From the ground it seemed unbelievable. Floating overhead lost in the blue of the sky. A slight glimmer of light reflecting off of a white painted hull. A pillar of white clouds rose up from the sea, carrying upon it a rocket soaring for the light – reaching up to caress the soft powder blue before disappearing entirely as it pierced the void.
It was as though time stood still, because for that briefest moment it did. It was a memory that she wanted to keep in mind as she stepped into the shuttle a month from then. It was a memory she wanted to keep in mind as she slipped into deep cryostatic sleep for a six century voyage.
Truth be told, she could have stayed awake. For her only a year would pass if even that. Her destination was a meagre two million lightyears from home, and from the moment they engaged the initial interstellar jump and skipped across the dead space between galaxies, only six centuries would pass back home. But time was a strange thing – had she been awake she could have watched decades disappear in a day. What would have been a year to her, would be six centuries to everyone outside.
And then, she woke irrevocably separated from everything she could have ever known. Everything she had once seen, was no doubt gone, washed away by time. She woke not even knowing if Humanity still existed outside this tiny cluster of a new and alien galaxy.
Doctors woke first, then the engineers needed to resume maintenance, then essential military personnel. A new galaxy meant a new series of potential threats, but it almost meant there was plenty out there to explore. She woke as one of the Pathfinders – a group of people who would help find a new home amongst these distant, cold stars.
It wasn’t until a minor disaster had been averted that she finally got the chance to look out at those new stars. The familiar sparkle of nebulae and the deep boding abyss of black holes. It seemed so familiar, a constant reminder that no matter how far she travelled – everything is made of star dust.
She wondered idly what music the cosmos played out here, if it would be a different tune, or if the entire orchestra was connected even through the dark space between galaxies. And if when Andromeda where she stood and the Milky Way coalesced together, would it bring the music together, or simply change it entirely. The strings of the universe were plucking along all around her as she watched the gentle radiation of a star through her shielded bedroom window. Aboard her ship, out in the middle of a new, unexplored star system.
If these new colonies succeeded, would they ever make contact with home again? Or would they just reunite one day in billions of years once the galaxies became one? If so, she hoped it was in peace.