Tag Archives: botany

Proof of Life, Part 21

17 Sep

September 30, 2127

After deploying Sci-Com 21, Hidaya celebrated by making a salad with her new pepper cross, which had just reached maturity. It was a very pretty pepper: four inches long, tapered, yellow with orange streaks. She took a bite and chewed, concentrating on its flavor. When the pepper’s heat hit her, she gasped and tried water, lettuce, and then lentils to clean the capsaicin from her mouth. Her sinus passages opened, and tears streamed from her eyes. Her mouth went completely numb.

“Oh!” she moaned. “I don’t think botany is the right project for me.”


Proof of Life, Part 20

16 Sep

June 26, 2127

In her yearly video to Nassor, Hidaya admitted to an increasing sense of boredom and loneliness since cutting off communications with Europa. “It is a very strange feeling for me, Brother, to be craving the company of other people. I haven’t felt this way since Jamila’s wedding and the riot.” Her voice trailed away. Even now, forty years later, she refused to discuss what had happened. Instead, she changed the subject: “I took up plant breeding as a hobby and have bred one of my edible flowers in a different color. It tastes the same, but the color variety is nice. My next project involves crossing some peppers. I’d like to develop a variety that is both sweet and spicy.”

Proof of Life, Part 19

14 Sep

February 24, 2127

Hidaya said farewell to the scientists on Europa, claiming that she was heading back to Mars, her cargo hold full of valuable minerals. She had Memre’ close Europa’s access to the satellite and increase its security levels in case someone got the idea of trying to hack into it, as she claimed to have done. After triple checking Memre’s work on the satellite’s security system, Hidaya performed a thorough check of Motherlode’s bio, mechanical, and computer systems. All systems were in perfect working order. Nothing needed repair or attention. She worked on a needlework project for fifteen minutes before irritably tossing it aside.

“Memre’, I’m bored. I need a project that stretches my mind.”

“Have you considered botany?”


“Yes, Captain. You could try to cross pollinate different plants to produce new varieties. I have an introductory text available if you are interested.”

Hidaya considered the novel proposition for several minutes. “Okay, Memre’. Show me.”