Entry 2

 Dear Charlise, 

I remember the first time you told me about how you got into the space programme, the space station supervision and research team. Oh, lord am I thankful for that! I can recall you narrating me that moment you got the acceptance a scientist, on a space expedition. Little did you know that you would meet me. So now I write these letters to immortalise you in words and more. 

____

“Mum, I am going. I’m going to the outer space… No mum, we're a team of 5… YES, we have enough food for us on the craft… yes enough for four years mum. Don’t worry about me. I am Dr. Charlise Klompan Mum. Calm down.”

She will always worry about me. And why won’t she, not every day does your daughter go into a space research programme for four years. See my planet was one of the first in the galaxy to send a mother ship beyond habitation. Before us I have heard of the Frohkes* do it. we learn about different planets and their functioning in our schools. Evers since the contact with the Jykurs* was established 63 years ago all the planets have gotten closer. We learn about each other and share social networking sites, only a few of the planets have figured out a way to venture to another and make a safe return. We heard of a Otr* ship approaching us a few months ago but no contact was established and the ship was hence lost in a void. But it was our chance now.  Our planet has always been a bit different than others. At least I would like to think that. We are labelled as the “Tentacle beings” across the galaxy. We all have tentacles for our legs and we get our colour depending on the colour of out birth givers. My dad was hot red and mom a sky blue hence I am  purple. I have a slight tinge of pink between my purple tentacles, but no one ever notices it. I was a part of the slide and kick** team in school. Later I went to military school and joined the air force. Good thing that tentacles grow back, I have lost my fare share through my time in the service. Later I joined the research team for extra-terrestrials after I lost my father during an intergalactic war. The trauma of war was too heavy for me to return to the scene. After graduating as a data scientist and analyser, I joined the space research programme and now I’m on my way to the first ever cross planetary voyage of the Halmm*. It isn’t easy for us to launch this expedition, our centre star, Dahln is comparatively smaller than most you might know of. The solar power doesn’t work too well. So, we are generating it mostly from body excreta and tentacle fluids. 

We set to course today. Our ship has four floors of which only one is partially residential. I am in charge of engine mechanics and driven consoles. We don’t need to be at work and in attention 24 x 7. Just potential asteroid crash or abnormal gravitational pulls would make us run amuck. Roger and I had to research on normalisation of mid space residing and making travel to other planets faster. We are planning on exploring the universe and this was our first step to it. Daniella takes care of the vegetation room on the third floor which helps us produce and provide oxygen to the entire ship. She occasionally complains about how she is the only one person department on the whole ship. But all rest of us were engineers and she alone a botanist. Goliath and Franco keep track of full and energy consumption and attempt to minimise it for further mother ships. We all have our own thing to do around here. It was a paradise. 

It's been six months on the spacecraft now. Everything is running smoothly Goliath had an argument with Franco last week and they have decided to not communicate with each other. That is a hard thing for us all, considering Goliath only speaks Mathelian (native of the Mathela County) and Franco is the only one who speaks Mathelian and English, helping us translate with him. Our planet was never indigenous to English. We primarily spoke Mathelian, Domelar and Stanic in respective regions. But since our presidency announced our treaty with Earth on establishing expanding and enriching the relationship between the two planets, English has been made a language of local communication as earth is far bigger in size to our planet. We have a lot of time to ourselves. I would love to read in that time. I read some classics like Pride and Prejudice and The Great Gatsby. I would often quote it out loud to Roger while we would work together. At first he was annoyed by it, now he quotes them back to me. Am I making progress with making friends? This is what happens with forced friendships I guess. You don’t realise how important social life is until you have none. We have been communicating with the same four people every day, our coordinator once a week for updates and our families twice a week. With nothing much to do and no one more to talk with we have resorted to individual shifts on craft duties and see each other only on the weekends. We even put ourselves off the map grid on our wrist devices. Anytime we have to find the other we go to the control room. This makes the weekends exciting. We look forward to interactions. Time seems to be running like a fucking cheetah in this space craft. One year went by and we made it. ALIVE. We were celebrating our anniversary in space. They sent us a gift basket from the ground. We thought it was an asteroid approaching us and did not anticipate any kind of surprise. We blew it. We threw a grenade on it and blew it up to shreds. We spent the whole day decorating the meeting room with dried leaves and candy wrappers for our party. Oh, come on, we only had those for decorations. This isn’t a party bus. I was in the canteen to collect food for our dinner party and that’s when the ship went into a red alert lockdown. 24 hours ago, we had nothing in our radar that would make this emergency. In the midst of the red alert all the rooms went on auto shut, locking me in the canteen. I’m needed in the cockpit. We need to divert the ship. Avert the danger. And I’m stuck here. Even if we hit it I am nowhere near the escape pods. Because I’m stuck here. I don’t even know where everyone else is. My manual override won’t function. The door is jam shut, the red alert light and high beeping is not helping. And I’m stuck in here. 

The ship shook. I shook. The tables in the cafe toppled, the drinks spilled in all colours and the food scattered on the ground, with me having fallen unconscious among this. If I were to be pictured here it would look like a scene where the characters experience ecstasy and see colours, but with me it was literal.

I don’t know how long it took for me to wake up, make sense of the surrounding but when I did I was not the mother ship anymore. I was in a waste land. I ran to the control room. There were leaking pipes and damaged lights, hung out wires and deconstructed pathways. As I reached there I searched for my mates, sent them a signal to come see me. But their receptors were void. Are they in hiding? Did they die? Or worse. Did they escape, abandoning me in this hell hole. I ran to the basement to search for the escape pods. But the basement didn’t exist anymore. It was ripped off by the asteroid hit. Not just that the last floor was also ripped off with its ceiling. To redescribe the mother ship, it was two floors tall now, with the residential quarters and the storage and escape pod floors torn down and destroyed. One lady and two floors. Lucky for me I still had the vegetation floor. But besides oxygen this trees are no use to me. They can’t produce liquid for me to consume. I had to check the footage to see what had happened. What monstrosity hit us.

____

 It was soon time for us to meet dear. Very soon.

When I first saw, you I was breathless, now you are.

Love, Anastasia. 

 

*These are the names of other planets, not spelling errors. 

**It is a game close to football but with tentacles. 

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