by D.J. Sylvis
Broadcasting. This is Roger Bragado-Fischer, Communications, Moonbase Theta. The date is November 10, 2098; the time is 23:45. Temperatures are within average for light phase.
Six. Six weeks left. Six weeks and counting down.
I’m taking a break to send this before we move the Helium storage tanks back underground. Your message was fragmented and took some time to piece together, but the gist was received, that the rocket has been delayed due to the same solar flares we warned of a week ago. We’ll proceed to the backup plan for next week, November 17th. Ashwini has confirmed that, based on their analysis, the flares should be diminishing by that time. Helium-3 storage tanks will be at capacity.
Please be sure to inform Nessa’s family of the delay.
I did review your questions … regarding last week. I’ll answer only for myself. I did not witness any of the initial events personally; I was on my free shift inside the Base, assisting Ashwini. When the emergency alarm sounded, we ran for our suits and the airlock, but by the time we’d made it to the mining tubes, Wilder was ordering us back for safety’s sake.
Michell felt the need to echo that order, as if we’d … as if there were any need for their presence at all. Why were they even – everywhere they go, they’re in the corner observing. Not assisting, not participating … until something’s already gone wrong. What do they add to this process? There’s five extant crew members, what essential service do they provide? Four … four crew members.
Wilder ordered us back. I didn’t even see … anything. I thanked them for that after. That was my entire experience of the events until the …until Nessa was recovered.
I don’t believe anyone will be providing a full moment by moment report. Wilder has already supplied the details they were able, and is currently recovering from injuries suffered during the … event. Incident. Accident.
What I can provide … the following was my contribution to the memorial we held on the surface two evenings ago.
When I think of Nessa Cheong, it’s not as my friend, though they certainly were … without their friendship the moon would have been so much colder. I don’t think of them as my colleague, though without them, particularly in recent weeks, the project would have fallen to pieces. Not even as the bright, enthusiastic novice I met during our training cycle on Earth, though I was impressed by their … brilliance and energy even then.
I remember Nessa surrounded by growing things, not because that was their job; it was more of an extension of their personality. I remember Nessa as a growing thing, dug into the soil, arms spread like branches to embrace as much of life as they could possibly hold. I remember Nessa as … life, green and vibrant, drinking deep and sending goodness through the air.
It’s a known fact that all the energies in our bodies belong to the universe, originated in the stars and return there as we drift apart. I found a poem I wanted to read, written by Rainer Maria Rilke, but somehow direct from my heart:
Do you still remember: falling stars,
how they leapt slantwise through the sky
like horses over suddenly held-out hurdles
of our wishes—did we have so many?—
for stars, innumerable, leapt everywhere;
almost every gaze upward became
wedded to the swift hazard of their play,
and our heart felt like a single thing
beneath that vast disintegration of their brilliance—
and was whole, as if it would survive them!
Personal message. To Alexandre … I didn’t receive anything from you this week. It must have been sent, just … technical difficulties, I’m sure an engineer will understand. I don’t know how much anyone tells you, from the company or otherwise, but up here we suffered a great loss. Someone who … made this a better place to be. The moon, the world, the universe. I wish you’d had the chance to know them. I wish they’d had the chance to know you … for you do just the same to my world. I love you so much. If they’ll allow it, please visit the Cheong family and tell them … give them my thoughts.
Moonbase Theta, out.