us, a cloaked satellite within range had picked up the distress call from our escape pod and relayed it to a nearby vessel of an ancient race known as the Baglogi. The cloaked satellite was one of a number that monitored this section of the Galaxy. The AI of the Baglogi vessel changed course to intercept the escape pod, based on three criteria:
1. The Baglogi vessel was in the area, with a chance of intercepting the escape pod before it’s occupants ran out of air.
2. The escape pod was so far into deep space, there was no hope of rescue by any other vessels.
3. A bio scan of the pod by the satellite showed two occupants, both alive, and one of the life signs was a close enough match to possibly be that of a Baglogi.
It was the third item that piqued it’s interest. The AI of the Baglogi vessel was currently running a protocol that put a high value on preservation of the Baglogi species. The chance it could be a living Baglogi was reason enough to decide. So a while later, our escape pod found itself within a shuttle bay of the same Baglogi vessel, with a suitable atmosphere, gravity, light and temperature established.
Inside our escape pod, the control panel woke us up with an alert that there was a change outside. I could also feel we now had gravity, for the first time in many days my body was pressed back into my seat. Things were not floating around inside.
It was with some cautious optimism that I activated the display to show that we were no longer in deep space, but within what appeared to be the hold of a larger ship. The walls and ceiling were a metallic grey, and there were no visible markings or insignia.
“What do we do now?” I asked Koluna.
“I think it is safe to assume they are not pirates, or they would have used us for target practice. It is probably safe to get out.” Said Koluna.
“I agree. The timing could not have been better, we are running low on food and water.” I said.
After verifying it was indeed safe to exit, I opened the hatch. We both climbed wearily out of the escape pod, and sank to the deck.
For a while, we remained there, since being in space for many days, the lack of artificial gravity in the escape pod had made us weak. In larger vessels there was always an artificial gravity, so that muscles and bones didn’t atrophy, and things would stay more or less where you put them. An escape pod is pared down to just the survival essentials, which meant you did without.
I was surprised that there was no-one there to greet us, so after some rest, we got up and moved towards what appeared to be a large door. The door did not open, and I looked for some kind of door control. At this point I was starting to become unsure that this might not be one of the pirates, so I nervously kept alert and looking cautiously around. Finally, Koluna shouted out loud in Ori “Hello! Is there someone there?”
At this point, perhaps in response to her words, the door opened.