At seven in the morning Jenny wakes Wendy, who protests less then the day before though she is still slow to rise. Breakfast waits for her but she bypasses it and jumps in the shower, taking her time to fully wake up before stepping out and getting breakfast. This time the mush tastes like bananas, not that she is going to complain but she thinks about spitting it out and demanding something different before recalling that the green house is not yet full of edible plants for her to choose from. After finishing the mush and banishing the bowl to wherever Jenny takes them after a meal she goes to the terminal and pulls up the messages, still so many left unread but she disregards them, assuming she knows what they say and they are out dated anyway.
Wendy, in three days there will be a shuttle arriving, it was sent to collect samples from you and your team and was sent a few days before your historic transport. Please collect samples from all plants surrounding your research station and send them back to us. Note that there will be many slots for samples, don’t worry about filling them all, we had counted on you and the whole team being there and meeting the shuttle with samples. Stay safe, weather reports do not indicate anything is amiss, but things can change quickly.
“Fine fine, will do.” She sighs, after so much time outside the idea of going back is less fun and exciting. She pulls the suit on quickly and goes into the airlock, the air is vented and she is allowed outside the station. She grabs the carrying case, pulls out the other days samples, and safely stores them in the storage cube before going out. She looks around, there are few plants and most look identical to the one from yesterday but following orders she goes to each and collects samples, deciding last minute to label which one should be paired with which before returning the storage box. She carefully fits all the samples in the carrying box before going inside, everything happens in reverse order and she is struck by the monotony of her job. With a heavy sigh she strips off the suit and goes back to the shower, this time opting to fill the small tub with water and soak in it with her eyes closed in silence.
“Wendy, you have a message from your sister.” Jenny’s voice finally cut in, bringing her out of her silent meditation. Suddenly the water feels very cold and Wendy is happy to climb out and redress before going to the terminal and hitting play on the message already brought up.
“Hey Wendy, I’m sorry to hear that you’re lonely, don’t worry we’ll be out there soon. They think found the problem that caused the first malfunction, so after they get it fixed we’ll be off to meet you. I heard you suffered through a dust storm? What was that like? I bet it was scary, I think I’d be scared if my generator went out and I was told not to go outside. You’ve always been the brave one though. Be safe, see you real soon.”
“Jenny, record response.”
“It wasn’t that bad, the power went out a few times, but nothing terrifying. I miss you and the team… Well not James but its too late to get him thrown off the team.” She laughs and sighs “They updated Jenny so she’s more realistic. Still just a sound wave on a screen though, maybe the next update will be a face. I hope you make it here safe and sound. I got pretty banged up on my trip here. See you soon.”
“What else is there to do today?”
“You have no further orders.” Jenny speaks, almost with a sigh as though the AI is bored of this as well.
“I see, well… I guess I’ll just read. Maybe I’ll have it finished for when Darbi gets here. So she can have it back.”
“I think she would like that.” Wendy smiles at the terminal before rising and getting her book. “Where will you read today?”
“In the greenhouse, it seems so peaceful in there. Perfect for reading.”
“Notify me if you need anything.”
“No, just quiet time.” Wendy’s smile grows wider, she quickly pads to the greenhouse, choosing to sit on the potting table where there is nothing growing before opening her book to the marked page and getting engrossed in the story for hours on end. Jenny’s soft voice barely interrupting her concentration when announcing dinner, but it is enough to make her close the book and eat before returning to it and pushing through Jenny’s recommendation to sleep to finish it.
“I will wake you at the same time tomorrow, regardless.” The voice warns as Wendy yawns and crawls into bed.
“That’s fine, I need to be at the shuttle sight anyway. Oh, speaking of which, ask for the coordinates for me? They didn’t include them in the message this morning.”
“I will, not you must sleep else you will not wake on time tomorrow.” The room goes black and Wendy lays back staring at the ceiling for what feels like hours on end till finally her mind calms enough for her to relax and sleep.