Della had rigged the TV after much sweat, hard labor, and obscenities. At first, she’d been reluctant to swear, as if someone might hear her. Then she realized, with no small amount of grief, that she had best get used to her own voice, as it was the only one she’d be hearing for an indeterminate amount of time. Time had a different meaning on the moon and she was shocked she’d gotten the TV working, considering she appeared to be on the dark side of the moon. All in all, it had taken the better part of two weeks to rig it and she might have salvaged parts from the ship that she could have used to get home.
“Could have” being the opportune words there. With the way the Spear had crashed, she was lucky she hadn’t been killed. Of course, luck was a matter of opinion. As the days wore on and became weeks and months, she began to wonder about that stroke of “luck”. She began to wonder whether she was not cursed instead, cursed to die alone, miserable and away from her babies and family. At least if she’d perished when the ship crashed, she would’ve died quickly. This was death by attrition and it was awful.
But the TV provided some modicum of comfort. Granted, the signals were erratic and she could never predict how well a channel would come in on any given day. Sometimes, she was stuck with Spanish soaps. The worst part was she was so bored that she’d watched them anyway and had almost gotten caught up with the storyline when that channel went out and was replaced by CNN.
Then there was the time that she’d gotten stuck watching nothing but sports for an entire month. In German. It seemed like her TV antennae caught all broadcasts, regardless of the language or point of origin. She had missed her Spanish soaps by the time that month was up.
Of the two books that she’d brought with her, one was the Spear’s operation manual. Ha. She bet Gyro would never have thought she’d read that. But since it was that or watch Germans grow wildly enthusiastic about soccer, she decided she’d rather read technical mumbo-jumbo. Maybe she’d learn something about how to rescue herself.
The second book was sentimental and she would’ve felt stupid about bringing it if there was anyone around to feel stupid with. Alas, no matter how much she yelled at the TV or at herself, no one answered.
In time, she found herself holding conversations with herself or pretending to talk to Donald or Uncle Scrooge. Once, she’d even pretended to talk to her sons. She wasn’t sure how old they were now; as she’d mentioned, the time had little meaning. She wasn’t even sure months had passed, to be honest. It could’ve been a time loop or she was stuck in stasis. Hell if she knew.
She’d seen the major news events while stuck on the moon, although her disconnect from them grew more and more apparent. She started to feel like she wasn’t inhabiting her body, but instead, was watching it from outside herself. The strange disassociation helped her cope with the days without contact, though it also scared her badly. She feared she was losing her mind.
With an effort, she’d managed to secure herself in the present. She couldn’t always tether herself to her body, but it was a start.
Then the fateful day had come and the broadcast aired and she’d seen her sons for the first time. There was also a girl there, although the doctor had told her she’d have three boys, not three boys and a girl. She didn’t know who the girl was and the newscaster hadn’t elaborated. But they were her boys. She had no doubt about that.
From then on, her determination grew. She’d languished long enough on the moon. She needed to get back to her babies before even more time had passed.
How had the time gone so quickly? She didn’t remember, but then again, the days had blurred together. Perhaps it had been over a decade. She couldn’t tell. She cursed to herself and then laughed. Obscenities had little meaning now.
She was done waiting for rescue. No one was coming for her. She’d have to come for them instead.
Somehow, she’d salvage the Spear of Selene and return to Earth and her children. Soon. (Even if she wasn’t entirely sure how she would, she’d manage it. Because death by attrition was no way to live).