art by ShotHot Design
by Brian Lawrence Hurrel
Jump flash, blinding but brief. Alpha Centauri A swims into view. It takes only a few minutes after our emergence into realspace for the receiver to align itself with Earth. A long burst of static roars, fades. A voice mutters indistinctly, distorted as if bubbling up from deep under water, then suddenly rings out in shrill clarity.
"… and this so-called Daedalus drive is not only a scientific impossibility, but a perfect example of misappropriated resources."
It is Senator Billings on a live broadcast, the one that almost defunded our expedition. I'd love to call in to tell him just how wrong he is, perhaps even ask how he's enjoying his new heart, courtesy of Daedalus spin-off technology. But it would be pointless. It took 4.365 years for the broadcast to reach our scientifically impossible ship, and it would take a like amount of time for my call to reach the radio station back on Earth.
As much as we'd all love to hear the old wrecking ball's reaction to our departure from Earth a mere 4 days ago, we don't have another 4.365 years to wait.