ESD May 2nd, 2629

Malinowski Research Station, Trobriand Sector, Ryosh c

Ryosh System


You ever feel like you have no right to feel the feelings that you do? Is that even a good way to put that? Probably not. Like you’re mad at something or someone for such a wide variety of reasons that you can’t even put it into words and if you did, they’d be wondering where exactly you got off for doing so. I wouldn’t say I’m mad, really. There’s nothing in particular to be mad about here on this little paradise planet, which is the best working vacation anyone in human space could sign up for. Right? So then why are so many things just not sitting right with me these days?

For instance. I’m walking back from the kitchen this morning and I overhear Simon [20] going on about how he and Len are so lucky because some upstanding Metropolis citizen made a big show about donating their body to science so that we could study them. Should I have been jumping for joy or something? Probably, right? I mean, I don’t think I’d be first in line to donate my mortal remains to some alien anatomists for the old poke-and-prod. Maybe that’s why the Ryoshi lining up in front of me haven’t been able to turn me around yet. Probably some karma shit or something.

Did I not read enough articles on the trip here? Was the exact reference or case study I needed to piece all this together just discussed entirely by coincidence in that one linguistics lecture I skipped to go out and see Mayu before she left for the field, back when I’d still thought that that relationship was a good idea? Who knows. I sure don’t and instead, I’m stuck here trying to figure out whether I feel like an imposter because everyone does or because I really am a hack in amongst all these seasoned pros. That or I get myself all worked up and self-righteous about how I’ve been thrown off the deepest of the deep ends involved in first contact. I can’t exactly put my work under a literal microscope and clear the whole thing up just like that, can I?

Mostly, I think what gets me is that I know what I should be doing—facilitating interspecies communication with the first extraterrestrial species worth talking to—and the fact that it feels like I’m hitting a brick wall leaves me with nothing much to do but read and postulate. Sure, we’ve been doing field studies and attempts at interviews, but there’s only so far those can take us without reflection time. Turns out it’s a lot of reflection time, so much so that I look over at everyone else and it seems like they’re just cranking out career-making work at a breakneck pace. I keep having to reassure myself that I’ve done big things too, maybe just not at the moment, which is pretty stupid when I think about it. Am I not doing a big thing right now just by being here?

I am. Yes, I am. I am also ready to kick this thing’s ass.

[20] Simon Božić (2608- ), physiology team graduate assistant.


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