Star date 3300.5.5
Well, I did it. I took Jemma to Bitter Ridge and lowered her into the snow. After placing her ice axe, scanner, and the lone picture of her deceased son under her arms, I covered over the grave and placed a piece of metal paneling jutting from of the ground. I carved her name and yesterdays date into the side, although I’m not sure why. Who is ever going to see it besides me? Who in their right mind would ever come to this frozen wasteland? I though I would be more upset over her passing, but honestly? I’m kind of relieved. She was always in pain, always angry, and always complaining. I cared for her, sure, but was always concerned for her safety. Now, with her resting for eternity, I can breathe a bit better knowing she won’t be in danger. After arriving back to base, I hung my thermal suit on the closet and put on the only piece of formal attire I had, the uniform they made us wear at graduation. It’s purple, and not entirely comfortable, but it worked for the occasion. With the coffee bot, the food synthesizer, and the main computer, I gave the best eulogy I could.
“Jemma was many things,” the opening to my speech went. “She was a mother, a coworker, and the toughest lady I had ever met.” The coffee bot did a warble of agreement. Jemma liked to terrorize it for fun, and I could swear I could sense sarcasm in its beeps. “I’m sorry to say that she’s gone. That she is…no longer with us. Never again will we hear her guttural laugh in between sips of alien whiskey.” By then I was starting to get melancholy and wanted the ordeal to be over. “So, in honor of Jemma, I will make sure she is not forgotten. That any credit I make in finding a cure to the raging pestilence is shared between us.” My robotic audience erupted with excited warbles. Had they not been programmed to be so positive; I might have taken it as a compliment.
In any case, life goes on, eh? Back to the same grind, in the same shelter, on the same planet. When I woke up this morning it was snowing like crazy. I watched the flakes fall as I sipped my first cup of coffee and felt a sense of peace and contentment despite Jemma’s sad passing. I always loved winter. It does something for my soul, something soothing. It’s not just beautiful, but also silent. Growing up with severe anxiety, I found thunder to be so jarring, so triggering. In winter, there is no thunder. No loud booms in which to shock me awake. No flashes of light to startle me from my daydreams. Perhaps that’s one of the reasons I find it so comforting. Then there are the comforts that come with the season. A hot cup of cider as you sit fireside. The smell of wood smoke filling the air and settling on all your fuzzy sweaters. The games played in the powder, snowball fights and igloo making and the like. I think that’s the main reason I took this assignment, the constant winter weather. I could have chosen more active postings, postings within the core worlds but that’s always too high stress. Out here, its just me, robotic company excluded.
Ah, that’s the analyzer. It looks like it just finished its work on the batch of thorn kelp Jemma had gathered the day before her passing.
Computer, read off the results of the study.
“Yes, Jax. According to the analyzer, there are no compounds within the thorn kelp samples that would aid in the curing of the Galactic Plague. It did, however, find several compounds useful in fighting inflammation and fatigue.”
That’s about what I though. Thank you, computer. Go ahead and empty the analyzer so I can prepare the next batch of samples.”
“Clearing sample tray. Sample tray is ready for use.”
I swear if we ever find a cure it will be a miracle. This disease flies in the face of thousands of years of medical knowledge, of everything we thought we knew about contagions. Hmm, lets see if this clipping of ice shroom will fare any better.
Computer, begin analysis.
Oh, and raise the salinity of the soil in hydroponics. I noticed the last batch of snowtatoes were a bit off.
“Salinity will be raised by 0.5 percent”
Excellent. Now then, coffee bot!
Pour me a cup. I feel like watching the snow fall with something warm in my hands.
Until next time, this is Jax, singing off. ns184.108.40.206da2