Such a close thing.

It's been, what, 43 hours since Herres warned me? Said collapse of the eastern line was imminent, swarms launching some kind of pincer maneuver vs. the Wichita salient.

Five or six days more and I think GAIA could have launched without our help. I really do.

We had to scramble. ZD became a madhouse. Absolute bedlam, every team rushing to stabilize code and lock it down as Gammas got evacuated, then Betas.

Once GAIA was on her way, I gathered the Alphas together to give them the bad news. Felt like I was going to throw up. But they already knew, of course. They knew the work wasn't really finished. Close, but not quite there. Still tests to run, kinks to smooth- work to do. So they accepted it. No Elysium for us. We'll spend the rest of our lives here, testing and polishing each subordinate function to perfection.

Guess that's what you get when you recruit a bunch of obsessive perfectionists. Managed not to cry until I got back to my office.

So here we are, setting up GAIA Prime. And yeah, such a close thing. Makes me feel nauseated all over again when I contemplate how the fate of life could hinge on coincidence. If I'd never proposed the Lightkeeper protocol, there never would have been living spaces constructed here. If I'd abandoned the protocol sooner, the necessary life support systems never would have been installed. IF, IF, IF. At least we won't have to endure the creepiness of raising and training clones of ourselves. The genetic material was never processed out of the cradle sites, so it's not even possible. For which I'm glad. I really, really, wouldn't want to spend time around a young Travis Tate raised by Travis Tate. No, it'll be up to us to perfect GAIA, one generation only.

Update: That was General Herres. The salient has collapsed. USRC expects to be overrun in two days, which gives us 72 hours at best to lock down and seal up.

Buried alive--for life's sake.

I'll go tell the others.

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