It is so hard to pack up and go — home? Back to Earth, anyhow.
Sixty sols — Mars days — ago, I was somebody important, tops in my discipline, brilliant astrophysicist, leading the pack, role model to all the chits who think there's nothing to life but keeping some guy's attention, yada yada ...
Shit, girl. I was nothing then.
Now? Walking, listening, conversating with the maybe hundred thousand years old Imstoshai, can't even tell us the answers cuz we don't know enough to ask the questions?
I am still nothing.
Except, they like me. They do!
When I told them it was time for me to go back to Earth, that the other scientists would keep the talks going, that I had to spend time with the children we are raising?
They went silent, got up and left.
Which is bad, the last time the Imstoshai did that was when we were talking with them about our terraforming project and said we couldn't just tell the Mars Inc earthrapers to stop.
Macbeth Birnam Woods kind of feeling, seeing all of these powerful beings that look like silver-leaf trees suddenly turn away together and leave.
We're getting used to them. The Imstoshai all seem to act as one, and they are very, very deliberate. They say they have been aware that we would be arriving for over a century and only recently decided that they should welcome us.
That's a good thing ! I'd rather not think of what they will do if they don't want us around. Pretty scary tech.
Gotta wake up the government, put a choke hold on Mars Inc before they push the Imstoshai too far. Colonization of Mars — not gonna happen, period. Trading notes with Archie the next team leader, he says that is going to be a brutal hard sell. Apparently Mars Inc owns our so-called elected reps.
He had some other words for Mars Inc, ugly ones.
You'd think a Detroit chit would have caught on to how bad things were getting! Lost in my own little bubble, I guess. Maybe I can do something when I get back to wake people up.
I was afraid the Imstoshai might not want me to leave, that it might take another hundred years for them to decide? But the family angle worked,raising kids is big for them, too. Sign of civilization, eh, how much of our effort goes into the next generation.
Some of the trees came to find me after the evening meal, though — me, personally! — and one of the Elders spoke to me, wanted me to know that the Imstoshai would accept my absence to see my kids and would work with the other scientists for now, but wanted to be sure I was cool with them insisting on my return.
Return? Hell, yes! Lars, the kids, yeah, I need to get with them, but I know that one day later I'll be looking up in the sky for a little red planet. I'll be back as soon as I can.
Hey, Detroit! They're calling a child of your streets the First Contact. Are you impressed?
Here on Mars, I feel like a little girl all dressed up and walking around a a party for grownups pretending I know what they're talking about.
Or maybe I'm not even a chit, maybe just a housebroken puppy to them? Doesn't matter, I love them to crazy.
So very, very, very glad that they care about me.
Gotta get packed, but I'll be coming back home to Mars as soon as I can!