JEREMUSIC

Journey to Proxima

I had volunteered for the mission. Now I wasn’t even sure why. I had been studying on the Terrestrial Planet Finder project for most of my life now, and when the Cryogenic stasis had been finally approved, and coincidentally the alpha-neutron star-drive, the pieces were finally in place for a one-man one way exploration. It was not even that heroic really. Thousands of men and women before had died for the cause they believed in and the outcome of their efforts was a great deal less valuable than the outcome of my mission, were it to be a success. It was however a one-way trip for man, and only the radio signals that I would send would finally return to Earth.The target, Proxima Centauri, a dim small star, hardly bigger than our Jupiter and much smaller than our Sol, was our closest star being only 4.2 light years away. But that only was a big only, meaning I would have to travel at 300,000 kilometres per second for over 4 years to get there. However, our rocket scientists couldn’t make a ship that fast yet, but with the Cryogenic stasis I would survive the seventy plus years that my journey would last, ageing only a fraction of that in stasis.The stasis was not the problem, it being relatively commonplace now and the earlier mental disorders that occurred in the first guinea-pigs on thawing was now only history. I would wake from my sleep on the approach to Proxima, and do a few years research in the Bio-pod, and send all the data back on tight beam transmission back to Earth. Then, I could terminate myself or try to live as long as possible as I chose. Either way I would never see Earth again.
The launch day had arrived. So this was it; a one way ticked for the good of mankind. I was being given a heros send-off, though I didn’t feel heroic in the slightest, but I had resolved to do my all for the promulgation of mankind and this was the ultimate task any human could ascribe to. 
All final checks in place, my lungs filled with the oxy-fluid and the temperature dropped. Hours or days passed and the robot voice of my stasis monitor called out “200K” or minus 73 celcius! Unbelievably I was still dimly aware of being aware and could hear, though my eyes were frozen shut. I had been aware of the take off but could not tell now for how long I had been travelling. Dimly I was aware of gravitational fluctuations as the Neutron drive cut in….and the pain had been steadily increasing for who knows how long now.. but I could only cry out in my mind…
I travelled for thousands of miles, drifting in my pain soaked trance, on and on…my awareness faded.
Suddenly, I snapped to. I vomited harshly. I was breathing air!!! I forced my icy eyes to open, and could see a blurred message on the stasis display. AUTO-THAW INITIATED.The pain came back all at once. I staggered, and made myself breathe slow deep breaths, for many long minutes until I could actually think again.
It was 48 hours now since I had been woken from my reverie. I was half way to Proxima and the Cryogenics had failed irreparably. I knew I would die before I reached the target sun. I pointlessly sent the continuous life-signs and distress signals out on sub-light transmission, and resigned myself to my fate. At least they would know it failed.There was now nothing more I could do. I climbed back up to the sky-pod, and picked up my guitar…

The cascade of guitar chords filled my numbed mind. If this was death, it wasn’t so bad. The pain in my body had gone. In fact I had no idea where my body was, or if I even still had one. I seemed to be forgetting…but guitar chords were always there, resonating and decaying slowly like an almost infinite sustain…

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~Take its body, carefully now, and place it here…
See, this is the instrument it uses to communicate… it was calling out to us on the sublight band with this.. 
It is slowly responding and moving an opening on its body but it is unintelligible … here, give it back its communication device, then we will understand…
Ahhh yes, we know what it is saying now….
It says it is lost…


…forever.




Empathy.











Copyright 2005-2012 Jeremy Feldmesser All rights reserved,