Proof of Life, Part 8

16 Aug

June 27, 2122

Hidaya set up both a 3-D chessboard and a Go board for her planned video conference with Nassor. Today, Earth was closest in her orbit to the Motherlode’s outward path, and the siblings had arranged yearly video conferences to “test the satellites’ video capabilities” and to stay in touch. Even the new high-intensity science-communication satellites she was dropping behind her were limited by the speed of light, which they used to transmit information. The current one-way time delay was around 18 minutes. Communication was possible, but awkward without something else to pass the time.

“Habari, Hidaya!” Her brother’s deep voice greeted her a second before his hologram took shape in her cabin. “How is my image transmission?” he asked first, before launching into a nine-minute family news update.

When Nassor stopped talking and waved his right hand in a gesture that meant it was her turn, Hidaya responded, “I can see your hologram clearly. It formed up shortly after your initial greeting, but now it’s in sync with your voice. The communications satellite seems to be working well with the updates we made to my ship back at Phobos.” She made her initial moves on the two game boards and told Nassor about her trip so far. “My nightmares are gone completely, Brother! I haven’t had a single one in over two months, and I used to have them at least once a week! I told you not to worry. The solitude is obviously great for my psyche.” She talked about her gardens, her gaming, and her needlework for another 17 minutes before stopping and waving for Nassor to speak.

The two alternated monologues and game moves for several hours, and Hidaya closed out their meeting with the plea, “Please bring my nieces Aleah and Dafina with you next time. I don’t want to miss seeing them grow up entirely, Brother. Nakupenda.”

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