After this morning’s freakout, I grabbed a pint of J&B, and headed outside.

I took Buzz down to the Array to check out Dish 20, the transmitter I used to send the “SPEGG” message on December 21st.

Everything was exactly as I left it. The transmission was still in the dish’s memory, and the log showed that it has been repeating once every day at 18:57:09 for the last seven days.

After clearing D20’s log and re-syncing it with the ARC node, I climbed up the dish’s ladder to the platform above and drank for a while. Buzz lingered below as I tipped the bottle again and again, staring out over the icy landscape. I stayed in that position for I don’t know how long. It was the most normal I had felt in weeks. After a while I carefully climbed back down, brushed the fresh snow from Buzz’s coat, and headed back to the station.

We climbed out of the valley and headed over to the storehouse for some provisions, when a ghostly helicopter suddenly landed on the makeshift helipad. A crowd of wraiths hopped out, and together they shuffled into station. Immediately afterward, the chopper lifted a few feet off the ground, then sort of rippled out of existence. I turned and cocked an eyebrow at Buzz, who was scratching at the storehouse door, oblivious.

I shrugged, drained the last finger of J&B, then skipped the empty pint over the ice.