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Fleet 16

“Depends on your tastes,” Janet said around a sausage. “The network has a great library. Every time we land we download the most popular books that were published since we left and most everyone grabs copies of everything they think they’d like and put it on the computer too. We do the same things with music, movies, scent plays, and anything else we can think of. If you’re looking for something more adventurous there’s the gym, and a few ship sports.”

“Ship sports?”

“Yeah,” Curtis chimed in. “Actually, Tripps is going to try and break her record tonight.”

I didn’t get a chance to ask what he meant. Janet slapped her glass to the table top. “Shit, that’s right.” She flicked her eyes over the face of her antique watch. “We should go now if we want good seats.” She stood and grabbed her tray.

“Wait,” I said. “What?”

Curtis stood. “Obstacle course, man. Tripps has been trying to break that record forever.”

“Bu-”

“No man, Janet is right. We should go.”

“I-”

“Ugh!” Janet grabbed my tray. “Just get up.”

“Okay! I’m going! I’m going!” I stood up, chugging the last of my water and letting Curtis lead me out the door. I had no idea why we were rushing. No one else seemed to be in a hurry. Most of them were relaxing at tables and enjoying their food. I’d just finished three large burgers and half a chicken, my stomach still envied the people saying behind.

Janet caught up to us on the run a few minutes later as Curtis led me down the main corridor. She slowed to a walk and shoved a paper bag into my arms. I raised an eyebrow but the smell hit my nose before I could speak and my stomach growled. I tore open the bag. There was a pair of pills and a massive chicken sandwich slathered in mayo and mustard. I hate mayo, but tore into the sandwich anyway. It was delicious. “Mmm…fank you.”

Janet watched me ear. “Take the pills too,” she said. “You need the nutrients.”

I shoved the pills into the last of the chicken and wolfed it down. “Why am I so hungry?”

“Cryo. You’re body is still recovering. Your metabolism is going to be out of whack for a while. You should try to eat until you feel full as often as you feel hungry. You’ll put on a few pounds, but it’s the best way to cushion your system.”

“You didn’t tell me this before because?”

“Wasn’t sure if I liked you.”

I stumbled to a stop and stared at her with my jaw open. She smiled and grabbed at my arm. “C’mon.”

“What are we doing anyway?”

“Don’t you trust me?”

“What?”

Curtis looked over his shoulder. “You two want to stop flirting?”

“No.”

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