Ashwin Vaidya About
Short Story | Originally published on One Picture Notes|Last Updated: 03 December 2023

Into the Void

He had a rover to fix. The loose soil around the Veris crater gave in sending the it crashing into the crater. As he reached the edge of the Veris, he could make out the fallen rover. This height and the lack of atmosphere gave him a clear view of the stars. He could make out the Sagatus constellation and the Neptunium constellation. He was not interested in them though. He was staring into the void in between. His great grandfather said that between the tips of those constellation was another star, one that glows faintly for naked eyes to see. It was at the end of its journey. It grew into a Red Giant only to explode and settle into a White Dwarf. His great grandfather said, they had come from a planet orbiting it. He had seen it in the videos but sometimes he did not believe it. It was said the landscape was shades of blue and green, where trees grew higher and thicker than those in Block G7. A solitary walk into a forest, as those people called them, greeted one with sounds of insects and birds so numerous that no human ever recorded them all. He had a glimpse of what it would have been like. The G7 also greeted visitors with sounds of nature, but it was just an audio. They could not save everything. Hearing each breath in his space suit he wondered what was it like to roam without one. Sometimes he used to stand in front of the air lock of Wing D3 to feel the air brush past against him as the air between B2 and D3 equalized. He wondered what was it like to live over-ground where he could go out whenever he wanted without the worry of radiation. His view was blocked as three meteors reflected from his visor. His great grandfather said they used to call them shooting stars. In atmosphere they had long majestic tails, like angels flying in the heaven. People used to wish upon them. Out here, they were just rocks falling from space. He wondered in a land so magical where water flowed without evaporating, where creatures were in deep water bodies and in the skies, where G7’s fragrance was everywhere, were such believes true. Were these wishes granted. Maybe nature took the magic with the star. Maybe his great grandfather was true about such world.

He wished for a star that was not there and proceeded to move down into the crater. He had a rover to fix.