Proof of Life, Part 5

10 Aug

November 8, 2121
Hidaya decided the crew leader’s promise of “three months more or less” must be contractor code for twice that. The three months had stretched to six, but finally the mechanical mods to her ship were finished. Captain Tsuvecki had spent the interval gathering supplies. When personal interaction became overwhelming, she holed up in her rented room, reading everything she could find on the solar system beyond the asteroid belt.

She’d filled numerous storage devices with various forms of entertainment and exercise programs. To her delight, she found a small shop in Falcon City that sold embroidery threads and needles. Needlework was a convenient hobby for a space captain because the supplies were light and took up little space.

The up side to the agonizing wait was that the abbey had been able to prepare everything Captain Tsuvecki wanted for her bio-garden. Over the next week, they would set up the plants and starts in the ship garden. One of the monks even had four small tea plants that were responding well to low and zero-G conditions. He included one in her consignment on the condition she make regular reports on the plant’s progress. Hidaya promised eagerly. A pouch of hot tea even once a month would be heavenly!

She carefully stored away seeds, water additives, and nutritional supplements as the monks worked on the garden. She double and triple checked the sci-com satellites that she would deploy along the way, and ran system checks with Memre’. They made sure the AI’s data banks were fully functional, were virus-free, and contained all the information necessary for the trip.

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