The next morning when Daniel awoke he found a jumpsuit similar to Captain Star Johnson's folded up on one of the visitor's chairs. But it was teal and light green as opposed to the baby blue of the Captain's. Daniel climbed out of bed grabbing the clothes and carrying them into the attached bathroom. He enjoyed the hot water falling onto his skin washing away whatever had built up on him during his time unconscious.
As he washed himself off he looked over the injuries he accumulated in the event leading up to his suspended animation. He wished someone knew what had happened. All that they had on his file was that he had nearly died saving someone related to the suspended animation project. There was nothing more related to the incident that Danny was aware of and it frustrated Danny. But whoever he had saved had apparently put him under in an attempt to repay him. It was a relief that his family had been aware of this, so they did have a sense of closure. If only he could have woken up far sooner than three and a half centuries.
After drying off Daniel put on his new clothes. The jumpsuit wasn't skin tight, but was still roomy. Danny had just stepped out of the bathroom when he heard a knock on his door.
"Come in." Danny said, running the towel over his hair one last time.
Captain Star Johnson strode into the room, owning every step. "Well Dodgers, are you ready?"
Danny nodded, feeling the finality of his decision start to sink in. "Yes, I think I am."
Daniel stared up at the Earth Headquarters of the Galactic Protectorate. It was a sight to behold from the globe to the sides of the buildings that supported the globe, the glistening windows that showed that these supports were in fact workable offices of some sort. This building truly was an architectural wonder. The interior was huge and vast. Danny had a hard time trying to take everything in all at once. The ceilings alone in the entrance hall seemed to go on for ages. There were so many sounds of p.a. systems calling for various employees to go to different sectors of the buildings. Even through the space was large and open, it was still a bustling placed filled with people. Danny was sure that he had even caught a glimpse of a few alien species.
"Feeling like a fish out of water?" Star Johnson asked.
Daniel swallowed. "Just a little."
Star cracked a small smile. "You'll get used to it kid."
The registration process went a lot faster that Danny thought it would. But by the end of it all, his stomach was cramping with hunger pangs. He did miss breakfast though, so that certainly didn't help matters. It was as though Captain Star Johnson could read his mind.
"Come on kid, let's get to my ship. We'll grab you something to eat once we reach space. The first take off can be hard on your stomach."
Danny stopped in his tracks. "Space? I thought I was heading to academy."
"You are, but it isn't on Earth. The training academy is on Trarth 7T7 in the Scoth R85 quadrent." Johnson said.
Daniel nodded, not knowing a thing Captain Star Johnson was saying. He wondered just how long it was going to take him to remember all of these made up sounding names, or better yet, not to mix them up with each other.
"Yeah... I definitely know where Scoth 7T8R5 is at." Danny mumbled to himself.
Dodgers stared at the ship in total awe. It was like a vertical rocket, sleek, shiny, and beautiful. The morning light glinted off its white and teal surface. Never in his life would Danny have though he would see something like this.
Captain Star Johnson chuckled at his awe inspired gaze. "Oh just wait until we take her up."
Daniel followed the captain into the cockpit, the doors shwooshing open like on the old sci-fi movies. Bright colored lights lit up the control panels. Large monitors hung above the crew chairs, which several protectorate members were sitting. Danny a man in his late twenties, with dark brown hair. A red patch of hair streaked across the top of his head. He was wearing a pale green jumpsuit with dark blue accents. His skin was a pale orange with yellow and red speckles dotting his skin.
Sitting beside him was a young woman, most likely in her late teens, early twenties, in a sky blue jumpsuit with deep purple accents. He skin was a feint lilac which complimented her nearly platinum blonde hair. Her bright expressive sky blue eyes were brimming with hidden excitement.
There was another woman human looking woman. Although she looked older than the girl with lilac skin by a couple of years, she still held onto the youthful beauty of a woman in her lower twenties. Her light brown hair was cropped at her chin. Her chin was sharp but she had a small button nose.
Last on the bridge, but certainly not least was another man in his mid thirties. He wore a jumpsuit like the one Danny was wearing. His strawberry blond hair was cut short. His features had begun to chisel out as he grew into a more mature face.
What surprised Danny the most wasn't the fact that half the crew members were aliens - Daniel half expected that - the moment the door opened up, the girl with lilac skin had leaned back though the back of her chair, her bright blue eyes growing wide like the smile on her face. In another instant she had phased through her chair all together and floated in front of the captain. Her hair was floating about like she was swimming under water. It was like she was laying on her stomach mid air, with her hands pressed up against his cheeks.
"So Captain, where is he?" She said.
Captain Star Johnson leaned off to his right as the girl rolled towards her right, giving her a good view of Daniel. In that brief second where Daniel and the alien's girls eyes connected, Daniel saw a flash of purple. It was brief, so fast that Daniel thought that his eyes were playing tricks on him.
Instantly the girl's expression changed of one of captivation, but like that flash of purple, it was gone in an instant. Her face was one of pure excitement again.
"I've been waiting to meet you Daniel. I am Sergeant Kyri Sarril, princess of Alben." The girl said holding her hand out.
Danny took her hand, not entirely sure if this was even a formal enough gesture, she was a princess after all. Should he bow or something after? He had no idea what he should do?
"Don't worry about the formalities, my planet is a pretty relaxed one when it comes to these kinds of things." Kyri said, as if reading his mind.
The one with pale orange skin chimed in, "Oh I believe that is an understatement if you've ever said one Kyri."
Kyri crossed her arms and huffed. "It's not that big of one Mike."
The other human man had gotten out of his chair, throwing one arm around Daniel's shoulder as he approached. "Don't be surprised when you can feel her message you in your head. It's something her species can do. It is nice when comms go down."
"I can also feel into the emotions of those around me." Kyri said. "It's a passive thing my species can do, but I'll try not focus on you if it winds up bothering you."
The other female stood up, walking towards Danny and the others. "Now that that purple elephant in the room has been addressed, I think it's time to address the other one."
Her brown eyes flashed at Captain Johnson, "This kid looks like he's fourteen. You sure he's ready for this." Her gaze shifted towards Danny.
The woman held an icy gaze that chilled him to his core. It took everything not to shiver.
"He does know that there is always the chance that he could die, right?" She leaned in towards Danny as she said this.
Daniel stared back into the icy landscape in her eyes. He wasn't going to let himself be intimidated. He needed to prove himself, and he already had a sever handicap being so displaced in time. Everything for the next few months was going to be one big fish out of water experience for him and he wasn't going to let it hold him back. This was his chance to prove it.
He began to open his mouth when Kyri threw her arms around his neck. "Ooo this defiantly a determined one. I think he'll give you a run for your money Tasha."
Daniel shut his mouth. Well that kind of killed any accreditation he was going to have. Oh well, at least he wasn't going to come off sounding like some punk kid too big for his boots. Maybe it was best that she had stepped in.
"Oh, I killed your big moment didn't I? I'm sorry." Kyri said and it was if he could feel Kyri's embarrassment and guilt coming from her.
"No, it's, you're fine." Danny said, trying to reassure her. He looked back at Tasha, some of the fire he held before had dissipated, "I know I look young, but I should have died over three hundred years ago saving someone. If I wind up dying being put in another situation like that one, then so be it."
Tasha stared at him for a moment, leaning in as if inspecting how genuine that statement was. She took in a deep breath and gave a nonchalant shrug.
"Alright then, just as long as you know what your getting into." Tasha said. "It still doesn't change the fact that you look like you're fourteen."
Kyri's face was floating inches away from his, her blue eyes looking him over. Daniel could feel his face get hot as everyone but Captain Johnson was zoned in on his face. Mike was tapping his orange chin as his eyes were lost in thought.
"You know, I think I've got it." Mike said.
The crowd had encroached onto Danny as if trying to see it themselves.
"It's the haircut." Mike said.
Tasha's eyes grew wide. "Ooo yes, I definitely see it now."
Danny felt his hair get pushed back off his forehead. There were nods of acknowledgement from the rest of the group. Kyri poked at his cheeks.
"It's also the freckles." She said. "Freckles do that."
Captain Star Johnson rolled his eyes and let out a small sigh as he grabbed the backs of the collars of the two humans. "Well the haircut can be taken care of as soon as he gets into training. So come on, get your butts in your seats so we can take off."
With a hint of reluctance, the others found their way back to their seats. Danny looked in the direction of one of the empty seats and back to Captain Johnson. The older man gave Danny an upwards head tilt and he made his way to his seat. As Danny sat down beside the human male, the older man nudged him.
"I'm Lieutenant Trent Fletcher. Don't touch any of the controls and you'll be good." He said flashing him a smile.
Danny's heart raced as he felt the ship roar to life. He could feel the faint hints of the engine's purring around him, making the ship feel alive. The console fired up displaying lines, charts, and numbers Danny had no clue how to read. He was sure that once he was done with his training it would all make sense, but for now he was clueless. The city around them quickly turned into a speck on the horizon as the ship climbed higher and higher into the atmosphere. With almost no effort at all the blue tints of the upper atmosphere gave way to the dark inky expanse that was space.
The ship glided along towards Venus, leaving Earth behind. It was awe inspiring seeing space this way. Never in his life did Danny think that he'd actually see space like this, let alone with his own eyes. It was all too rare in his own time for anyone to get into space, now anyone could have this view.
"Alright Captain, we should be good to engage the autopilot." Trent said.
Captain Star Johnson smiled. "Well then, fire her up and let's get something to eat."
Everyone hopped out of their seats without a moment of hesitation. Danny trailed behind following the others. He wondered how long it would take him to remember the layout of a ship like this.
"So kid," Mike said getting his attention, "did you ever think you'd be visiting other planets?"
Danny shook his head. "No way. The only way that could have happened was if the Space Z project took me on that one way trip to Mars."
Danny saw the others try to hold back snorts which lead into coughing fits. He felt like it was one of those situations of hindsight that Daniel wasn't sure if he even wanted to know the outcome to now. Was it really a resounding failure?
Mike put his arm around Danny's shoulder. "Danny, it wasn't a one way trip."
"Well except for one person." Tasha interjected.
Danny looked back and forth between the two of them. What was that supposed to mean? Had the technology gotten that good that fast that it wasn't a one way?
"The martians sent everyone back but one person." Mike said.
"What happened to the one person?" Danny asked.
Tasha shrugged. "You're guess is as good as mine."
"Was there not any sort of investigat- wait, did you say martians?" Danny asked.
Danny looked around and noticed that they were deep into the heart of the ship. He had no idea where he was or how he had gotten here from the bridge. This was probably going to be a problem in which a slightly older Danny was going to have to deal with.
"When Space Z landed on the planet they found that it had been occupied for the past couple of thousands of years by the martians. They only let one person stay on Mars before shipping everyone back to Earth. And ever since then tensions between the Earth and Mars have been strained. The martians have been wanting to expand their empire across the universe and Earth, being their neighbor, has been a planet they have had their eye on for a while. While there is a war, it's been mostly small skirmishes." Captain Star Johnson said.
Well that was a lot to take in. Everything Danny knew really went out the window. He wondered what else he was going to learn between now and the end of training that was going to make his head spin. How was he even going to make it in this time period? Was he ever going to catch up with everyone, or was he just going to be left in the dust?
Kyri placed a hand on his shoulder, giving him a reassuring smile. It was as if that touch was sending a calming wave that was washing over him saying that everything was going to be alright. Maybe he was cut out for this after all.