Iain almost made it to a sitting position, when an attack of vertigo hit him. He fell back, banged his head on the metal table he was lying on and tried to keep his senses together. What did he last remember? Driving up to the reception at the Lake House with his van packed full of equipment. There had been a very heavy fog, that was for sure. Lights up ahead, he remembered, red, blue, some big, wide vehicle blocking the way. He thought it might be bus, then as he got closer maybe a semi, wide load for sure.

He’d stopped the van and gotten out. And then…

A heavy weight landed on his stomach, shocking him out of his reverie.

“Jesus!” he breathed, then leaned up on his elbows to look at the weight on his stomach. It was cubic package, maybe a foot in each dimension, wrapped in what looked like cling wrap.

“That should be everything,” One of the twins told him. “Except for any weapons or biohazards you may have been picked up with. Skipper doesn’t like those.”

“Neither do we, really,” the other twin stated. “Although… sometimes biohazards can be tasty if cooked and pre-digested properly…”

“Mhmm,” the other agreed with a smile.

Iain let out a breath and ripped open the package. His clothes were there, pants, shirt, jacket, boxers and mismatched socks. His shoes were in a separate sub-wrapping, as were his watch and the cell phone Marty had given him last week. In another were his keys and wallet. That was it.

He dressed and tried to stand up. Luckily, whatever he had been put in had handles. His legs were weak, like they were made of rubber. He noticed the room around him had a weird inside-of-a-ambulance look to it. But the chamber was way too big for an EMT vehicle.

“Hey, be careful big guy,” one of the twins advised, reaching out an arm. Together, they helped him keep on his feet; solid hands gripped his upper arms, preventing a total collapse to the floor. He identified the odor that had been bothering him. It was like burnt maple syrup. Iain glanced around; focused harder on the room he was in. What the fuck? It looked like he was in some kind of… metal bulkheads, flickering lights, metal floor. No, no…!

He shook off the grips on his arms, stood up more steadily, then turned to the pale pink faced twins in orange coveralls who were now smiling those goofy grins at him. God the pair had big schnozzles, not to mention wattles under their chins. So what, had he ended up in a prison, somehow? A floating prison? He kind of felt like he was on a boat. The floor did seem like it was lightly rocking.

“Welcome aboard the Transient Void,” Righty stated. “I’m Arl.”

He nodded to Lefty.

“And that’s Arc.”

No way Iain could tell them apart. At least not in his current state of mind.

“I’m on a boat?” Iain asked, not wanting to entertain the thought of what he was actually on. “What’s with the prison duds?”

The two glanced at each other, both snickered, then they looked back up at him, grinning like idiots.

“No, primitive, YOU – ARE – ON – A – SPACE – SHIP,” Lefty – Arl – stated with exaggerated slowness. Well, they both did have kind of ‘Mericun accents.

“A starship,” Arc added, then gave him a good whack on the shoulder. “How does that hit you?”

Iain wasn’t sure. For a moment he though he felt completely weightless. The impact seemed to have knocked him sideways over the metal table he’d just gotten off of.

“Like a bus,” he decided dreamily. His body would have collapsed onto the deck right then and there – if the ship’s gravity had turned back on.

Go to Chapter One

Go to Chapter Three

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