Sep 28, 2023 12:08 AM
the SS Avaline makes a few stops

The hotel room is, as most modern hotel rooms are, furnished with a bed and a television and a few other pieces of furniture.

It is also -- as most modern hotel rooms are not -- furnished with a port-hole, a rather loud grandfather clock, and an old-fashioned radio, currently set to a channel playing smooth jazz.

The bed is, of course, occupied.

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"General! Stop!"

She sits upright in the plush bed with a start. She almost bounces off it, unaware of where she is, or what she is in.

She grunts as she massages her freshly sprained neck. Her eyes go from one corner of the room to the other.

'Where is my armor?' She whispers to herself.


Her armor doesn't seem to be anywhere in the room. She's the only one here.

The jazz coming from the radio fades, and an announcer says, "Welcome! This is the SS Avaline, we serve all time- and space-displaced travelers, and everyone in between! We hope you enjoy your stay."

Then, the jazz fades back in, this time a piano solo.


As she is trying to overcome the wave of nausea and panic, she steadies her breathing.

She counts her fingers forwards and then backwards, thrice, in rapid succession.

She bumps her fists against each other, knuckles perfectly interlocked. They have no effect. She does it again - still nothing.

She realizes she truly isn't wearing her tactical gear anymore. The music helps her calm down.

'This is neither a dream, nor a drill.'

She backs away into a corner next to the bed, and sits cross-legged on the floor. But the motion isn't fluid anymore. Her legs hurt in the right places - all the right tendons for combat, and importantly, for mobility.

She punches the dresser through its front, wincing in pain - the same kind of pain as her legs - fatigue.

She reaches under her shirt and feels a precise point at the base of her skull.

'Cryosleep? What the...'


This time, the radio doesn't have any answers or announcements for her.

The clock ticks steadily towards 3 PM.


She checks her consciousness as she gets up without any support, in place. She's tired, but she can tell from the taste in her mouth that she had been asleep for while.

She needs to find out about this... place, and how she got here. She can tell most objects in the room, aren't from a culture she knows.

'Where am I? Space displaced? Time displaced? What or where is Avaline? What is SS?'

After stumbling around the room, she finds a mirror to look in. 'So they have mirrors too... maybe this culture isn't that different'

She checks for signs of intoxication, and finds none.

'I might be able to find somebody who can tell me more about this place. Is it safe to leave the room?'


There's a door set in one wall, the arched door frame made of a coppery metal and studded with round caps. The door itself is also made of the same material.

If she tries the handle, she'll find that it isn't locked.


She double-checks her attire. A loose satin shirt and a matching pair of baggy trousers. The fabric is warm, but thin, and falls along the curves of her body as she turns to see her back.

She goes back out and peeps through the dresser she punched. As she opens the drawer a familiar item of clothing spills through the hole, onto her feet. A dark gray armor-like bodysuit, along with a note sits on her feet, as she stares intently.


You were wearing this when we found you in your hemorrhaging vessel. We've cleaned up the blood on the inside. Hope you feel better when you wake up! - Staff, SS Avaline


'Why was I draped in my customary funeral wear? What is the meaning of this? Were I dead?'

Knowing full well what it does to the body of the cadaver inside it, she wears the suit on top of her complimentary pajamas.

She finds tape and a pair of scissors in the closet. She conceals her name tag and emblems.

She controls her restlessness as she just stops short of having broken the handle. It doesn't budge, but gently clicks when she does it the other way.

'Their locks click the other way.. Hmm'

She walks out into the hallway, 'What in the world...? What is this place?'


The hallway is wider than one would expect. More curved doors made of the same metal line the walls. All of them are closed.

Both ends of the hallway intersect perpendicular corridors. Mounted on the wall by the intersections, there are large brass plaques engraved with the words 'LOBBY', 'LOUNGE', 'WORKSHOP', and arrows pointing in the proper directions. Underneath, there are plaques that list room numbers and more arrows.


After noting the number on her door, she begins walking to her right. She picks up pace when she begins to realize the length of the corridor.

She takes in the details on the doors and the arches above them.

'What a massive place... There should be people somewhere.'

She follows the direction that says Lounge, cautiously walking away from the doors.


The signs lead her through a few more corridors of varying widths and heights, as if someone hadn't quite decided on a cohesive look.

Soon, she enters a hallway lined not with doors, but with round glass windows.

Through the windows, she can see a vast endless blue sky and clouds like stretched cotton.


She stands a couple of feet away from the windows as she studies the view outside.

'Is this place not in space itself? Hmm... what a strangely colored sky... '

She knocks on the window twice, in a bid to check if it's simply a display.


The window is very solid and cold to the touch. It doesn't feel like a display.


It calms her just a bit to know that she at least isn't stuck in a prison.

She continues walking along along with the windowed corridor, cautious of the approaching end.

It is shadowed behind the light pouring in from the windows.

'What lies at the end?'


A set of double doors with brass handles stands at the end of the corridor.

A plaque above the handle proclaims this to be the entrance to the lounge.

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