You can do this, she thought. You’re great.
And, she reminded herself, Trak and Daniel aren't “friends." They are co-workers who serve to highlight your own exceptionality.
She'd admit, she did have a certain fondness for the ugly Mek and the drunken human.
But that’s as far as she’d allow herself to emote. She didn’t need friends. She didn’t want them.
“Idiots?” she said, hoping they’d quickly respond.
When no one said anything, the worry spread deeper inside her, like a virus coldly infecting her mind.
It was quiet.
She couldn’t sense any lifesigns in the ship’s cabin. She couldn’t detect any kind of cabin at all.
The Afterthought’s decks had vanished.
The explosion gutted us, and my frien— my coworkers are gone.
The worry inside her grew.
She issued another emergency broadcast message: “Ship in trouble. Please respond. Quicker than As Soon As Possible.”
Or at least she tried to issue one. Her communications array had disappeared as well.
She suddenly became aware of an unpleasant sensation along the Afterthought’s keel. A marked decrease in temperature coupled with minor discomfort. The entire surface of the hull became covered in condensation.
The Afterthought had no nervous system and Rachel-7 didn’t feel pain. But the discomfort wasn’t … pleasant.
She heard a hissing sound and immediately identified it. Someone was breathing aboard her ship.
Daniel was alive.
And if Daniel made it, Trak, with his over-armored body, would certainly have survived it too.
She stifled her elation.
You don't need to celebrate. You don't need them, she thought. Alright, you can celebrate a little.