Friday, 29 August 2014

The Orrery

Around the world all went on as normal; people died and children were born, some in comfort, some in squalor. Men loved women, men loved men and women loved women.  Some squabbled, some were loyal and loving, and some cheated on their partners. Each individual wrapped in their own soap operas of their lives, in the cycle of birth and death; while beyond the drama of their immediate existence, bankers cheated on customers, traders played the stock market, politicians lied and claimed expenses and warmongers sought justification for their actions under the influence of arms dealers and media moguls.

In other words it was a day like any other; the earth turned in its daily cycle, while it took its annual journey around the sun as it had since its creation. All was as clockwork, regular and predictable; tick tock, tick tock…


Hidden from sight, under the warm sun the children played in the garden. Their mother walked under the dappled shade of the apple trees, idly picking fruit and listening to the birds that serenaded her in the branches above. Her enjoyment however was increasingly becoming curtailed by the boisterousness of her children’s play.

“But I don’t want to play this game anymore.” The girl protested, trying to hold her brother at bay with the broom handle.

Her brother wasn’t listening; he had a play sword and shield and was eager to get to grips with his opponent and avenge the bruise he had just received to his side.

The girl swung the broom handle which made a loud knock as it rapped on her brother’s shield. Seeing his chance the boy dove forward under his sister’s reach swinging his wooden sword to smack painfully against his sister’s shins.

She gave a high pitched scream and cried as she fell to the ground clutching her legs, while her brother stood over her, his sword raised in triumph.

The birds in the branches took off and flew away, as the girl’s scream pierced her mother’s eardrums.

“Right, that’s it,” the mother said, her face angry and threatening, “Go inside and stop ruining my peace. It’s a beautiful day and all I can hear is you two shouting and screaming!”

“But mum,” the girl replied in horror at her mother’s lack of sympathy, “Ares hurt me!”

“So Hebe? What about that jab you gave him a short time ago?” The mother replied, in no mood for taking sides. “You’re both annoying me, put down your toy weapons and find something else to do, and stay out of your father’s study!”

Reluctantly the siblings left the garden to their mother and her precious birds and went through the ornate pillars, indoors into the villa. The walls were brightly painted with Arcadian scenes of long ago. Hebe span and danced her way through the corridors while Ares scowled; denied as he was his favourite game.

“Trust you to ruin our game,” he said sullenly, “Now I’m bored.”

“You hurt me brother,” Hebe replied, “You always take it too seriously. What are we going to do now? We could read or practise playing our instruments?”

“Boring and boring,” Ares said, “I know what I’m going to do.” With that he changed direction and stood outside a gold panelled door.

“Ares!” Hebe hissed. “You heard what mother said, we weren’t to enter father’s study.”

“Scaredy cat!” Ares hooted, “Hebe, the chicken!” He clucked.

“I am not.” Hebe replied, standing proud.

“Prove it!”

Hebe pushed her brother aside and drawing a deep breath, opened the door.

Inside were rolls of parchments and manuscripts set in alcoves in the wall, but dominating the room was their father’s orrery. It was made of brightly polished brass and was clockwork driven. It ticked and it tocked as the spheres, intricate balls of coloured marble, orbited the brass sun that seemed to shine of its own accord. Ares gasped at its beauty and went for a closer look.

“What is it?” He asked of his sister.

“It is a model of the solar system,” she replied, “It represents the planets orbiting the sun and models their movements exactly.”

“Isn’t it amazing?” Ares replied, “I like the way all the balls are coloured differently, look at that little third one, the intricate blue and green designs on… Whoops!”

His finger touched the marble and it fell off its mounting. It fell on the floor, chips flying off it and rolled unevenly across the tiles.

“Ares you fool!” Hebe hissed, “Now you’ve gone and done it.”

“We were never in here, let’s get out quick!”

“I’ll keep this a secret, but only if you promise to play what I want to play.” Hebe said.

“Agreed!” Ares desperately replied as they quietly closed the door behind them.

Under the dappled shade of the apple trees she felt her husband’s hands grab her waist from behind. She felt his beard against her neck as he nibbled her ear. She giggled and turned to kiss him.

“Husband, you’ve returned home early.” She said but she noticed he wore a sad expression. “Whatever is the matter?”

“Yes, I have returned early. I’m afraid there has been a frightful accident, our project has fallen into ruin.” He said, as he turned and walked inside, wiping a tear from his eye. She followed him closely.

“What, after all these years? Whatever happened?” she said as he opened his study door.

“It just broke into pieces.”

“And what of the…”

“Gone, I’m afraid. All of them gone.” He said sadly. “Oh look!”

She followed his gaze as he picked up the chipped marble.

“The children haven’t been in here have they, Hera? He asked suspiciously.

“No, they were playing in the garden and then were playing music the rest of the day. What are you going to do?”

“Oh well, accidents happen, I suppose. Truth be told, I was getting bored with it anyway, they were all self-obsessed and ignored us most of the time.” He rooted about a drawer and found a small marble of blue and green, “Ah, here we are. As to what I’m going to do,” he said, placing the marble on the vacant mounting on the orrery, “Well, I’ll just start again of course or my name’s not Zeus…”


… tick tock, tick tock… No one had expected the apocalypse, although it had been predicted by doomsayers since the dawn of time. When it came it was thankfully sudden; there had been barely enough time to scream.

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Mind Blowing!

“Scared?” Justin asked, while passing the spliff to his companion. He exhaled a lungful of the pungent smoke; a smile forming on his face, showing between his long hair and five day old beard.

“Should I be, man?” Dave replied. “A trip is a trip, is a trip.” He said, before drawing deeply on the joint. He looked behind them, shaking his hair out of his eyes; they were now high up in the Sierra Madres, following the rough map supplied to them by Pedro De Pacas the night before. They were both sweating with the climb, despite the fact that the sun had only just risen.

“I knew you were high man, when you agreed to this.” Chuckled Justin. “Didn’t you hear Pedro going on about the dangers and stuff?”

“Man, Pedro is one cool dude and he distils some crazy Tequila but he hurts my ears after a while. All I heard was this was that up here was some grade A shit that we are gonna find.”

“This Mente Bombe is like nothing else. I’ve heard it spoken of before, when I was studying at the UCLA.”

“Justin,” Dave said passing back the spliff, “You were at the UCLA for how long exactly? A few months? I don’t reckon you could call your time there as studying, man.”

“Long enough!” Justin laughed. “You may be right, bro’. But hey, I spoke to some dudes and I read about previous luminaries who have studied these things.”

Dave scoffed. “Yeah I’ve read Castaneda and of Don Juan and his Yaqui way of knowledge too. He went to UCLA didn’t he?”

“That’s right,” Justin said as he pulled on the spliff and exhaled though his nose, “But there were pamphlets written by old dudes who knew him and attempted experiments of their own.”

“Man, those were the 60’s and 70’s,” Dave replied, “What with Ginsberg and Leary, they really thought they could change the world through psychedelics. They were wrong man, they were just fucked up acid casualties.”

“Have you never experienced something spiritual when you trip?” Justin asked in disbelief as he turned to continue climbing the trail.

“Well I thought I was an eagle when we did Peyote last year, does that count? I thought I was pissing into deep space when I took a leak on shrooms once.”

“You’re just a hit freak man, a fucking Philistine.” Justin said shaking his head.

“Ok, ok, tell me about these... dangers,” Dave said, using his fingers to make quotation marks, “That Pedro spoke of… and pass me that joint back, while you’re at it!”

Justin laughed. “You see man? Just a fucking hit freak!”

They both doubled up in laughter at that, as Justin passed the spliff to his friend as requested.

“Well the trip is meant to be amazing, completely muthafucking mind blowing, hence the name Mente Bombe I guess, although it’s also called Diosa de Hambre, for some reason…” Justin’s speech trailed off as the marijuana and altitude made him suddenly realise how stoned he was.

“I know that man, it’s meant to be like a whole body orgasm; why do you think I’ve followed you down into Mexico? The Hungry Goddess? Why call a fungus that? Fucking Mexicans! What are these dangers that Pedro was on about?”

“I was getting there dude…” Justin said gathering his thoughts. “Pedro said that it was easy to lose yourself forever, it was so nice. Shit man I was stoned when he was talking; why is it always me who has to listen? Hey look I reckon this is the valley just up here.”

“Lose yourself!” Dave snorted. “Who does that Mexican tool think he’s talking to? We are true travellers of the inner spaceways of the mind my friend; there’s no one who gets wasted like us bro’.”

“It’s just what he said man…Wow!”

Dave followed Justin and saw what had caused his companion’s jaw to drop. Up ahead was a beautiful narrow green valley, the entrance was flanked by two age worn pillars of neatly dressed stones, covered in intricate carvings of Jaguars and Condors, draped in ferns and mosses.

Justin ran his fingers over one of the pillars. “Man, this place should be crawling with archaeologists and yet it’s a secret, only known of by a few heads.”

“You think these are amazing, then look ahead bro’.” Dave said.

Justin peered through the valley; the whole place alive with lush green foliage and flowers of every colour imaginable. In the centre of the valley was a small Mayan stepped pyramid. “Beautiful man, just beautiful!” he said.

“Just think what this place must look like when we’re on the Mente Bombe!” Dave quickly replied, urging his friend into the valley. “What does this shit look like anyhow?”

“Little electric blue mushrooms are how they were described.”

“Like these?” Dave said, stopping before a low plinth, like a church font. Like the pillars its sides were covered in Mayan carvings, but from the top sprouted hundreds of brilliantly blue mushrooms. Dave grabbed a handful and stuffed them into his mouth, chewing vigorously.

“Hey man, this is a holy place. Shouldn’t we perform some kind of ritual?”

“Fuck that man,” Dave replied, “Let’s get high. Oh man, I’m coming up already, this is … wow man, this is…” Dave shivered and sighed in pleasure as the drug coursed through him.

“Oh fuck it.” Justin said grabbing a handful himself but carefully chewing them one at a time. He turned and saw Dave stumbling towards the pyramid, leaving a trail of his clothes as he threw them off.

“Dave man, what are you doing?” Justin giggled looking down at his feet. Through the earth he could see huge roots led from the plinth to the pyramid pulsing with rainbows of light leading the way.

“She’s singing to me. This is… this is…” Dave mumbled, now completely naked and hurrying towards the pyramid.

“Oh man, have you got a hard on? “ Justin laughed as he saw his naked friend's arousal. Justin's ears were full of a rushing noise and his body throbbed and pulsed delightfully. As they approached the pyramid they saw lots of small plinths completely covered in ferns and mosses, like huddled people in prayer before the temple. The colours of the flowers and the heady scents were intoxicating as the pulsing roots led them on.

“She’s singing to me. This is… This is…” Dave murmured again, dropping to his knees, gasping in ecstasy, panting as if in the throes of love making.

“Dave, are you? Oh man, what the fuck are you doing?” As Justin asked he heard a wet sucking noise and went forward. “Hey man can’t you do that in private, if you’re gonna start to rub one out?”

“She’s here. This is… This is…”

Justin looked at his friend; tendrils had grown from the ground, oozing and sliming. They reached towards Dave’s face. Justin wanted to scream a warning but he just mumbled something unintelligable to even his own ears.

“This is… mind blowing!” Dave said smiling. His eyeballs popped as the tendrils pushed into his eye sockets, worming into his brain. The roots around him were pulsing blood red and all the time there was a dreadful sucking sound.

“Oh fuck! Oh fuck!” Justin yelled, finding his voice at last. He looked up, all around were the fern covered plinths, but they weren’t made of stone at all, they were hunched skeletons, the dried husks of what once were people.

He tried to walk away but the colours were so beautiful that his head swam and he lurched from side to side. It was then,amid the rushing in his ears, that he heard her song. The sound touched his soul, dispelling all fear as his body yielded to the wonderful pulsing. He followed the voice and then he saw her; not a woman but a goddess of exquisite beauty. Her blue naked skin glistened wet and her hair shone an electric azur. She beckoned to him. He yearned for her, to worship her. He tore at his clothes, joining her in nakedness…



Pedro De Pacas walked out of his house; a bottle of Tequila in his hand. He took a long swig and looked up at the mountains towards the hidden valley of Dios de Hambre. They would be up at the temple by now. Stupid gringos! He would need to destroy all trace of them, no one would ever know they had been here; but who would miss two gringo hippies, anyway? He raised his bottle in salute; eat well my hungry goddess!

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Old Nan's story


“Tell us a story old Nan.” the child said, her brother nodding in agreement.

The old woman gathered her shawl around her shoulders as she stirred the fire in her smoky hovel. “What kind of story?”

“One about the old times, before…” the little girl faltered.

“With magic, faeries and trolls!” the little boy interrupted.

“Just one then,” the old woman said “I don’t want your parents to worry about your absence. Let’s go out into the sunlight, look how the light shines through the leaves.”

They all sat out in the glade, the old woman’s eyes looked up into the branches, listening. She smiled, looked down and began…

It wasn’t so very long ago when magic was all around, when the laughter of faery folk would be on the edge of hearing of lonely travellers journeying through the green woods. Not so long ago, when monsters were a reality of life, when dragons were remembered in stories around the fire, when the bleak moors and treacherous marshes were the abode of trolls and their night-stalking kin.
In such a place, not far from here, in a land of ancient kings, to loving parents Edith was born. They weren’t rich but neither were they poor. Edith’s father was a liege man of the local lord. He was granted fertile lands which he farmed. In return he was on call to offer military service to his lord and helping to collect taxes from poorer households in his locality. He was a firm but fair man, aware that those less fortunate than he needed grain and animals to see them through the winter and replant the fields come the spring.
Her mother was kind and loving, she was there to kiss her goodnight, sing the trolls away from under her cot and clean scratches and scrapes from brambles and thorns, dabbing away tears and childhood fears. For a while she had her mother all to herself but when her brother Alfred was born she had to share her. He wailed and cried, constantly demanding her mother’s time. Whereas before the two of them would have played, or read her mother’s book of hours, or mended clothes or adorned them with embroideries.
Edith’s early years were a memory of sun dappled light through the green leaves of summer, of the laughter of the faeries in the branches of the trees like clear crystal bells, of the magic of the seasons; misty autumns to winters’ cold frost that froze the marshy pools and left blanketing snow on the roofs and fields, before yielding again to bright spring and the warm summer days. It was a rhythm, regular and comforting.

But now there were chores that needed doing around the house and in the surrounding fields, the cows needed milking, the butter needed churning, the list was endless. When she could she would escape to the nearby woods to find solitude and a haven from the shouts of “Do this” or “Do that”. She dreamt of change lying under the green boughs in the forest. The invisible folk that hid in the leaves heard her; her wish would be granted soon enough, but when it came it would be unwanted. The spirits of the forest demanded payment but had no need of coin.
Towards the end of summer her father’s summons came. His lord required all of his available knights and men at arms. Her father readied his weapons and bid his wife and baby son goodbye. Edith was upset and hid in the forest, her weeping stifled the laughter in the trees above. Her father found her, kissed and hugged her, told her how precious she was and reluctantly rode away, knowing the crops needed harvesting in a few short weeks’ time.
She was left with her mother and younger brother, with more chores to do to cover her father’s absence. Some tenants helped with the harvest as September turned to October. The mists hung thick over the haunted fenlands and creeping between the tree trunks up the wooded hills. There came a day when a hush settled on the land as the world held its breath. There was no laughter in the tree tops anymore and large muddy footprints were seen after a frightful might marking where Fen Trolls had walked beyond their swampy home.
Word spread slowly from the other end of the kingdom; a great battle had been fought and lost. Edith’s father was among the lost, fallen beside his lord. Her mother cried inconsolably; priests spoke of the end of times oft foretold, that God was visiting a great judgement upon the kingdom brought about by ungodliness. Edith knew better however. She went to the woods and shouted curses up at the branches, but winter was rapidly approaching; if the spirits, now residing in the Mistletoe or Holly, heard her they remained quiet.
As winter set in, stragglers from the battle limped home; some were maimed or fevered. The road east was littered with those who had yielded to death despite their overriding homing instinct. Edith’s mother tended those she could with broth and words of comfort. Some were merely passing through but others she knew as bondsmen of her husband. Those could barely look her in the eye, for shame of leaving his body, and the King’s, on that bloodied ridge. All bore a fear and wished to get home, as if every moment was precious and their life candles were almost burnt away.
With Spring arrived these fears became flesh. Sir Huw FitzOsborn and his retainers came. With him came Sir Guy de Grieu and his small retinue who were travelling further westward. Their words were harsh, their language strange, while their desires were all too obvious. All hopes that they were all passing through dissolved when Sir Huw announced that the lands and the folk hereabouts, were now his. Edith didn’t understand the full implication until she realised that she, her brother and mother were now dependants of Sir Huw’s also. Without waiting for the formality of marriage Sir Huw took the lady of the house to his bed. Her protestations were silenced when the squawking Alfred was passed to one of the Men-at-Arms; the threat unspoken but implicit. Sir Huw’s retinue were equally as lust driven and demanding of the serving women around the house. It mattered not if they were married; protesting husbands had daggers held against their throats. Edith kept out of the way, especially when the mead and ale was being drunk; she felt the eyes of Guy de Grieu, in particular, often upon her. She was relieved when Sir Guy left after two days of enjoying her future step father’s hospitality.
Sir Huw and her mother were soon married. At least now as his ward Edith had a degree of value to him. She took young Alfred under her protective wing. The new master despised the living reminder of the previous Lord of this holding and was jealous of the attention the little one got from his wife. When drunk he threatened to hurl the infant down the well; “Why not?” he would drunkenly roar in his cruel alien accent, “He’ll only grow up seeking revenge against me.”
There was no more escape into the woods as spring turned to summer and summer to autumn. Edith was fully occupied through this time in looking after Alfred and helping around the homestead, especially as her mother soon began to show; Sir Huw had wasted no time in putting his pup in her and robbing Alfred and Edith of any claim to their inheritance.
Sir Huw and his men did little to help with preparation of the fields or husbandry of the livestock. They spent their time in eating, drinking or practising their swordplay, unlike Edith’s father and armed retinue, who had always helped in the farm work. Instead the newly made serfs had to do all the work for the main estate, to the detriment of their own farm plots; those who carried fresh scars or maimed bodies were worked particularly hard.
It was a hot and humid late summer’s day. Edith’s mother was getting close to her time, two elderly women came to help as her contractions began. Edith and Alfred were slipping out to the stables as Sir Huw and his men sat at the hearth with cups of mead. Their presence was betrayed by Alfred’s gurgling. Sir Huw eyed Edith, she noticed his eyes look her over in a way she had never been looked at before.
“Ho girl,” Sir Huw said in his alien accent, “Once my son is born, you will marry Guy de Grieu and join our houses.”
Edith gasped in shock, “But who will look after Alfred if I have to leave here?” she stammered.
Sir Guy looked down at Alfred, moving the blanket covering him. The boy now had a mop of hair upon his head. Sir Guy eyed Alfred and Alfred eyed him back, he held the man’s gaze.
“Foul little cuckoo,” Sir Huw said, tearing his eyes from the child, “I care not. I will not bring up another man’s child, especially a spawn of your father‘s. Maybe I will take him to the coast and sell him to a Saracen trader.”
He laughed cruelly as Edith ran out from the room with Alfred in her arms. She made for the woods, for the glade where the sun shone dappled through the green leaves. But the leaves were already ragged and beginning to turn brown, the glory of summer a mere memory. Edith cried in despair up at the trees, she knew there was always a price to pay. Alfred smiled as he listened to the wind whispered voices in the branches.
That night a storm arose sweeping over the land, the clouds grew dark and ominous, twisting, bulging, pregnant with rain and the fury of Thunor. In the homestead a storm erupted, as Sir Huw raged, his wife struggled to bring his son into the world; a fight she lost. Huw ranted at the mid wives calling them witches and crones responsible for the death of his wife and son. “No matter,” he said to his drunk companions, “She was old and Edith is young.” A plan forming in his mind. He laughed at the ghost of his dead wife’s husband. Then he wondered. “Where is she? Where is the cuckoo bastard?”
Outside the storm raged and lightning flashed. The trees swayed as rain and winds lashed at the ragged leaves. The lightning exploded from the sky reaching towards the earth, as Thunor’s hammer smote his anvil. The fen trolls left the marshes, hungry for flesh and souls to reap…

The old woman gasped. “Look how the sun dips! Matilda you must take Edward home, your parents will be worried.”

“But Old Nan, you haven’t finished the story.” Matilda complained.

“Come back tomorrow and I will finish it,” the old woman smiled. “Now be gone, or be Troll food!”

The children laughed as they ran from the glade to find the path.

“And stay aware from the old  ruin, its haunted by malicious ghosts of the burnt men!”

“Yes Nan.” they called, laughing.

The laughter was like the ringing of crystal clear bells, echoing in the sun dappled branches above her. She looked up and smiled, her ancient eyes soft and loving in recognition.

“That’s right sweet brother, I was telling them our story.”

Monday, 11 August 2014

Waking from Stasis

The journey took lifetimes; the dreams were deep and many…

I awoke, from an infinity of dreams. My first reaction was panic, the fear of drowning as I realised I was suspended in liquid. Had I fallen asleep in the bath, to slip below the surface? Then I was aware of the breathing mask that covered my mouth and nose, the honey colour of the amniotic stasis fluid in which I was suspended, the tubes and wires that wormed from my flesh. Then I remembered who I was... where I was.

The liquid began draining away, my ears popped as air hissed into the stellar hibernation capsule; I blinked to clear my eyes of the fluid as I my torso emerged from the fluid. The engines now lost their low liquid vibration drone. On the capsule screen computer read outs were projected. I tried to take it in but it was impossible. I needed to get out, I would update myself later. I needed a hit of synthicaf, badly. Finally the liquid had all drained away and the door opened.

 I took the mask off with trembling hands, it took so much effort. My breath wheezed, my ribcage straining and cracking. I stepped out and collapsed into the floor with a sickening crunch. I felt pain sweep across me as my bones splintered to powder. I lay uselessly on the floor, unable to move. My eyesight dimmed. I looked at my hand that lay by my failing eyes. It was wrinkled to a claw, aged, broken and twisted. I then realised; the time stasis had failed, the time stasis had failed…

I awoke, from an infinity of dreams. My first reaction was panic, the fear of drowning as I realised I was suspended in liquid. Had I fallen asleep in the bath, to slip below the surface? Then I was aware of the breathing mask that covered my mouth and nose, the honey colour of the amniotic stasis fluid in which I was suspended, the tubes and wires that wormed from my flesh. Then I remembered who I was... where I was.

The liquid began draining away, my ears popped as air hissed into the stellar hibernation capsule; I blinked to clear my eyes of the fluid as I my torso emerged from the fluid. The engines now lost their low liquid vibration drone. On the capsule screen computer read outs were projected. I tried to take it in but it was impossible. I needed to get out, I would update myself later. I needed a hit of synthicaf, badly. Finally the liquid had all drained away and the door opened.

I stepped out onto the floor, it felt extremely cold underfoot. I suddenly remembered a fear. I looked at my hand and rushed to find a mirror, a computer screen, anything reflective.  I skidded this way and that in the low gravity, my feet still wet with the stasis fluid, my bare skin covered in goose bumps. I found the console terminal, it was flashing alternate red and green to get my attention, but I had prior concerns. I liked at the face of the man in his thirties that peered back at me. I let out a sigh of relief. The face was same age as the one who had first entered the stasis capsule. My nerves steadied, I punched a response into the keyboard. It flashed back with an error message.  Never mind I must be almost at my destination, or why would the automind have initiated wake procedure?  It was then I heard the creaking of the superstructure. I hurriedly overrode the error protocols and a message flashed up. “Hull compromised. Hull compromised.” I shivered.

I swallowed hard and looked up to the access hatch that led to the rest of the ship. It was covered in ice. I walked slowly to the door in dread and wiped at the ice forming on the glass. I shivered again, the stasis cabin was growing colder and my breath steamed. Beyond the glass I saw the hull open to the vacuum of space, an enormous gash  where the meteor had carved through the armoured skin. Sparks exploded from  cut cables, I saw the plume of gas venting into nothingness and realised with dread that it was the Oxy tanks. I could start a system diagnostic and attempt a repair if I had a space suit. But there they were, beyond the hatch. One had almost been torn free by the impact. It was caught by the oxy tanks, an arm and gloved hand rising and falling, beckoning me out; mocking me. The air grew stale…

I awoke, from an infinity of dreams. My first reaction was panic, the fear of drowning as I realised I was suspended in liquid. Had I fallen asleep in the bath, to slip below the surface? Then I was aware of the breathing mask that covered my mouth and nose, the honey colour of the amniotic stasis fluid in which I was suspended, the tubes and wires that wormed from my flesh. Then I remembered who I was... where I was.

The liquid began draining away, my ears popped as air hissed into the stellar hibernation capsule; I blinked to clear my eyes of the fluid as I my torso emerged from the fluid. The engines now lost their low liquid vibration drone. On the capsule screen computer read outs were projected. I tried to take it in but it was impossible. I needed to get out, I would update myself later. I needed a hit of synthicaf, badly. Finally the liquid had all drained away and the door opened.

The journey took lifetimes; the dreams were deep and many…