Jerret stared up at the ceiling as the lights turned to day mode again. He had not slept the previous couple, partly because of his growling stomach. Two days of nature videos was wearing on his nerves as well, and he couldn’t quite motivate himself to get up and check on the others. He could hear noises coming from Calvin’s room; it sounded like he was awake.

He got to his feet slowly and was almost to the door when he heard small feet running back to Jessie’s room. Slower, unsteady footsteps followed and then he could hear Calvin knocking on the girl’s door. The noise hurt his head.

“Jessie please let me explain!” Calvin called through the door. Jerret poked his head out into the hallway and Calvin startled, turning towards him and backing away at the same time. He wavered and braced himself against the wall.

“Why the noise?” Jerret grumbled at him.

“I… she… she overheard me arguing with the ship… about what I did.” Calvin tried to straighten his hair and nearly fell over, “How long have I been out?”

“Few days… why aren’t you at the controls getting us somewhere civilized?” Jerret actually stepped out into the hallway as Calvin sighed heavily.

“The ship doesn’t want me to turn myself in. It’s refusing to take us anywhere with police.”

“The ship…” Jerret walked up to Calvin and put a hand on his shoulder. Calvin flinched visibly, “The ship needs to take us somewhere with food.” He gripped harder and Calvin cringed, “Because I need something besides rations soon, or I just might find myself an-” He dug his fingers in until Calvin cried out a little, “-alternate food source. Do you understand?”

Calvin nodded and Jerret loosened his grip.

“Get to the controls then, and keep the noise down.” Jerret released him with a pat on the shoulder and Calvin squeezed past him in the hallway, retreating into the control room without another word. Jerret turned to Jessie’s door and knocked, but the only response he got was the sound of something being thrown at the door and some dramatic muffled crying. He grabbed the bedding from Calvin’s room instead and tried to make a more comfortable bed in the cell room. The lights were too bright and his head ached, but he lay there with his eyes closed stubbornly until his mind finally drifted away from his body.

A heart-stopping metallic screech startled him awake what felt like minutes later and he sat up. The ship groaned as he made his way to the control room where Calvin was frantically hitting buttons. He nearly fell out of his chair when he realized Jerret was behind him. “Everything’s fine, it’s all fine!” The pitch of his voice made it clear everything wasn’t fine.

“What is making that racket?” Jerret tried to refrain from growling as he spoke and partially succeeded.

“I… the ship decided to physically disable one of the thrusters,” He held up his hands defensively as Jerret frowned, “I locked it out of the thrusters before it could do anymore damage… I’ll just land manually at the nearest place and make some repairs and we’ll be good to go.”

“Somewhere with food?”

“There’s a couple planets in the area that are Terra-formed but uninhabited. I’ll try and send out a distress signal too once we land. It’s all okay.”

Jerret grunted at the man and returned to his bed, but the adrenaline had kicked in and he was forced to stare at the ceiling again as sleep evaded him.



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