Sharon L Reddy
Cover background NASA, ESA STScI
And the Hubble Anniversary Team
He awoke. It was a shock. He hurt too much to be dead. He nearly resented it. He should be dead. He'd felt the shot that killed him. Everyone else was dead. His father, brother, cousins, friends, all dead and he was alive. After that, the realization he was looking at a chain around his wrist and arm wasn't even surprising. He lifted his head slightly and looked down at himself. He didn't know what the thing, machine, was that was across his middle, but it was obviously why he was alive.
He laid back and worked to be glad he was. He couldn't quite manage it, but he did manage curiosity. Where was he? As much as he could see of the room was a featureless cube of off-white, with only whatever he was laying on, himself and the machine in it, and chains.
Chains around his wrists. Not restraints, chains. Why chains? They were old things, used for decorative purposes, but not these. They were shiny new and looked like steel. He smiled slightly. He'd decided he wanted to be alive after all. He wanted to learn why chains.