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At night I like to unshade the hull and watch the stars. They say doing this for too long will drive one mad. I figure their tests will have weeded that tendency out. You need to be a little off for this job anyway.

Night. Of course that is an artificial construct here, so far from the Sun, but we are animals and we need rhythm.

Sitting up here, though, it feels like the middle of the night. It reminds me of my early days, of training shifts and then the graveyard shifts I worked to pay my dues.

Sometimes in the lab I'd have conversations with the crewman on the ship. They did not travel so far back in those days. I am so far now that communication is difficult and requires planning. There are no late-night chats.

Sometimes James stays up and we sit and talk, or just sip tea and watch space. Mostly, though, we spend our time on our own. We eat at least one meal a day together, to give us a chance to check in about the status of ship's operations and for human contact.

They chose well. He and I co-exist peacefully. Those shrinks might actually be worth something. I haven't heard of any serious crew conflicts lately. But I've been out of the loop, so to speak. And they probably wouldn't tell us anyway.

I shade the hull again. There is work to be done. The instruments are calling.

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