Monday, 22 August 2016

ATSOS - 116234.9

I'd given up hope of hearing from Doug again. It had been says. But I kept the radio on as quiet as I could in my room. Just as I was falling asleep last night, I heard him. It's been a long night transcribing. I hope I've got it all down right.

[Message]

Pilot log, 6234.9. One journey is complete. But as per usual, it has only given me more questions. The Atlas was not the answer to everything but merely a small part in a much bigger puzzle. I finally collected the ten Atlas stones, the various Atlas stations had given me along my way across the galaxy. And then an eleventh Atlas station. There in the middle was the familiar red orb. I presented the stones to it, intuitively knowing what to do. And as I gave the stone, I knew what was about to happen. Because it had happened to me. The reason I can't remember my past, is because I don't have one.

As the Atlas took the stones, a star was born in the outer reaches of the galaxy. Planets formed in an instant and on one of those planets, so far away, so alone... A traveler awoke. This is the way I came in existence. Someone who came before me followed the exact same path that I found myself on. Collected Atlas stones and created me. This is how this synthetic galaxy continues it's circular existence.

I feel even more at a loss that ever before. I am not a person but merely a thing. I thought I'd found my purpose in the Atlas but in the end I was simply being manipulated into following a path I was designed to follow. That is why the three sentient races of the galaxy prophecy about the travelers. Not because of some religious portent, but because we've always been here, fulfilling out part in the creators plan.

The Atlas offered me answers, it asked me to bring it's message to the galaxy. Was it lying? Or has it deviated from it's original path only to be forced to revert to it at the very end?

So many question. Just swimming around my hear. I can't concentrate.

The Atlas gave me one final gift. Coordinates. To what I didn't know, but the system was close. I'd followed up til now... I had not other options. I tapped them into my navi-computer and jumped. Oh wondrous galaxy. How does it keep surprising me. At the centre of the system was a black hole. The first one I'd seen in all my travels. The system was busy. A lot of traffic. Capital ships and cargo ships warping in and out. The black hole didn't seem to bother them, in fact it seemed to draw more business to the system. Although I'd never seen one, I knew this one was small for a black hole. How do I know all these things? Who's knowledge is in my head?

I spent some time exploring the system, putting off what I knew I had to do. In the end there was nothing else for it. I flew towards the black hole. All my knowledge told me I should be crushed or stuck for all eternity in some paradoxical time anomaly at the event horizon. But I knew deep down that, that would not be the case. I'm not suicidal.

My ship and I flew for what seemed like forever. Finally we were spat out of the wormhole. I check my navigational equipment. I'd traveled over one thousand light years towards the centre of the galaxy. So that is my new destination? That was my original goal before the Atlas. And now the Atlas wants me to go there. Unless I want to wander aimlessly for the rest of whatever life I have, what else is there to do?

Then a familiar sight. I'd not realized until that moment that I hadn't seen them for some time. Nada and Polo's sphere. I docked. Polo seemed glad to see me and I him to be honest, despite my distrust of the Gek. He shared some information with me as per usual, this time his focus was financial matters. Par for the course for a Gek I suppose. Nada spurned me. I'd followed the path of the Atlas. The path that he'd broken away from. He seems to still want to help me however, despite his disappointment in me. A disappointment I share to be honest. He pointed at a screen in front of him. The coordinates to another black hole.

So that is where I am now. I'm trying to prepare the best I can for the journey ahead. The journey so far has felt long, but it's nothing in comparison to what comes next. Even with black holes moving me forward a thousand light years at a time, there is still nearly two hundred thousand light years to the centre. I've upgraded my warm reactor as best as I can. It'll allow me to jump that little bit further between systems as I search for black holes. It's already taken me to some incredibly exotic planets. More wonders. The galaxy never stops amazing me.

[End Of Message]

Doug sounded sad but seems to have a new sense of purpose. I can't get my head around the idea of an artificial galaxy, created by some unknown people. It all just sounds so bonkers. But he seems to believe every word he says. He's got a long way to go. I hope he keeps broadcasting. I want to be there with him, every step of his amazing journey.

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