“Are you ready, Mrs. Wilks?”
“I’m as ready as I’ll ever be, doctor,”
Patricia Wilks was 95-years-old. She was ready for her final journey. She had already finalized her will, as well as had her last dinner with her son, daughter, and the rest of their extended family. She wasn’t worried. Not unlike the dying from centuries past; but even so, her children couldn’t help but cry for her that night.
“Oh, don’t fret my loves,” she assured them tenderly, her voice a rusty calm that far eclipsed the sensuality and insecurity of youth that was once with her from decades past, “you’ll see me again. That’s a promise!”
“I just want to reiterate what we discussed earlier,” said the doctor, “your body will die, but your consciousness will be transferred to the satellite and will be sent out into space.”
“In order to see if there’s intelligent life out there, yes?” answered Patricia, “I’ve always wanted to travel into space.”
The doctor smiled. Charmed by her excitement.
“If anyone finds the satellite and opens me up,” asked Patricia, “what should I tell them? You’re already including a detailed history of humanity to go along with me.”
The doctor looked up for a moment. Contemplating the question with a pious air that didn’t do justice the level of thought and reverence that he gave it. He soon had his answer:
“Tell them about your life,” he said, “Tell them what it means to be you, to be human. That will be the one thing that these books, histories, sciences, and pieces of art will not convey. For if humanity can’t succeed to meeting those of you out there in space, there will be a record that we tried. That’s all we ask of you.”
“And I accept,” Patricia answered.