The tension in the atmosphere only grew stronger with every person that left the room. Just this morning, I could convince myelf that maybe things weren’t so bad after all… But now I saw the faces of my friends around me– maybe we’d only known each other for a few days, but I still thought of them as friends– and all I could think of was who might be the first to break.
We said we’d search every inch of this station and find a way to escape… But I think we knew deep down that, despite his abrasiveness, Siegfried was right.
There wasn’t any way we would all make it out alive.
I couldn’t bear it any longer. I left the murmured whispers of the cafeteria and headed for my room. When I got there, I would… I didn’t know what to do, really. Have a good cry? As I crossed through the hatch that led into the core of the station, thought, I found the answer to a question I didn’t know I had.
Huh. She did that earlier, didn’t she? Primary memory drive disconnected… I’d thought it just meant she couldn’t remember anything from before we woke up here, but maybe it was more serious than that.
A quiet, slow voice spoke up behind me.
Kapono walked up to Ping and gave her a small wave. No response.
A few seconds passed, but Ping was still unresponsive. Maybe she’d crashed, like a computer does? Can she do that?
Kapono nodded, almost imperceptibly.
Ping suddenly lurched back to life, and did the same little dance she’d done when I first met her.
I smiled and waved and left for my dorm again as Kapono patiently answered Ping’s questions. Even at a time like this, he seemed to radiate calm… Wish I could say the same for myself.
Finally, I made it back to peace and quiet. Though it wasn’t really peace if I was scared for my life, was it? And it wasn’t exactly quiet, either.
I could hear a muffled voice rumbling through the wall– much too deep to be Yusra, so it must be Siegfried. But it didn’t really sound like him, either… At least, not the silky, elegant voice I was used to hearing.
His voice crackled with fear as he half-yelled, half-sobbed to himself in his native tongue. I didn’t know enough conversational German to follow most of what he’d said, but the sentiment didn’t need any translating. Why were we here? What did we ever do wrong?
The words I did understand, I would’ve understood even if I didn’t know a lick of the language.
Mom? Where are you? Please… somewhere…
And there go the waterworks again, for probably the fifth time that week. I suppose this isn’t giving you a great impression of my emotional stability in the face of danger, but… under the circumstances, I don’t think you can blame either of us.
My head sank towards my desk as I cried myself into a short, restless sleep.