Daniel took a big swig of his flask and felt the warmth works it way down to his stomach.
He let out a groan of pleasure.
Wait ... wasn’t this almost empty? he thought.
He shook the flask. It was full.
Before he could consider it further, the cheery voice spoke again.
“When you are ready to begin the orientation tour, please say so. Or take your time. No hurry. We understand if you’d like to rest.”
“Where are my friends?” Daniel asked.
“As I said, the question and answer portion of the tour takes place at the end,” the voice said. “We apologize for the inconvenience. We find that many beings have their questions answered while taking the tour. If you absolutely must have an answer right now, please state the specific override emergency code you learned during week 72 of your training.”
“Uhhh,” Daniel said, racking his brain. “Is it ... emergency code?”
The voice was silent. Then it asked, “Emergency code what?”
“Emergency code ... one?” he guessed.
“I’m sorry. That code is not relevant. I’m not detecting any fires onboard.”
Daniel, who’d always had a stubborn streak, figured he could guess the password and get some answers.
“Emergency code 4082?”
“I'm sorry. That code is not relevant. No hull breaches detected.”
“No internal space-time fractures detected.”
“No roving gangs of flesh-eating Rinasoots detected.”
“48394839438183473483219537854443728?" Daniel said, rattling off numbers until he ran out of breath.
“No sentient anarchistic two-dimensional food-processors detected.”
"There's actually a code for that?"
This place is certainly prepared, Daniel thought.
“You must have forgotten the correct code,” the voice said, and it didn’t sound annoyed. “Don't worry. We’ll remind you as soon as you complete the orientation.”
“Where’s my ship?” Daniel asked, doggedly continuing.
“The question and answer portion of —”
“Where is Jeska?”
This time, the voice did not respond.