From the Journal of Elise Tesla: Days 4 – 5
Take Me to the Moon 5.12
My brother’s new wife, Zoe, seems too sensitive sometimes. When they came back from their honeymoon, she said she totally forgot to turn in some reports she was supposed to, for work. I asked her how she could possibly forget something important like that.
What a goofball. I told her that I hope she doesn’t let the family down with her low performance. She seemed shocked that I would lay out expectations so clearly.
Her whole happy-go-lucky approach to life just gets under my skin. It is not evident what kind of contribution she’s going to make to this family.
As for me, I had decided to work on my so-called “people skills.” It’s necessary, apparently, to pander to the feelings of others in order to be able to accomplish goals at work. When I went back to work after my uncle Dennis’ wedding, there was a new guy there. After greeting him cheerfully and telling a joke, I asked him to provide a specimen, because I’m working on improved tags for DNA samples. Despite all the accommodating I did, he refused to provide a DNA sample!
As he was glaring at me, another new guy, Ronan, came over and smiled at me. I decided to see if I could make them laugh, since I’ve been practicing in the mirror.
I gave an imitation of the politician who recently said that DNA sample R & D was too expensive and esoteric to fund.
Ronan really thought it was funny!
He seems like a highly intelligent person.
Then Ronan threw in some juicy gossip he knew about Brylee, here at work. He’s got a sharp wit; it made me feel flirty. I could tell this because I glanced at him, smiled, flipped my hair, and exposed my neck.
Then, I was back to my paid search for truth. And the duties that go along with it. Instead of getting written up again for transforming chem lab equipment, I found some old boxes and crates to run trials on.
Then I checked on my plants, which are really thriving now.
That evening after work, Ronan and I arranged on the phone to meet at the diner near Ewan’s gallery.
Waiting for him to arrive, I was in a state of heightened physiological arousal.
After we ate, we were getting ready to part ways, but we just kept finding new areas to talk about. We wanted to listen to the data, inferences, and theories the other had to share.
Soon, he was literally weak in the knees. And that’s when I observed that he had a pink glow, literally, like an aura around his whole being.
He was an alien! Immediately I felt completely enthralled and intrigued.
And very flirty. We talked and flirted until you could see the sky becoming bluer and lighter. Ronan’s pink glow was getting stronger and stronger. I felt carried away, buoyant, almost giddy. It is hard to empirically describe it.
I asked him to show me what he had been telling me about, in the sky. A few stars were still visible; anyway from dozens of hours logged in the observatory at home, I’m familiar with the celestial coordinates and which of the planets, main stars, nebulas, and black holes we look out at from our vantage point any time of day, any season. Ronan is a life form that evolved on Sixam (Kepler 442-B), which I’m familiar with, theoretically, from my mom’s research and my own study in the observatory. I asked him to describe features of his home planet. He told me he was not actually from Sixam; that his people had a diaspora event several millenia ago, when Sixam was bombarded by asteroids. Also, Sixam’s spin was altered by the pummeling, and that’s why it is now always night where mom landed; the planet now has a synchronous orbit, like Venus, and doesn’t rotate on it’s axis.
He pointed out several stars in the Virgo Supercluster around which there are planets that his people have settled. Among those, they have studied the five planets of the star we call “Kepler 62,” in the section of the sky that for us, falls within the constellation Lyra.
And his people have found non-carbon based life forms beyond what they ever imagined when they first began to explore our region of the Milky Way.
But without wormhole generators, we would never, ever have a hope of meeting each other. Ronan’s home planet, Ae, which is called Kepler 438-B by our scientists, is the nearest inhabitable planet to earth, that Ronan knows about, and it is about 470 light years away.
I asked him if he had been to Sixam. He had not; it lies 630 light years away from his planet, further along the plane on which this arm of the Milky Way lies, but about 2/3 of the way around it’s orbit, and he did not elect to study it, so there was no rationale to expend the energy to open a wormhole to send him there. The cities on Sixam are now empty except a small science outpost here or there. The “city lights” mom could still see in the distance are the bio-luminescence his people engineered, are still there, and thriving as a life form, even though his people are almost all gone.
He told me about how, from his planet, Ae , with their advanced telescopes, his people could tell that earth had a biosphere and was 88% similar to his planet, in factors related to survival. This made Earth a planet of value to his people to study. I am curious what his people call Earth.
Ae, his planet, is 33% bigger than earth, and circles an orange dwarf star in 35 days. In the daytime, they have 40% more light than earth, but at night, they have spectacular light shows like our aurora borealis, caused by the electromagnetic emissions of their star. The more he told me, the more questions I had about how other life forms of the biosphere on Ae had evolved in such an ecosystem, and how his adaptation to Ae impacted his adaptation here.
It was almost time for work, and Ronan said goodbye.
I decided to take advantage of the fact that the diner was now completely empty and process all that had happened, rather than run home for such a short time. Anyway, I didn’t want to have to deal with my family’s reaction right away, and I knew that they’d wonder what was up with the stupid grin on my face.
When I got to work, I gave Ronan a kiss. There’s something about him that makes me so respectful of him; almost to the point of treating him as if he’s fragile, but I know he’s strong, too. (Did you see the way he powerfully took me in his arms in the diner?!)
I should have been exhausted and grumpy from being up all night, but the day had a dreamy quality to it. Again, I struggle to describe it in empirical terms. I’ve probably never had that many endorphins and that much oxytocin coursing through my system at the same time, before. Plus, the evolutionary drive to find a desirable mate, and feeling within grasp of that essential task of all beings might be responsible for the well-being I felt.
Even facing my family’s curiosity and joy at my relationship with Ronan, didn’t feel like a chore. I couldn’t wait for them to meet him. They would be so excited. Mom had tried for years to find alien settlements on Sixam without success, even though she could see them in the distance.
As she does every evening, mom calibrated the satellite at the house to scramble alien codes to help prevent abductions. I tried to invite Ronan over and was unable to, and I think it’s because of the satellite. If so, that’s going to have to go, regardless of Mom and Aunt Cacey’s stand against alien abduction. (Aunt Cacey got the satellite through her agency. Both she and mom said they don’t know yet if the abductors use some kind of mind control, or force, and they aren’t willing to have our family experimented on without informed consent. I need to ask Ronan if he knows which life form is responsible for the abductions that have been occurring, or if it is his people’s directive.)
When I saw my mom, I gave her a big hug, to her surprise.
I told her I had a secret to tell her
She was very excited but wanted to know why she was just now hearing about this.
She also said she would have appreciated a call last night to let them know I was ok when I didn’t come home.
I told her, I’m an adult, not a kid like Eric.
Then I told her, that Ronan is descended from beings that evolved on Sixam.
And all that he’d told me, about how hardly anyone still lives there, except a few scientists, and how strong and gentle and genius he is.
I guess mom’s learned not to gush to me, because she just had this little wry smile.
I went out on the patio for some air, and there was Zoe, dancing happily.
Even though I’m not usually drawn to dancing, the moving to the music gave me a way to let out some of the excitement of the last couple of days.
I guess Zoe’s not so bad.
- I really didn’t expect Ronan and Elise to hit it off, or even know that he was an alien, until Elise did! I was so happy at her Xenophilia emotion– elation. But even before she discovered he was an alien, they were so flirty around each other from the first moments at work. When he shared gossip about a co-worker, she got all flirty. When he got ready to leave the diner, he (not a controlled sim), gave her that passionate kiss. Then, when she walked into work an hour later, she autonomously went straight to him and gave him a kiss on the cheek. Wow!
- Will Elise and Rohan be star-crossed lovers?? She tried to invite him over right after work, but at the legacy house I have enabled the satellite to “prevent abduction,” which apparently can’t be toggled off, because he was not on the lot and was not available on the phone dialog, to invite over. And are his people responsible for the alien abductions that Cacey and Delaney are suspicious of?
- A few years ago I attended an incredible talk at UF, presented by UC Berkeley, about how they are finding Goldilocks planets through the transit method and the Kepler Missions. All the information about the work to discover Kepler planets (which are small rocky planets in Goldilocks zones that have been discovered via the transit method and the Kepler Mission), was from NASA and googling K 442-B and K 438-B. Here’s a very entertaining (albeit slightly silly) Youtuber explaining Goldilocks planets and K 438-B. Also, I was excited to see that Artists’ renderings of some of the Kepler planets look a lot like Sixam, when Delaney visited.
- More info on the Kepler Missions and Kepler 438-B