anon_j_anon (anon_j_anon) wrote,

Fic: The Odyssey, xxxviii. monsters


They came upon
another strange region
two stellar objects
impossibly close
a pulsar which
emits cosmic radiation
that would likely kill
one sixth of the boat
and beside it
almost overlapping
a black hole which
disappeared, reappeared
between them
like the dust rings of Saturn
a river of rock
churning, grinding to shear
The wisest thing
would be flying around it
the dangers were great
the objects too close
but the Enterprise crew
would have none of it
enchanted by
this celestial host
Such a monstrous pulsar!
huge and consistent
regular in its beam
of deadly cosmic rays
Such a strange black hole!
that existed, then didn’t
sucking up space-time
then spitting out again
The dust in between
sometimes orbited Skylla
only to be swallowed
when Charybdis arrived
then Charybdis threw up
in a roaring explosion
the dust and gas
it had digested inside
no one had ever
seen anything like it
they watched from afar
not believing their eyes
but sensors they showed
this truly existed
the question was
do they dare venture in?
do they risk life and crew
ship, science, and mission
for one moment
facing these stellar twins?
Logic said no
their duty was only
observe as far as
safe practice allowed
Spirit said yes
their mission had lately
been sorrow, forgetting
the thrill of profound
Word strangely agreed
with Spirit’s assessment
because to be living
one must feel alive
Heart pointed out
that living, thrill seeking
are two different things
to live is to strive
Wind thought their mission
was exploration and wonder
was breaking limits and seeking
new thresholds in tests
Warp said they too often
broke ship and each other
pushing beyond physics
in that process
Rose and Thorn disagreed
Rose thought of potential
no one had ever touched matter
that had touched a black hole
Thorn thought of the limits
of absolutes, of shattered
memories ejecting core
and ship punched through with toll
Kolokol voiced that he
would like to explore them
but with this kind of sand pressure
it was suicide to try
then Ethics, with soft voice
clear conscience and feeling
said it was their duty
to explore and to fly
For ethics not only
provides rules and safe borders
but finds the right boundaries
to allow every life
to flourish, prosper, and multiply fully
without inflicting
such a terrible cost
minimizing any
pain and suffering
that beings will pay
in the process of loss
It was risky and dangerous
but with proper precautions
with protocols in place
and staff fully briefed
the Enterprise could manage
to take close range readings
and witness the monsters
without causing grief
it would cost careful timing
some preparation and planning
nothing so reckless
as blind flying the breach
but with commitment and daring
to exploration and science
they could discover
recover, find wonder, and reach.
The next seven days
they committed their sensors
to making huge stellar maps
and timing the two stars
they discovered the period
of cosmic radiation
and found the frequency
of the chasm’s occurrence
they sent probes and robots
to explore the dust region
one of their probes
was swallowed in space
when it reappeared
five hundred years later
it contained readings
of the time below place
they rigged up a shuttle
as remote controlled leader
which successfully navigated
their test run through sand
all of this data
would have been enough to
secure their place
in fame’s grasping hand
but they weren’t after fame
and they weren’t after glory
they were searching for something
inside themselves
when the captain ordered
a flight between monsters
they felt prepared
they felt overwhelmed
no one had ever
done what they were doing
no one had seen
what they would see
no person alive
had ever encountered
such impersonal forces
in such proximity
so they flew
they succeeded
it was not smooth sailing
like climbing
a volcano
at midnight
with roaring thunderstorm
there were some close calls
between Skylla
the forces rip pulling
their ship
helm to stern
but there were no deaths
no injuries
no major losses
just laughter to have
safely soundly emerged
the few ship damages
were repaired in short order
the Enterprise flew
in ether
the monsters’ wide spectrums
indescribable, obscene
the kind that left mortals
gasping prayers to vespers
the kind made life
taste of lemon citrine.
Heart, Word, Warp, Ethics,
Spirit, Rose, Thorn, Wind
and Kolokol
to their fates unforeseen.

Tags: fanfiction, the odyssey

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