”Take me out”
”Take me out one last time”
Ian looked down at her thin frail body. Her skin seemed indistinguishable from the sheets on her bed, pale, soft, wrinkled. The smell of antibiotics filled the air in the room and the continuous sound of the monitors pierced his ears. He looked at the door a few feet away.
”I don‘t know. I don‘t think it‘s safe for you”
He leaned down to touch her dangling cold hand.
”You‘re not very well today”
Vera wanted to sigh, but all she could manage was to move her tired eyes away from Ian‘s face. Her eyes turned from pink to dark purple, like the skies of Apollon did at dawn the day they met; On that fantastical cruiser that now seemed like a half forgotten dream.
”I‘m going to die Ian.” She took a deep breath. ”Stop worrying about me, that‘s not what I want.”
She paused and looked at the cabinet doors in front of her. Helpless to look away from them. A single sparkling tear left her right eye.
”I just want to see the galaxy one last time. Before I part, before I join it. I want to look at it”, her voice faded with each spoken word. ”Please”.
The year is 89:233.
I am part of a thirty man team that was sent to this planet to begin terraformation and preparations for colonization. Overpopulation of the planet Gliese-1239 was nearing inhospitable conditions and our services were hired by their government.
Two days ago, after setting up our camp me and my team began the scan to verify the planet’s sterility. It is against regulations to modify an environment if another life-form already resides on it. To our surprise the analysis returned a location on the planet where a sole technological signal had been detected inside a large crater.
Our first reaction was that a probe from another world had been sent here so me and two of my teammates were ordered to investigate the source. As we arrived to the destination we were greeted with empty land and sterile conditions. We were confused as nothing seemed to be out of the ordinary. We began sweeping the area, and after several hours we found a small square glass-looking device.
I took the small device in my hands and with a touch of my fingers it powered on and it displayed an interesting dance of colors and figures. I carefully packed it in a radiation container and we returned back to camp.
I was the sole technology expert on the team so they happily left the task of investigating what it was to me. I went into my small office and began an analysis of the device. It’s quantic circuits were extremely outdated but the power module had been perfectly designed. Carbon dating indicated the device had been manufactured at least 80,000 years ago. My excitement for it was exorbitant. I touched the colorful dancing figures on its screen and a simple list composed of three elements was displayed.
I eagerly prepared a cup of coffee and I sat in my chair as the stars outside dimly illuminated the roof of my cell. I touched the first entry on the list and began to read:
John Stone was sitting next to Commander Peter Wilkins on a comfortable red leather couch in the Dawn Star’s observatory. They were looking out the enormous window, bewildered. Radiant white clouds stretched out in every direction, like an ever expanding storm.
“Some sort of nebula?”, asked John.
“It’s not like any I’ve seen before”, said Peter, “There doesn’t seem to be an end to it, the ship’s scanners show nothing ahead, except for an extraordinary amount of radiation”.
“Like a barrier?”.
“Yeah, something like that, what do you think?”.
John paused, walked up to the window and peered out.
“I don’t know what to make of it, it’s like we reached a dead end”, he paused again, “We should fly on it, just over it, there’s got to be an end somewhere, it may be we are witnessing a new kind of star, or black hole covered in dust”.
“Unlikely, we are not registering any gravitational pull out here”, Peter said.
Peter walked over to John and put his hands on the glass, admiring the vastness of their new discovered cloud.