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When he was in fifth grade, Andrew Bain wanted to see The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring in theaters. His parents, skeptical of the film's PG-13 rating, told Andrew he could see the movie if he read the book first. Andrew read the first of Tolkien's trilogy--then the second, and the third. Before too long, Andrew was reading any science fiction or fantasy he could get his hands on, and that love for world-building and deep character work stayed with him through the years. He lives and works in Los Angeles, where he's giving those whole "television writing" thing a try.

Before we all boarded, they told us that it would be several years before we got wherever we were going. Wherever we were supposed to start all over after frying this planet to a crisp.
We were going to be in cryo-sleep, they said. So, there was nothing to worry about. It would feel like taking a nap. Sure, we'd feel a bit groggy on the other side, but no worse than we would after a couple hours on the couch. So we boarded and thought of ourselves as intrepid.
That was a while ago. After we got in the pods, they stuck us with a few IV needles filled with stuff to keep us alive while the cryogenics keep us pretty. They clamped us inside to keep us from jostling around and hurting ourselves. Then the pods closed, and they went away.
A moment ago, the fiery red outside the blast window turned to inky black. The loud shaking has receded into the kind of quiet that seems to smother everything around it.
All the lights in the ship have gone out, and everyone around me is asleep, their faces touched off and on by blinking green light from the pods. Eyes closed. Peaceful. Intrepid.
I watch them for a few minutes before I start to wonder why my pod is taking so much longer than the others.
The End
This story was first published on Thursday, December 7th, 2017

Author Comments

I've been a huge fan of space operas for years across multiple mediums, be it television, film, or literature. However, almost all of those stories start once the journey to a far-flung destination has already been completed. I wanted to explore the idea of what happens before the journey even begins--and what could go wrong.

- Andrew Bain
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