Ch1: By Himself

His black boots make a small clicking noise against the metal of the floor as he walks. The sound is a small comfort within the walled confines of the ship. Twisting a finger through his short, spiky hair, a sigh escapes his lips. Suddenly, a shadow appears on the steel beside his own and a hand slips through his.

"You seem out of it today," her voice sounds like one of the soothing, cheerful voices that speak over the ship-wide intercom. He turns to glare at her before turning back to stare at his shoes. "You okay?" He can hear the concern echoing through the corridor and he looks up to see it in her crystal blue eyes.

"I'm fine," he reassures her and, upon seeing her doubtful look, he explains. "Idris kept me up all night going over emergency procedures." She scoffs.

"She would," the girl says and he rolls his eyes, nudging her solid shoulder with his own. "You know I'm right… the woman's crazy paranoid." At her statement they are both laughing and he's leaning against her with tears of laughter in his eyes.

"Anyway, what's on the agenda for today?" she asks, her voice light and playful.

"Just training and down time, as usual," he replies with a bored tone. "Don't you have somewhere to be?" His gaze turns from playful to suspicion in seconds as he glares at her. She shrugs and, with a wave of her hand, is retreating back down the corridor. He laughs as he watches her long black hair bounce and he remembers, on more than one occasion, he asked her how she got her hair so fluffy if everyone had the same washing material. She would only reply with a wink but her lips were sealed.

Taking a deep breath, he continues down his original path. His earpiece crackles softly and he knows that his mentor is trying to contact him over the wi-com link. She is the current leader of Sundancer, the solar wind surfing spaceship bound for Andromeda's only habitable planet Andros in the quadrant Zeta 5SB1. It's strange for him to think that he'll be the one who will help the people on the ship settle on Andros and it will be by his steady hands in the first few years of colonization— they'll be landing in two months and by that time Carly will have stepped down from her post.

At the bottom level of the ship, near the waste ports and only windows, is a room. Swiping the pad of his thumb against the lock, he has to bite his lip when the familiar prick takes a sample of her blood. Authorized access only rooms will only admit Carly and himself and all others trying to get in will set off an alarm. With yet another sigh, the door slides open and he slips inside, a small smile gracing his features.

Inside are rows upon rows of what look like lockers units and, from what his mentor has told him, there are frozen people inside them from a place called Terra, or Earth. He and his best friend, an upper-class Technician from Middle Deck, have looked up Terra at the Center, where all information and creations from previous gens are stored along with all Terra knowledge. Sometimes they'd watch movies from the 2000s and below. Books are a particular subject his mentor hates but he loves them.

The chambers line the walls and the thought of being stuck inside makes a shiver crawl up from the base of his spine. Each and every one of those people is important to the colonization of Andros. Each one has a purpose.

Shaking his head, he pulls out his Inteli-Tab out of his pocket. The light blue microfibers shimmer as it flops and they hum under his fingertips as he unlocks it with the swipe of his finger. With a click, the Tablet unlocks and he's instantly plugged into the Network, the ship-wide information path. He scans through the choices and taps against his choice and it pops up automatically, allowing him to type in his Access Code when met with a block.

He knows Idris will be able to Track him but she won't ask, because this place— this quiet place full of frozen bodies and the sleeping dead— is a haven where he goes to get away from all of the pressure. A place where he can just be himself, normal, not Leader-In-Training.

Please don't forget to review and let me know what you think.

This story is loosely based on Across the Universe by Beth Revis. You can see the basic idea of her spaceship Godspeed from the link on my page. This will also be the basic idea for Sundancer as well. All of the credit for it goes to her and the people who drew it.