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Jun. X, 2565 A.C.E.
The mattress and pillow were pretty thin, but after the last few days, not to mention the last few centuries, Dann didn’t care one whit. He slept deeply and instantly, and when morning finally did draw him slowly back from sleep’s embrace, he stayed curled within his blanket shelter, clinging to every scrap of comfort it offered.
Finally his brain returned to such a state of wakefulness that he couldn’t stay cocooned any longer, and he pulled back the blanket and stretched. He was stiff and sore—oh was he ever stiff and sore. After a luxuriously long rest in a real bed though, it still somehow felt good and right.
They’d returned to the islands by unspoken consent the night before and moved into the habitation they’d camped outside of the previous night. They were intended for several dozen people, each with a private bedroom that adjoined on communal living spaces and facilities for groups of a half dozen inhabitants.
Dann rose and left his bedroom—it wasn’t much more than a narrow space for his bed, really—and stiffly entered the communal space outside. Rose had food ready; he was the last to rise. Jenny and Jackson—Lydia, he reminded himself—had already eaten.
He sat down and helped himself to toast and powdered scrambled eggs. They weren’t bad for centuries-old relics, really. The real fruit they still had left over from crossing the rain forest biome helped too; it went nicely on the toast. There was even coffee. It wasn’t exactly a barista’s best brew, but it tasted like heaven right then and right there.
There wasn’t much talk just then; everyone still had that slightly groggy sense to them that told him they felt much as he did, if maybe not quite as sore.
When he’d finished, Rose entered the room from the corridor down to the central area by the exit to the island. “Good morning, Dann,” she greeted him with a smile. “You look … better, though still a little the worse for wear.”
“’Morning Rose. Yeah, I think I’ll grab a shower in a few,” he replied.
“Good idea, but you should wait. Before you do that, I have a concern to put before you all.”
They shared a concerned glance of their own. “W-what is it?” Jenny spoke up.
“I’m deeply troubled by Lt. Cobb’s behavior.”
“You know where the lieutenant is?” Dann asked. “Why didn’t you tell us?”
“Rose Dawn only regained awareness of him in the late hours of the morning, and he wasn’t particularly near us so she didn’t feel it was a high enough priority to wake you. I agreed.”
“You left him out there?”
“He’s in no danger. I am afraid though that he may be a danger, both to you and the unawakened survivors still in their cryo-pods.”