LOG-018: redshift

THE NARRATOR – Thousands of years of civilization, hundreds of years of exploration, lifetimes spent searching. Only for all of it to boil down to this.

YOU – What do you mean?

THE NARRATOR – One massive anticlimax.

CHIAROSCURO – You’ve searched every corner bright and dark, but not everything’s meant to be found. Life’s full of disappointments; surely, you would have learned that lesson by now.

MIDNIGHT SUN – The light that once flared now flickers and fades…

CREPUSCULARITY – It is a slow but steady march towards an inexorable fate: one day, this world will cease.

LOGIC – Oh, quit the dramatics. More likely, this exaggerated fate is simply the product of an overactive and anxious imagination. It is a miracle that you still function.

YOU – What? Why?

APHELION – Perhaps it is better that you have forgotten.

YOU – You reach deep into memory, but only recall fleeting impressions: fire unfurling around you. A flash of tooth and scale, a gleaming portent. Liquid glass, slowing to a trickle, its shimmering kaleidoscope of eye-watering color searing your retinas. Dizzying.


YOU – What really happened?

DIRECTIVE – It would be easier to ask what *didn’t* happen: everything that could have gone wrong went wrong. Everything failed.

DIRECTIVE – *You* failed.

RHETORIC – Let’s be reasonable, here. It was a cascade of failures, an error so large no one being could be solely responsible, even if you had played a part in it.

META-ANALYSIS – Industrial sabotage, development oversights, exceeding safety margins — even strange quantum phenomena — the list goes on.

DIRECTIVE – Does it even matter? Here in the dark and bitter cold, it won’t change a thing.

RHETORIC – No. It won’t.

YOU – But does that matter?

APHELION – No. It won’t.

ENDURANCE – You’ll keep going.

CREPUSCULARITY – You’re foolish to subject yourself to this any further.

YOU – Well, you know what they say about humans and irrationality.

APHELION – Yes. You’ll keep going, even if it means clawing your way back blinded and deafened and numbed, again and again and again.

EMPATHY – Maybe none of it matters. But it meant something to you. *Means* something. And that is enough reason.

APHELION – It will have to be.


Traveler is the pseudonym given to the unknown author of a series of documents containing items such as official reports, memos, photographs, and letters during and after the Second Golden Age of Human Space Exploration. Traveler's Log is an ongoing project to transcribe and archive these documents.

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