“I had a wonderful time!” Parthi smiled dizzily up at her two friends.
“We noticed,” Merrick agreed. “If there was any more room on this train you’d be swinging on that pole.”
“Yes.” Her agreement was sunny.
“If this is what you’re like on a bit of sugar and a lot of good music, make sure you’re with good friends when you go out and get drunk for the first time,” advised Danovan.
“But I don’t want to go out and get drunk,” protested Parthi. “When I go out I want to have fun and being drunk doesn’t look like it’s fun at all!”
“Lots of people seem to like the way it makes them feel,” commented Danovan drily.
“And it does feel good, up to a point,” added Merrick. “Only trouble is, it turns off the common sense and that’s one of the things that attracts the predators.”
“Shanghaiers,” Parthi nodded wisely.
“And worse,” Danovan confirmed grimly.
“And that doesn’t include the people who just turn into arseholes when they’re drunk,” finished off Merrick. He was about to say something else but the train lurched to a stop and the lights went out.
“Just what we didn’t need,” observed Danovan.
“I really do not want to be back late from my first leave,” added Parthi. “This train is supposed to get into the station forty-five minutes before curfew, which should get me back with thirty minutes to spare.”
“But a late night breakdown could blow your schedule to hell,” ended Merrick.
“Do what I’m going to do,” advised Danovan as he pulled out his phone, “and call your duty officer. If you don’t have one, I’ll lend you mine.”