It had been two months since he first regained consciousness and learned of his unlikely - hell, damn near impossible! - journey across interstellar space. The night sky, he noted, was different than the one he knew. With some effort, he could pick out the familiar constellations, but they were oriented wrong. New stars, missing stars. He could write pages on the differences but, without a good reference source, he couldn't figure out where he was or even which of the stars was his own.
But that was a problem for another day. He had to finish physical therapy if he ever expected to leave the hospital. It was a grueling process to say the least. His muscles felt as though they hadn't been used in hundreds of years. Probably longer than that, he thought to himself.
He thought not of his lost life on a planet so distant that he could never hope to return, but of the opportunities ahead. He was the first man ever to reach another solar system; to make contact with an intelligent race. Well, maybe. Lord knows how long it's been, he thought. I may very well be the last human.
That was a sad thought. He'd never know if it were true or not, nor would he know how the mission went, why Discovery's launch was pushed up suddenly. Did his brother ever marry? Who won the Superbowl? And, if he was indeed the last human, what did humanity achieve before the end?
On the other hand, perhaps not. Certainly these people looked human. That they spoke English was a bizarre twist as well. Unless someone had implanted a babelfish while he had been unconscious, the odds of him being able to understand a different race was slim to nil. Had humanity managed to seed the galaxy?
"Dr. Poole? Are you ready?" His physical therapist was a petite woman who, despite her appearance, was quite willing and able to browbeat him mercilessly unless he gave what she thought was his best effort.
"Ready as I'll ever be," he remarked. "What's the fir-"
He was interrupted by a furious shaking of the ground.
"Earthquake!" His physical therapist pushed him to the floor with shocking strength and dragged him under a nearby table. As quickly as it started, the shaking stopped. Before anyone could say a word, the silence was torn asunder by a piercing shriek.
The shriek was louder than anything Poole had ever heard. It was strange, high pitched and, even weirder, seemed to warble somewhat. It sounded almost unearthly.
"What was that?" he started to ask. He didn't have time to completely finish his sentence before the hospital and everyone in it was destroyed. He had time for one last thought.
I'm not the main character after all.
Lavos had emerged. And this time, nobody was around to stop him.
All That Glitters Is Cold 2 Fanfic Competition
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