“I’ll do better in the morning.” The mantra sounds out over and over, simple and harmless, yet with the undercurrent of a desperate wish.

Sergey stares, unblinking, at the white-slick pristine ceiling. Mornings mean little in this place. It’s been three hundred eighty-five standard days in The Void. Time holds no meaning in this place, regardless of how human constructs attempt to bring order to the ungovernable.

A sudden tap on the porthole. Sergey ignores it — his mind is making things up. A second tap. Sergey sits up and meets the gaze of an ivory-pale, translucent woman. She holds up a communication device to the window and makes a familiar motion with her hand.

Pick up.