I’m so fucking tired of fire.
What a suffocating, depressing place, Io. Heaven for a geologist, maybe, but a real hell hole. When I got the news that I was being transferred to the Sub-Europan colony, it was hard to keep a straight face. I’ll be long gone before they figure out that I convinced the machine hive to give me a new assignment. Sorry boys. Eighteen months was exile enough. Time to get back to civilization. Whatever that means.
I’m not actually much of a geologist.
Artemis IV is beautiful. Cold and wet and white and blue and green. Perfect for someone who would die happy if she never touched (or smelled or even looked at) silicate again. When I was little, I thought a life in space and time would be exciting, sexy, something out of a Clarke or Heinlein novel. Eleven dimensions? Bring it on! Instead, I sit in a lab and hit rocks with hammers. Thanks Pop.
Don’t give me that shit! You’re telepathic!
I used to think it was cute, in a weird way, when she doubted herself. The way she would bite her lip and look up and to the left. After a while, though, it got kind of pathetic. Here I am, the fucking scientist, and she’s the one that thinks Mother has abandoned her. She talks to plants. She tells stories to children. Everyone on that ship loves her. Dammit, Aisling! Why didn’t you just ask me to stay?
No one owes you anything, Eriu.
My friends think I’m an asshole. I wouldn’t disagree with them. I do walk around like I am Mother’s gift to the universe, but who can blame me? We’ve reached this null point where everyone thinks they are a bad ass, and it’s just so boring. It’s all decay parties and neural interfaces. No one wants to touch each other. How do you find new ways of waking everyone up when nothing is forbidden anymore?
You don’t look a day over thirty.
I remember the invasion like it was yesterday. It was not just another day. Nine feet tall and that sickly blue color and they hid the Sun from us for forty days, because they could. Everyone forgets that now. Except for me, the six trillion dollar girl. Before they shipped him off to Dimension Nine, Kurzweil had some wild ideas about Nano, and about aging. He was right. No one knows that I’m ninety two years old.
To be continued …