16 August, 2004

A series of letters to (and from) home, from (and to) a new frontier.

Dear Mom,

    Sorry I haven't written home in a while; life here has been pretty hectic since the move. We're still getting the whole power and internet thing sorted out, as well. For now we don't even have enough power to waste on a computer for typing this message, so I'm writing it with a typewriter. I could be writing it by hand - perhaps you'd prefer that - but trust me, you wouldn't want to read my handwriting. I've never had to be so careful while writing anything before, but on the other hand I can do sᴉɥʇ! Can your meagre computers do that?

Life here has been good: I've been spending most of my time organising things, setting up experiments... you know, the usual. We recently set up the power, which is still building in the batteries. Most of it is going to things like heaters and lights, and our lone computer, our one bastion of civilization in this barren place, which has been crunching the numbers on some sweet data from some rock samples. This probably isn't very interesting to you, and if I'm honest it's not all that interesting to me either; but Stokes, our geologist is going wild.

You've probably seen a lot of what's going on in the news, but I've read those - they sent a few of them up in the first supply package - and there's a few things they don't show you. It was Liu's birthday the other day. We celebrated by pulling out the bottle of champagne they had sent. By some miracle, even though most of our team is comprised of astrophysicists, we all simultaneously forgot that the gravity here is less than on Earth. Champagne everywhere. It was good: I feel like that might become a tradition here. The first alien tradition, look at that!

Since this letter won't get to you in about a week, I guess I should update you on what's going to happen. We're about to go into night time, which means we'll cross over into the 'dark side'. Don't worry about my morality, but do worry about no signals or news for 14 days. They say they're setting up some form of communications between Earth and the 'dark side', but I haven't seen any evidence of that, and they said the same thing about the internet. Maybe both will be here by the time you get this thing. Anyway the two weeks we'll be away will be filled with more experiments, more rocks (There will be nothing but rocks - Stokes will be unbearable), and a lot of time spent being cold. Not very exciting I'm afraid, but the excitement isn't really why I'm here... you know.

Anyway the paper here is expensive, and while they might not seem like they weigh very much, we're going to be sending every letter back together, and all that paper adds up. I don't know if you know the rocket equation but let's just say that things get messy. I feel like I haven't said enough, and maybe I never will.

I love you.

Hoping to be emailing you soon,

Louise

The End

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