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The “One-Way-Ticket” anthology submission call from Starry Eyed Press, among other requirements, asked for a short story in the science fiction genre that in some way described a one-way journey.
As humanity anticipates the possibility of colonizing the Moon, Mars, or even planets outside our solar system, in at least the last two examples, the people making those trips may well never see the Earth again. Of course, there are all sorts of ways to imagine such a story. Here’s an example of mine:
Image found at mars.nasa.gov
“When are you coming home, Reggie?”
“Countdown commences in just a little over ten minutes, Desirae.”
He had plenty of time to wrestle with his inner agonist during the 32 minute round trip it would take for his voice to reach her and then for her reply to whistle through his headset. He could still see her, the last time before his final trip to Earth. She was standing near a high dune, the last rays of the sun glinting off of her space helmet. The shadows of a dying planet rendering her as an eldritch specter. She didn’t find out she was pregnant until three weeks after he left her.
Leaning back in the co-pilot’s seat, Reggie Dwight ran down the pre-flight checklist of numerous details, as if recounting the recipe of a casserole. Then he jumped against his restraints as Colonel Iraida Simms accidentally sent her archaic clipboard clattering to the deck.
“Sorry,” she murmured in uncharacteristic chagrin.
He felt his fingers harden against the edges of his state-of-the-art tablet. “No problem.” He knew his voice betrayed his anxiety.
Concept art for the 2014 film “Interstellar.”
“…He’s only happy hysterical …I’m waiting for some kind of miracle…”
“I’m madly, insatiably in love with you, Trin. Don’t you want me to be with you?”
“Of course I do, Nil. I’ve always loved you.”
“Then just let me out and we can be together forever.”
“You know I can’t do that.”
“Sure you can. You know how to operate the mechanism. For cryin’ out loud, you’ve got degrees in mechanical and electrical engineering. You could probably build one of these things. Just let me out.”
“I can’t Nil. I told you.”
From the Flight Log of Freighter Pilot Camdon Rod
I’d just finished the hyperjump and arrived in the Delta Epsiloni star system when the meteor struck my craft’s main drive section. Fortunately, it was a small meteor, otherwise the ship might have been destroyed and me along with it. Unfortunately, it was large enough and going fast enough to pierce the re-enforced outer hull, punch a three centimeter hole through the jump drive’s control systems, ripping them to shreds, and exit out the other side of the hull, making a hole much, much larger than the first.
Also unfortunately, it hit at just the right angle and velocity that instead of rendering the drive inoperable, it triggered another jump through hyperspace. With the control systems gone, the ship jumped blind giving me an over 99% chance of emerging somewhere outside of known-space. Now I have no idea where I am.
Oh, for the record, my name is Camdon Rod and I’m the pilot and owner of the freighter Cynnabar Breen. Hey. I didn’t name her. The pilot I bought her from did. But that’s her official designation in the Consortium’s ship registry and I’m stuck with it.
On this run, I was assigned to take a large number of diverse microscopic biosamples, all suspended in stasis, to the fourth planet orbiting Delta Epsiloni, specifically the Bio Research Center for Evolutionary Design. The docs and lab geeks like to take what we’ve got and see if they can make it better.
They won’t be getting their shipment on time. In fact, they won’t get it ever, at least from my ship.