The mechanical zephyr of recirculated air sang softly against the steel mesh of the return. Echoes came easily in his tiny room, every little sound a distraction. No matter how many pieces of soft plastic portraiture he put up or rugs he put down, every time Nelson so much as cleared his throat, the steel-bounded space bounced the sound right back to his ears.
The hull creaked sharply, still losing in its heat exchange with the universe at large. Nelson sighed again and scratched at the tight curls of his beard.
The table before him was scattered with an odd mix of glowing tablets, scraps of paper, and old moleskin journals. He was stuck. He’d been stuck. He would be stuck for a while, and he knew it.
He needed to work. He needed some coffee. He needed a break. He needed some actual human contact.
Well he could take a break at least, maybe get a cup of java. No, he needed to work.
Don’t open the curtains. You’ll get too distracted. Do. Not. Open those Curtains. Don’t.
He opened the curtains. The vast star speckled emptiness was still there, unchanged in any notable way - considering Nelson’s time scale and senses. He got lost in it.
After what might have been hours or minutes, he snapped out of the daydream. He sighed again. It echoed, of course.
Maybe he should go get a cup of coffee from the lonely mess hall. It wasn’t like he didn’t have plenty of time. Nelson opened the door.