by sagire

This short story is based on the following writing prompt from reddit:

You’re traveling on humanities first spaceship capable of intergalactic travel. After entering hyperspace, panic breaks out on the ship.

It had been an eventful month aboard the USS Endeavour. Even with her crew of fifteen it felt as though I had been working non-stop. As we passed each section of the solar system there seemed to be an endless supply of tests to be conducted, reports to be written and results beamed back to earth. I never imagined how tiring it would be to work in this weightless environment but I also couldn’t have imagined the feeling of flying through space, venturing further than any human had before us.

I realized now all the work had kept my mind off this day. It occurred to me that perhaps mission control had planned our schedules as such to stop us from thinking on it, I would have to thank them for that. No amount of training could prepare me for the feeling of entering hyperspace, entering the unknown.

I sat strapped into my control console going through the checklist one more time to make sure it was in order. As I looked out the window I could see Neptune coming into view and felt my heart start to jump against chest. This was it, we would achieve our last gravity assist from Neptune then turn on the drives.

Looking around the empty engineering capsule made me wish I was at a station with some of the team. Cracking a couple jokes would have eased my mind. As if in response I heard the crackle of commander Zane Hill’s voice over my headset.

“Howdy boys and girls, I’ve just heard from mission control that we’re allowed to push this hunk of junk into fifth gear, how do you fancy that? I’m going to run through our checklist, confirm everyone has performed their checks and we can hit the road.”

The next twenty minutes were filled with technical jargon and confirmations. As I performed my roll call and system checks I tried to keep the tremor from my voice. I was almost glad to hear Yuri, Sheala and Mike’s voices shaking as they went’ through their prompts – at least I wasn’t the only one. Hearing their emotions helped break me out of this feeling of isolation, isolation from the crew, from the earth – from the reality I had always known.

As Zane started the countdown it was all I could do to keep myself from shaking with fear. It was difficult to monitor the controls with all the thoughts running through my head. No one had ever tried this, who knew if it was even possible? But, oh, how possible it was.

I don’t remember much after we achieved hyperspace. I remember the intense flash following by the empty darkness outside the Endeavour. I remember looking out and not seeing any stars, looking back down at our navigation systems and seeing location unknown. Then it’s hazy – until I saw Zane’s face through the gas mask spraying me with anesthetic. They kept me unconscious for the next two months before deciding to wake me up – I really wish they hadn’t.