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Allanguattausimajuk ammalu Sananguatausimajuk pisimajut Nunatsiavum
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RumbleSat Art from the Edge of Space

Excerpt form "Not Alone" a short story by Jim Parker. Only a few years earlier, they would have missed the object entirely. The astronomers at the Poem Tree Observatory had improved their small object detection system in the past few years, their ‘meteor shield,’ as people called it. The approaching object was at the limit of their abilities, moving rapidly through their solar system faster than a comet. It was not in orbit of the sun, so had come from outside the system. That fact alone made it worthy of interest, but the object also appeared to be slowing; interesting too, because only artificial objects do that. Jonos left the observatory at sunset. Many of the astronomers worked at night, or course, but Jonos was tracking local objects, and especially this object, with radar, and it was now below the horizon. Nothing more to be done tonight, as the object posed no danger. He took the tram down the hill to the elevator where his colleague Kip was waiting at the bottom. “Well, if it isn’t the famous discoverer of the extra-solar object!” Kip shouted. Their meeting was not planned, and in fact Jonos didn’t like Kip much. She was something of a motor mouth. However, Kip was on the committee that assigned radio telescope time, and Jonos knew that it behooved him to be nice around her. “Well, hello. I didn’t expect to see you today. How are things in the high pay levels?” Jonos asked. “I am perfect,” Kip replied, slapping Jonos on the shoulder. “You know, you have made my job so much more interesting. The sun was just touching the horizon. The sky was red, the clouds were orange and yellow, and the wind was rising, as it always did at sunset. The poem trees were singing a lullaby, and they smelled glorious. It was Jonos’ favourite time of day. He did not want it ruined by a chance encounter with someone he found as irritating as Kip. He sighed to himself. Kip continued, “We’re having some press here tomorrow. I hope you can spare them some time. They have questions, and I know that you don’t have all of the answers, but you’re now the expert. They need to hear from you.” “Sure, you know me. Always willing to help.” Jonos sighed again. “Listen, make it early in the morning so that I can get it out of the way before I start working.” He smiled weakly. “It would help. I’m not getting much sleep.”

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