Coffin

The universe was vast, that much was true. And being out here, on the edge of the unknown was fascinating, but Hugh de Boulainvilliers – once Prince du Sang to the Capetian dynasty – was, quite frankly, bored with it all.

He took another sip from his drink hose and frowned. The sanguine solution was a little off. The stem cell culture in the Novosang 3000 must need a protein boost. Hugh mentally added it to his list of things to do.

There was always something to do on the Osiris, as it conducted its deep space inquiries of the cosmos. Data to process, calculations to be run, buoy markers to place – it was a lot of work for one man.

But Hugh de Boulainvilliers wasn’t just any man. He needed no rest. He did not suffer from the cold. He needed no sustenance, except the continuously generated sanguine solution. Even the isolation didn’t bother him. One could say he was perfectly suited to his position as Interstellar Analyst.

Oh sure, he could find things to complain about – the cramped quarters, the lack of scent or sound, being hardwired into the computer and most especially the aforementioned boredom – but what good would it do? He and his kind were the perfect deep space astronauts.

In exchange for not being hunted, tortured and destroyed, they had signed a pact. Now, approximately 37 years later, here he was, alone in a glorified coffin, studying areas of the universe inconceivable to mortal men. It was a fair trade, as far as he was concerned.

Punching the button that sent off a burst of information back along the string of buoys connecting the Osiris with Earth, Hugh turned his gaze inward and smiled contentedly. Tomorrow would be his 427th birthday. Despite the boredom, he considered himself to be one very lucky vampire, indeed.

coffin-border

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