<< BACK TO RS001 LOG From: Chris Maldonado
To: Sameen Lee To: Amelia Nine Delivered-To: Sameen Lee Received: from relay3.qec1.rs001.l4.earthsys.gov by mta1.recoveryinstitute.org with ESMTPS id a9goqf93983g45uuyp for Received: from relay6.qec7.ganymede.earthsys.gov by relay3.qec1.rs001.l4.earthsys.gov Received: from qec6.helio.earthsys.gov by relay6.qec7.ganymede.earthsys.gov Received: from qec.sv14417 by qec6.helio.earthsys.gov Date-Local: 3 Apr 2419 23:42:19 +0000 Date: 17 Sep 2421 22:18:19 +0000 Subject: So excited to be part of things again! Content-Type: text/plain; charset="utf8" Hi, Sam! Hi, Lia! (Sam mentioned you were coming to see her at L1 - so happy for you both! Are you there yet? I'm sending this to you directly, so you'll still get it either way.) The last day and a half has been amazing! I'm working hard to help build our new bio lab, and it's going really well, even when everyone else is in bed and I'm working all on my own. Eve made me stop a few hours ago, though, and told me very firmly to get some sleep. But I'm not tired! So I thought I'd write some more to you. You know, I never realized just how big Voortrekker was? We had plenty of holos and everything, but I never really got to see her from outside. Even when they shuttled us aboard, there was only the one port about the size of my hand, and I wasn't sitting anywhere near it anyway. But she's huge! Even now, after the crash, it took us a good few minutes to abseil down from the hull. That was scary, but also a lot of fun! Easier than I thought it'd be with the gravity here, too. But I was still glad to be done by the time we finally got to the ground. Director Soloviev and Eve met us there. Eve had water for both of us, and we were glad she did! But trust her to think of something like that - she's our senior surviving doctor. And she's changed like I have, too! Well, not exactly like. She was tall even before the change, and her new legs must be twice as long as mine. She towered over all of us, even Director Soloviev, and he's got to be close to two meters. I never had the courage to really try to talk with her, even back before, and now? I could barely even say hello! Lucky me, the Director started talking before I could embarrass myself. He shook my hand - didn't hesitate, either, which made me feel good - welcomed me back, said he was glad to see me up and on my feet again, and did I feel up to getting back to work? That was when I found out about the new bio lab, and of course I volunteered for that right away, and we got into what we had and what we needed, who to talk with about fetching things from the ship, and so on. About the Director - I think he really has changed. Back on the ship, he was never rude or anything, but he always seemed like he was incredibly busy. You never saw him in any of the crew common areas, except passing through, and when you talked to him it was like he already had twenty things to deal with in the next hour and he was really hoping you weren't going to become number twenty-one. But on Saturday he was actually smiling! Like he was genuinely glad to see me, and we never passed more than a half dozen words at a time on the ship. He asked me twice if I was sure I was ready to work, and told me to take all the time I needed if I wasn't! I've asked around a little, and I'm not the only one who thinks he's different now. I don't know if it's just the crash and the bug, or if there's something else going on, but either way I feel a lot better about him than I used to, and I'm glad. Eve stopped us before we could get too far into making plans. It was all very well getting me back to work, she said, but I'd changed more than anyone else, and I wasn't going anywhere right now but straight to her infirmary so she could make sure I was healthy and likely to stay that way. The Director said of course, and I knew they were right but I still asked if that could wait. If it could wait until it'd be someone else and not Eve doing the exam, I meant! But I didn't really see how I could say so, and professionally, I knew she was best qualified to do it. Just - she's devastating, and I knew I was already blushing, and...you both know how I get. And in any case, Jen was already saying something to the Director about some kind of engineering problem and did he have half an hour right now to talk about that, so it was too late to find any excuses there. Eve was very good about it, though. She managed to make me reasonably comfortable by the time we got back to the hab. And it turned out delaying wouldn't have helped anyway! She's making a study of all of us who've changed, gathering data and working to find out whether there's anything we especially need to worry about. You know, basic research. Which is what I should've been thinking about, too, instead of getting all nervous about - I mean, I know it's just a regular thing, but it was my first time! But Eve understood and gave me what I guess was the same advice she'd give anyone, and it wasn't actually bad, just a little uncomfortable. (Go ahead, laugh, it's okay! I am too.) She gave me a clean bill of health, anyway. We talked some about karyotyping me, but as I said before, it'll have to wait a little while. Then she told me where to find the bio team and turned me loose, and I don't mind admitting that even if it had gone better than I'd expected, I was still a little glad to get out of there before I said something silly. We're putting the bio lab right near the infirmary, since there'll be a lot of overlap especially at first, and I found Nandi there. You remember Nandi - chief of the biology section, I'm sure I mentioned her a couple of times at least while we were on the ship? She'd heard about me from Jen, but I hadn't even known she survived! We were really happy to see each other, too. She's got less time for nonsense than almost anyone, but I like her pretty well, and I think she must be one of the smartest people I've ever worked with. Once we'd got done catching up, she assigned me to cytology, since I did some of the initial work with the Ross bug, and we tried calling Gareth, who's keeping track of the fetch teams. Hand unit comms have been spotty, though, and we couldn't get through, but Nandi said she thought he was in hydro and sent me after him there. Our hydro farms are clear on the other side of the hab from where we're doing bio. That's not great, but this place went up in a hurry, and there was nowhere closer with enough space and water supply. On the way there, I passed through the refectory, and - it's not a large space, but I just had to stop for a minute and take it in, because it felt like half the colony was there or passing through. People talking and eating, people moving gear and supplies to where they needed to be, stopping to chat, planning where to put up more hab space, planning how to start breaking down debris for usable scrap, planning studies and experiments to start really understanding what sort of planet we've got to work with here - I even saw a couple more of us who've changed - and... I know, it doesn't sound like anything especially amazing, just what a working colony is supposed to be. But that's amazing all by itself! Remember, when I went down, we were still struggling to keep people alive (so I thought) and nobody except maybe Director Soloviev and the section heads were thinking more than a day ahead, at most. I hadn't been there when that changed - when people started coming out of it, when everyone realized that no one was going to die and there was time to start building what we came here to build. By the time I got here, everyone was already hard at work, and I was a little ashamed I'd been off hiding, scared of what people would think of me, while everyone else had been doing all this. But more than that, I was so proud just to be here, to be part of it all! And I decided that I'm all done with letting everyone down. Yes, I've changed. Yes, I was scared. Yes, I wasn't quite right for the first little while there. But I'm not scared any more, and I'm all right now. And for all that Jen and everyone - even the Director - have been very kind, it's time I start contributing instead of being carried. So I got back to finding Gareth, who wasn't in hydro after all. Letsie was, though, and he said I might want to try the botany lab, which at least was pretty close. I know, this is sounding more and more like a scavenger hunt! But that's just what it's like right now, and it's actually not so bad. We're so small that everyone is mostly pretty easy to find, and it's actually sort of fun in a way! In the ship, our different groups and sections tended to stick pretty close for the most part, just because of the way the shifts were set up and everything - oh, we all had friends and people we were close with in other departments, but they were the exception. Here, for all that we're each still absorbed in our own work, everyone's still part of everything. Even me! Anyway, I did finally find Gareth in botany, and he and I and Elva found out some things that...I'm honestly still not sure what to think, whether I should be afraid or amazed or both at once. I think I'm both at once. But I'd better pick that up next time, because if I start talking about it now I really will be up all night, and I should at least try to get some sleep if I can. Even if I don't feel like I need it! I'm sure Eve will ask me tomorrow, and she'll be very disappointed with me if I didn't at least try. So I'm going to send this, and then I'm going to stretch out in my bunk here and see if I can't remember what it feels like to be snuggled up between the two of you. If that doesn't help me sleep, nothing will! I'll write again as soon as I can. In the meantime, I love you both and miss you, and I can't wait to hear from you! Yours with love as always - Kit.