Things seemed to be going well. Becky was a really friendly person and Brad seemed quite nice too, and I was sure that if I got to know the cook, she'd turn out to be just as friendly as the rest of them: no one on the ship seemed mean or anything.
It surprised me a bit when I snapped at Brad when he asked me what I was doing here - I'd never been much of the snapping type. But I guess I'd taken his question the wrong way: I confess that perhaps I'm a little insecure. I don't know what I was about to tell him when the ship began to shake. Suddenly I was terrified. Imagining us trapped in space - in vast, endless, unmapped space - made my stomach feel like it was falling in the most unpleasant manner. Somehow I got into my cabin and clung to the bed which was attached to the floor. I thought about things that didn't scare me until my breathing had calmed and the vague possibility of a panic attack had left.
I thought about the mysterious captain. Had something maybe happened to her? I hoped it was a simple mistake she had made that would easily be rectified rather than a problem with the ship that might be impossible to fix. Oh dear, I was getting too close to thoughts of being trapped in the middle of infinity again. I closed my eyes and began to sing - a random song from the late twentieth or early twenty-first century: 'Thank You' by Dido.
A knock on the door interrupted me. I opened my eyes, stopped singing and sat up, noticing that the ship had stopped shaking.
"Hello?" I called.
"Hey, Sorrell, it's Brad. We think it's okay now. Everyone's gathering in the room with the comfy armchairs - where we played Monopoly. Hopefully we'll get to the bottom of what's happened."
I wasn't at all sure that I wanted to know what had happened but I rose to my feet and walked steadily to the door. I opened it and murmured, "Thank you."
"Are you okay?" Brad asked.
"I guess," I said quietly, not quite meeting his gaze.
"Come on - let's go," he said warmly, holding out a hand, perhaps sensing my worry.
Shyly I took it and he led me to the room where the others were sitting - all bar the captain - and we sat down beside each other on a couple of beanbags.
"I'm sure it's going to be okay," he assured me.
I nodded silently and waited for the meeting to begin.