S1E22 - Love Letters - The Way That Numbers Grow
There is, unfortunately, no escaping physics bound.Speaker B:
By the speed of light.Speaker A:
Even information must take its time to get birds going, and as we move farther into the void, that time grows until the distance becomes unspeakable.Speaker C:
I am so, so sorry, EOS. I could have sworn I sent off a quick message to you before I left, but maybe the upload fail, or it got lost in the relay or something. I barely had time to pack my bags, but I should have waited long enough to make sure it went through, especially with how much longer it's been taking. I'm so sorry. So I know I told you months and months ago about that research retreat opportunity, the one about the soil composition. They had all filled up, but they suddenly had someone pull out last minute and invited me to come. I'm so thankful for the opportunity, but it meant that I barely had time to get everything in order here and make sure that all of my normal work was going to be covered, but I couldn't pass it up. It was incredible. I'm sure it would be very boring to most people. But a deep dive into soil composition with a focus on how different regions on Earth or on stations and artificial gravity environments can impact that. I mean, we are only just beginning to figure out how even those minute details can have such an impact in a plant's ability to grow without the normal environment that it's used to on Earth. I couldn't pass up this opportunity. Even though I hadn't gotten your last message yet, I really, really wanted to wait. I would have loved to have taken it with me and just gotten to hear more of your voice while I was away, but took a little bit longer than I thought. You guys must be moving completely away from us. It's weird to think about, you know? Like, I know that you're constantly getting further from the station, but to feel it in these gaps is so different than just knowing it's the case. I mean, yes, I'm a scientist of some sort. Biology is definitely science, but I don't know, just the way that numbers grow larger and larger so fast. Just this exponential feeling distance between us, especially as I was going down to the surface for it's probably been a few years since we made our last trip, but as excited as I was, one of the only things I could think about was that I was moving even further. Sorry I'm such a downer sometimes. I'm so excited to have gotten your message. So excited. I haven't listened to it yet, but I wanted to at least start recording mine for you, just to make sure that I properly explained myself, because I don't want you to feel like I forgot you. I'm sure you noticed that the gap was growing and growing since you last heard from me, and I just want you to know that I thought of you every day. There's no way I could forget you. Sorry eyes. No way. So if you'll just give me a moment, I'm going to queue up your transmission, and I'm just going to respond to it piece by piece to make sure that I don't miss anything, because I want you to have a big chunky response waiting for you when this finally arrives. Okay? Love you. Talk to you in a SEC. Well, I already love that it sounds like you're making friends. I mean, if work is starting to pick up, that must be a good thing, right? So that's pretty exciting, I think. I also really miss hearing about your day and your work. I guess that's something we both have in common that will kind of blabber on a bit, but it's good that the other big thing we have in common is that we both love to hear it. I do miss that time that we always had in the evening, just that unwinding from whatever the day threw at us. Sometimes you'd complain about a stupid thing. Sometimes I'd complain about a stupid thing. Sometimes we'd both be geeking out over something that the other probably didn't fully understand. I will readily admit that more than once I have been very excited and supportive for a big win in your life and not necessarily understood it. You could probably tell, though, I don't have the best what did they used to call it? Oh, there was a specific old Earth phrase for that. It was oh, poker face. Yeah, I don't have the best poker face, as people would have said. Anyway, I can't wait until we get to have that time again, but for now, this will have to do the trick, and I think we're making the most of it. I still get so excited every time I see a message from you. Honestly, it makes me feel like when we were first dating and any little bit of attention was just like, my gosh, EOS is reaching out to me. They like me. They still want to spend time with me. What is even going on? And, gosh, here we are all these years later, and getting that rush again is so nostalgic. Oh, I'm so excited to hear more about this biosignature, but landing in an asteroid belt. I'm sure you're all being really careful. I can't help but worry. So I hope everything went okay. Sorry, I had to pause just to say that. Hold on. You are 100% right, though, about people's understanding of what an alien could be, just being so wild and different. I am gosh, that stirred a memory loose from my childhood. I remember, oh, man, how old would I have been? Maybe like five or something. And we were asked to draw what we thought other life in the universe might look like. And some of the things that my classmates and I drew, I think there were more than a few that were definitely just the weird little green dude. But I want to say that the boy next to me drew something that just looked like two octopuses, one on top of the other, just attached, which feels not creative, but at the same time, I don't think I ever would have come up with that. So I guess that's its own kind of creativity. But it's not like it gets any better at adulthood because we don't have pictures to point to and be like, no, not that. It's this. This is an example of an alien life form. So we're all still just standing around guessing. Anyways, I am extremely excited for what you're doing. I'm so happy to hear just the joy in your voice as you talk about it. I have a huge smile on my face just thinking about how fulfilling this must be for you. And it doesn't matter how much I miss you every day, I am just so happy that you got to have this opportunity. This is amazing for you. I'm so glad that you're finally getting to actively pursue your dreams. Okay, hold on. I'm just going to listen through the end. Doesn't look like there's very much left of your message. Okay, I've listened to the rest. So let's start with the most important thing. Our wizard's name. To be honest, Isaac Newton is definitely my favorite of the two, but our sweet baby isn't actually a newt, so I think that would bother me. A lizard bith is also pretty good, I'll give you that. I will concede to a lizard bith. Let me see what she thinks of it.Speaker D:
Hello, little lizard. BIFF. Yeah. Is that a good name? Do you want a bean? No, you're going to snub my bean. Okay, well.Speaker C:
Between the name and the green bean I was offering, it seems she definitely preferred the name, so I'm going to call that a win. I did go see my parents. I think my mom could tell I was feeling a little down because she invited me over for lunch. Gosh, probably just a few days after I sent my last message, but it was nice. You know, I probably don't see them as often as I should for how close they are, but sometimes these things just get away from you. You'll have to forgive me for not really reaching out to your family much. I've been feeling a little overwhelmed, and I'm sure that you're keeping them updated as well, so I haven't quite felt up to it yet. Every day at work, I still get questions, and I don't mind telling everybody what you're up to and how proud I am of you, but it's a lot, right? It's so much more personal having to talk to family about it, so I promise I will soon. I swear I will. I like your family, Gosh. I don't know that I have much more to share before I left. Everything was going fine, just kind of continuing on as the usual. I learned so much while I was away. Most of it very difficult to explain without being able to point to all the different samples and directly go look, see here? This protein is different from the protein that can be found here in these three ways. And because of that, these are the types of biomes that are better equipped for supporting these types of plant life. I mean, there's just so much and it means so little to most people. I mean, obviously I'm pretty excited about it. I think some of it will be able to apply here. I mean, obviously we're not going to ship in a bunch of soil from Earth. We have soil. We're good on that front. I don't know that I could even get the station to agree to bringing up any amount that would make a difference. I'm not going to put in an order for three tons of soil just to test my theories, but I am going to try and apply some of what I learned. And who knows, maybe next time I'll have something more exciting to share with you on that front. But I miss you. I love you so much. I can't wait to hear from you. I'm sorry again for how long this took. I hope you haven't been waiting around nervous, wondering why it was taking so much longer than you would have expected to hear back from me. I really am sorry. I'm probably going to listen to your message like a hundred more times tonight and just sit in the sound of your lovely voice. I can't wait to hear from you again sooner.Speaker B:
And unspeakable distance is an actual play. Podcast of Communication Delay by Audio Quinn a link to the game's itch IO page and credits for our players are available in the show. Notes linked to this episode. This podcast has been a production of the Library of Cursed Knowledge podcast network.