“She’s coming round!” Bright lights and voices. Reflex kicked in and Laura sat bolt upright, spewing the vile transit gel from her lungs. She was helped into a paper gown, and stumbled over to a proferred shower. Around her she was dimly aware of other sleepers coming too.
She glanced at a wall readout : 07:32 EST (Earth Standard Time) on 4th August – she had barely been in transit six days. Clearly, something was wrong.
The Mariner of the stars was a massive liner with over three thousand passengers. What it has been doing in the Belt Laura wasn’t sure, and in transit class she hadn’t really mixed with the awake passengers. Some sort of luxury cruise perhaps? The ship was certainly built for it: transit passengers like her were just a convenient way of defraying some of the operating expenses.
“Ms. Chen, of Dakai yanjing Investigations?” Laura turned to see a slim athletic woman, with short and well kept hair. Her demeanor was entirely professional, and she wore the smart uniform of the ship’s crew.
“Monica Gabrielli, Chief Security Officer.” she announced, “I’ve been ordered to escort you and your associates to the captain’s quarters. Please follow me.”