By Kaisaan & DotCom “Every dreamer knows that it is entirely possible to be homesick for a place you've never been to, perhaps more homesick than for familiar ground." Judith Thurman "We all carry within us places of exile, our crimes, our ravages. Our task is not to unleash them on the world; it is to transform them in ourselves and others." Albert Camus --- Tai tried hard not to think about how strange and yet completely natural it all was. Later tonight, maybe, after introductions and briefings, before they made their first foray out into the verdant greens and impossible blues that Eden offered. Later tonight, when she was allowed a whatever few moments of peace and quiet she could snatch before the day's exhaustion pulled her into her first natural sleep in three years. Maybe then she could let herself linger on the strangeness of it all. How completely natural it was to be waking up next to her twin again...and how completely bizarre it was to have done so hovering aboard Earth's last hope, half a mile over the dense blue and green marble that was supposed to save them all. A small smile played over her lips as Tai reached up to push her hair out of her eyes for the umpteenth time in fifteen minutes, glancing across the pod bay to where her sister Kohe was knelt over the control console, presumably running the last systems check before she woke the others. Kohe herself, like Tai, had only been awake a few hours themselves, just long enough to wade through the layers of groggy stiffness and confusion that naturally followed three years of cryostasis. It had been part of their terms of agreement back before they'd left Earth. Their late arrival to the team meant they'd been the last asleep and would be the first awake. It also meant those they were waking would know next to nothing about them. From what she'd read, that wasn't going to go over too well with some of them, but they'd cross that bridge when it came. For now, Tai was circling the small cold room at the bottommost level of the state-of-the-line space cruiser, the Artemis. The ship's autopilot and VI system, nicked-named Apollo, was currently working on getting the rest of the ship in working order, which for the moment, mainly meant repressurizing and warming the cockpit, bridge, med bay, mess hall, and each of the twelve small cabins Eden's Disciples would be inhabiting. Tai snorted a little at that last thought. Eden's Disciples. That, she half jokingly suspected, had been the only reason both she and Kohe had been recruited to join the mission to the new planet, officially labeled Terra Prime. Neither of them knew why they'd been contacted, or what had happened to the person they'd replaced. Her notes said the team already had a medic and a tech expert - why, or even how they were willing to take both twins was a mystery to her. All Tai knew was that she'd been serving in Venezuela one minute, and the next, being flown to Washington, D.C., while she listened, dumb-founded and wide-eyed to a science fiction tale she still couldn't really believe. Of course, back then, no one, or nearly no one, had known they were in trouble. Tai wondered if that had changed now. After all, it had been three years back on Earth. "You're -- " Tai started, then coughed and cleared her throat. The cyrostasis halted the aging process for as long as healthy body was kept under, and while memories of leaving Earth behind were as fresh as though she'd just gone yesterday, it had still been three years. Apollo had kept them alive. The cryobeds, coupled with regular electrostimuli had kept their muscles from atrophying. But this was where Earth's programming and foresight failed them. In a few minutes, Eden's Disciples would be on their own. Just like the UN had planned from the beginning. "You're good," Tai said again. "Vitals are all good. Watch number one, the old guy. Tanner Cole. He's epileptic. I already gave him 60 mg of Daxoprene, so he should be fine, but...y'know, lemme know if he starts seizing or something." She gave Kohe a grin that felt just a little bit too stiff. "Oh, and wake number ten last. The little girl. Says she's a...'precognitive empath', whatever that means." Tai shrugged then pushed her hair out of her eyes one last time before grabbing a pail and a few bottles of water. She and Kohe had woken more or less alright. She couldn't expect the same to be true for the other ten. Especially since they were all waking up to strangers.