The last few numbers on the control panel countdown clock held Max’s attention as they clicked down to zero. The streaks of light in the view port suddenly turned to a twinkling star field as the big sleeper ship dropped from hyper light drive. The android pilot of Genesis I turned in his seat to watch the lights in the forward compartment flicker to life. The sleeper ship’s fifty-year journey had entered its final stages.
Earth was dieing and Genesis I was the first phase of The Genesis Project. She carried an advance party to C1789, a planet in what was deemed a habitable zone in the then, newly discovered Hemera galaxy. Once revived, the crew would shoulder the responsibility of creating a new earth colony for Genesis II and the ships that followed.
Max turned his attention back to the control panel in time to catch the red light marking the first pod blink to green. Life was about to return to Genesis I.
The android stepped through the pod room hatch as the lid on the white pod marked with a big black number one on its end, hissed and slowly lifted. He stopped next to the open pod and quietly waited while Doctor Kenzi Sheppard’s eyelids fluttered open and she took in the sights and sounds around her.. She blinked twice and smiled when her eyes settled on Max.
“Welcome back, Doctor,” greeted the soft-spoken android. He looked up at the numbers on the panel above the pod. “Your vitals signs appear normal.”
“Thank you, Max,” Kenzi replied, “it’s definitely good to be back.”
She swung her legs over the side of the pod, sat up slowly, then waited for the wave of dizziness to subside. After a minute, Max held his hand out to her and helped her get both feet on the floor.
“I expect you’ll be wanting a big cup of hot coffee,” said Max, getting a chuckle in return from the doctor.
“Yes, that would be nice,” she replied.
“Shall we?” said Max and swept his arm toward the hatch.
Kenzi took a couple of unsteady steps. “Now I know how babies feel when they take their first steps.”
“Before you know it, you’ll be as good as new,” said Max, walking behind Kenzi as she made her way toward the door.
They left the pod room and walked down the long hallway toward the dining room. Max seated Kenzi at a long table with a long row of bench seats on each side and disappeared through the swinging doors into the kitchen. He returned with a steaming mug of hot coffee and set it on the table in front of her.
“Anything in it?” he asked.
Kenzi smiled at the range of Max’s knowledge of human tendencies.
“Black is fine,” she said and wrapped both hands around the coffee mug. She looked over the rim of the mug as Max sat down across from her.
“In approximately thirty eight minutes the next pod will open,” said the android. “Your pod opened twenty two minutes ago and they are scheduled to open one hour apart.”
Kenzi looked at Max and wondered if the appearance of the ever-present smile on his face was a hint at humor by the creators of the android and his counterparts. She was curious to see if the androids piloting the rest of the ships that followed them carried the same pleasant trait. She giggled softly as she took another sip of her coffee.
“Did I say something funny?” asked Max, cocking his head
Kenzi giggled louder. “No, Max, it’s just nice to be up and about again.”
“I’ll have to prepare something light,” said Max as he rose from the table. “Everyone will need something to eat when they awaken.” He stopped midway through the double doors and turned back to Kenzi. “Do you remember where sick bay is?”
“Yes I do, Max, thank you.”
The android continued through the doors and Kenzi finished the coffee in her mug. Setting the mug on the table, she rose from her seat. “You have work to do, Doctor,” she reminded herself. “Time to get a move on.”