Above all, she missed the rain. How the dirt was moist with anticipation, rising to caress the soles of her feet with clammy palms. The way the wind would suddenly grow still, the sullen dark clouds like a panther slinking close to the ground; then all at once, a low growl and the sudden crackle of its snarl, a spark of lightning like a flash of claws and teeth tearing into the flesh of the earth, an open, weeping wound. The others would run and seek shelter from the storm, but she would curl up under it, a doe eyed child entrapped, yielding to her fate.
But up here, everything was different. The sterile air had an arid quality to it that even the greenroom failed to mitigate, with its trickling water and lush jungle of plant life. Still. Lying back in a hammock in the room was all she could do to stop the night terrors. If they could be called that. Night did not fall in the vastness of space. There was its darkness, its silence, and its coldness, but none of its life. In fact space was so much like her dreams, an interlude with death.
On Earth, her dreams had been colorful and lucid, vibrant like the rain forests of her childhood. But space had taken everything from her. The trees. The birds. The sky. Her heritage. The rain. Yet, there was something that kept her going. The promise that one day, a lush green world would form up from beneath the rocky surface of this planet.
"Maya, wake up." Startled, she fell from the hammock, lightly bouncing against the steel floor in the low gravity. She bruised a hip many a time as a child on Earth, but on the ship, they were nearly invulnerable. Was it strange that she longed for pain? For something uncontrolled and random, something real?
"What do you want, Sam?!" she asked sharply as she sat with her arms and legs crossed, levitating ever so slightly above the floor.
"I want you to come help me make the rounds. I want to show you something."
"You always say that."
"I'm serious!" he said, his eyes twinkling with just the slightest hint of mirth. Those eyes. They were a beautiful grey that seemed to shift with his emotions, blanketed with glossy, black wings. She could not stand still under his gaze.
"Okay," she relented. "But then I must get back to my..."
"Your nap?" he quipped, poking her in the ribs.
She swatted his hand away, wrapping her arms in a protective stance across her ribcage. "Meditation. I was meditating."
"Isn't meditation supposed to make you more relaxed? For all the hours you spend in here, you're pretty crabby all the time. I don't get it."
Feigning pity, she walked out of the room ahead of him. "Poor Sam. I've tried to teach you, but you haven't got the mind for it."
"You're so cold, Maya!"
"The truth usually is! Now c'mon already!"
Scoffing and shaking his head, he trailed after her.