You may as well call me Hope. It’s my job. See, hope keeps people engaged. Hope makes them work. Hope makes them fight. Without hope humanity descends into chaos. So my job is to make sure they don’t lose hope. Don’t be jealous. My job isn’t as glamorous as it sounds. If I’m going to preserve hope I have to go to all the places where hope is in danger of dying out. I have to go to the very margins and rein in those things that are actively killing the hope of humanity.
I wish I could tell you more about who I am or that I even knew who you were. I’m mostly keeping this log — or diary or journal — for my own sake. My work is too secret for people to know about it. In a cruel twist of irony my work to preserve hope, if people knew about it, would take their hope away again. So I’m speaking into the void and — you’ll get a laugh from this — hoping. What am I hoping for? I’m hoping my job can be done soon. I’m hoping to have a life of my own. I’m hoping to have a name again. I’m hoping to be free of this terrible onus of providing hope for others while denying it for myself.
I watch the automatic systems of my shuttle rotate around its internal gyroscope to line up with the docking system of the asteroid belt colony. They’ve built a circular station that surrounds and stabilizes an asteroid for mining. Once they’ve fully mined that rock, they can move the station to another one and repeat the process. I look at the kilometer wide diameter of the ring as my shuttle’s computer negotiates with that of the station. Most of the lights are off. It’s their night cycle. Solar Standard Time it’s Oh-eight-forty, but each habitat and station chooses their own diurnal rhythm. The waning moon icon on my chronometer indicates they have about three hours left in their night cycle. Odd that we still use Earth-based iconography when none of us have lived there. But I’m starting to ramble.
I suppose I’m keeping this log because I don’t want anyone to forget. Hope comes at a cost. It’s too valuable a thing to not have a cost. If it didn’t hurt we wouldn’t need it so much. I was born and raised to pay the cost of hope for humanity. You’re welcome.
The docking procedure goes as they always do. My credentials override every security protocol and allow me silent docking. No guards are alerted and all the surveillance systems in the airlock and adjoining corridors are automatically disabled. The hiss of air and the vibration of metal on metal — more felt than heard — bring all my senses to the ready. I go over the plan for the hundredth time. The remaining three hours should be sufficient to get me in and out undetected. Hope must leave no trace of her machinations.
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