Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Space: Pursuit Into Peacefulness

Pursuit Into Peacefulness

Into the peacefulness the unknown lies ahead. And the pursuit of the unknown is all that I can focus on. The stillness surrounds and expands out into the darkness. Like a still darkened surface of water the view seems to reflect and capture light. Even the distant hue of Mars is a mere shadow against a calm sea of dark that passes through before my view in the Flyer’s main window. Once more as I circumnavigate the echo of Earth’s brilliant blue resting in corner of the view that leaves me without breath. The reflection of colors brilliantly illuminates the damaged portions of Apollo dock. A reminder that something is no longer here.

Here where they doubt my resolve and disregard what I know to be true. I know that nothing I can say or do will change what’s happened. And there’s only one thing I have to know with certainty. It’s the only thing that remains firm in my mind as I press the controls to spin out towards the distant red planet. It’s been merely hours since I’ve left dock in this Flyer. This old ship should get me there and back. There’s something to be said about driving another man’s car. You can learn a lot about a person from how they take care of their car. In this case I’m using another man’s ship and aside from the outdated equipment panels, this old girl works better than my Flyer.

It’s been a week since they recovered remnants from the missing probe. There’s no sign of the passenger only the confirmation that its course was manually input. It’s “nothing more than a trail of crumbs” as my grandmother might put it frankly. But something I’ve learned over the years is that there’s always a chance with bread crumbs, you just have to follow the birds to find the way.   Apollo dock has repairs underway as I say goodbye to an old friend.

“Jansen” was a good man, brother, husband, father, soldier and friend…” Even as the words escape my mouth I can hardly come to grips with the loss of my friend. The tone in my voice falters despite the strong words that come out. “It’s not every day that someone you love looses their life, but the losses happen every day.  We must find the strength…”

Strength and flawless reserve are what make a person.” Tom says before approaching me.
“Spare me the lecture, I…”
“Helena, I wasn’t mocking… I liked your speech. Jansen would have liked it. And I just wanted to see how you’re doing.”
“I’m alright. It’s just that…” I tell him that I’m alright. The same way I keep telling everyone else that I’m alright. But alright is anything but the truth. My husband has been declared dead. I’ve been stripped of my rank due to an extended psychiatric observation. Three different science surveys couldn’t pick up any traces of Scout. As far as Command is concerned the issue and book is closed because of the apparent question of my mental state.
“Everyone keeps asking? Yeah, It seems that the boys upstairs think… well Helena I won’t mince words with you. They think you’ve been under a lot of stress. You know, losing Adam and…”
“I didn’t... Don’t say it Tom.”
“Helena, I won’t. I believe you the same. Just come up to the cabin. Stay with Amy and the girls. I want you to let this all blow over. They’ll clear you for duty soon enough.”
“I can’t. You know I can’t. You should know why? Did you call it in?”
“Please. I wish you would reconsider. And don’t ask me to…”
“To what? Tom we’ve been friends…
“For fifteen years, Helena. Don’t ask if I understand. I know why you are doing this. I can’t say I wouldn’t be doing the same if it where me standing in your position. And I called it in.”
“Thank you, Tom.”
“Don’t thank me for this Helena. It’s your career and mine on the line.”
“Tom… what if he’s alive? Isn’t that worth the risk?”
“What happens if you come across Scout? Are you prepared for that?”
“Tom, I don’t… it won’t be… I’ll admit there may be the chance I cross paths with him. But that isn’t my concern anymore. That man has another agenda.”
“Why do you say that?”
“The coordinates he was plugging into my navigation didn’t match up to anything. I can’t be afraid to go out because of something that might or might not happen. Tom I have to go.”
“Helena, please reconsider.”
“It’s Adam. If he’s out there I have to know. If there’s a slim chance he’s still alive…. Tom, he would do the same for me. “
“I know he would and damn it if I wouldn’t be helping him too. He’d sure as hell be helping me if it was Amy out there on that rock.”

With his last bit of wisdom said and done, Tom gets quiet. In his face I see the lines of worry turn to sadness. The silence between is interrupted by the opening of the launch doors. The probe carrying Jansen’s body is about to launch. Its schedule course sends him out to orbit Earth once more before making its final course into the sun.  The door cast a brilliant shadow of color onto the dock. The blue fills the room and I’m in awe of the beauty of the Earth. The blanket of blue continues to pass in front of my eyes and there’s a feeling of loss tugging at my soul that I can’t seem to ignore. Luckily for Jansen tradition grants the fallen traveler one more view of the world before sending him off on his way.

On my way. Just like Jansen I’ve finished circling and made my final course.  The storm came and went taking with it whatever information my ship had regarding the Lander’s whereabouts on Mars. Three logs filled with coordinates wait for my able hands to decipher and work through for leads on where the L5 went down. It’s my trail of bread crumbs that requires patience. Patience for a task that should keep as I make my journey out towards the unknown abyss. As I keep watching the calm open expanse open, the small moments of silence never seem to end. It’s the first time I know what I need to do, even if it brings me to face the truth what happened to Scott. At least I’ll be facing it. Once you face the truth, then you know exactly what you’re dealing with.

Space. Something I never shared that seems completely relevant now is a little about the characters. When I first wrote space it wasn’t as it is now. For starters, Scout was a woman. The name was homage to a character from ‘To Kill a Mockingbird” and I began as such. Homage… that’s a funny thing. Why? Cause you wouldn’t have a band named “The Killers” if it wasn’t for a “New Order” song/video. Anyhow, digressed. Scout was a character destroying without realization. In so much to annihilate themselves in a way that is destructive and no one can hear them screaming as they hurtle out into the abyss of space. There were tears as I wrote that destructive character. She wasn’t easy to create. Somewhere when I was initially writing it I believed that there could be more to Space, so I changed Scout to a man with the idea that I would instead have a female heroine in the end. Helena is strong and capable. The only thing… what would a woman pursue without relent? To save the love of her life, her husband might be something.  of course this piece is hardly the end. I had hoped and intended on sharing its completion. It’s completed.I don’t know what will come of it though. Time will tell. Enjoy life, love and breathing with the people in your life. kisses. m.

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