Sprig was dreaming of wildflowers when the system woke him. He stepped out of the stasis chamber, yawned, and started his patrol around the ship. Protocol was to dress first, but there was nobody awake to see him. The crew was still asleep and would be for years.
At the main console, Sprig checked the date. Thirty-three years, it read. He’d been asleep for a fourth of the average lifetime.
“Talk about sleeping your life away,” he muttered.
Sprig yawned again. No use fighting it. The stasis gas wouldn’t be out of his system before he climbed back into his chamber and drifted back to Neverland. The ship was still light years away from home.
Through the porthole near the main deck, he caught sight of the Orion Nebula in the distance. Those wild hues of gas and light were still visible to the naked eye.
“A long way to go,” Sprig muttered to himself.
He returned to his chamber, stretched, and climbed inside. Behind him, the computer sealed the door and the gas hissed to life around him. Sprig set his head on his pillow and his mind started to drift.
He was off to Neverland again, off to play somewhere inside the clouds of Orion.