The pod clicked and hissed open, and the first thing to hit me was the overwhelming feeling of drowning. Nothing wakes you up from deep cryosleep the way that drowning does. I clutched at my slimy throat and coughed out the gooey remains of the oxygenated liquid that’d been coursing through my lungs for the last–who knows how long.

I struggled to remember my name. Sam… Sand… Sanders! Private Sanders. No time for first names. I had to figure out where I was. The Advent… no… the Adventure… the Asinine… the Ascension! I remembered that I would forget things, but I also remembered that they would return to me in time. And quickly. I wrapped my head around the facts pouring into my brain like someone refilling a basin, careless to splashing losses of crucially important water.

Water! There was only a very little amount of it left. That’s why nonessential crew had gone into cryosleep. I remembered now. The flurry of pounding against the hull, the yelling, the officers screaming at us to wake up and go to the sleeping pods. All of us running, not entirely sure why. My platoon’s Sergeant had explained to us that there weren’t enough supplies–food, water, air–and we were being put to sleep for the time being until we had returned to Station 17. I remembered being happy about getting to sleep through this torturously boring mission, as long as I got paid.

I shook my head, pushing the pod door out of my way and finally sitting up. I realized suddenly that I was naked. For a second I was embarrassed, but then I realized that everyone else was naked. And then I realized that their pods weren’t open yet, and I wondered why exactly that would be.

I stepped out of the pod before I heard the singing. The alluring singing. There was something magical in it, and it felt like my memories were slipping again. I walked towards the pod bay doors, noticing with a strange and unwilling smile that the pods before me were all empty. Their doors were just closed. Which I thought for a moment was strange because there’d be no reason to wake us all up one by one.

I should report for duty, I thought. Then I thought how nice it was that the music appeared to be coming from the bridge. A whisper in the back of my head told me that I should probably dress myself before I left the pod bay, but I found it easy to ignore it.

I liked classic rock, especially rock from the 2130s and 2140s. But I had no idea what genre this song could be put into. It wasn’t even English, but there was something familiar about it. Like a mix between the song that played in your head during your first kiss and the song your mother sang to you to put you to sleep but nothing really like either of those.

The pod doors open, and a beautiful blue woman was waiting for me. Her hair waved in the air like she was swimming in water. She smiled at me, and I couldn’t help but smile back, hypnotized by her perfectly circular eyes, the same color of her skin, and equally translucent. I saw my crewmates hanging from the wall with blue and glowing cocoons growing from their faces and around their bellies. The ones further down the wall had already cracked open. My Sergeant’s rib cage was splayed open where something had ripped and crawled its way out.

Then the woman kissed me, and I stopped caring as she pushed her long tongue down my throat.