by Miriah Hetherington
In the shadow of SciCorp's Public Relations building, Kai leaned on his cane and waited for the press conference to end. A sea of reporters separated him from his daughter Suukyi, standing proudly on a podium with the other twelve colonists.
Twelve brilliant, highly trained, and fertile Eves; earth's Adams would be represented on the colony ship by a sperm bank.
Doctor Calvin, SciCorp's founder, took the microphone. Each person in the crowd between Kai and his daughter was like one of a hundred decisions he'd made to put his vocation ahead of his family. Suukyi's wife Tasmin had assured him it was not too late to cross the gulf, but he had to do it now.
Kai tried to recall the euphoria of his greatest success; the breakthrough that made the Modulated Alcubierre Effect Pulse drive possible. Back then, worldwide media declared his team the Einsteins of their age. He'd become a celebrity: Doctor Kai Hakura, the father of interstellar space travel.
Kai shifted painfully, his muscles and joints unaccustomed to standing for extended lengths of time in earth gravity. He could have taken a seat onstage, but had chosen anonymity.
Sometime during prototype development, Suukyi grew up. Her mother left him to accept a position aboard the Europa research station. Instead of attending Suukyi's graduation ceremony from SciCorp academy, he'd presented a proposal for a MAEP drive ship to the SciCorp board of directors. She'd barely spoken to him since, and now his window of opportunity was about to close permanently.