Saturday, 14 May 2011


Planetside. Feeling slightly sick. Freya shudders under the grey sky. Damp air seeping through clothing designed for regulated atmosphere. She cannot help looking up, but it increases the need for her to vomit.

It has been sixty years, local time, since she was last here. Ten years for her. Nearly eight since she left the ship. The memory of wind and rain a shock. The stench of it dredging up names, faces, echoes of sunlight and games that she has long suppressed. She is crying.

The rows of tiny graveboxes stretches around her but she sees only the one in front of her, etched with tiny writing that draws water into its cracks making it deeper, darker. The name of Freya's sister. A date from five years ago.

Overhead jets scream. There is a dampened roar of missiles, the hum of drones. An explosion. This part of Freya's old home is tearing itself apart in a war she has no understanding of. She has no desire to understand it.

The pulsing of the paper in her hand distracts her. She raises it again, and agrees the acceptance of the message. The map of the graveyard disappears and the 4d starts to play. Her sister, looking so old, stares out. A smile touches her face.

-I didn't really believe you'd outlive me. Space is to dangerous, I thought. Even with all those extra years you are going to have. Trouble is starting here. But that's not what this is about. I'm dying. I know it. THe doctor tries to put on a brave face but I see it in her eyes. More certain than the talk of war.

She coughs.

-Stay. What ever is happening, please stay on the planet. I don't know why I am telling you this. But I know I have to. It is my one request. I know you have plenty of money. Stay, spend it. Find something useful to do that isn't staring into black.

Freya swipes the video away before her sister says any more.