spaceship | In This Future Or The Next

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Ruben Malvarma, The Galactic Penguin

Image created by John Erickson http://johnraptor.deviantart.com/

Image created by John Erickson
http://johnraptor.deviantart.com/

 

Darkness engulfed Earth. Acid and ash rained over the continents. The wind screamed as it passed through the cracks and the holes and the windows of the decaying cities. A sad melody rang over its atmosphere reaching every corner of the world to remind its non-existent inhabitants of the death they had endured.

A beep echoed in the cockpit of the Starship Sphenis, eighty thousand light-years away, on the other side of the Milky Way galaxy.

Uh… Ruben what was that?

“What was what?”

Didn’t you just get a message? I think I heard a beep.

“We’re in the middle of something.”

It could be from the empire.

“Just answer the question.”

Fine… well, are we stopping by planet Hunnon on the way back?

“Yeah, why?”

I could really use some of their-

Another beep from the command center resonated around them.

Just look at the message!

Ruben Malvarma, one of the last remaining penguins in the galaxy sighed at the voice in his head. “Okay!”

He walked across the bright room, across the metal floors and under the glass ceiling, through the myriad lights of the thousand controls and touched a glowing screen that read: “New Message.”

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The Neptune

Image created by Ginhebi http://ginhebi.deviantart.com

Image created by Ginhebi
http://ginhebi.deviantart.com

I entered this chamber fifty two years ago. I remember that day in its entirety. My memories before it are sparse, it was a different life, they were different times.

I remember my body. They said it was perfect, I was short, slim, smart. I agreed with them when they told me, but they didn’t know and I didn’t know.

Commander Scone looks at me from the other side of the command center. He stands tall, much taller than I am, and from beneath the iridescent ceiling he produces a smile. The room is empty, the Commander approaches, and I am frozen with excitement at the sight of the man whose voice has briefed me in my missions for so many years. I have seen him before in video, in hologram and images, but never before have I been standing before him. He’s a friend that I cherish, he’s a man I respect, but seeing him and his ship with my own eyes makes my memories seem like a distant dream.

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A Polite Stranger

I have been travelling the galaxy looking for a new home. Thousands of us volunteered. We scanned the planets, we scanned the stars and when we were done, we moved on to the next.

There are no days or nights here. There is always darkness. A darkness so deep that even myriad stars can’t rid us of it. Sometimes I have trouble knowing if I’m awake. There have been times when I was sure I had found hope for us. I look at my scanner and see another Earth, glowing amidst the black sea, waiting for us to come, and when I reach for the screen to mark it, I wake up. I wake up to find to myself alone, three hundred years and counting, staring out into the universe. Somewhere out there a home awaits, the home that will save all of us.

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Janitor

There is a place in this ship that few people know about and that I like to visit. It’s hidden below the storage area in the back, near where June and Boid go and kiss themselves when the lights go off; They don’t know that’s where I spend the nights, they don’t know I watch them from the corner, from that secret place. It has a small window, it has a small chair, and when no one is watching I sit on it and look outside.

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We’re Leaving Earth Behind

I can still see it from here. I haven’t lost track of it yet. Among the millions of stars around it, it still shines blue, it still looks like home.

I spend my days walking through these white hallways, the ones with the soft floors, the ones where your feet don’t hurt after having walked all day. I talk to other people in them, like ants we work, and their feet too never hurt. At night we smile to each other and on occasion say ‘good night’, for old times sake.

Sometimes, when I sleep, I can smell the salt of the ocean, I can hear the waves caress the sands outside my home. It used to be the shore that marked the limit, the limit beyond which humans could not go, a blue infinite that was impossible to conquer. Until someone did. It’s how we humans learned there are no limits. They conquered the sea and then the land. They conquered the depths of the ocean and then the peaks of the mountains that scratched the stars.

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