"The Endless Days"
It could have been Monday, maybe Tuesday; when traveling through space it doesn’t really matter. It certainly felt like the beginning of the week, though. Clinging to some irrelevant measure of time just made Kye Sangha feel worse… ‘days of the week’ are meaningless out here and she resented being reminded to keep track of them in her corporate Explorer’s journal.
The endless fields of stars and the eternally bleeping lights from the control panel’s dumbed-down intuitive interface leave an ache in her atrophying muscles as she feels her bones steadily become more irreparably hollow and brittle the longer she stays in space.
It’s all time and pain and monotony.
Being so long removed from the Earth’s consistent orbit around the sun with the corresponding night and day, Kye’s body was no longer chained to a 24 hour sleep schedule. She mapped and categorized the various mineral deposits throughout the galaxy until she was tired, and then she slept until she woke up.
The Official Standards and Guidelines of Living and Working in Space recommend keeping to an Earth-like schedule even when light years away, but defying that was Kye’s tiny rebellion against millions of years of evolution on that prison planet. And there’s no one around to make her feel awkward for it.
Intellectually, she knows all of the money she is earning out here is going for her family back home, but at this point that hardly seems real. Memories of them are more like an almost forgotten dream… she can feel their existence in her mind but the details are fuzzy.
If she manages to not get killed by space debris and can somehow make it back to Earth a few decades from now, Kye will need one of those robotic braces so her withered legs can ever stand again. She bets her kids will think those are cool, too.
Kids are idiots.
Of course, they’re not kids anymore… not for long time now. Ah, well.
So many dead planets, so many dead civilizations now withered away into dust and minerals, all of them filled with families and friends and happiness and hate… she wonders if they knew they weren’t special. That their world would be gone someday, their memories forgotten and lost.
And what are the odds that Earth will be that special world that lasts? It’s just not realistic.
Earth will be a lifeless rock like the rest of them, to be discovered by some future Alien explorer someday, and Kye hopes that at the very least our remains and minerals serves them well.
Kye cheats and glances at what time it is back on Earth— 11 A.M. She pictures everyone doing all sorts of 11 A.M types of things, and decides that she will just get some sleep.
(HAPPY BIRTHDAY to the amazing and talented Kye Sangha of Whimsicalbeast.com!)
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