The opening of the valves was a release. Connie wasn’t sure she could have gone through with it, but once she began it became easier with every turn. The hiss as her tanks released their pent up charge and spread into the atmosphere around her was comforting. She knew she was on her way.
A weight shifted from Connie’s shoulders as she began to unplug her suit. She was so constrained, and had been for so long. She’d forgotten what it was to be in anything else. Life didn’t want to be constrained and yet for most of hers Connie had only lived in within the limits of the rooms afforded her.
Her gloves came off with a click. They fell behind her as Connie took one hesitant step after another forward. With each, her load became lighter. The landscape called for her. She didn’t need a helmet. Nothing would harm her here.
Connie, shrugged off the tanks and the rack that held them to her back. She settled them gently to the ground. She wasn’t sure why. In a way it was nice to thank them for the service they had provided. It wasn’t there fault she felt so confined. That was the result of the men who’d built her station. Connie had no need for the gear now, but she was still hesitant to part with all of it.
The loss of the tanks was a new sensation. They’d never felt heavy per se. Her suit accommodated the extra weight and aided her in carrying them. But in shrugging them off she was saying goodbye.
The breastplate came next. Without assistance it wasn’t an easy task. But Connie had been donning it alone for years now. And it too soon found it’s way to the ground, followed by the cowl and all its communications tools. Connie stopped and took a breath, a deep breath. The air around her didn’t taste as she had expected.
It was slightly pungent, with a hint of rotting material, but it was alive. It wasn’t the sterile, charcoal filtered atmosphere of her dome. There were aspects to the air she couldn’t name and that excited her. It created a little flutter in her chest, that made Connie tamp down on the little worry in the back of her mind that this was a bad idea, that what she was feeling was right and not some growing polyp within. She knew it wasn’t. She also knew there was so much she didn’t know.
The smells for example, she couldn’t place them. Let alone name them. And now she would get to. She would get to name everything. It’s why Connie chose not to discard her overalls. They had pockets she would find useful, for notebooks, samples, and more. Though she did take off the top half and tie it about her waist.
The last thing Connie removed before running off into the woods were her boots. She stood for a second, relishing the feeling of the mud between her toes, and then scampered off.
Today’s art is courtesy of Cedric Peyravernay from Lyon, France.