Saturday, June 27, 2009

Contemplating the Infinite

The days are blurring together; we're working silly hours on our ship, except that there isn't anything saner than being finished and gone as soon as possible.

Last "night", I needed to clear my head; left my workstation and floated down the corridor to a quiet corner, where the lighting is low, and a huge view port is set into the side of the ship - an uncharacteristic grace note in this utilitarian leviathan.

Floating there in the semi-darkness appropriate to the lateness of the hour, I felt my mind empty as a I gazed into the void, eyes focused on something far beyond even the bright unchanging shine of distant systems. A focus returned simultaneously to gaze and mind: a bright star with a bluish tinge near the centre of my field of view, appearing close to Procyon. Too bright, in fact, to be a star...

Strangely, I didn't startle when a soft female voice spoke from close behind me:

"Do you miss it?"


"Earth. Being outside. The sky."

I thought for a moment.

"Yes; but not enough to go back. I need... a wider horizon. A bigger sky".

A pause, and then a reply, in a sweet alto, with just the right amount of huskiness to send a tingle all the way up and down my spine:

"Me too".

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