Le chapitre 46
She slowly exhaled and let her hands descend to their natural position. Her chin came up. She relaxed her core. She paid her compliments to her yoga class friends and went to log off the network. She had been relieved and excited to know that she could continue attending her yoga classes even though she was so remote. And those feelings continued even now. Her friends relished the opportunity to catch-up on what’s happening on the Moon. And with the virtually-headset she felt that she was actually sharing time with them. As long as she didn’t move her head to quickly she saw no blurring of the image. Of course yoga was all about slow, controlled motions so it wasn’t a problem. Xu happily sighed. Removed the headset. And sat down in front of the computer monitor to contemplate her next move.
In her mind she repeated the conversation she had had with Jean a few days before. From it, she had confirmed that both she and Jean were remarkably unchanged from the time before departing Earth. And neither of them thought the same of Desai and Valentina. Desai seemed to be a little more dominating, even aggressive. Valentina seemed slightly more absent. Xu wondered if being absent was a valid characteristic. Xu would share herself with her Earth-based friends during video classes and even with perfect strangers during telecons. This made her absent from the Hab. But she was always in the present and fully participating whenever conversing with any of her three colleagues. Yet as of late she saw Valentina often staring away into nothing. Even during the evening meals. Being designated as a quasi-mandatory attendance Xu would see Valentina’s presence drift away. Often Valentina would politely ask for the repeat of a question or comment, which Desai seemed only too eager to provide in what could be construed as a condescending attitude. These observations, though somewhat edited, were now in her weekly report to the board members on Earth. She had no compunction in telling the Board about equipment problems and supply issues. But she never imagined that personnel issues might come up. Their team had been selected so well that at their first meeting they felt like old friends. Through the training, the voyage and now the actual ‘being’ on the Moon they seemed to only grow closer. Part of her wondered if the arrival of Max, Valentina’s confidante, had begun some complication. “Well” she thought to herself, “speculating won’t solve anything”. She clicked on the SEND icon and her report was gone. She absently wondered if any of her three companions read the reports and if they might take offence at this one. She hoped not.
She relaxed further into her chair. She cleared her thoughts and slowly let her emotions come clearly into focus. She could sense the presence of her three friends; the one inside and the two outside. As usual, she couldn’t detect anything to warrant her concern. She pushed out. While she knew that there was no scientific basis for it, she believed that she would sense if a person were living at the Moon’s north pole. Their orbiting satellite clearly showed landscape changes and structural shapes she could detect nothing more. Apparently only robots moved there. More concerning was what she felt coming from their home world Earth. Again, she knew of no scientific rationale but she believed she could sense certain general feelings which she presumed came from all the people together. What had been continually surprising since her arrival on the Moon was the general sense of malaise with only some occasional spikes of optimism. It was as if the general populace realized that their life expectations were known and for the most part met in full. Their thoughts were as if each day was a pre-planned undertaking with scarce any room for novelty and excitement. Xu also wondered if she was putting more into something that wasn’t actually there. She sighed again and returned her attention to the present. She could only effect that which was at hand. With a certain contentment she refocused upon the day to day running of their facility.
Her meeting with the supply management team began in a few minutes and she needed to prepare.