At the end of the second week in the Space Station, Dr. Vellamy's graphs and tables on her computer actually looked like graphs and tables, not just lines. She had some proof that her being on the Space Station was actuallly beneficial.
Lately, she had been feeling a bit down. Dr. Fulton's engineering marvels were the talk of the Station, while the plants were just boring everyone. Yeah sure, they'd admit that the plants were most important, second only to their oxygen generator. But they were slow growing and still common sights, not new improved technologies.
A button flashed on her screen. She clicked it. It was a video message from the President. He stood behind a podium, with the National Symbol on a backdrop behind him.
"Greetings faithul scientists! This message is not, I'm afraid, hopeful. I am pleased you have communications with the Earth restored, but it allows me to send you bad news as well as good.
"We are experiencing horrible radiation rains. The people are staying inside on cloudy days, sirens blare constantly, and fear pervades the air.
"The forests are dying, the grass is brown, the fields have withered. We are importing as much food as we can, but soon the rains will reach those countries as well.
"I implore you to find a way to shield the radiation from our plants, absorb it from the soil itself, or develop more resistant strains. In many areas, the army is suited in haz-mat suits and handing out MREs to millions of starving people.
"We are counting on your continued herculean efforts up there! And we thanks you for everything you do!"
Dr. Vellamy sat back in her chair and blew out a huge breath, puffing our her cheeks. The door opened.
'Did you get the message?!" Dr. Branwick rushed in. Dr. Vellamy's heart leapt fromher chest.
"Dr. Branwick! you startled me!" She blushed furiously and looked at her shoes.
"Did you get the video from the President?" he repeated.
"Oh yes! I just watched it!" Her eyes lit up as she looked at him.
"I have an idea for a radioactive shielded greenhouse.."
"Oh that's wonderful!"
"Yeah! So I was wondering if you'd mind if I came down to set up a few things, maybe in a corner somewhere.."
'Oh sure! That would be great! Just, um, picka corner and I'll move things around!" Why was she so cheery and her voice so high pitched?
"Um, how about that one." He pointed after looking around for a minute.
"Perfect!" She smiled at him.
"Great! I'll be back tomorrow with a few things." He turned to leave.
"Bye!" Why did she say 'bye' like that?! Geez she had to get a grip if he was going to be working in her lab. Oh my gosh! Dr. Branwick was going to be working in her lab!
She got right to work moving the table of plants, crowding them among others, but still ensuring they would have ample light. She hummed to herself as she did it.