You assume the ship will sustain you. That there would be power for lights, that the air would be fresh, and that the whole thing wouldn’t crash into the planet waiting below.
That last bit was easy. The Tighar was locked into a stable orbit and with only minimal corrects, it would remain there indefinitely or at least until long after Amelia would be dead of old age. She’d turned off the power in the extra cabins and rooms as well to preserve the former. It meant the walk to the bathroom was chilly, but her own rooms were quite comfortable.
Amelia did not know how long she’d been stranded. She’d been thirteen when they’d arrived, but the days blurred together. Had years had passed? When she looked in the mirror, she was older. She was taller. Perhaps the computer could tell her how long, but she wasn’t sure where to look or what buttons to press. Her father had only showed her how to run the receiver.
Sometimes she worried that the receiver had broken and that was why she didn’t hear from the surface. Perhaps everyone was okay and worried about her? But no, they had the shuttle. They would have returned if they could. What if something with wrong with the shuttle? If it broke and they were just all floating out there waiting for her to rescue them. And she hadn’t known? How long would they have survived in the shuttle. How much air and food had they had.
She found Electra’s yoga and meditation tapes. It gave her something to do in the afternoon after she’d tended the gardens and made her daily painting.
Sometimes she tried the poses. Now that she wasn’t about to topple over every second, she could focus on the form and shape. Electra was right, it did keep your mind off everything else. It was hard to wonder what you were making for dinner when you were making sure your figures were aligned with your shoulders.
Mediation was harder. She closed her eyes, breathing deeply as the books said.
Think of nothing, she told herself, just breathe in and out. Pay attention to your body, to your breath. Lungs filling, expanding. What if she ran out of air? How long would it take to notice? No- that’s thinking. Stop that.
In. Out. The ventilation would stop anyway so she’d know right away. In. Out. Could she hear the ventilation?
Of course she could. It’s just hard to hear over your heartbeat. Badump, badump.
A calm filled her slowly, starting at the toes. They tingled slightly.
She felt as if lightness was entering through her toes. Where the calm went, the lightness followed. Like she was floating.
She opened her eyes.
She was floating!
The gravity! Amelia realized the gravity had cut out. The lights flickered. Not good. Not good at all. Was she running out of power? Or was it just a hiccup? The lights flickered again and the her weight returned suddenly. Pulling her down toward the mat.
She landed with a thud and waited.
One. Two. Three.
The gravity and lights stayed on. She breathed deeply. Crisis averted?