All it took was one look

I am sitting in my comfortable seat.The ovoid window peeks out to the empty void. Stars in families of milions scattered on the black canvas of space. 

The soft hum of the thermo-propulsion engines were almost inaudible. Just a soft coddle felt by my shoulder as it pressed on the window frame. 

I look around again to see the rest of the passengers.

I recieve wide bright smiles, nods and glasses of sparkling beverage raised to my direction. 

This trip was a success.

It was the maiden voyage of my S/A Cherub flyer. 

A proper name for my stubby ship that defied atmospheric friction as it could scrape the ionic-charged atmosphere with negligible surface corrosion. 

It was my gift to the high level mangement of C.O.R.E. The company holding the monopoly over stellar safe bets. 

At least that’s the description they gave my wife when she agreed to go along with their Icarus project. 

I remember the day she smiled while her eyes eluded the details she didn’t want to share. 

As if her mouth offered me comfort, but her eyes betrayed the futile deception. 

I wanted to ask what’s wronge. 

But she severed the thought as she shrouded my face with hers. A deep tender kiss, then her embrace brought her auburn flowing hair right on my face.

She would figure it out somehow. I wouldn’t insult the woman for questioning her chances.

2 years later I get the call. So cordial and elegant in prose. I wondered then if the words were brewed by a professional. 6 years of marriage coming to a halt. 

I then read the solar feed.

A tragic accident in the skies of Titan. The Icarus cloud trawler was swathing the methane dense atmosphere of the yellow moon. It appears for undisclosed reasons that the ice cells condensing the gas had lit up.

Evaporizing the whole ship in mere seconds. 


I still remember the cold I felt.

I still recall how I couldn’t leave my compound, unable to face the world again. 

In the coming months, I discovered I could cry my eyes dry. 

I go back 10 years earlier when the woman conquered my heart with one single look. 

I remember the immediate shift in my destiny. The crucial point of my life when I turned my head and saw her among a throng of eager scholars.

How she made a distinctive mark in the midst of so many.

From that moment on,  love had a face.

The years following after her death, the company made sure my grief was kept in line, swaying me with luxurious gifts and generous funding for pet projects.

Who knew that the death of my wife could become so lucrative?!. 

One of my long held off dreams was the Cherub. 

And today I offered it to be the charriot carrying us to Nexus alpha for the bicentennial C.O.R.E celebration. 

Three crescendo piano notes were heard from the over head announcer. 

“Ladies and Gentlemen we now enter Martian atmosphere. Please remain fastened to your seats. “

Everything was flowing into place. My cherub was executing its functions perfectly.

I took out my data plate and started scrolling down the fluctuating graphs of performance parameters. 

The ship computer was adjusting marvelously to any variation Mars hurled at its way. The vibration level was nominal and the heat variability was approximate to the calculated trend. 

I looked at the faces around me. The CEO and top executives were enjoying the last chapter of the flight. Their comfortable faces made me content.

This ship was to be the gaia mother that would breed our next solar fleet.

The ship jumped as if stumbling on a rock boulder. The Cherub was tail spinning and spiraling down. 

The alarms shrieked all over. 

Oxygen maskes fell from the cabin ceiling. I looked through my window and saw three white fins tumbling down with tails of fire and white smoke.

Another huge thud tossed everything to one side. As I suspect, one of the wings had just detached from the fuselage.

People were now screaming, every soul very well understood the imminent plausible conclusion.

I sit back and close my eyes.

Everything was flowing to place.

The ship was executing its functions properly.

It was amazing how few sealed pyrophoric flakes stuck to the hull. Too small to be registered by mass sensors. Igniting as they came in contact with the martian man-made sky.

The view was rolling fast. We were dropping down in tremendous speed.

I try to spend my last moments with the memory of the woman that snared my fate with a look.

Years since my loss and my heart couldn’t learn how to forgive. The void in my heart would breed in hundreds of other hearts.

I wonder what the headline would say.

I just hope they hire the same guy from last time  

 



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