There was a slight beeping just at the edge of hearing, soft but persistent, it echoed throughout the whole of the mind so that it felt as if every synapse was responding to the same dance. Consciousness flooded the body at the same moment, and suddenly the beeping may have been the tolling of a bell next to the eardrum as the mind focussed on its sudden intensity. Marsh came fully awake and realised the sound was inside his own head, an internal alarm triggered when the sleeping draught was exhausted.
He opened his eyes and then closed them again. It was pitch black so there was little point in using his actual eyes. He focussed on internal screens and willed them to give him the information he now suddenly craved.
It was early morning in the world outside. Flight time was currently at fifty-seven hours and there was still a further eight hours before touchdown. Good, that was plenty of time to get thoroughly bored and restless in anticipation. It was also plenty of time to check all the systems that he was able to and to make sure that he revised the schematics and orders a further few times. Preparation was the key to flexibility. Rigidity was a key to failure.
The readouts for his internal systems showed that he had a slightly elevated heart rate and some elevated neurological stresses. Hardly surprising this was going to be his first mission ever, and to his beleaguered mind also his first in over a thousand years. The two concepts sat easily together like soup and wellingtons.
Marsh did a cursory check of the suit he was inside and then by using the interlink he also checked what he could of the exterior hard shell. It seemed as if they were exactly on course, however that was just trusting the readouts to be correct. From his limited knowledge unless there was some obvious error the vessel he was in had no way of truly determining if everything was proceeding as it should. He was in a stealth shell, that had been wrapped in an artificial asteroid and set on a destruction and incursion course over two days ago. There were no course changes and the mathematics had to be precise. If the data was wrong they would know about it only after landing, or crashing, whichever happened.
The whole notion of what had occurred in the last week still stunned Marsh whenever he had time to think about it. Aside from intensive combat training, some of which had been fast implanted into the memory capabilities of his implant. The device in his head could not replicate years of muscle development training, but it could give instant access to functions and schematics of weapons and systems, and it could enhance any intellect based skill. Marsh had also been informed of his true history and had met his mother.
Marsh paused in the checking of essential systems, leaving the automated systems to verify for him to confirm later, as his mind dwelt on that meeting.