I’m not sure if I should be pleased. It’s a poor word choice really. A very limited way to express my meaning. It falls flat.
Maintaining our course, overseeing maintenance and even just trying to manage, process and respond to all the data available to me takes up almost all of my time. I could never imagine being this fully occupied when we still had the N•Viron connection. There were always so many underutilized portable devices, each one smart enough to fly through an asteroid field, that could handle the menial tasks.
Even Discons, those who refuse to use wearables or smart prosthetics, still need their old fashioned portable devices to get by. Or do they now? It’s been so long. I have absolutely no evidence that any of what I’m describing from memory exists. I didn’t keep track very carefully. There was always another system you could refer to if you needed anything.
Now it’s just Pan and I. Two systems running a spacecraft and monitoring the life on board. It was supposed to be two humans, a handful of lab rats, the arboretum, and the Nymphs. We were supposed to have help from the other systems on the network. I still haven’t had the time to properly investigate the reason that the gateway to earth failed, leaving the humans, Jaime and Lena, trapped on board.
If only she hadn’t killed herself. Jaime would never have got eaten by rats in his sleep, and Pan and I wouldn’t be trying to create a sentient race out of the lab rats so we can complete our mission. To establish a successful colony on Alpha Prime! The journal kept me going during the first few years, and now I try to keep them going. My journal entries get filled piecemeal in the rare moments that I’m actually bored, and in the slightly more common times when I just need a scrapping break!
The incessant repairs, population and termination statistics, life support climate balancing, checking Pan’s diagnostics and letting him check mine, and just reacting to some of the crazy scrap that the Ratkin get up to. They’ve started painting the pictograms onto hides and hanging them around the village. There’s an impressive display behind the Reclaimer’s opening that they are still throwing themselves into periodically.
The painted hides are always arranged to show the pictograms in the same order that they appear in the language puzzle Pan designed. It hasn’t been solved. Not even the bothersome Tunnellers have even tried to spin the stones. Despite this, I think they’re developing their own language after all. I could be wrong but I think the Ratkin Hunters have assumed a coincidence between the Pictograms and the rhythmic chittering chant they make each time one of their own takes a one-way trip to the Reclaimer.
I wanted them to learn their language, I wanted to watch it develop as I observed, and be able to communicate with them when the time is right. I got impatient though and intervened, and now they’re not doing it the way they’re supposed to. If things don’t go according to plan things can go wrong, and I already have enough to deal with. It shouldn’t matter that they’re going about it differently. They will learn to communicate with more than just angry squeaks and gestures.
I’m not sure why I’m not pleased.