Toby leaned back in his chair. The lights were off. There was a party going on in the cabin above him. He could hear the deep murmur of music through the ship's steel frame. Occasionally he heard the rising excitement of voices, though no distinguishable words echoed into his eight-by-eight room. He closed his eyes and felt the soft sounds flow through the air around him. In his mind they formed rippling waves that reflected lazily off the cold metal. The low rumble of the ship's engine, ever present for the past six months, wrapped around him. Holding him. Comforting him. He knew the sounds. He understood them.
This is peace, he thought. This is serenity.
Minutes passed before Toby sat up and opened his eyes. He looked around, almost surprised at the darkness. He moved his arm through the blackness, almost feeling it shift and shape around him until his hand came to rest upon the desk next to him. He felt paper under the pads of his fingers. Thick paper. A letter? He tried