The next day, I was kept busy ALL day and into the evening with training via video conferencing WHERE the science of sealed biosphere agriculture was explained to me. I was grateful to HAVE such interesting stuff to focus on rather than ALL my sorrows. Part of me FELT guilty for not having MUCH time and attention to focus on grieving for ALL the people I HAD JUST lost. But I remembered the visitation from my mom, and her telling me I was needed for an urgent mission. It allowed me to FEEL like I was STILL being loyal to the Friends by giving the project my focus.
The second day was even more interesting. The biosphere refurbishment had reached the stage WHERE training COULD proceed on site. We WERE driven to Oracle, Arizona in a black Chevy Suburban with bullet proof glass first thing in the morning.
This place I HAD been getting briefed on so intensively was NOW a physical reality. And it was huge—like a giant, futuristic glassed-in shopping mall in the middle of the desert. Our living quarters was also NOW on site—one of a few stucco-covered dorms JUST outside the biosphere THAT had been built years ago by one of the universities THAT did programs in Biosphere 2. To save time our stuff was being packed up and moved in for us.
I was trained in working with communication glasses THAT allowed trainers to SEE and hear everything I was doing while they also communicated to me, almost like ground control talking to an astronaut, throughout most of the day. They COULD also project images to me through the glasses.
It was quite a shock to HAVE so little privacy, even to think my own thoughts, as I HAD to interact constantly with voices in my ears, their faces appearing at times as heads-up inset displasy projected in front of me.
I was used to working on my own or with a few of the Friends whom I knew ALL my life. All these people I never met WERE communicating with me ALL day as they guided me through agricultural tasks. I HAD to stay on my toes every minute to keep up with the intensive training. I began to FEEL like a robot constantly following instructions.
I was learning to manage the stress of this robotic life when, barely a week into training, the malfunction of an actual robot nearly killed me.