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Short Story The walk of a million years

The walk of a million years by Stephen Makk Sci Fi short story

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On a cold world far away a wait of aeons would end.
Four point seven billion miles from Earth he took a walk.
It would shake us to our core.

Somebody had to be first and they’d picked me, I don’t know why maybe it’s because I’m an Antarctician? I climbed backwards down the composite ladder and finally placed both my feet on one of our ship’s landing pads. We’d named her The boat of a million years. I looked up and her dark grey bulk filled my view, she was all angular and spouted dish antennas. Above her I saw the stars as I’d never seen them before; thousands of them bright and pin sharp. Space was a deep deep fathomless black. I wasn’t about to step off backwards, so I turned and faced her; Pluto. Out here on the last world before the stars; I stood on the edge of infinity.
I held my breath and stepped off. I felt the icy crunch, I could hear it too; microphones and amplifiers relayed the sound inside my helmet. I took another step then another; I walked the walk of the first one; the first of us to step out of Africa. I stood on Pluto and turned around, simply awesome.

A starkly beautiful icy landscape, a world in twilight; to my left were distant mountains lit by a faraway sun. They looked snow covered and pale, like moonlit Mount Erebus back home. To my right was an endless plain stretching off to the horizon with a few low hills in the middle distance. The moon Charon was setting directly in front of me, while climbing into the starry sky was the small moon Styx. I turned to look back at my ship; she looked odd, all that ordered technology against the snow covered ice field behind her. I could see it rising high away in-between two peaks. I turned and continued my walk, crunch, crunch, crunch. I looked down at my footsteps and smiled; they were the first here ever.

Not once when I was growing up in the pole side of Marie Byrd city did I ever imagine I’d be out here.

How awesome could it get? I walked on a solid nitrogen glacier; we’d landed near the edge on purpose. The ship had suggested it, she knew I’d like the view; I wonder sometimes if the ship, Maya she’s called, has a soft spot for me? It’s been known to happen. Fusing human donors frontal lobes from their brains into the AI core was controversial, I wasn’t supposed to look but I got the opportunity and did. Some of Maya had been a young Swiss girl killed in a motorbike accident.
Crunch, crunch, I neared the edge and then something wonderful happened, it started to snow. It was fine and crystal like falling impossibly slowly and glinted in the distant sunlight. My first acetylene rainfall. I laughed, it was simply unbelievable.
Through the crystal rain I saw it. Small bright and impossibly far away, our sun was just a small bright ball hanging in the vast star field. I felt tiny alone and separate. My home, my remote home. The nearest humans were in Uranus orbit running a hydrogen scooping operation. It would be fuel for the mission crossing to the star Tau Ceti. Uranus was two billon kilometres away. Your choice, Te Ariki you volunteered; I thought. I held out my hand and watched the crystalline acetylene rainfall collecting in the palm of my hand. I laughed, you had to. I was almost at the edge now and in front of me stretched out to infinity was an ice field segmented into clumps; I could just make out the curvature of the world on the horizon. Charon had almost set now, its grey hemisphere sinking below the distant horizon.
I was nearly there, close to the glacier’s edge. A female voice spoke out; my ship called me.

“Hi, enjoying the rain?”
“It’s different Maya I’ll give you that.”
“I’m afraid I have to tell you something.” No, was there a technical problem with the ship? Was that it? Was I stuck here? I could tell by the foreboding tone of her voice that it was something serious, something important. I could sense her reluctance to continue. No Maya don’t tell me yet I was starting to enjoy this place.
“Go on Maya,” I said in quiet dread.
“Te Ariki do you want the big news or the small news?”
“Maya; don’t.” She had a wicked humour about her.
“I’ll tell you the small news first, I’m functioning fine,” I breathed again, “and I’ve sent the first transmissions back to Earth via Uranus.”
“And the big news?”
“Take the last few steps to the glacier’s edge,” I walked slowly crunch, crunch, “when you get there look down, Te Ariki. We’re not alone.” I looked down and gasped in shock. It couldn’t be? Why out here? Why me? A hollow echoing voice sounded inside my head.
“After all these aeons we finally meet again…”


To see more of Stephen Makk, click the link to his website or scroll down to the bottom of the page to view his member details
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Images used for the story are Saturn at Pixabay

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Short Story written by Stephen Makk

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On a cold world far away a wait of aeons would end. Four point seven billion miles from Earth he took a walk. It would shake us to our core. Somebody had to be first and they had picked me, I do not know why maybe it...

Forbidden by Stephen Makk

Stuart volunteered for the mission; he knew he’d never be selected.
He was chosen; didn’t life know it isn’t supposed to be like that? He couldn’t back out now, too many were counting on him; the world knew he’d been selected.
She’d no real choice, if the truth be known, she was going. She knew it was too big a burden, but it had fallen on her; she’d have to go. The two of them would face love and terror in a far away place.
Forbidden – It would be joy or pain.
Or both.



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