We've been drifting for a long time - that's how we save fuel and energy, especially if we don't have any specific destination, but it seems our conservation efforts haven't been enough because Rust is telling everyone not to panic and saying that we'll all be fine if we just remain calm.
Outside, a scattering of stars is reflected in my glasses - a thousand globes of fiery plasma hanging in an ice cold vacuum. There's silence out there - silence and peace and darkness and a surprising amount of dust. Space isn't as clean as it's made out to be.
The voice in the back of my head - the one I've been trying to shut out this whole trip, the one who had warned me that this would happen, told me that I should have never left Earth, is saying that this isn't such a bad place to die.
I ignore it, focusing on the sensation of ice cold glass beneath my hands, the light glancing off the walls, the 'pit in your stomach something bad is going to happen' feeling that I've gotten used to after months - years - in space.
I've been close to death thousands of times. This isn't any different. Why should this be any different?
And yet, for some reason, it is. This time, I'm not facing my death because a bomb detonated too close to one of our engines and we have to fix it in thirty seconds or else. I'm not dying because my crew mate made a bad deal and it finally caught up to them. I'm not dying because I said the wrong thing at some backwater planet with weird customs and accidentally insulted their queen. This is a slower death, one where there's nothing you can do except wait.
I've always been bad at waiting. It's why I went to space - I didn't have the time to wait until I had a good life on Earth so I tried my luck elsewhere.
Now the crew is hurrying all over the ship - I catch Blue kiss Ochre fleetingly on the cheek before hurrying to the engine room, a wrench in one hand. Rust is crouched over the control panel, pouring over a manual guide.
It's times like this when I wish I was an engineer or a pilot - there is always something you can do during an emergency. Here, I'm blind and mostly useless. Being the defense system of the ship isn't the greatest thing when there's nothing to attack and you're going to die anyway.
"Are there any nearby planets or Stops?" Rust calls.
Jade looks up from where they're crouched over a paper map - nobody uses them anymore but Jade has kept them out of nostalgia. They're sentimental like that.
"No," they say. They've smoothed all the maps out on the table tops, the dots and lines marking constellations and galaxies forming some huge elaborate puzzle. "Not within our range, and we wouldn't be able to land either."
Rust runs a hand through their hair. It's all too much - we're supposed to go down fighting, not be killed because we ran out of fuel faster than we calculated. It's all so stupid, so meaningless, so random.
I wonder how long it will be until they find us - a crew of five pirates in some far off galaxy away from home. I wonder how they'll tell my mom. Will it be years before the message gets back to Earth? Will she mourn my death long after my body has crumbled away? Will she mourn my death?
I remember watching movies and thinking how stupid it was when the heroes told their friends to "tell my mom I love her" but now it's all I want to do. I wish I had more time to argue and laugh and talk with her, even if I haven't seen her for forever. I wish I had clung onto her tighter instead of catching the train off Earth the first chance I got.
"How long do we have?" Rust says.
"A week, maybe?" Ochre replies. They've pulled up the paper records of our food and rations. "We don't have any time."
I sigh, putting my head in my hands.
I always knew I'd die young but not like this. I didn't think I'd get a hero's death - I wasn't really a good person and I bore no illusions that I was - but I was hoping for at least a villain's one.
"What do we do?" Rust is muttering, their face in their hands. "We don't have enough time."
Jade folds up their maps - there's nowhere to go, and Blue has come up from the engine room, shaking their head to indicate that they couldn't fix it.
Everyone is giving up, and I can't bear the looks of hopelessness and failure on their faces so I stand and leave the room, heading downstairs. I can hear them above me, arguing and pitching ideas and trying to think of something to do, but all I can think about is the note they'll send my mom:
"We regret to inform you that your child, Crimson, passed away. Their body was not recovered. You have our condolences."
All I can think about is her going to my funeral, having an empty coffin because our ship is so far out in space that it would be a waste of resources to try to salvage it, anyway.
From the place I'm sitting, I can see everything behind us. There's not much there
I never feared death - I feared waiting for it, and then being consumed and forgotten because of it. It would be stupid to waste energy fearing something that's always there and is completely inescapable.
Death is a constant. Death is the thing that you can feel in the way goosebumps prickle up your arms and your heart thumps too loudly. Death is the shadow lingering just around the corner.
Death isn't meant to be a waiting game, but I guess nothing ever goes as planned.