Drift

For eons, we’ve been like this.

Striving for ways to go faster. To do things better. What used to take us centuries now only take a few minutes. With the help of our machines, we can speed things up. Skip through time. We can cheat the system. Grow crops in days. Cook food in seconds.

Reach the stars.

That’s what we were always clambering for. To be able to walk other planets. Rove through asteroid belts. Brush against the stars. Going fast—moving at the speed of light—that was the only way to achieve that.

And we did.

Centuries ago, we did.

And it wasn’t enough.

It’ll never be enough.

Faster, faster.

Faster.

We always have to go faster.

Sometimes, I think it’d just be nice to…

Turn the power off.

Slow down a little.

Drift.

“Our engines are dead and you’re having tea?”

“Yep,” I don’t even hesitate as I retort. As I take a loud, obnoxious sip of my tea. “Best kind, you know. Been steeped for hours.”

“Why hours? You can make tea in seconds,” he asks, looking at the parts he has scattered across the dock’s floor.

I smile at him. “Speed can never beat what time has to offer.”

“I think you’re just old,” he grumbles.

I shrug. “A bit,” I admit. Because, it’s true, I am. There’s no denying it. Not with all these wrinkles, all these extended and reclaimed parts. All this cyborg nonsense jutting from my system, keeping me alive—

There’s no denying it.

But.

That doesn’t mean I’m wrong.

“Why don’t you come up to the dome? You can get a good look at the stars.”

“Because someone has to fix this engine. And it doesn’t look like it’ll be you,” he says accusingly, glaring at the tea in my hand.

I laugh a little.

Honestly, I could have the ship fixed in seconds if I wanted to. The problem is fairly simple—there’s no need to have all these parts strewn about. But, the boy wants what he wants. And he wants to be the one to fix the ship, because he wants it to be fixed fast. Because he doesn’t want to wait. Doesn’t want to slow down.

I sigh.

Confronted with the problem again.

“There’s really no need to fix it,” I tell him. “Our nav system says we’re not on a collision course with anything, and we’re drifting toward home base at a steady rate. We should be there in a day or so. And, we’ve got supplies to last for a decade or more. Really, we can afford to look at the stars a little—appreciate what we’ve got.”

At that, he huffs. Unconvinced, I think. Though, certainly:

Unwilling to slow down.

Sighing, I take out my pistol. The one that shrinks things.

And, in a few quick shots, I hit every last piece of equipment.

“Hey!” he yells.

I smile at him as I walk out of the dock, heading to the dome. Ready to relax, look at some stars.

And, over my shoulder, I tell him.

“We’re fine Talos. Just fine. We’re on a good course. Speeding it up won’t do us any good.”

“But—”

“You’re too young to be this frantic,” I tell him.

“Just relax. Calm down. We’ll get there eventually. Pursuing our goal like this—it won’t do us much good. We’re already on our way. Enjoy the moment.

“Drift.”

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