The Distant Proximity

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Digital drawing.  Two figures in silhouette stand in front of a car seen in three-quarters view from back.  The car’s headlights are on. The figure at left holds up a device.  They’re in an open field at night. The sky is full of stars. Before them appears a large glowing shape that extends out of frame.

“We’re receiving a Proximity alert, I take it.”  Jora walked in and leaned over the console, scanning the incoming stream of data.

“They really should have called it something else,” I said, as I started up the retrieval protocol.

“Yeah…”

“I mean it’s confusing.”

“Well.”

I swiveled my chair toward her.  “Does it mean it’s closer or farther away?”

Jora glanced over at me and grinned.  “If you don’t know that, how did you get assigned to this station?”

I shrugged.  “I’m sure the person who hired me knew what they were doing.”

She elbowed me lightly.  “I hope I did.”

I swiveled back to the console and continued handling the incoming data.  “You did.  Trajectory just came in.  It’s not headed to Earth…this time.”

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