It feels like a punch in the gut. She's heard the expression before but never felt it more clearly. All their work…gone. All that knowledge, erased. All for one mad man's delusions and fears. Ted has damned them all. Again.
She can't even bring herself to cry. Just shudders and struggles to breathe. She can't believe it. It can't all be gone. He can't have overridden all the backups. Ted continues his crazed monologue and she feels hands on her shoulder, an attempt at comfort in the face of unimaginable betrayal, but she barely notices it.
She must be in shock. Mind unable to deal with the reality of failure. Her mind's retreated back into the past. She's remembering all the late nights, the long hours. The moments of joy in between the stress and work and the countdown to despair. She remembers Elisabet's smile at the first successful testing of Apollo. The feel of their fingers twining together. Kissing away the furrow in her forehead after yet another set of stressful meetings and cross country plane trips. The joyful kisses Elisabet had showered her with after Gaia's first display of empathy.
How did it all come to this?
Ted. It's his fault they're here. His robots. His hubris.
Now he's doing it again. Ruining it all.
Ted does something, and the warning comes. The electronic voice rings out just before the hiss of air signaling decompression hits. I'm so sorry she thinks even as she gasps at vanishing air.
She isn't sure if she's apologizing to the ghost of Elisabet, or to the future generations who will miss out on everything they worked so hard to bring them. They should have known better, she should have known better.
History always repeats itself.