Author : Travis Gregg
“Is this home yet?” his wife asked. This made him smile, the question had become an old tradition.
When they’d first landed in the densely forested planet, the first order of business was establishing a base camp. It was only after a few short nights of sleeping in the lander that the living hab was erected. That first night, when they were actually able to sleep in the hab unit, she’d asked him if they were home. Not yet, he had replied, not knowing exactly why he felt that way. He couldn’t quite put his finger on it, but in his mind this place was still just colony one.
The next major step was sustainable food and it had taken months for the agribots to clear off enough land to grow crops. The old Earth varieties wouldn’t survive, the bacteria in the soil was too radically different, but they’d brought specialized strains designed for the foreign soil. It was another couple of months until they were finally able to sit down and have a meal solely of food grown locally. The corn wasn’t really corn and the bread was an off color but it was close enough. Again she asked, is this home now? It still isn’t he’d replied, still not sure why.
Over the next few years major projects were conceived and completed. The hydro dam started providing power, and they were finally able to erect the ansible station. Back on the galactic network, they were able to catch up on the years of events they’d missed. Up until then the burst messages from friends and family had been enough to get them by, but being able to walk his brother around the outpost with a live video stream was a night and day difference. Now that they were connected again, not so isolated, was this home now?
A decade had past, and finally feeling certain about the sustainability of their outpost, they brought the incubator hab online. The frozen embryos represented a vast genetic spectrum and in a few short months their family had grown. The small boy was no more a genetic relative to the man and woman than they were to each other, but looking at the new child, fresh from the artificial womb, the man replied, “I’m not sure if this will ever be home for us, but it is for him.”