Icarus – April 9th, 2099

April 9th, 2099

We have a date now. It’s April back on Earth and I can almost picture my old apartment with its large windows soaked with spring rains. I hated it. It was so full of Sarah’s memory that waking up there alone was miserable. Still, I stayed, stayed and pretended that every shadow didn’t make me turn around, thinking I’d see her come home. It was a lie I almost let myself believe, just like the lie I told myself when I came aboard the Icarus. I thought I could start over out here. In space, I’d find myself, become stronger, more… in touch. That’s what she’d wanted, for me to be more in touch.

I wanted to be less in touch today. They’re all dead, all twelve of them over in the other ship. Jennie made me go along and I don’t know why I agreed but I did. It was horrible. Something killed them, vented the pressure on some and the others… God, I don’t know what happened. They were clawed, their skin ripped to shreds in places and torn off in others. It was like an animal had gotten loose but we found nothing, just eleven dead Chinese and one poor Russian. He must have been taken hostage, a scientist taken from one of the watch posts.

Kira brought one of the bodies back to study. There’s something wrong with it beyond the flash freezing and shredded flesh. The eyes were all black, the whites and irises gone completely. There are pustules on his flesh too, like golf ball sized tumors. They’re filled with something liquid, like blood or something. Kira and Anne are going to have a look at them in quarantine in case it’s contagious.

As for me I’m staying in my quarters. Jennie wants to write about the procedure but I have no taste for it. I don’t want to see that body again. It was the eyes. Did all the dead men have those eyes? I can’t remember and I’m so tired I could fall asleep at my terminal. This whole place is one nightmare, so maybe the horrors I dream of will be more pleasant than the waking ones.

Advertisements

Icarus – 2099

2099

We are a decade into the future, relatively speaking. Rich was the one who discovered it after doing a calibration on the standard drives. Most of our power banks were low and recharging, so when he went down to look at them he saw the wear on the systems. From there he was able to determine how long we’d been under.

According to our Cans, we’d only been under for 4.85 years, which the Icarus accounted for. Rich and Evan both assume it was the extra burn time Jim had ordered. We’d traveled beyond the speed of light, causing more Dilation than we’d anticipated. The eggheads at NASA are going to have a field day with this.

If we ever get back.

As for Jim, Alex theorized that it was his metabolism that did it. He was healthier than the rest of us and might have burned off the drug faster. Add in Dilation and it paints a grim picture. The others weren’t convinced, Jennie and I included.

They locked Kate in her Can as a precaution. She was the last one in and something happened to Jim’s injection. Kate wouldn’t tell us what year it was and insisted that the laser systems be readied. The other ship was to be eliminated and our mission to proceed as planned. Well, none of us listened to that. Only she has access to the logistical computer and it is that system that controls our injections. She was the last one in and paranoia did the rest, so she was placed in hibernation.

This entry might sound like the writing of a man in full control of himself, but it’s far from the truth. It’s taken me three hours to write these few words, my fingers shaking with every one. I can still hear Kate screaming when they forced her into her Can and I keep remembering blood on Jim’s door.

They’re going to go over there, to the other ship. Alex thinks there might be survivors but I don’t think it’s possible. How did they get here before us when we burned beyond light speed? What happened to them? I can’t help but think about those stories I read, about astronauts going mad on those long voyages. Has that madness begun here? Already?

I look out my false window, tuning the screen to see the Chinese ship in its slow tumble. Something killed that ship. Everyone on board is dead, I know it. I’ve never felt so sure of anything in my life. They are all dead, and if we go over there…

It’s almost funny that I came here to escape my nightmares. Here, the nightmares grow worse and come to life. Maybe I’m still asleep, locked safely in my Can? I don’t remember dreaming in them during training but we were only in them a short time. Is any of this even real?

Or is this the madness I’d feared?