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As the ship landed, Alan said, "You know, this flight, the whole way from Wespirtech, will only take a few minutes when Anna finishes her elasti-drive."

Kerri heard about Anna Karlingoff a lot. She was one of Alan's colleagues at Wespirtech, one of the other physicists. When Alan first started talking about Anna, Kerri was inclined to be jealous. Alan teased her about it. After a while, Kerri asked around, and it turned out that Anna was madly in love with a geneticist. She was no threat, and Kerri felt foolish for doubting Alan.

Now that Alan had left Wespirtech for good, Kerri realized she would miss hearing about Anna. Living on Heffe would be better than her years with Alan at Wespirtech had been. Here, she could learn about the culture and make friends of her own instead of just hearing about his. At Wespirtech, she had been one of very few spouses, and the scientists kept mostly to each other. The Western Spiral Arm Planetary Institute of Technology, better known as Wespirtech, was the foremost outpost of scientific and technological advancement in the known universe, but it wasn't a very friendly place to live for an outsider. She could not be more of an outsider on Heffe VIII than she had been there.

On Heffe VIII, there would be cities and gardens, museums, concerts, and shops. Kerri would have her own home. She could grow a garden again... It had been too many years since she'd had a real garden. At Wespirtech, the best she could manage was a few potted plants. Yes, Heffe VIII would be much better than the cold, steel buildings of Wespirtech, surrounded by that desolate moon.

Finally, the freighter ship, which had landed many minutes before, finished its complicated decontamination and hatch unlocking procedures. Kerri and Alan were free to disembark. Their bags were already packed, and their quarters on the ship were returned to the friendly but sterile state they'd known when Kerri and Alan boarded months ago. It looked like a hotel room, replete with generic, floral paintings and bad lighting. Kerri was glad she wouldn't be living there any longer. Even their rooms at Wespirtech had been better.

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