There was a pteradactyl sitting on my chest.
Not a big one. Parrot-sized. It had its head turned to one side so that its little black eye could stare at me, and there was no mistaking the profile.
“Ah. You’re awake.” A man’s voice filtered into my awareness. I tried to turn my head toward him, but the motion hurt. Everything hurt.
“Here”, he said, to someone other than me. “I saved one for you.”
A small fish came flying in my direction. The pteradactyl reached up and snapped it out of the air. One gulp later it was gone.
“Harvested from a world where the great asteroid never hit. They were popular pets among the elite for a while. Then the aristos tired of them, like they tire of everything else. Here.” He knelt down by my side. “This will help.”
My chest burned like fire as he helped me to a sitting position. The pteradactyl squawked as it was dislodged, and fluttered off to take up a post on a nearby chair. My left leg, I saw, was swathed in bandages. It smelled of herbs. Every inch of my body was sore.
He lifted a bowl to my lips.
“What is it?” I asked hoarsely.
“Chicken soup. A thousand worlds have failed to come up with anything better. Drink.”