If anyone were to come looking for her, they would find her watching clouds. She had wanted to watch clouds ever since she could remember. If she thought about it, she had wanted to watch clouds since she had first read about it in the shelter library.
She never thought that she would be one of the lucky few allowed out of the shelter. She never thought that she would be lucky enough to see what the world looked like without watching movies or reading books.
Of course, if she wasn’t a biosphere engineer, she wouldn’t have had the chance to walk in the open air. If she hadn’t specialized in atmospheric chemicals she wouldn’t have been chosen to fix the bio-analysis unit. If she hadn’t taken the courses in bio-chem hazards she would be relaying the information to someone else through the communications units.
Unfortunately, the atmospheric chemicals were at an unexpected high. The chemicals had already eaten through half of her bio-chem suit by the time she finished with the repairs.
She may have been able to return to base with the suit intact, but she had been ordered to stay. They needed to know that the repairs would hold. Checking the repairs would take at least another hour
By that time, the suit would be more of a decoration than a barrier. Parts of the suit were already becoming transparent, disappearing before her eyes.
And so she decided to watch the clouds. To watch the colours swirl in the sky, dark colours of blue and purple mixed with lighter shades of red and white.
She could feel the chemicals burning her skin. She knew that she didn’t have long to live. But as she lie down on the hillside, she wasn’t afraid of death. Because, in this last day, she had finally lived.