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. Continue reading “Drift”

When We Fall Apart

“It’s falling apart.”

“It’s always been falling apart.” As I walk away from the glass dome, I poke him in the head, doing my best to smile as I call him, “silly goose.”

And then, I feel it.

The ship gets rocked with the blast. With fire cracking tectonic plates to bits. Crumbling lives, calling for rescue. A million things left behind.

Destroyed.

I feel the shockwave. Tremors of love and loss. Of desperation and pain. Of joy.

Of hope.

Beneath the glass dome of the ship, he stands and watches as it happens, and I can’t blame him for not looking away.

The world beneath us burns. Continue reading “When We Fall Apart”

Marvel

I hear your name, whispered against the dark waning moon.

It calls to me.

Spurs me onward, encourages me.

I dive in.

That swirling abyss that brings me to stars. That brings nebulas to their knees. That cracks the very foundation of Jupiter, itself.

I dive into that darkness. That depth.

And I expect to see nothing.

Nothing but you. Continue reading “Marvel”

Boxed Value

The key to scavenging is:

Recognizing something with potential value.

If you’re ambling around a wrecked city, you can’t stop to look at everything. Wrecked cities are chock-full of nasties. Monsters that have been mutated, people that are hungry enough that they’ll eat anyone, falling debris. Havocked Cities—or, as we call them, HC’s—are extraordinarily dangerous. Especially if you’re unfamiliar with that planet’s history. And, as a scavenger, it’s not that often that you can get your hands on a reliable, sturdy, in-tact history of a planet. So, instead of muck around, we get right to business:

We make assessments.

Eyeball where the valuable things are, and head out for those. Taking apart the whole city is a waste. HC’s are way, way too dangerous to play around in. You’re likely to lose a life or a limb trying to pick the whole place apart.

So.

We learn a few tricks.

After all, it’s always been said:

A scavenger’s eye can’t be beat.

Continue reading “Boxed Value”

Sitting In The Dark

Mercenaries have no mercy.

That’s what I was always taught. That we, the unlucky few, manage to get hired because of that reason and that reason alone.

We have no mercy.

When we fight, we pull no punches. When we dive, we swim with sharks. And, when we speak—

We don’t withhold the truth.

Don’t ask a mercenary for anything. Not unless you can handle the clearest cut.

That’s what goes around the galaxy. That’s what we’ve been taught—what everyone has been taught.

If you want someone who’s going to hold back.

Don’t hire a mercenary. Continue reading “Sitting In The Dark”

The Stellar Path

“How can you be sure that that’s the right path?”

When she asks, her eyes are focused far off. Lingering in the dark. Clinging to the blank spots in space that neither of us can see into. That neither of us—her, with her newfound knowledge, and me, with my vast experiences—can see into.

We are blind out there in those places.

Tucked between the stars.

The darkness that those places are purveying.

But not winning.

Not if you don’t want it to.

That’s what I can see in her eyes as she looks. Not curiosity. Not wonder.

Fear.

I shake my head at her. Already, she has made a critical error.

You don’t look between the stars for knowledge.

You look there for guidance. Continue reading “The Stellar Path”

Wish Maker

Every floating rock knows:

You might be a meteor someday.

If you’re not a comet—already spiraling, turning to ash, leaving a trail behind you—then you know:

You could be a meteor.

You float around, simply stuck in the void of space. Unable to stop your trajectory. Unable to change things. Unable to take control. You live your life knowing:

You’re just floating in space.

Just floating by.

Control? That’s so far out of sight, it’s not even an illusion. If you’re a rock floating in space, you don’t kid around. Don’t pretend with yourself. You throw all that useless, make-belief trash out the window because you know.

You have no control.

One day, something might catch you. One day, you might feel that tug, that pull. One day, you might not be floating. You feel the gravity of it, and you have no choice in the matter. You’re no longer floating.

You might be falling.

Crashing.

Burning.

And there’s nothing you can do about it, except to hope.

As you fall from the sky, begin turning into ash, begin building fire, don’t think about the end. Don’t close off your senses. Don’t be overwhelmed by the falling, by the fire. Don’t allow yourself to miss it.

Listen.

Do you hear it?

Do you hear the last sound?

Do you hear that hopeful plea?

Do you hear?

Have you made a wish? Continue reading “Wish Maker”

All or Nothing

Defiance, by nature, is an act of aggression. A determination to go away from the flow. To destroy the flow. To be so other, that people can’t help but see that there’s more than one way. Defiance can be an arrowhead, or it can be a shotgun blast. So pointed, or a desperate barrage that reaches whatever it can. Regardless of form, it’s strong, and steady. Always strong and steady. Without those qualities, your defiance is nothing. A tantrum. An act. Defiance can’t be so weak. It’s a mountain in the midst of a storm. A stance that stays strong, no matter what the cost.

No matter the cost.

Continue reading “All or Nothing”

Star Collision

“Do you know why I brought you here?”

I don’t.

One minute, I was in my room, sulking. And now, I’m somewhere else.

Somewhere else entirely.

The stars shine beneath my feet. Like standing on a glass aquarium, only, instead of sharks, there are millions of fires burning. Lights that flicker and don’t fade. That burst, but don’t explode. A brightness that I can’t describe, that shines brightly like a thousand suns to create a million rainbows to light up a thousand thunder storms. It’s the top of the world, the mouth of heaven. A place anyone would be mystified by.

It’s glorious.

But I still don’t know where “it” is.

Or why I’m here.

So I shake my head at the man. The man who had the funny markings on his face. The white-hot glowing eyes. That angelic smile.

That angelic smile that looks so accepting. So knowing.

So soft.

“Let me show you,” he says.

Honestly, I don’t know how he can show me anything at all.

It’s far too bright here. Continue reading “Star Collision”

Perfection is Overrated

It was bright.

And I could hear him. See him. Almost as if he were right there, floating in front of me.

That was how I knew I’d failed.

He was staring at me—right into my eyes. And I was staring back. I could feel the tears well up, the pressure building in my sockets. The way it tightened my throat.

“What’s wrong?” he asked.

“Everything,” I croaked. My voice tiny, small. Much smaller than I remember it being.

Ah.

This was that day.

Figures.

Of all the things I’d see in my last moments, it would be this.

It would be this. Continue reading “Perfection is Overrated”