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“Hello there.” a short haired dark skinned young man with an accent that sounded almost British woke her from her fascination for the flowers.

“Hi.” she replied bedazzled.

“I’m Jacob Charles, Botanist and Bioengineer. May I ask who you are?”

Nye shook her head, bright brown locks curled and uncurled around her face. “Nye, Nye Monroe. Astrophysicist, working in probe control.”

Jacob stretched forth his hand. “In that case, pleased to meet you Doctor.”

“Like wise, Doctor.” she shyly shook his hand, slightly blushing.

“I work to keep all these plants blooming, producing oxygen, having seeds and in some cases fruit.”

Fruit! Nye died a little inside, it had been a long time since she had a real fruit. Most of the rations aboard the Explorer were dishes derived from Algae. Once every fortnight there was meat.

Lab-grown, from stemcells. Even vegetarians couldn’t deny it was clean meat, without any bloodshed. “Fruit?”

“Yeah.” Jacob smiled. “Enough for a raffle this harvest.”

“You’re kidding right?” Nye shifted to one side, calling for the tube once more. “I’m afraid I am not. Why don’t you meet me for lunch today and I’ll show you?”

Smooth.

“Alright. Where and when?”

“Half past twelve, I’ll pick you up at this spot?” Squinting her eyes at the bio engineer she bit her lower lip. “Alrighty then. It’s a date.” Did I just say that it is a date? Still biting her lip, Nye entered the tube. She typed in her destination, looking up from the mounted display she noticed Jacob staring after her, his dark eyes seemed like molten pools of chocolate beckoning her to drown in them. Again she felt the heat of a blush on her cheeks. “Until then.” she smiled. Chocolate? This isn’t high school! Have I reverted to teenage girl?

In silence the roomy cab rushed through the vacuum tubes horizontally at first, then turning to vertical movement, and again horizontally rushing in magnetic suspension towards probe control.

 

Roughly fifty years had passed since the neutron star was discovered. Twenty years had gone by until a series of probes had been shot out into space, twenty years in which the hunt for a new earth was on.

Eventually RV-p 296 had been discovered.

The probes were sent. Highly sophisticated machines, small arks themselves. Orbiter, landing crafts. But they were accelerated in a haste that no human could’ve survived it, were one to fit aboard one of the probes.

 

Thirty years had gone into construction of the Explorer, the Horizon and the Destiny. To be launched five years apart. Each with three major rings.

Nye lived, worked and was counseled on the beta ring. There were two additional smaller rings in front of the ship and on its rear, sub alpha and sub gamma. They housed military personnel, Hospitals, and the command centers for the exodus mission. Although the ships functioned as democracies, elected officials from the separate main rings as ruling body, the commanders could veto their decisions if necessary.

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