Sunday, February 10, 2013

A Message for Grace (the Eve of Europa)

by AJ Snook

Oh Grace, I’m not sure if you’ll recognize my voice. After all, it’s been 125 years. I had to get in touch with you the old way, by voice mail, mainly due to resources, for I’m far, far away and haven’t a clue if this’ll ever reach you. I lost everything, Grace. My family, my friends, my world. We all did. But I’m alive, and these machines, inside and out, are assured to keep my body, my mind, and hopefully my soul too, going on indefinitely save for an unforeseen cataclysm, but the stars know we’ve all already survived enough of those.

So when I woke up here, alone on this deserted and unfinished colony, the pod that got me here damaged beyond repair, I looked in the mirror and saw this youthful form to be a cruel twist of irony. This is one of those times when decay seems more prescient than everlasting life. I’ve nobody to share my beating heart with, and I can’t convince the survivors nestled in Rheita valley, or those in the shadows of the red mountains, to make the risky five year trip to be with me, a lone and stranded stranger with few resources. While I was in cryosleep they started their lives anew, began the first families after the most recent war to end all others. All of those who remain, as far as I’ve learned, are there, close to our irradiated once-home. Are you there with them? Oh please be with them, oh Grace.

Their messages take ten hours to reach me. Though fine gestures, holograms aren’t warm, dear Grace. Their glow is a fraction of what yours once was. I found your old website from back before all the craziness. You ran a peace organization. More irony. How quaint and innocent those times once were. If you receive this and are like me, immortally lonely, and if you think it might be possible to exist together happily, maybe we can find a way to reboot what we once had, and down the road, who knows, our imperfect race, too.

Oh Grace, according to the old norms I’ve lived multiple lives, some of them good. Many recollections have dropped out of this old head to make room for the new, but something miraculous and magical, something science still can’t measure -- call it will, hunger, desperation, or desire -- kept the memories of you intact. From my vantage point, if you’re out there, if you receive this call -- a chance in ten million, yes -- but if this inestimably screwball universe can find a way to put us together before I lose it and dance a naked waltz out into the dark vacuum, I’ll call it evolution, a surge forward for those still left. I’ll call it destiny, oh Grace. I’ll call it proof there is more to all of this than meat, metal and megabytes. And for that proof I’ll wait...

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