It was a lengthy universal experiment, this traveling in zero-G ... even Lund and Kroger tried it, if only partially out of their seats; Ben and Kate held carefully to handholds, careful of transgressing that unspoken territorial limit in the cabin, but skylarked there like youngsters on holiday.
Even Banichi, which was the more remarkable, unbelted, and then the others did, but in his security Bren saw a purpose beyond curiosity ... Banichi's experiments were of measured force, push here, bounce there, back again; and Jago and Tano and Algini did much the same.
A pen sailed by on intercept, lost by a rueful translator forward, and Tano plucked it from space.
Narani was delighted, the servants likewise, laughing with the stewards.
Bren regarded them in slow revolution, wondering at what his mind knew, that they were all hurtling at very high speed.
"The station," Jase said, then, catching his sleeve, directing his attention toward the screens, where a gleam showed against all that blackness, where hull-shine dominated the camera. Banichi and Jago, then Tano and Algini, ceased their activity and focused their attention on that point of light, and after that the four of his security drifted together to talk, a conversation obscured in the thousand nattering systems that kept the shuttle from utter silence.
The cabin crew moved through again, this time horizontally, assessing the state of the passengers, returning Kate's pen. Later, over the general address, the steward admonished all of them: "Be cautious of releasing hard objects, nadiin, which might lodge in secret and become missiles during accelerations."
It occurred to Bren that he wouldn't want to contest with Banichi's mass in any free-fall encounter. And he didn't want to receive Kate's pen on the return, either.