My Dear Wife,
I’m missing you terribly – more as life is settling down into a steady routine now. My strength is improving and my sense of balance has returned – I can move very confidently again – thankfully. Myco is very earth-like – moreso than was initially thought – it is slightly larger, and the atmosphere is essentially the same composition as earth – so overall it has begun to feel familiar and it feels quite comforting to see glimpses of it through the portholes. There’s no moon, of course, so the oceans will only be stirred by the wind driven waves. The charting and documenting of Myco has begun in earnest now – already vast amounts of climatic, atmospheric and geographic information has been gathered – the sensors and monitors gather and collate the data and the stream has started to flow at a full rate back to earth. Very little is processed here – there’s some tension between the military and commercial interests – I feel some anxiety about the new (to our science) species I expect to discover, and the fact that all intellectual property – i.e. all of the discoveries I make will end up as some faceless corporations patents. I can only hope that should I discover something of military interest that I don’t notice the significance – after all, the ingredients of war materials are harmless (or at least – used to be) in themselves – it’s only when they are combined by chemists that their potential is realised. I’m sorry if I’m rambling – there’s an feeling of frustration amongst all of us on-board – all 74 of us want to go down to the surface and explore – and something as simple – and as cherished – as a breath of fresh air. The scans are being done to finally confirm there are no immediately obvious airborne organisms to harm us. Meanwhile we all continue to spend time exercising in the body service facility so that we can be as fit and well as possible before we make the trip down.
Today I was invited to Captain FitzRoy’s cabin for afternoon tea. It felt very civilised to take a cup of real tea in a setting that one could imagine to be at home. FitzRoy and I talked for hours and he impressed me a being a very charming and engaging man, well educated, and clearly highly accomplished at all aspects of his trade. One of the crew confided to me later that FitzRoy graduated at the top of his class at the Academy. A comforting thought. Captaining an exploration voyage is not an easy task and I can believe he has been well chosen. I can also see that the compatibility screening has worked well. It would be difficult to be on a long voyage with people that there wasn’t at least seven points of compatibility. So, nestled in the relative comfort of the Captain’s cabin, we settled back and enjoyed lapsang souchong. During the tea, we noted with some trepidation a hurricane churning the atmosphere below. It’s easy to think of Myco as being a peaceful place – much the same that Earth appears calm from a distant orbiting craft – in spite of the bright reflective surface I have to remind myself that when we land we will experience precipitation on a previously unprecedented scale – rain – perhaps non-stop. If there should be a break in the weather, I expect mists and fogs. A dismal reality that I hope we can adapt to, however I’m equally confident we will come to desire to return here as strongly as we now crave to finally walk on Myco.