She’d packed her duffel bag to the blaring intercom:

Temporary evacuation protocol. Temporary evacuation protocol.

They were never going to return. She knew that even as her mother reassured her they would be back very soon. Long lines of beings held all they could carry in their arms, tentacles, pouches, claws. They weren’t coming back. None of them were coming back.

Every child aboard the Intrepid knew the rules: no pets during evacuation. But she couldn’t leave him. She tucked him into one jelly shoe nestled in the top corner of her bag.

At least they could go forward together.