Zip stirred and promptly wished he’d died instead.
His head pounded with the force of twenty-five dancing rhinos. No hangover he’d ever suffered through had split his skull quite like this. He stilled as a thought came, painfully, to him.
Wait…I’m not dead? There’s a metal floor under me, where am I?
Slowly, Zip cracked one eye open and surveyed what he could see without sitting up. He was slumped in an uncomfortable position on a light grey, metal floor. He could feel a vibration running through the floor.
Okay, I’m in a ship. But not mine. The floor is wrong.
The light wasn’t harsh, so he eased his other eye open. He was in an empty room, illuminated by a source he couldn’t see. The walls seemed to curve organically from the floor, as did the ceiling above him, and all of it was the same metal. He should have been cold, between all the metallic surfaces and the blue-tinged light, but he was surprised to be warm.
He patted his body, intending to take excess clothes off, but found himself no longer in his own clothes. They had been removed somehow and replaced by grey pants and a grey tunic-style shirt. He was barefoot.
“Hello? Is anyone listening?” He called out cautiously.
There was no answer.
Zip waited a moment before repeating himself. “Is anyone there?”
HIs stomach growled, loud in the empty metallic room.
A panel slid open with a whisper, and Zip could see a hallway beyond.
He stood slowly, mindful of the rhinos still dancing on his skull. At the door, he looked both ways, wondering which direction held food.
A blue line lit up a stripe in the floor, leading off to the right.
Zip looked around once more. No space mercenary lived to see old age by letting his guard down. Muscle memory taking over, his right hand went to his hip. But his weapon wasn’t there. He scowled. If his head didn’t hurt so much, he’d be pissed off. He had invested time and credits in that hand-laser, and he wanted it back.
His stomach growled again, and the line in the floor pulsed, as if to hurry him along.
“Damn it, this better not be an ambush,” he muttered as he padded silently down the hall.
To be continued!