Snippet #5


   Denton remained in the short-range shuttle as Winters walked over to the grave markers. She stood at the base of the outer “V”, looking at the name; Captain Ivan Pyrat. She knew that name, it was venerated, as if he was a holy man back when she studied at the Company’s flight facility. She studied all his writings and knew almost every detail of his life. How he had through sheer power of will beat out the out candidates for the captaincy of Vulcan-1. She memorized every transmission and log entry from the flight out, she felt as if she could see his ideas and ideals as both, the mission commander of the journey out to Mars and what he would have done as the first Commander of the first settlement on Mars. That job, which was and should have been his twenty-one years ago was now hers. She imagined him standing beside her now, as she had always felt that he had been over looking her shoulder on every command decision she made. She ran her hand over the lettering, and stood looking at it a few moments longer. Walking up to all the markers reading their names and in some way in the back of her mind she found herself not asking them not for guidance or help, but more for forgiveness for bringing so many people out here. She asked for forgiveness for breaking their solitude and for playing her part in changing Mars, their Mars forever.


   When she walked over to the marker for Catherine Denton, she felt that she could feel Denton looking at her from the cab of the shuttle. She felt that maybe, he felt she was violating this sacred area. She turned around to look at the shuttle, its landing and exterior lights were off and the cab lights showed Denton leaning forward, his elbows upon the control panel, his gloved hand clasped in front of his helmet. It looked to her like he was praying, and not looking at her. She walked around looking at each of the markers again, and then headed to back to the shuttle. After entering and sitting in the chair beside Denton for a few minutes in silence, he spoke up, “Well?”

   “They want me to do it, they are okay with it.”


One Response to “Snippet #5”

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