“The main thing you worry about on a voyage like this is cabin fever.” Xavier indicated the crew compartment with a sweep of his hand.

“It’s tiny,” Magdalene said.

“They’re not paying us to haul passengers,” said Xavier. “Six months out, six months back. You get your own cabin and use of the common area. We have a net dump that you’re free to look through–read-only, I’m afraid–and a nice collection of games and videos we hold in common.”

“What if I don’t get along with someone?” said Magdelene.

“Then you damn well keep it to yourself. You put up with people you didn’t like every day in nursery school, why should it be any different when you’re an adult?”

“Well, for one thing, the pay’s better.”

Xavier laughed. “That’s the spirit. Keep it up. A little humor goes a long way, so long as you don’t start being like Ahmed and repeating the same damn joke a hundred times.”

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