Far Beneath the Distant Stars

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Epilogue

25th January 2163

The image of that tentacled monster torments me still. I can still feel it, wrapped around my mind, and the more I’m coming to believe that it’s consciousness has been trying to supersede my own. Sometimes I see it, as clearly as I saw it in Tartarus, and as clearly as I saw it when the crew died one by one, a mass of monstrous tendrils and hideous mouths and unearthly eyes, lurking in corners and down the dead corridors.

Harrison has visited me every night, as have the other members of the crew. They don’t say much, they simply stand and stare at me. I suppose, at the end of it all, what is there to say? My wife and children have visited in the haunting nights on this desolate moon, too; they hold my hand and tell me that it will be okay, that I’ll come out of this with a smile on my face. They tell me, much like Harrison did so many nights ago, that I will know what to do when the time is right.

Now, I believe, the time is right. I’ve been putting it off for so long, denying the inevitable, but I know in my heart and soul that this is the way it was always going to end.

I’m standing in front of the airlock now. I’m not wearing my EVA suit. Where I’m going I won’t be needing it. I’m clutching the fragment of moldavite crystal in the palm of my hand, and I can see my family stood out there on the surface of the moon, silhouetted against the glowing celestial body of Lyrae 438b. They’re calling to me. It’s the most beautiful sight I’ve ever seen.

The doors are open and I am free. I’m gliding, soaring, spinning, free of gravity. I can feel the solar wind flowing over me. I can smell dark matter, taste the essence of the cosmos. I hear the music of the stars, and I’m dancing to their strange and hypnotic rhythm. I can see the worlds beyond our own, realities and dimensions one could only dream of. It is extraordinary.

Infinity stretches out before me, and I can feel I’m going with a smile on my face.


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