I even miss those sandpaper hands of yours. I tried to reach you on our anniversary, but I was notified that all communications had to go through IPX. Is that some new policy? It seems a bit extreme. Anyway, I gave up. I didn't want your bosses watching some mushy anniversary message from your lonely husband. And then tonight I realized, who cares if they see it? So long as you see it. I know where you are this message won't reach you for days, but I love you to my wife on New Year's Eve. I still love saying my wife...."
"I know you felt guilty about canceling, and you shouldn't. I'm so proud of you. I've been worried that we've been letting obstacles get between us-borders. But I realized tonight that I feel as close to you as I ever have. It's fifteen minutes to midnight, and I can feel you near me, thinking of me, loving me."
"I'm so sorry that I snapped at you the last time we talked. I can't wait to see you and make it up to you. I love you, Anna."
"I love you, John."
Though she hadn't heard from John in over a month and had no idea when she would hear from him, she could feel him, his love, his concern , the sheer integrity of his presence, as if he were in the next room. Anna hesitated, then ordered:
"End message. Send. Access code Idol Worshipper."
"Message sent," the com station said, and Anna stood, preparing to leave the lab and, God help her, reenter the party.
She could hear the beginnings of a Gigmosian chant coming from the conference room next door.
"Message error," the com station said.
Anna went to the com station, not sure what had happened. She hadn't used the com station in the main lab before, but the conference room was occupied, and only Chang's quarters came equipped with