I awoke in a haze. My mouth was dry and tasted like iron; my head swam as I rolled to sit up against the cold metal of the craft I was on. My hands were bound behind my back. Every breath was a shot of pain in my lungs.
I looked around. I could hear the thrum of an engine cooling down from exiting warp. The craft rocked as it came to sub-light speed, and I heard a second, softer engine engaging.
I glanced around the interior – soft, curved designs with a tinge of rust and danger in them – Guardian Angel. There was no mistaking it.
Orange lights glowed on the ceiling and there were crates of supplies stacked against the walls, latched with cabling to hold them securely in place. A large steel door stood across from me. It slid open, and a flood of bright light washed into the room. A figure loomed in the entry way.
“So, you’re not dead then.” the man said, his voice rasping and heavy.
“No, I’m not.” I said, wincing as the words came out. “Sorry if I ruined any plans you had that required me to be.” I cracked a dry, painful smile.
The figure walked over and bent down, looking me in the eye. His face was a sickly yellow in the lighting, with scars marking him.
He chuckled, and grabbed me by the throat, his hand crushing my neck. I tried to wriggle my neck out of his hand, but he seemed to have an inhuman amount of strength. He lifted me up, my feet dangling in the air.
“You’ve got a smart mouth, boy. I’d kill you for it, but you’re worth more to me alive than dead.”
In one quick movement, he slammed me into the metal floor, bearing the full meteoric force of the act into my the side of my skull. Stars burst from the edges of my vision and my head rang. The lights stuttered and darkness swept over my eyes.