Jerni Xyar

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Fear. Anxiety. Loneliness. My emotions get
the best of me as the countdown to launch begins.
My heart sinks to my stomach.
Shh! Quiet your mind.

“We have lift off,” announces the station attendant.
The journey to uncharted territory begins.

Resources are scarce on Aryxia, but no corners were
cut in the making of this ship. The Didinax Explorer
is not simply a feat of engineering; it's a work of art.
Blood red erotonium coats its sleek and slender body,
offering protection against all known dangers of the Void.
Razor edged wings rupture the atmosphere it passes through,
reaching speeds faster than most can fathom.

I feed more power to its thrusters and continue ascending.

Aryxia glares at me like a diseased, dehydrated eye.
I turn away from the sight and work my way down to the
SOM-Chamber. Engaging the AI, I realize that this lifeless program
is the only friend I've got from here on out.

“Kelemter Drive engaged in T minus 20 minutes,” announces the AI.

I better get moving. A musty aroma lures me into the chamber.
Viridian liquid shifts calmly inside the SOM-Pool.
When I emerge from that pool, everyone I've ever known will likely
be gone. Thoughts of turning back attempt to overcome reason.

I take a deep breath, and submerge myself in the viscous fluid.

“Kelemter Drive in 5-4-3-”

My mind fades to black.

Fifty cycles have passed, and for me it was just a
good night's sleep. Nothing's changed. Not that I ever
expected it to, but fifty cycles...

I suppose there's no sense in thinking about it now.
What's done is done. This far away, communication with
Aryxia will be impossible. I need to focus on what lies ahead.

Stepping into the cockpit, I'm welcomed with a
sight that would stimulate even the wildest of imaginations.

The pargmies swim through space as if it were water.
Intrigued by my ship, the emissive pink creatures whirl around the
cabin, hoping to find any microbes to feast on.

Most will never see the space-faring pargmies, and the naive
even believe them to be fairy tales. Even for a scientist,
a flock this size is unthinkable!

I set the thrusters to cruise as I settle in for the long trip ahead.
The pargmy flock moves on into the blackness of space.
Silence captures me as I gaze at the bed of stars.

credits

from Quaternion, released February 17, 2016
Music and Story: Type-I
Album Artist: Martina Stipan
Story Editor: Max Al-Shawbkeh

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