Tag Archives: loneliness

Proof of Life, Part 26

24 Sep

June 26, 2129

“I’m over eight years into this journey, Nassor. It’s been much harder than I expected. Because people make me nervous, I thought I’d be fine alone. Dr. Nwosu has helped me see that my avoidance is a coping strategy. I still need people to, well, avoid or push away. That makes me feel in control, I guess.” She sighed. “We still have lots of work to do. Sometimes, though, I worry that if she cures me too soon before I get back, I will go crazy from the solitude.”

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 16

28 Aug

March 9, 2126

Hidaya checked her ship’s link with Sci-Com 14, deployed ten days before. The link to the fully functional, fully powered satellite was strong. Before today, when she’d sent messages, she’d sent them straight to Sci-Com 1, which relayed them to Earth through some process she hadn’t been curious about. Now she wished she’d asked something about it.

“Memre’, can you send a message to Sci-Com 3?”

“Yes, Captain. I can program a message to stop at Sci-Com 3.”

“I don’t want the message to stop at Sci-Com 3. I want the message to go from Sci-Com 3 to the science outpost on Europa. Jupiter and its moons should be within reasonable com range for about the next eleven months.”

Hidaya knew she hadn’t programmed Memre’ to be curious, but she felt pressure to justify herself anyway. “Those scientists must feel almost as isolated as I do. I’d like to talk with them, maybe play a few strategy games.”

Memre’ spoke, “I found the command codes in the technical specs. I can get Sci-Com 3 to send messages to somewhere other than Sci-Com 2 or 4. I also found a clearance override so that Europa can access Sci-Com 3 to talk to us.”

“I hadn’t thought of that. Would talking with Europa compromise the security of the satellite system?”

“No, Captain. We can program the clearance override to apply only to the transmitter on Europa, only for this destination, and only for the time window you wish.”

Hidaya exhaled with relief. She wanted to try this, but not so badly that she would risk compromising the security of the whole project. “Then let’s do so.”