“Did you see any old friends when you were in transit?” asked Anya, not touching her drink. She’d been meeting Nic at the bar every day for a week, ever since he’d made planetfall. He’d been buying her drinks and they’d talk sometimes.
He winced as he swallowed the tart liquid in his beaker before putting it back down on the salvaged countertop. They were drinking a local brew, made from some bizarre flora that grew on this rock. He was sure after the first taste that he’d never get used to it.
“Why do you ask?” he said instead of answering.
She shrugged. “People see things. Even in cryo, the brain has a few decades to dream. To remember. People see things. Old friends. Even ghosts sometimes.” She ran her finger through the water droplets that formed around her cold glass, thinking. “I just wondered…” she said, her voice trailing off. “So. Did you?”
Nic slammed his drink back in one gulp and regretted doing it when his head went for a spin. He couldn’t dodge anymore. “No,” he told her. “I didn’t see anybody.”
Anya hung her head, frowning, then got up and kissed him on the cheek before walking out. Nic knew he should trust her and wasn’t really sure why he bothered lying. It’s just that this was the colony, not cryo anymore. And little Anya was very far away, dead and buried a hundred light years from here, back on earth.