This scene shows Siv when he first wakes up from cryosleep almost a century after the events with his father, Gav. I originally wrote it as a part of Rogue Starship but it got cut during editing due to pacing issues. But I liked it so much that I couldn't just delete it. So I'm sharing it now with you, Enjoy!
Siv woke, drenched, lying facedown on the ground in a large puddle of liquid. He violently coughed fluid from his lungs until he was able to take steady, rasping breaths.
His muscles ached, his joints were stiff. His mind was clouded. His eyes were stinging, and he struggled to focus on anything in the dimly lit room.
Boots thumped around him, several pairs. The voices he heard, though they had to be nearby, sounded distant.
Where was he? What had happened? The last thing he remembered…the last thing he remembered was… His father murdered… A soldier looming over him…the white light of a disruptor blast…
Crying out, Siv sat up and scrambled backward until he bumped into something. He glanced back. It was tall and pod-shaped. Its door was open, the interior was lit by a single green light, and more fluid sloshed in the bottom.
The footsteps closed in. He squinted up at two, menacing figures.
“Don’t hurt me!”
“Keep your moth shut,” one said.
The two were clad in dark, lightweight mesh armor. It wasn’t at all like the armor the soldiers who had killed his dad had worn. One was wiry, with a mean scowl, and the other had crisscrossing scars on his face.
Siv glanced around. Two other men were searching through lockers that had been broken into. They mumbled to one another about the contents.
“Master Siv, can you hear me?”
A HUD booted up into view, a HUD entirely unlike any he’d ever used before, but then Silky was a military-issue 9G-x while his old unit had been a civilian 4G customized for a kid.
“Stay calm, Master Siv.”
“This place is being robbed, and the thieves let you out of the stasis capsule you were stored in.”
“Do they have anything to do with…with the soldiers who…”
“They’re not related in any way, master.”
“Where am I?”
“An abandoned special forces operations center, master.”
“They’re robbing a military base?”
“An abandoned one.”
“Who are they?”
“I’m not sure, master.”
“How long was I out?”
Before Siv could answer, a hulking man lumbered in. The thieves backed up in deference to him. He scanned the room, then eyed Siv.
“What’ve we got?”
“Not much,” the wiry thief replied. “Someone else stripped this base a long time ago. I think it was abandoned before the Fall. All we found worth a damn is a single locker packed with advanced military gear. And I do mean advanced.”
“I think so, but it’s all DNA locked.”
“We can break through that,” the big man said.
“Normally, I’d agree, sir,” said the scarred thief. “But this stuff is far beyond anything I’ve worked with before. The DNA lock can only be changed by the one its bound to, or their descendants. Any attempt to change the lock will end up slagging the gear.”
“So a workaround may not exist?” the big man asked.
Scarface nodded. “It’s a gamble.”
The giant man looked over the equipment and whistled. “That’s some pricy shit, there. I’d say it’s more than worth the risk. Now, what about the boy?”
The wiry one shrugged. “No idea, sir. We ran his face through every database we could access and didn’t get a hit. He’s no one.”
The big man stepped over and glared down at Siv. “Oh, he’s someone. Someone special. You don’t put a random boy on ice without good reason.” He squatted down and looked Siv in the eyes. “Who are you, boy?”
“You don’t have to answer, master.”
“How long were you in there?”
“I…I don’t know.”
The big man let out a sigh. “I don’t like hurting kids. But, I also don’t like it when I don’t know things, or when people lie to me. How about we try again. What’s your name? How long were you on ice?”
“Siv…Siv Gendin. And I don’t know how long it’s been. Honest.”
“Ninety-seven years, sir.”
His mind reeling, Siv leapt to his feet. “Ninety-seven years?!”
The big man stood, his eyes widening. He peered around at Siv’s temple, noted the chippy, then nodded.
“Model?” Siv’s breath was growing thin. “He’s…he’s a 9G.”
The big man took a half-step back, and the other two cursed in awe.
“You really shouldn’t have said that, master. Take your cues from me from now on, please.”
“Tell them I’m a military chippy and they do not want to mess with me. I will burn out the brains of anyone who tries to use me without authorization.”
Though on the verge of panic, Siv told the big man what Silky had said. He understood there was no point talking to the other two. They weren’t important.
“Why does a kid have a military chippy?” scarred face asked.
The big man grabbed a plasma carbine out of the locker and placed it in Siv’s hands. The operation light came on. The big man yanked it back and tossed it into the locker.
“Why does a kid have access to military-grade equipment?”
Siv got up on his knees and looked into the locker. It held all of his dad’s gear. He continued to say what Silky told him to.
“It belonged to my dad. He turned over access to me when…when he was dying.”
The big man frowned. “A dying soldier gave his son his gear?”
“He…he was a scientist. The gear was a gift from the government, for completing a job.”
“Who froze you?”
“Soldiers. Special forces, I think. They brought me here after they hit me with a neural disruptor. They…they…” Siv broke down crying. “They killed him. Why…why would they do that? And now…”
He fell to his knees, sobbing uncontrollably. “Ninety-seven years…everyone I know is…is gone…no one came for me…and…and I’m lost.”
“Master, it’s going to be okay.”
“Why didn’t you help me, Silky? Why?”
“I tried to. I sent out messages asking for help, but the galactic net was down for nearly a decade here on Ekaran IV. Once the system was restored, I tried to contact a few peopled I thought we could trust, but none of them answered.”
“How could communications be out for ten years? Why didn’t the Benevolence fix it?”
“I don’t know if this is a good time to tell you this, Master Siv, but…the Benevolence died. There was a technological collapse. It looked bad for a while, like everything would fall apart. But people pulled through and things are running again, if not as smoothly as before.”
“The Benevolence died?!” Siv didn't want to believe it. But chippies couldn't lie. He put his head in his hands, crying even harder.
The big man reached out and touched his arm. “Calm down, kid. Calm down. It’s going to be okay.”
“No, its not! Nothing’s ever going to be okay again.” Siv knocked his arm away and yelled, “Why did you wake me?! Why couldn’t you have left me alone? I could’ve…”
The big man grabbed him by both arms and held him still.
Siv squirmed and kicked but couldn’t break free. “Let me go!”
“Simmer down, kid,” the man said. “You could’ve done what? Stayed in that capsule until it failed and you died, still sleeping? Is that what you want?”
Siv stopped kicking—it was pointless anyway—and glared at the man. “At least then I’d never have known I was all alone.”
“But you don't have to be alone, kid. My name’s Big Boss D. I run the largest criminal guild on this planet.You come and work for me, and I’ll take good care of you. Because you, young man, are going to be a star!”
“He’s telling the truth, Master Siv. You would be very valuable to someone like him.”
“Because your identity is secret, and only you have access to all of your father’s advanced gear. You have me to thank for that, by the way.”
“What do you say?” Big Boss D. “It’s a scary world out there, but I can take care of you. Give you a home. Set you up with a new life.”
“Silky, what about my uncle? And Severa? And our apartment?”
“Uncle Norm died twenty years ago, sir. He didn’t look for you because he believed the police had secreted you away on another world for your own protection. Your apartment, Severa, and all of your parents other possessions were confiscated.”
“What about the Outworld Ranger?”
“The government impounded it.”
“So I have nothing?”
“Checking your worth with your chippy?” Big Boss D asked.
“And what did he tell you?”
“That my old life is gone. I have nothing.”
“You could have something now,” Big Boss D said. “You could make a fortune. You could be someone again.” Big Boss D nodded at the capsule. “That’s a lot better than sleeping your life away in the dark. Don’t you think?”
If you enjoyed Rogue Starship and haven't yet written a review at your favorite book retailer, please do. Reviews can make or break a series. They help convince more people to buy books that you liked and want to see more of. And more sales encourages authors (like me) to write more books in that series.
Also, if you haven't read the prequel series Fall of the Benevolence, you can buy them here:
BOOK 1: Forbidden System
BOOK 2: Terra Lost