David pulled the strap over his shoulder, then reached for the other one. He pulled it around, buckled the harness in front of him, and settled in.
He looked to his right. Pamela was buckling in, and he mentally undressed her through her space suit, the images from their training clear in his mind. She looked over at him and smiled, and he snapped out of it. He hoped she hadn’t caught him staring.
Looking to his left, David was met with Albert’s face. Albert was grinning. Clearly, David’s actions had been noticed. Luckily, Albert didn’t say anything. Behind them, the rustle of other passengers could be heard, some twenty-five all told.
The cabin speaker came on with a crackle. “This is your captain speaking. Welcome to the W.S.S. Low Prices, the first ever commercial space flight. We hope you’re all buckled in safely and ready to explore new worlds.” There was a sound like a switch being thrown, a mic being set down, then the captain’s voice, more distant, said, “And let’s hope to God this lowest bidder thing doesn’t make us blow up like the last one.”
The ship started to rumble, but the cabin was silent as the words sank in. Behind him, David heard someone try to unbuckle his belt, and someone else said, “Blow up? Shit, gotta get off!”
“Alright folks, we are taking off in 5, 4, 3…”
“Let us out!” The voice behind David screamed.
“1. Lift off.”
They were pushed back in their seats as the rockets fired.