She stretched her hands above her head and cat smiled as the warm sun beat down upon her. The beads of sweat tickled her stomach as they slid down and added to the shallow pool forming in her navel.
She squeezed her eyes shut and focused on the rainbows of color that danced through the darkness. The heat was a massaged the worked both the inside and outside of her body. She gripped the wet sand with her toes. A moment later a wave drifted in a bathed her foot up to the heel. As the wave receded her foot softly sank into sand. She ground her toes into the grainy particles.
The salt of the air coated her nose and throat. It was delicious. A gull cried above. Another tickling bead joined the navel pool. She thought about nothing and everything and tried to measure the grains of sand that coated her back.
She breathed in. She breathed out. The sun bathed her in its embrace.
“The allotted time will expire in ten seconds. 10… 9…”
She tried to block out the voice.
Focus on the sun and the waves.
Just a little longer.
It was never enough.
Just a few more…
“0. Please exit the program chamber and have a good day.”
The sun, water and sand had faded away. The temperature was the recommended ideal of 21 degrees with just enough airflow to stay fresh and unobtrusive. She put on her uniform and stepped into the hallway. The hallway had a series of doors equidistance apart along a gentle curve the kept an end just out of sight. The appearance of continuance was proven to promote stability.
She stopped in front of the transport port. Point zero five seconds later it opened. She entered and keyed in her destination. The pod whisked along. There was no sense of acceleration, merely a gentle hum to signal the pod was active.
Arriving at her workstation she applied her hand to the palm activator and the console in front of her came to life. She looked out the large window to her left. It seldom changed. A few white streaks of light and several smaller white dots against an endless black background. It would stay that way for another 8 days and 14 hours.
“Enjoying the view?” her co-worker asked.
“Hard to imagine isn’t it? Our parents were trapped on that little ball of a planet while we get to experience this. Really makes you feel for them doesn’t it?”