Story by Geoff Tuffli
++++ DATE 4.4.2469
++++ TIME 23:01 MST
++++ LOCATION Waka Ama shipyards around Makemake, in the Kuiper Belt
Hannah Taylor scrunched up her nose, the combination of dust and bright light causing her eyes to water and threatening a sneeze. She glanced surreptitiously behind to reassure herself that the others were still following her. After concluding to her satisfaction that none of them were straggling too far behind, she pressed on through the dark access tunnel, the dull thrum of the life support systems here only a distant rumble.
"Tutae kuri," muttered Liam Walker. "How much farther are we going, Hannah?"
"Pissing already?" Hannah retorted.
"No," Liam. "I'm no quitter."
"Good. Because..." Hannah paused, stopping at a T-junction. She clipped the light to a service line and pressed her hands to the panel in front of her. Grimacing, she pushed harder, and it moved with a pop. "We're here," she said triumphantly. "Everyone in!"
"About time," a girl named Anahera Hineira Kaa Singh muttered under her breath. Hannah glared daggers at her, and Anahera wilted, looking down at her feet as she ducked into the small room beyond.
"I can't see anything," complained someone.
As the last of the small troupe pushed in, Hannah grabbed the light and stepped in herself, securing the panel behind them. She reaffixed the light to the low ceiling above them, looking around the group. "Well?" she said. "What do you think?"
"What is this place?" Anahera asked, eyes darting around the blackness.
Hannah shrugged. "An old storage room, probably. It doesn't matter."
"It's pressurized, though, isn't it?" Liam asked diffidently.
"Obviously. Or we'd be dead." Hannah looked around at the five of them - three boys, three girls, including herself. "Don't look so worried. Nobody will look for us. It's nightcycle, and everyone is asleep, anyways."
Anahera put down the blanket she was carrying, sitting down gingerly. "This was actually a pretty good idea, Hannah. But what now?"
Hannah tossed her head as she took her own seat. "We tell ghost stories. That's what you're supposed to do when you do things like this."
"There are no ghosts in space," Anahera scoffed.
"You're wrong," Hannah said. "Oh, I'm not saying any ghosts followed our grandparents and great-grandparents when they came here from Earth. But we have ghosts of our own out here. Haven't you ever heard your parents talk about the Kehua Woman?"