The State of Things "Councilwoman Aya. Are you alright? You're doing that thing again." Sofia Aya, one of the oldest humans on the ship stood in front of her bedroom window staring off into space. Her beady, watery eyes are fixated on a gassy blue planet in the distance; a dark blue storm swirls in its equator. She has been told that the Captain is preparing the ship for a jump and wants to absorb everything in this star system before they leave. "My mother told me that Vitae was mostly water, and it was a gorgeous pristine blue planet during my grandparents' heyday. Unfortunately by the time I was born all of that beautiful water turned shit brown." Her voice was hoarse, raspy - such is what happens when one turn old. She pressed her wrinkled her hand against the cool glass. "Was Vitae as blue as this planet, or bluer? Was there a green tinge to it, or was it more yellow? What do you think Sebastian?" Her political aid, a scrawny but tall fellow with side swept brown hair smacked his lips in an awkward gesture. In his hand was a clipboard, beaming holographic reports into the air."I just... Well I hoped I could give you my report and be on-" He stopped, went stiff, sighed, and decided to humor the woman. "I think it would be a bluer than this planet ma'am. Much bluer." "You think so Sebastian? I know we have pictures of our home, but nothing comes close to the real thing." She sighed, and pressed her forehead against the glass. "I never saw the planet myself, but sometimes if I close my eyes, I can feel the sun's rays on my face, the refreshing breeze whipping my hair back, and the grass between my toes, and how the air on Vitae must smell like pine trees. And the flowers, we don't have many flowers on the ship but I imagine myself running through a field of -" "So the general atmosphere in Level Two is similar to that on Level One and Three. I've compiled a list of the most used adjectives which were gathered from our equipment: our citizens are feeling disappointed, concerned, dejected, listless, discouraged, dissatisfied, disgruntled, depressed and my current favorite - defeated. Despite the upcoming anniversary of our beloved ship, our citizens don't seem to be a partying mood." Her frown was reflected in the glass. "Why are there so many negative words that begin with D?" "Because English, ma'am. And now that I have your attention, can I continue with my report?" "I did ask you to make one." Exasperated, Sebastian continued. "Our cameras and audio equipment found a hundred and fifty percent increase in overall dissatisfaction with the direction of our ship. Most of our comments were from patients who were on their deathbed, but we're finding the same sort of comments from our adults and surprisingly children." He ran finger over the clipboard and footage aired on the flat screen television in Sofia's room. "...don't give up on finding a new home okay? It hasn't happened in my life time, but it will happen in yours. I just know it." An elderly woman holds the hand of her grandson as she lays in the medical bay. Sofia remembered saying her goodbyes to the woman two days ago. She passed away from heart failure. Another clip shows a child sitting front of the television. As with many programs, the ship's message airs before the show can begin. "Mommy, how long have we been in space?" "One hundred and fifty years." "But the video says we should've found a home by now." "We will soon, don't worry." "What if run out of energy? The video says we'll run out of energy. What if we get stuck and get hit by an asteroid?" "We won't. It's why we have Harvester ships to gather crystals and the military fleet will take care of any asteroids. We'll be fine sweetheart." But even she sounded doubtful. The last clip shows a couple, the husband consoling his saddened wife. Their words are hushed. "... don't think it's a good idea to have kids." "Why? ... are having them, why can't we? We're in a good..." "I know we are... hate being on this ship and I don't want our kids growing up here like we were." "But finding a new planet could take..." The clips end and Sebastian holds the clipboard to his chest like a life jacket. During the viewing, Sofia turned her attention away from the window and stands attentive and somber. "A depressing picture indeed. How are our resources?" "Our reserves on mana crystals are low, but I have already filed a request to the Extraction Team to gather some in the future. Our food supplies are moderately well stocked, but water seems to be in short supply. The recent outage in the Biodome has led to the loss of water. Again both of these problems can be solved by the Extraction team." "How long until humans are pulled in to power the ship?" "I would say two weeks, but since we have this massive upcoming party - I'd say a week." Sofia rubbed her chin. "Change that request to a demand Sebastian. We'll send an Extraction team once that party is over." "Yes ma'am." He turned to leave, and looked over his shoulder. "Is there any way to turn off that infernal video?" "I'm afraid not. Hard coded into the ship's software. It's suppose to be a 'reminder.'"