Thurs Threads, week 104


I tried to remain calm as I sat down at the controls. He was getting further from us by the second, and I was the only one who had a chance of driving the ship fast enough to catch him. Once I got the all-clear from docking control, I eased back the lever on the StarDrive and waited.

Nothing. Of course, nothing. I’d been through the training, but I hadn’t passed my final exam – getting the damned thing started. I could navigate without a problem, could even dock with a ship going slower than c while the Drive was active. But, as the teachers told us on the first day of class, getting started was the hardest part.

“You need to focus on where you are, entirely. You can’t think at all about where you’re going. The StarDrive is all about exploiting a loophole in the Uncertainty Principle – if you know exactly where you are, you can go any speed you want. But it will draw its commands from the neural link, and as soon as you think about where you’re going – even a little – it won’t start.”

So all I had to do to get the ship moving was forget about him. Forget about what he took from me.

Forget about my son.

But if I didn’t – if I couldn’t. The tears came then, and the grief. It wasn’t about him at all, it was about me. My weakness. My loss. My failures.

And the ship started.


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