The Captain Said
Wires and panels. Just like in the old times. Everyone knew something was amiss the moment they set foot aboard. It hung heavily in the air, the uncertainty; the feeling that they wouldn't like whatever was next. Even the sergeant, an old warhorse that nothing could impress anymore, looked uneasy. They weren't assigned sleeping quarters. Instead, the sergeant herded them in a communal area and ordered them to take seats and keep the noise down. They remained there through takeoff. Nervous in the face of such an unusual procedure. Xander was seated between two friends of his, and it didn't even cross his mind to start a conversation. It felt as if the silence would cut them all should anyone break it.