Cold as Space

The ship slowly fell away into space. Under it the blue arc of earth ascended, filling the lower corner of the windowed wall. She was a good ship, the best. Her fall was nearly imperceptible; her engines dead; she floated powerless, crewless, alone. The Grey Ghost drifted off into the unmapped void for her final voyage.

I watched, shivering in the cold, isolated space station. I was in some form of cafeteria, a place I imagined was once a bustling center of life where the incoming and outgoing crews mingled—sharing legends, warnings, love—which now was a cold and empty shell. I watched my ship through a wall composed of a series of windows, and through these the breathtaking sublimity of the infinite peered in on the everyday traffic of this abandoned place.

I stayed all night watching, watching as far as my human eyes could see. Some thought encouraged me to break into the disused control room to find out if the exterior cameras might provide me with a longer goodbye. I was just postponing the inevitable.

Turning my back unto the stars, I left the cafeteria, powering up my flashlight as I invaded the unlit hallways of the old station. I had been to the med bay before, preparing, and so I followed my footprints back into the darkness. The dust was as thick as a winter’s first snow, and it was just as quiet here as when one wanders the frostbitten morn when all of nature quietly turns in its sleep.

From icy dreams one never wakes,
and in this world one must forsake
all that one loves or cares about
or wander off in endless doubt.

The hunter’s hunted in this age
—he has his choice of any cage—
but man will not let freedom reign,
for all of man has gone insane.

The end of all; the end of one.
the Spirit falls; he cannot run.

In an abandoned star above the earth, he sleeps forever, bound in ice.

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