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(s) of a collection of documents and memorabilia during and after the Second Golden Age of Human Space Exploration. Traveler's Log is an ongoing project to transcribe and archive these documents.

Leave a Reply

Be the First to Comment!