Authors: Christine Gasbjerg
The hatch is decompressed, and we slip out into open empty space. My whole body tingles, that’s how excited and nervous I am. It feels incredible to flow weightless around in empty space. I can’t help but wonder if this is how it feels to be a fetus in a womb. One hell of a gigantic womb in this case...
From outside of the ship the asteroid looks much bigger, and it’s further away than I thought. I had the idea that we could just jump, but it’s much too far away for that.
“Let’s launch from here. Grab hold of the bottom of my pack.” Kurt’s voice scrambles through the intercom in my ear.
“Check!” I do as I’m told.
He fires the little control rockets on his pack, and steers us towards the asteroid. We float slowly but steady through space.
“Are you with me? Nervous?” Kurt scrambles again.
“I’m here. This is amazing.” The vast emptiness gives me butterflies in my belly. Everywhere I look there’s infinity sprinkled with stars of different intensity. In front of us there’s two small planets—or perhaps a moon and a planet—one is bigger and appears lime green, and the other smaller and pale orange and seems to be much further away. I’m completely breath-taken.
“Yes, it’s extraordinary. Proportions and distances here are something else. Look above the ship—that’s the Milky Way Galaxy, where Earth is a tiny dot somewhere.”
I turn and look at what mostly resembles a pale stick of light in the vastness of space. As I realize Earth is nowhere to be seen with the naked eye, a tear creeps up in my eye. Out here, you could really get lost and never be found. This must be where real loneliness resides.
We land rather clunky on the asteroid. We both fall on our asses and roll over on the rough ground. It turns out the slow speed wasn’t slow enough after all. The surface of the asteroid doesn’t seem dusty or sandy at all, but both our suits are half covered in a dark grainy dust from the fall, and it won’t be brushed off. We leave it and go to work. I take photos and Kurt collects samples of everything in small containers, which he stuffs in a big net tied to the back of my pack. Our little set up makes me think of ancient history where cavemen and cavewomen were hunting, gathering, and exploring the land.
I take shots of the surface of the asteroid and space in all directions—including the Milky Way above the ship, floating in space behind us. Kurt collects samples of everything he can pick up, scoop up, break off, or otherwise contain. The surface is generally dark grey, like charcoal, but in the right light it’s shining metallic and rainbow colors, like oil. It’s hard as regular rock and full of holes—as if it has been full of bubbles of air like a cheese. Occasionally there’s an outburst of some kind of gas from the asteroid, which Kurt collects several samples of.
“I’ve always been fascinated by the unknown. That’s why I became a scientist—to explore.” Kurt sounds content. “I love exploring and pushing the boundaries of our knowledge about the universe around us. And I love to push myself, both physically and mentally, to reach new heights of achievement.”
I wonder why he feels comfortable having a personal conversation when he knows the crew is monitoring us and listening in back on the ship. It’s my experience that most people are much more reserved and private than that. I’m not a very reserved person myself, and generally don’t mind sharing that type of information—but since I’ve clashed with Captain Alvah, I’ve become more apprehensive. Now, I’m not sure that I want Alvah to know anything about me at all. But then again, why should I keep myself secret from him? Surely, he can’t end up disliking me any more than he already does... If anything, he might actually start to like me a little more, if I show who I am as a human being. I decide to take my chances, and chip in.
“Yes. I also love to explore myself internally, and reach new depths of insight and knowledge about how my mind works, and how to fulfill my soul. And I promise you that it’s
an exact science.” I emphasize the latter—Kurt gets it and laughs.
“I can imagine. The mind and emotions of a woman can’t be a simple entity to explore. It must be a never-ending study of complex emotional intricacies. Not like the simple mind of a man.” Kurt chuckles again. It sounds like he’s had plenty of relationship experience with women, and encountered the challenges of dealing with the opposite gender.
“Yes, men and women are much more different than society accounts for.”
“Sure... well, listen to the pair of us—here we are out in the big widths of space busy discussing such small things as the human psyche... ‘We’re on the outer post talking about the innermost’...” Kurt pauses.
“You’re a poet, and you didn’t even know it.” I pause and wait.
Kurt cracks up and laughs a hearty and life confirming laughter, and it instantly rubs off on me. We laugh like two naughty school kids, that risk being thrown out of the classroom. We apparently fall for the same kind of lowbrow humor. It’s such a relief for me to laugh and release the tension from the unpleasant encounter with Captain Alvah. Sure, the pressure of Alvah will be there when we return to the ship, but right now, we’re in a pocket of total freedom.
I can’t think of anything else on the asteroid I haven’t shot in a plethora of angles. The sample net on my pack is full, so we start making our way back to the ship. We’re happy and content after a fruitful, pleasant, and relieving outing. Our suits look dirty with the patches of dust from the asteroid.
The little steering rockets on Kurt’s pack run out of steam halfway between the asteroid and the ship, so we suddenly hang midair without thrust. We could be stranded here in space, and not be able to get back to the safety of the ship. I slowly start to panic. We could die right now, but that doesn’t seem to affect Kurt.
“Let’s use your rockets instead. We need to switch position first, so I’ll be behind you, and hold on to your pack.” Kurt is cool and collected, just taking care of business.
His calmness helps me harness my panic, and makes me feel safer. There’s absolutely nothing I can do to help the situation. Certainly, panic will only make things worse. I let go of panic, and decide to trust Kurt completely.
“Let go of my pack, and stay still. I’ll take care of this.” Kurt pushes himself about an arms length away from me, and turns around to face me. So there we are—hanging free in space facing each other. If I should describe the feeling of floating in space in one word—it’s ‘freedom’. I don’t say anything, just do as I’m told, and look at him through the visor of my suit. He stops what he’s doing, and looks me deep into my eyes—and then something happens. I feel complete surrender. In this moment, he can do whatever he wants with me. I’m at his disposal. He grabs hold of me, and moves down my body. I close my eyes and wish we were naked.
He swings himself around me and gets hold of my pack.
“Okay, we’re ready. Just squeeze the ignition ever so gently, so we get a softer landing this time. Make sure you aim directly at the hatch. Go!” Kurt’s voice is deeper and more commanding than usual.
I do as Kurt tells me, and wonder why I seem to feel everything stronger now. Is there something in the air—or rather lack of air here? Or is this what happens, when you live so far out of your comfort zone, that you’re really balancing on the cutting edge between life and death? Is this what it’s like to feel completely alive and be totally present?
In the decompression hatch, we climb out of the suits. The heat inside the ship sweeps around my skin, and I suddenly realize how cold I’ve become in space. I hadn’t noticed while we were out there.
“Look at your suit!” Kurt sounds puzzled.
I pick up my suit from the floor of the hatch and expect to find a tear or something—but it looks fine to me.
“Don’t you see? It’s clean again.” Kurt looks at me, and waits for me to get it.
“Oh!” I lift the entire suit off the floor to check. “The dirt patches are gone.” It’s completely clean everywhere.
“It’s on the floor now.” Kurt kneels on the floor and tries to scoop up a sample. The dark dust seems stuck to the floor and he only manages to contain a small portion.
“Strange... What do you think it is?” I’m curious if we’ve discovered new and unknown matter.
“It seems like it’s magnetic in some way. I’ll have to make tests and look closer at it.” Kurt picks up the sample net, which is now a lot heavier due to the light gravity field created in the ship to ease everyday life for the crew.
Kurt opens the inner door of the hatch and steps inside. I look down and see the patch of asteroid dust starting to move towards the door at fast accelerating speed.
“Watch out!” I push Kurt through the door. I make a quick decision. I shut the door behind him, and stay in the hatch with the dust. Me stepping through the door too would’ve cost more time, and the dust would’ve gotten inside the ship. It’s too dangerous. We don’t know what it is yet.
“What happened?” Kurt’s surprised face appears in the little peeping window in the hatch door.
“The dust was racing towards the door, when you opened it. Like it was alive. Don’t you think you better find out if it poses a threat?”
“Shit. Let me do it straight away.” Kurt takes off.
I sit down on the floor in the middle of the hatch. The dust is now lying still on the floor over by the door. There’s no need for me to fret or panic. This is just something that needs dealing with, and I’ve got to wait it out. I take a deep breath and let peace spread throughout my body. Suddenly I see moving lights in the hatch, and look out the window of the hatch to determine where the light comes from. There’s no planet or vessel. It seems like it’s just coming out of space far far away.
The voice in my head is back.
It’s a strange experience to be fully awake with my eyes open and hear the voice, but now I’m certain that what I experienced before was real and not just a vivid dream.
Are you the light?
In this form with you, I am energy, will, and consciousness. I travel as light. I am connected to my physical body in my home world.
Do you speak to others on this ship?
My head is full of questions this time.
I try, but none of them are open. Either they don’t want to listen, or they can’t hear me, because they’re too busy in their minds. A person have to be open and at ease to hear me.
Can you read minds?
The randomness of my questions surprises me.
I can’t read minds or control someone. I’m a being with a free will amongst other beings with free will. If I could read minds I wouldn’t be here again asking you why humans hide our gifts of knowledge.
What gifts of knowledge have you given?
Many. Most recently we’ve given detailed knowledge of technology that can pull energy out of the fabric of space, so that energy becomes abundant and accessible to any human on Earth.
Who have you shared this knowledge with?
I’m wondering if this can be true.
We’ve shared it with people of many levels—governing leaders, scientists, ordinary people with special abilities. But the information gets covered up and hidden instead of shared for the benefit of the entire population on Earth.
I’m wondering if this is true. If it is, then who would silence and cover up such beneficial technology?
“It’s okay. You can come out now. It seems to be a non-organic mineral with an extreme magnetic attraction to even the smallest magnetic field.” Kurt’s voice is vague through the peeping window in the door to the hatch.
Kurt opens the door, and puts a metal rod on the floor right in the middle of the dust collection. Sure enough, the dust is instantly attracted to the rod and collected.
“Effective dry cleaning, heh?” Kurt smiles triumphantly and holds the rod in the air like a trophy.
“Well done you.” I smile at him. His delightful energy pleases me, and warms my soul at a fundamental level.
“And it took me under a minute to figure it out!”
“Under a minute? Well then what took you so long to get back here?” I tease him.
“I was back here in no more than a minute. You know that, right? I only left the net at the lab, realized what it was, and came back here with the rod.” Kurt is serious.
I’m pretty sure that my conversation with the light lasted a lot longer than just one minute, so I guess that there’s something going on with my perception of time in the presence of the light.
“Kurt, will you sit with me for a moment?”
Kurt sits down next to me.
“Let’s say hypothetically that there’s a new type of technology that is so cheap and easy to access, that it effectively could end all energy shortages and even world hunger. Who would have an interest in keeping that kind of energy secret? The government?”
“The government perhaps—but not as much as the oil industry—in fact the big energy conglomerates Mong and E-corp. If you think about it, the energy companies effectively have power over our world to such a degree that even governments have to negotiate with them to get the juice they need. The energy companies have the power to cut a country off if the government doesn’t agree to do what they want. In a way Mong and E-corp are the biggest and actually only world power we’ve got. They’d lose that power if energy became abundant for all. Why are you asking?”
“So it’s because of money and power?”
“Yes, ultimately just power. The one who controls the energy controls the governments. And of course there’d also be a massive imbalance of power at a larger scale, if the underdeveloped countries suddenly had access to unlimited energy resources as we do.”
“Okay. Well... perhaps it’s time for me to tell you...”
“Tell me what?”
I tell Kurt about my two encounters with the light voice and everything it told me. He goes quiet for a while before he speaks again.
“Do you know that E-corp is the main funder of this expedition?”
“Really? Well, yeah.” I already know where Kurt is going with this.