“Nobody can hear you scream in the vacuum of space, or so they say.”
The exasperation in awakening was echoed in his intensely startling gasp of air. The panic was sudden. His stomach cramped as he heaved dryness & coughed & gasped wildly just as his arms flailed in nothingness. Nothingness. He stopped his wild grasps of control & watched in muted silence. Colors in his comprehension & spectrum outlined ellipticals & irregulars, spirals & star clusters. There were even opal planets & turquoise moons in his view as he slowly spun uncontrolled in space.
“Nobody can hear you scream in the vacuum of space, or so they say.”
“Garvey!!” he shouted. Catching his breath, “Garvey!” turned into heaves & then confusion.
“Yes, Captain Nazir Calvin, rank 33rd of the Space Saint Lady Alliance. It is currently a comfortable 22.222 degrees Celsius in your warmer & a frigid 2.6 Kelvins here, GN-z11 pass the Afrikaans Galaxy or 31.96 billion Earth light years from any documented Galaxies known to the human knowledge.”
The captain stopped breathing. “Where…am I…?” was barely audible.
“GN-z11 or 31.96 billion Earth light years- “
“WHERE!? WHERE IS- WHERE IS MY SHIP-!!!” his arms began to flail again as Garvey warned to restrict movement.
“Captain Nazir, sir, you only have 4 Earth hours’ worth of oxygen remaining in your conservatory at minimal 19.5 percent but if you continue to at this breathing rate you will barely have an hour. Calm down,” Garvey soothed. The captain closed his agape mouth, but his panic exacerbated his breathing. “You must want to die-”
“My SHIP, GARVEY!!! What happened…&…how…my crew…?” His rage quickly dwindled into a whimper.
“You were ejected from the ship just as the Angels destroyed the fleet & Mission: Space Force is no more. You are the only survivor from your fleet, Captain.” The captain opened his eyes. “Upon our ejection, you endured a mild concussion causing you to be unconscious for the last 166.720 Earth hours. I kept you warm, recycled your urine & kept you hydrated. Aren’t you proud of me?” The captain’s vision grew blurred.
“My children…” “Are safe. They’ve remained in neutrality in Sayari ya Mars & the Angels have conditioned that planet as safe haven for all of earth who desires asylum.”
The captains’ eyelids lifted higher, “safe haven?”
“The Mission: Space Force was discovered & eradicated & the Angels declared war upon the Earth.” The tears burned his grazed face. Colors of the spinning galaxies mixed & glittered upon his sobs. Garvey waited patiently.
“I was ranked 186th in the Alliance…” he stammered. “Now you are 33rd…32nd. Replied Garvey giving the captain moments of reflection. For a while it was quiet. Silence in the nothingness; gently spinning. Even the activity of the brilliant celestial bodies was quieted in the vacuum of space.
The captain contemplated courage. No, he weighted the energy of shock against the time he assumed he had left of life. Would allowing his emotions to erupt be worth losing the limited amount of oxygen & therefore time he had left to live? Would he overall feel better in his last moments to relieve himself of the stress? Or suppress anxiety & elongate misery to live longer? At the very least he appreciated the quiet as his eyes never left the shimmer of the galaxies.
“Alright, Captain, you only have 3.26 Earth hours’ worth of oxygen left. If you slow down your breathing, we may be able to squeeze out 3.8 but that of course depends on you.”
He closed his eyes, “the mission was fool proof.”
“Apparently it wasn’t. The fleet barely made it pass Neptune before the angels attacked.”
“We didn’t make it to hyper drive?!” yelped the captain.
“Breathe slower. & no. The Angels engaged well before we were ready to leap…what do you remember?” The captain took a moment to calm down & hesitated.
“It doesn’t matter,” he gulped. He kept his eyes closed, refusing to admire his state anymore. “I know my oxygen is limited, but what about sustenance?”
“I have one intro venous meal left. I delayed the release but since you have awakened, it will be available at your command,” responded Garvey. The captain watched his surroundings. The silence behind this statement seemed deafening as he closed his eyes & focused on Garvey’s words. He slowly opened his eyes & looked upon the constellations. “Garvey…wait…if we never made it pass Neptune…” he moved his head to view the stars around him, “where am I?”
“Well, we are 31.96 billion Earth light years from Earth…about the same from Sayari ya Mars…about the same amount from where we were. That’s 31.96 billion, with a B, light years, not Earth years but-“
“…HOW!?” he roared once he realized the distance.
“Calm down…” Garvey soothed, “when the Angels engaged they had left their portal open & when they attacked & destroyed the fleet, we were ejected into their open portal…in which at the other side of the portal was a random worm hole in which we fell in, traveled faster than the speed of light & in a matter of 120.13 hours – I am the pinnacle of human intelligence but even I cannot calculate how we were able to travel such a distance at an unimaginable speed to where we both stay completely intact…unless we moved through a multiverse of attached worm holes or the worm hole was powerful enough to continue to extent & expand at such phenomenal speed while we were encased-“
“But the fluctuations of the gravitational pull would’ve torn us apart-“ The captain interjected.
“Not when we were surrounded by the Ethiopic Sphere or ‘dark matter.’” The silence afterwards seemed daunting to him, but it gave him time to calculate his thoughts. “Garvey…how are you working?” he asked rather curious.
“I am converting the gamma energy that we are floating into a useable source. During your nap time, I tinkered with converting elements around us into livable sustenance for you, but I have failed you, Captain.”
He shook his head, “no I have failed humanity,” the captain took in a deep breath. “Mission: Space Force was the last slight glimmer of hope to defeat the Angels before they contacted Earth, the Captain began to sob. He took in another deep breath & roared through his tears.
“The mission was not a complete failure…your children are safe & will be regardless of their father being a treacherous spy. Surely the odds weighted heavily against the mission from its conception, but we protect humanity by any means necessary. You have 2.89 hours of oxygen.” Garvey added. The captain continued to bawl for a while: sucking up more & more oxygen as he caught his breath.
After a while, “was it too much to hope that I could save the world of humans? Was barely audible & casually hummed, “was it a mistake to assume that basic wit & courage was enough to out smart the more intelligent species in the known universe? & Who am I to think at all?”
His eyes had been closed. He took in a deep breath & uttered the names of his children during the exhale. He took in another deep breath & then another & another.
“Captain!” Snapped Garvey. “What are you doing?” was elevated concern. “You are bordering two hours! CAPTAIN!” Garvey yelled. “It is in my order to keep alive as long as possible- why are you taking in so many breaths?!” He abruptly stopped.
“We did the best we could with what we had!” he cried, “& without an inkling of a chance…the Angels-! “He bawled grandly & made sure to suck up as much oxygen as possible. Garvey stayed silent. “By if some miracle you survive & you return to humanity on Sayari ya Mars, tell my children, “He huffed, “that their father tried for them,” he cried heavily.
“.26 hours,” Garvey sighed. The captain was quiet now.
“To be alone & adrift in space,” he mustered.
“But you are not alone, captain,” Garvey responded. The captain took in one more deep breath. “I know you’re here, Garvey.”
“& the Angelic ship that is approaching,” added Garvey. Silence… & then the screaming, “WWHHAATT!!?”
“The Angels were aware of our presence since arrival. We went largely ignored until they received signals of your low oxygen levels- ““WWHH- CALL THEM OFF!! CALL THEM OFF!!!” He began to take in deeper breaths, “Garvey! GARVEY!!! EMERGENCY KILL!!! EMERGENCY KILL!!! OMEGA, ETA, IOTA, TAU, PI, EPSILON, UPSILON!!”
“Death wish override,” stated Garvey.
“It is in my order, captain to keep you alive as long as possible. Anyway, you are out of air.”