Late in the 21st Century the Tyrell Corporation advanced evolution to the next phase - a being virtually identical to human - known as a replicant.
"Mmm," not again, these dreams are getting a habit. Tara smiled as she stretched in her sleeping bag.
"Lights half shutter open," she directed the environmental controls, making the scramble down from her elevated bed, over to the window which she knew she was lucky to have.
Running long fingers through her shoulder length straight blonde hair, Tara gazed out of the large window with a smile, as she hugged herself silently.
The view never changed, always the red Martian landscape, with the large Tholus summit dominating the horizon. A dust storm was blowing so it looked like the shuttles would have a hard time landing. Luckily she knew it was only supplies today, rather than a day when a 500 tonne super ore tanker was due to leave for Earth with its precious cargo of iron ore.
"Message received urgent," she heard her company communicator chirp in its friendly manner.
"Relay message," she asked.
"Morning T, can you pick up a early shift in Minor's today, Tiko's gone missing and with two on leave we need a healing hand."
"Hi Mona, I'll be there by 0900 and we can discus how many favours Tyrell C owes me then."
Slipping into her grey overalls Tara grabbed her wash-kit and made her way out onto the 3rd level landing of the accommodation unit she shared with, at last count, another 75 mining support workers, both male and female. Why the prison look, she mused, they could at least have got creative with the décor, then again ducts are ducts even if they are blue.
Once in the female shower rooms at the end of the landing, she quickly found an unoccupied unit. "Yippee no queue," Tara chuckled to herself still in a happy mood.
Under the soothing water, she thought about the recurring dream which she always longed for. Always the red headed girl, with blue eyes smiling at something, I think it must be me. It's defiantly earth too, just like in pictures and movies. She feels so, I don't know, safe, like home, like cookies made by Mum. Strawberries, although I've never tasted the real thing, just the juice drink.
All these, random warm, cosy feelings of love. They were the feelings she always woke up with, and it made her happy, but sad too, who was she? A mystery girl in a place I've never been to, at least that's what I'm told.
A lot of things were hazy from before the crash four years ago. Funny how the children had survived when the parents hadn't. All 35 sets of parents had been killed instantly on impact with the Martian surface. Leaving 35 children of all ages orphaned in a moment. A quirk of a seating plan that had seated employees and spouses in the front cabin, children in the rear. She could only remember small snippets of family life, her father, devoted company man, her mother always baking, bringing home earth antiques from the base market, organising social events. Always busy.
The crash had robbed her of family, the coma had robbed her too... of memories, precious memories.
"Beep - water limit exceeded Auto shut off 5 seconds." Damn rationing.
"Morning Mona, which station do you want me on?" Tara enquired as she walked into Base 4's hospital wing, blinking as her eyes adjusted to the harsh lighting in the all-white facility.
"Minors 5 please," Mona replied with the fixed smile of the harassed from behind the nurse's station.
"Ok but nothing in the disgusting or disturbing areas, NO pukings or poopings," Tara said sternly.
"Will do, first one's waiting - head v shuttle - you can guess the winner."
"Dust Storm?" asked Tara.
"No, faulty door - that's my story and I'm sticking to it!" the reply came from behind a curtain.
Pulling back the curtain Tara was confronted with a young man about 20-25 with a mop of black hair which had an adsorbsion pad held to it by his un-gloved right hand.
"Morning, welcome to Mars, Mr?" asked Tara shaking her head with a grin.
"Harris, Zander, first time off-world and I end up cracking my cranium," Zander replied glumly.
"Ok well l'll have a look at it, you're not about to die just yet though, so. Have you got your med card with you?" Tara asked
"Yeah it's in my wallet - right rear pocket - can you?" Zander said, trying unsuccessfully to open the pocket with his left hand.
"You keep that right where it is, I'll get it," Tara quickly replied.
Tara moved around the exam table in the centre of the cubicle, and spotted something in a rear pocket of Zander's flight suit. "Right one?"
"Yeah, leftss junk - don't worry its not the first time I've been felt up," Zander said jokily.
"If you want to be felt up, the lap dance bar's on Base 6 so you're out of luck flyboy," Tara batted back.
Taking the brown wallet from its pocket, Tara opened it up looking for the required medical card. To see a picture, that's a nice family, Tara thought with a twinge of loneliness. No all the same age, or there about, three girls and my patient. Looks like a bar. Red Hair! That face, the blue eyes, it's her, even the smile. She's older but it's HER lovely sweet dream HER in the right of the picture.
Tara looked up to see if Zander had noticed her silence.
"I'm going to scan this, ok, be back in a sec," Tara said still stunned unable to take her eyes off the picture.
Tara quickly left Cubicle 5 thinking, what do I do. What do I do? He'll think I'm crazy. I can't ask him - her name, I need her name at least.
After running the card though the reader at the nurses station, Tara stared intently as the desk display floated the cards data in the air above in blue neon.
Name: Zander Harris
She could be Anya, married. Tara slumped down in the chair, staring at the picture again, burning it into her memory. No he has an arm around one of the two blonde's. Tara smiled.
"Hey bleeding here, blood loss becoming an issue," Tara heard from behind her.
Swinging around still clutching the precious wallet, Tara returned to her work.
"Concentrate McClay no killing patients over a picture," she said under her breath as she remembered her training.
Once back at her work Tara quickly put two stitches in Zander's head wound, which was all it needed, while constantly looking at the wallet that was sitting on the exam table.
Handing back the wallet as nonchalantly as she could, she asked the thing she had to know. "Who's in the picture? Looks like fun," Tara asked shakily.
"Oh that's the gang - that's my wife Anya," he pointed.
"I thought you might be Mormon for a minute - you know, this is my harem," Tara grinned
"Woah scary thought - one's enough, that's Willow, brains of the gang and computer wiz, that's Buffy, kick ass Bladerunner extraordinaire, note the black on black leather motif and Mr R," Zander pointed out the two remaining girls.
Willow, Tara thought, Willow.
"So that it? Can I go? I'm due to fly back tonight and I've got to queue to both unload and load up with waste before 1800," Zander asked
"Huh oh yeah sure, your good to go, the stitches will dissolve in a month," replied Tara absently.
"Thanks for the stitches, all I've got to do now is think up a heroic story - any small animals need saving?"
"We've got a pet rabbit on level 9 - thumper I think?" Tara answered still staring into space.
"Nope that's a no go, Anya's allergic. She wouldn't let me back into the apartment for a month! Thanks anyway.....Tara," said Zander as he grabbed a jacket that had been hanging over a chair and rushed away.
Running away, running away. No I need more.