Overview Cast List Thread Prof. Alicia Keys A mysterious traveller. “We have no need of other worlds. We need mirrors. We don't know what to do with other worlds. A single world, our own, suffices us; but we can't accept it for what it is.” [/I] 7 weeks earlier ”Any history of somatic illness?” ”No.” ”Any history of mental illness?” ”No.” ”Any history of substance abuse?” ”No.” The government official shifted his attention from the piece of paper toward a tall, elegant woman that sat before him. She wasn’t beautiful, but there was something gaze drawing in her cold, celtic features and black hair. The cobalt eyes measured him carefully, assessing every detail. It unsettled him. ”It says here you have never taken time off, aside from few sick leaves.” The official stated to which the woman shrugged indifferently. ”Who needs holidays?” She offered him a mirthless smile. ”Right, who needs vacation?” He shifted in his chair. ”Do you think you can handle it, miss Keys? The solitude.” That was the last question and the official was thankful for that. ”Why wouldn’t I? I like a good challenge.” ***** The station was well lit, a burst of light amid arctic night. Professor Keys opened the pressure doors which opened with a loud hiss. She took off few layers of gloves, thick hat and a mask that protecter her skin from biting cold. Alicia grabbed the container with samples and walked toward another set of doors. Before pressing the code on a keypad, she removed the rest of thermal apparel. Dressed in a simple jumpsuit, she was ready to enter the main hallway when she noticed something strange. The doors stayed open way too long. ”Bob“ Alicia called for the advance computer for help. ”What’s wrong with the door?” She pointed at the still open entrance to the exit chamber. ”I don’t know Alicia, it was a glitch.” The machine spoke in a monotonous, robotic voice that creeped her out at the beginning. Keys was used to it now, even took solace in an artificial being. At least she didn’t have to talk to herself. ”A glitch, huh?” That was worrying, if the door could get a glitch what about the heaters? The hydroponic garden? Alicia didn’t like having so little control over her environment. It pained her more than lack of simple, human conversation - that was actually a pleasant thing. Bob handled almost everything regarding the base and it was programmed by a human being. They were fallible creatures. Alicia knew it better than anyone else. The lab was filled with cutting edge technology - a scientist wet dream. Alicia had everything she needed to examine every new species frozen in the great glaciers. So far her work focused on getting the samples, but soon the best part would start. She liked many fields of study: from astrophysics to sociology, but biology was her first love. Breaking down DNA to the last bit; finding out old evolution paths; unlocking secret of life. Proving ultimately human was a master of this universe, not imaginary gods. So cold. Alicia thought when placed the still frozen container on the floor. She looked down on her hands, they were slightly red; creating a contrast to pale skin. Alicia normally had freckled, fair complexion, but lack of sunlight turned it almost translucent, with blue blood vessels visible under her skin. It didn’t bother the professor; there was no one to be pretty for. A nice change - she had always felt pressure to look impeccable, yet found it unnecessary. Her perfectionism let go in this base and Alicia was finally free of make up and dresses. There were no excpectations rather than her own drive to do research. Alicia’s day had strict schedule. Breakfast, shower, work, time in the gym, dinner, more work, supper and sleep. She never wavered from it, knowing how important it was to maintain it. For the first few days Alicia felt like a hamster on amphetamine: running from one corner to another, admiring the complexity the facility had to offer. A part of her wondered if there was a catch, of course there was, but she found herself too smart to swallow it. After few thawing moments Alicia began to handle the samples, carefully placing them on a proper shelf for later analysis.