Omega Rising

in #hive-1707983 months ago

Andrew Aldrin sat staring at the blank screen in front of him.

Nothing. Nothing but a single-lit pixel and a flashing white cursor.

He had no idea how long it had been since anything else had graced the curved emptiness of the digital display adorning his operational station. He glanced again at the Speedmaster on his wrist. An original ST 105.012. The original 1969 'Moonwatch'. The legendary artifact had been returned to his family's possession, having spent almost a century lost in relative obscurity, but that was a story for another day. For now, its famed precision appeared no match for whatever was happening on board the space module he called home.

He and his immediate forefathers had only ever known the space station and the spacecraft that accompanied it. At some point in their history, almost a millennia before, life had changed inextricably for humanity, and his early ancestors had been forced to leave Earth, the only home they had ever known. Cataclysmic events are like that. Choice becomes a scarce commodity.

He tapped the watch face lightly, and attempted to turn the Chronograph's mechanical dial again, but was met with the full wound movement's continued resistance. It was still 4.44 am. The thin white hour and minute hands refused to budge.

He scrunched his brows, narrowing his eyes. Then he removed the heirloom piece from his wrist and turned it over in his hands. The original engraving was barely visible. He could make out the worn initials of his 40th great-grandfather if he angled the backplate towards the light and, even then, they were almost worn flat from generations of use. The watch itself was in near pristine condition though, clearly stored well, when not in use. This had prolonged its life well beyond the expectations of the original design. At first, he thought that his prized timepiece had finally run its course, but it didn't take him long to realise that all horological devices on the ship had stopped tracking time simultaneously.

He turned his attention to the astronaut seated on the edge of his desk. Clad in a white spacesuit with green and purple embellishments, and wearing a clear closed helmet, the auspicious character, named for his distant relative, was another constant in Andrew's life. "So what do you think, ranger? Do you see a way out of this?"

"This is a secret mission in uncharted space. There seems to be no sign of intelligent life anywhere."3 The ranger's voice was unwavering, his steely glance unchanged, but the faint glimmer of a smile etched permanently on his round face, revealed the size of his heart, which miraculously still beat beneath the layers of plasticity covering his breastplate.

"You got nothing either, huh?" Andrew's fingers tenderly traced the outline of the little spaceman, another remnant from his family's past, extending his wingspan, and pretend-flying him around his desk. Then repositioning with care, he pushed his chair away from his station, sighing as he made to stand.

"Andy? Ahem... Commander..." Deep in thought, the voice startled him. He spun to face his First Officer.

The officer cleared his throat and started again. "I'm afraid the time conundrum has us in a pickle, Sir." Certain he was about to hear a diatribe of epic proportions, Commander Aldrin slumped back into his chair. His first officer had an eye for detail and a mouth to accompany it. "What's the update, Jordan?"

"Allow me to share the 360-degree visuals from the flight deck, Sir." Jordan Phillips pulled a chair alongside his commanding officer and flicked through the visuals from the spacecraft's cameras. There was no denying that the edges of space were folding in on itself. Planets were crumbling, disintegrating, appearing to merge back into the darkness that had once given birth to them.

"I've never seen anything like it... In all my years as a navigator..." Jordan's voice trailed off. The two men sat taking in the scenes unfolding before them. Andrew closed his eyes and focused on massaging the dull pain emanating from his temples. Then he drew a deep breath and stretched his arms behind his neck. It seemed like an eon before he broke the silence between them. "So, what does this mean? For us? Is there time to turn back?"

Jordan's eyes remained fixed on the screen. "I'm afraid that's not going to be possible, Sir. Everything behind us appears to be in dissolution. We are in a transient state. Motionless. Our fuel reserves are low. I'm not sure that we can make it back, even if we tried. We encountered a lot of empty space before we arrived at this point, so it doesn't seem there is much for us to return to... We would surely be choosing death."

Trying another approach, Andrew ventured, "Can we outrun whatever this is then?"

"You've seen the images from the front cameras, Commander," Jordan's voice softened, dropping a few decibels, "Just where would we be running to, Sir?" They both sat staring at the quiet destruction on the side screens. After a brief pause, Jordan continued. "You want to know if we have time... but time is at the heart of the problem. We appear to be at the fulcrum. Time and space are pivoting on a fine balance. This moment reflects the purity of Schrodinger's cat. We lost contact with the other ships days ago. They could be anywhere, or nowhere by now. We have no way of knowing what is left of the worlds we have left behind. In theory, we can move beyond this point, but that will likely create a new time-space continuum, separate from the one we'd be leaving. We'd be the only ones encapsulated and governed by the new space, and there would be little to no hope for humanity, with just a few of us traversing that reality. It seems crazy to contemplate, but right here, right now, time and space are both materialising and ceasing to exist, in the same moment."

"How is this even possible? Time, space, and matter intercede to produce everything we know and understand. Without them, what do we have?" Andrew paced back and forth on the flight deck, his thoughts imploding; a microcosmic reflection of the quantum chaos taking place beyond the boundary of his ship.

"There is one other option..." Jordan had walked over to the viewpoint embedded in the nose of the craft, and motioned for Andrew to join him. Looking out beyond the visible collapse of stars and interplanetary systems, into the dark void that lay ahead, a distant and mysterious bright light rose slowly on the horizon of nothingness. Andrew's gaze shifted from the light on the horizon to the single flickering pixel on the screen and back, several times. It appeared to be the only constant. The silence hung thick between them.

"What do you want me to do, Commander?" Jordan leaned forward and gently squeezed his friend's shoulder. "Andy, it's time. You're still our Number One. You have to decide." The irony did not escape Andy. He turned again to face one of the most iconic collector pieces from the previous millennium. He picked up the little astronaut, "What do you think, little guy?" As he held down the activation button on the voice module, Jordon interjected... "With respect, Sir, that's just a toy!" The response from the tiny speaker embedded in the astronaut's breastplate crackled with indignation, "I think the word you're searching for is Space Ranger!"3

Andy chuckled. It always amused him how the message cycling seemed to come up with such appropriate responses!

"Sorry about that, Buzz. Where do you suggest we go from here?" The reply, when it came, was emphatic and exuberant.

"To infinity... and beyond!!!"3

Andy's smile broadened. He recalled how he'd fallen in love with those words the first time he had heard Buzz utter them. It had been such a joyful day. He couldn't have been more than three years old. Buzz had been a birthday present from his dad; a gift of love handed down through the generations. The little ranger was the best kind of friend a kid could wish for, and they had spent many a day together chasing around the tight corners of the space station. And now, all these years later, when the people who mattered most to him had long since departed his world, Andy knew that, where hope was in short supply, those words still spoke of limitless possibility. He just had to look in the right place. Perhaps space, time, and matter were three-dimensional interlocking rings, and whatever was causing them to break apart, was about to reveal something far more important. Although highly contested, he had read that theoretical physics might allow interlocking rings to separate, given the addition of a fourth dimension. He wondered what would be left in their absence.

Jordan's eyes were locked on Andy. Slightly exasperated, and knowing that his question was rhetorical at best, he implored... "This isn't a game, Andy. You have to make your decision on the information to hand. So... what are you thinking?"

Andy stared past Jordan and into the dark vacuum of space. "Jordan, a bright young physicist and philosopher once said, 'the heart has its reasons, whereof reason knows nothing'. That young man was Blaise Pascal. What I'm thinking, is perhaps he was right after all."

Jordan rolled his eyes and shrugged. "What the hell does that even mean, Andy?"

"It means, that from the beginning to the end of time, from the Alpha to the Omega, I'm choosing life. We're going home, Jordan." Commander Andrew Aldrin smiled and took the helm. Right or wrong, after all this time, wherever it was, home had a nice ring to it. And with that, he turned their ship towards the light and fired the remaining thrusters.

This short story is for The Ink Well prompt ring and is the first I have written in some time. It was originally inspired by dreem-wotw's magical realism prompt but, in its conclusion, has found itself a home in The Ink Well community.

References

1 The First Speedmaster in Space

2 Buzz Lightyear

3 Buzz lightyear's Catchphrases

4 Ten watches we're still looking for

5 The Story of Buzz Aldrin's Omega Speedmaster

6 Omega Speedmaster 321

7 The Socratic Method

8 Blaise Pascal

Header and Footer images created in Canva Pro using word prompts in Magic Media AI.

Infinity divider created using Canva Pro library.

Dreemport banner used with permission of @dreemsteem and @dreemport and designed by @jimramones

Writer 'nd a Half banner created by @penderis and used with permission, simply because it brings me joy.

https://images.ecency.com/p/cyxkEVqiiLy2ofdgqEAc562j7RAgBQxa2AZRdLA6LcqnKKB4SKe7ca4ouyF8tQdWv5vd3nkqE2NfnPmrm3XZgTsAd7o9wWobNp8WTTSGGYyK2GHGJJJPxEPf61oR59XqDdo.webp?format=webp&mode=fit

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You've been curated by @plantpoweronhive! Delegations welcome!

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Thank you for your curation. You are appreciated x !LUV !PIZZA

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You made the imaginary world look so real. It was so captivating, leaving me wanting more.

I enjoyed reading this. Thank you for sharing.

#dreemerforlife

Thank you @rukkie. I'm glad you enjoyed it! !LUV

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oh Sam!!!!!!!

I LOVED this!!!! oh my gosh!!!

and the ending was PERFECT!!!!

and yep 4:44 ...hehehe I saw it

oh my gosh, this was so perfect..it might have been abandoned and recaptured but it was well worth the wait!!! hehehe that light at the end of the horizon gave me such a thrill for HOME. gahhhh

perfection!!

You liked it... Yay! I'm so happy, hehe. And it could only be 4.44 am 🙏I had so much fun crafting this one, Leah. It was a pure joy to write again.

I've been a bit stuck for a couple of nights on my next story... I keep finding myself rewriting pieces...aargh... Hopefully, tonight it will come together! Love you! 💗🙏 !LUV !ALIVE !PIZZA

@dreemsteem! You Are Alive so I just staked 0.1 $ALIVE to your account on behalf of @ samsmith1971. (6/10)

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hahahaha you know what - i know what you mean... i have been looking for where i can get my giddies again
and i can tell you this.

for the last hour or so, I've been reading comments and replying to them on all the season 2 posts - and my face hurts from smiling and laughing. hahahaha

there is nothing like having fun with dreemers with their energy and their spirit!

if i could do this for life - i would.

i LOVE writing!!! love love love it. But i just can't find the place and space to detach in a way that allows me to get back to Talia and Bryd et al. without feeling like I'm doing them a disservice. I miss them so much and i want to finish their tale SO VERY BADLY. so so so very badly.

But - i know that will never happen until I have that right place and space.

but for now... i can't stop overflowing with the effervescence of hilarity, united in pure dreemer joy/anticipation/suspense/nirvana that is Season 2 hahahahaha

I'm so glad that S2 is bringing you so much joy... the comments are hilarious!!! I think it is going to be a cracker of a season, so much so that I think we might all die laughing before the game is up 😂😂😂 And as for Talia and Bryd... I guess that's another item for the prayer list hehe... place and space for my Leah 💗🙏 I can't wait for you to finish their story either, but yes, it needs to be done right. You need to be feeling and breathing them again to do them justice. The right time will come xx

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What a fantastic and well-researched tale. The nod to Buzz Aldrin is wonderful, and it almost feels like one is reading a true story about an alternate reality. Concepts of the space-time continuum and quantum states are not easy to juggle in narrative, but you've done a masterful job. Truly amazing tale!

Thank you for taking the time to read my story, Lit! It's not easy getting back on the horse, so to speak, after being away from fiction for some time. I thoroughly enjoyed the process of constructing this one! What I love most is that you get my stories, and you appreciate the effort that goes into them, whether they work completely or not hehe. Thank you for always being so supportive. !LUV !PIMP


You must be killin' it out here!
@samsmith1971 just slapped you with 1.000 PIMP, @litguru.
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They're getting a workout and slapped 1/1 possible people today.

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I can't wait to read more of your work. I know time is limited. Happy scribbling!

Thank you so much @sirenhippie and @ecency for curating this story of mine. I love that you appreciated it! I appreciate you guys !LUV

You're welcome @samsmith1971 !

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A lovely write up Sam.
I was surely there in the cockpit with the exasperated Jordan and his captain Andrew.

I still remember the Buzz Lightyears catchphrases because of my history with toy story😭😭✨

!BBH

@samsmith1971! Your Content Is Awesome so I just sent 1 $BBH (Bitcoin Backed Hive) to your account on behalf of @seki1. (3/5)

I take it that you were a fan of Buzz and Woody then? hehe I'm glad you enjoyed it @seki1. Means a lot coming from you! !LUV !PIZZA

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To infinity... And beyond! Like Andy I just fell in love with that words myself.

In such a tough situation, the Buzz still manage to sound like there is hope. What a priceless toy that Andy has.

What a delightful story to read, thank you for all the work you had put into this. !LUV #dreemerforlife

Hope... I think it is always the difference! Aw... and thank you for noticing how much time I put into this story. My stories are a joy for me. I love the entire process... and the research and fact-checking are super fun!!! Thank you for dropping in and spending time reading my piece x 🥰 !LUV !ALIVE

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Feels like I just watched a whole movie but unlike when the leaders know what exactly to do, Andy is actually very lost and has not much clue what to do with his brain all over the place so he’s just dependent on how he feels.

#dreemerforlife

hehe... I'm glad you felt so immersed. That makes me feel like I mostly achieved my objective with this piece of writing. Andy was weighing his thoughts. He knew what made sense in his heart, even if he didn't have all the data at his fingertips to make what others may deem a rational choice. Sometimes, we need to take a leap of faith and just go with what is placed on our heart 💗🙏 !LUV Thank you for dropping ina nd taking the time to read my short story, @abenad I appreciate you x

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Yeah! A leap of faith

Thank you too

Did I just watch a movie or was it a story, oh my world. 😂 And to think that it was Buzz whom Jordan called just a toy that gave them the answer they've been looking for. That's to show that one can actually find answers to their questions in unimaginable places.

This was a good read.

Thank you so much for this wonderful comment on my story, @luchyl Answers come from the most curious of places... and if we don't look, we may never find them x 🙏🥰 !LUV !ALIVE !HUg

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@luchyl! You Are Alive so I just staked 0.1 $ALIVE to your account on behalf of @ samsmith1971. (4/10)

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Exactly, just like the saying seek and you shall find
It was indeed a pleasure reading your story.

The narrative is deliciously addictive, as we immerse ourselves in the story we want to read more and more. As the story progresses we can dust off memories of a past that we loved. Beautiful story. It's been a long time since I read such striking science fiction.

Thanks for sharing.
Happy day.

aw... yay!! Thank you for reading my story. Quite the honour, hehe. I'm glad you enjoyed it. I appreciate you popping by, @rinconpoetico7 🥰 !LUV !ALIVE

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What I loved the most was how you managed to make your imaginary world so real—planets spinning and crashing, stars imploding, the universe turning in on itself. You have such an exceptional talent! You allow the reader to actually witness your imaginative creation as if they were inside your head. Really amazing gift 🤩

aw, you always know how to encourage writers and make them feel good about their words hehe. I just love that I am finding some time again to do what brings me so much joy. I hope to see more stories from you too, my friend... my Stylish 💗 Love you! !LUV !ALIVE !PIZZA

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@itsostylish! You Are Alive so I just staked 0.1 $ALIVE to your account on behalf of @ samsmith1971. (2/10)

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I hope they made it home safely? The story got me hooked, the situation they found themselves in sounds pretty scary.

#dreemerforlife

I just realised I missed this comment! I'm so sorry @loveth97. Thank you for taking the time to read my story.

I hope they made it home safely?

I have faith that they did ;-)

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Hi @samsmith1971,
Thank you for participating in the #teamuk curated tag. We have upvoted your quality content.
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Thank you, @teamuksupport. Always appreciated! !LUV !PIZZA

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Liked the way Andy managed such a suffocating situation. Anyone would die in shock, I guess :)

When choice is a scarce commodity, we make the best of a bad situation. Fortunately, in Andy's case, he had the insight to realise that he had been blessed with the opportunity to return to their one true home. Thank you for taking the time to read my story, @gabmr !LUV

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I hope they made it home safely? The story got me hooked, the situation they found themselves in sounds pretty scary.

#dreemerforlife

aah I love that you were hooked. haha truly!! Did they make it home safely? What do you think? 🙏😉

Thank you for taking the time to read my story x

!LUV !ALIVE

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