Challenge #01421-C326: Finding Need

"The world has need of you." It's a poem by Ellen Bass. Write something based on it please. -- Knitnan

[AN: You can read the poem over here if you're interested.]

Space is big. It's easy to imagine that the dark gulf doesn't care for the whims of one small scavenger and their ship. It was easy to feel like one tiny candle in a vast expanse of hungry darkness.

And doing EVA, checking out some empty and dark hulk... it was easy to feel suspended between light and darkness. Waiting for the pull of something... anything... that would mean companionship or profit or both.

Floating without gravity. Keeping a map on the HUD, to make certain that differing orientations did not lead to getting lost in a room that she had been in previously. With no sound but that of her own breathing. No light but that from her helmet. Nothing to fear but the things her mind conjured from the ever-moving shadows.

There was nothing but emptiness. Nothing but that which she brought with her. And that which could prove worthy inside the hulk. Whatever was passed over by previous scavengers could be useful to later scavengers. After all, it was a big universe. Sooner or later, something ate it, needed it, or could use it for other things.

Her scanners connected to the Galactic Info Nets, but only to read the materials and calculate their market worth by mass unit and whether or not they were worth taking back.

Sometimes, she wondered what the scanner thought of her.

And then, when her cargo storage was full, she would return to civilisation in a can. The nearest station. The least-cost path to somewhere that plants grew for more than food or air. Where there was no lag where she interacted with any other being. Where there were smells other than her own funk. Where there was gravity. Where there was space to stretch outside of a livesuit and food that didn't come in a suckle bag.

And in those stations, she inevitably wound up in one of the green parks. Just to watch the trees. If it was a planet, a falling leaf would pull, just slightly, on the planet it fell towards. Yet on a station or on a ship, she didn't pull back. One day... maybe... she would have the chance.

To own a little plot of land in on an actual planet. And grow real trees under a real sky. And see if she could tell the difference between pulling back and being pulled.

But for now... She needed her world to need her back. Anyone or anything would do.

This time, when she got back to her nearest canned world, she paused at the pets station. Maybe something to talk to and look after would help her feel less isolated.

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