Theme music is “Appeal to Heavens” by Alexye Nov, available at MusicAlley.com.
A Complex Filament of Light
by S. Qiouyi Lu
After winter, spring in Antarctica is almost pleasant, most days just barely below freezing. As you make your way back to the station, you stop and glance at the horizon—you prefer these days of twilight, the soft orange glow of sun on the horizon contrasting beautifully with the deep indigo of the sky. It’s more interesting than never ending daylight, more comforting than the long nights of winter. And it’s still enough of a distinction to create the illusion of darkness, to trick your body into maintaining a circadian rhythm.
Your snowmobile cuts through the snow and ice, kicking up flurries in your wake. As you crest another hill, the Delaney–Chen station comes into view. Your stomach grumbles—you got here just in time. You park your snowmobile out front and make your way inside, taking off your scarf and gloves in pace with your steps. You load up on cafeteria food and find a spot by the window.
Before you eat, you have to take your multivitamin. It has a chalky feeling to it and a taste that isn’t exactly pleasant. But as you swallow the pill, you remind yourself that it’s for your own good—fruit and vegetables are hard to come by in the Antarctic, and vitamin deficiency is not something you want to deal with. It’s hard enough being out here without adding health problems on top of everything.