“If you’d ever been in a ship with no power, you wouldn’t ask that question. Reactor quenched, mains down, auxiliaries down, accumulator backups down. Out in the black without the life support systems running, it’s blacker in there than Lumenna’s own hell. No lights, no sun, no planetglow to keep you company, not below decks or in the deep. No sound. The murmur of the engines, gone. The whisper of the vents, gone. No mesh, all wireless whispers dead. And, of course, not even any gravity to give you a directional cue. Just floating there, in silence and darkness and creeping cold, isolation more complete than anything outside an AI with no sense-channels wired up.”
“And that’s when you start reaching for a mindcast transmitter – but the substrate can’t accept you without power, and communications died with the rest of the ship.”
“But you’ve got time to stop panicking. After all, no-one’s going anywhere. Nothing’s calling for your attention. And you’ve got air enough to last for a while – a little more if you’re drifting, a little less if you’re still.”
“Do you know how to find an emergency panel by touch? And keep something to throw always to hand?”
“Well, I always do. Now. Then –”
“Two days can be longer than all the rest of your life.”
Yikes. That’s pretty damn chilling.