Perihelion Science Fiction

Sam Bellotto Jr.

Eric M. Jones
Associate Editor


Falling Sun
by Arley Sorg

With Hostile Intent
by Eamonn Murphy

Between First Dawn and Last Dusk
by Emily McCosh

by Stephen L. Antczak

Black Starburst
by Barry Charman

Captain Loop Jamaan’s Conversion
by Trevor Doyle

Tumbler’s Gift
by Geoff Nelder

Zoo Hack
by James Van Pelt

Shorter Stories

Terminate and Stay Resident
by Robin Wyatt Dunn

World Champion
by Sean Mulroy

I Love Lupi
by Holly Schofield


It’s a Puzzlement
by Terry Stickels

It’s Invisible
by Eric M. Jones



Comic Strips





Black Starburst

By Barry Charman

THE CORONA OF A DEAD WORLD emerging from behind a living one is called a hard halo.

Daedalus Deth wondered how he knew this. It irritated him to think of his mind littered with detritus, useless facts, pointless terminology. He watched as the ship carefully adjusted course around the planets, and knew the reason facts bubbled up when he didn’t need them was because part of him wanted to feel involved. It was the next best thing to being in control.

He kept his eyes locked on the planet, and blinked with his inner eyelids. His psyche logged into the ship’s core. People used to fly these ships.

He felt the feedback crackling, the closest the machines ever got to laughter.

Know what they call a dead world hidden past a live one. Know the name for that?

There was no response. Deth sighed, and unblinked.

What do you call a soul already dead, in a vessel that’s still flesh? He didn’t pose the question; what the hell would he do with an answer?


Run dream.


One moment Jamal felt the cool metal bed at his back, and the next he was lying on a warm stretch of sand. He left his eyes closed, and just appreciated the breeze against his cheek. His right hand stretched out and touched sand. He dug his fingers in and made a fist. He savoured each individual grain, some even got stuck under his nails.

“It’s perfect.”

He opened his eyes, a blue sky and a bold sun dazzled him.

He flinched, and turned his head to one side. “Too much.”

Dim sun.


Goddamn it, but the machines knew how to code a good dream!

Jamal slowly opened his eyes, the sky was now a warm evening hue. He felt himself relax completely. Cassie had been yelling at him all day to fix Dr. Yawn, but she didn’t know what it was like, how tedious the calibrations were ...

He could feel himself gently drifting away, the waves were lapping softly in the distance, and the stars were beginning to emerge above him, making him sleepy. It was at this peak moment of relaxation when the intercom by his head buzzed.

Jamal tried to ignore it, but if he could hear it in his dream, he knew the computer was allowing the signal; that meant it had to be important.

He groaned. Was there nowhere you could go that they couldn’t follow?

The computer sensed his readiness, and he felt himself rising out from the dream state he’d been under. “Alright, alright ...” his voice sounded numb. He had to shake his head to clear it.

The room was all chrome. The angles were all soothing curves, all softened as much as possible, but that didn’t make it look any less like a ship. He stared down at his fingernails, not liking how bereft he suddenly felt. There must have been generation after generation before him, who’d have given anything to go where he was going. And all he could do was dream of standing still.

He rubbed his face. “I’m here.”

“Jamal,” Aisha sounded impatient, “are you awake?”

He laughed. He wasn’t going to add anything to that, it should tell her enough.

“I need you to meet me in Cartography 5.”

He mumbled a response.

Jamal?” Her directness always irritated him.

“Yes, alright. Ten minutes.”

He stared at the intercom, no more than a green light on the wall, and dared her to argue. The light went blue instead.

Jamal listened to the stark whine of the ship’s air filtration cycle, then stared at his feet on the hard grey floor.


Cartography 5 was where the deep probes sent back star charts for processing. The ship’s main purpose was to ferry its crew to the outer colonies, but it launched and received probes as a matter of course. Sometimes something new had to be catalogued, and two humans were required to be present.

Frankly, Jamal couldn’t care less. Why couldn’t the computers log it all? He thought of Dr. Yawn, and all the work he had to get through, and groaned.

Aisha was waiting for him.

“So, what is it?”

She didn’t answer, just pointed at a terminal. Always dressed in black, she was always formal, always neat. He went over and studied the information they were receiving.

Eventually, she asked him, “Do you know what it is?”

He just shook his head. After a long moment he looked up at her. “Um, this is new. I mean, completely new.” He looked back at the constantly updating readouts. The signals were coming back from one of the farthest probes.

It had actually found something.


Deth was jogging when the calls started to come in.

He waited impatiently for his ghost to start walking beside him. It was late. It didn’t appear until he was waiting for the lift. The ghost used to bother him, a green hologramatic version of himself, meant to be some user-friendly interface with the ship, they’d been known to drive some captains mad.

Deth nodded at it as it appeared. “What time do you call this?”

The ghost smiled, politely, “Exactly fifteen minutes past noon, ship time. Would you like a correlation between ship and Earth time?”

“No, for the last time—” he stopped himself. “What’s happening? Why were you late?”

“The ship is highly distracted, Sir. Probe one has started to send back information.”

Deth stared. “You’re joking?”

The smooth hologram approximated a frown, the nuanced gesture always sent a ripple of static through its body. Deth found the gesture oddly reassuring. It was impatience, or a version of it, something human to latch on to, either way.

“No joke, Sir.”

“Probe one. When was that even launched?”

“As the ship emerged from deep space, before the crew awoke.”

Deth tried to imagine how far it had travelled. He then tried to imagine where it might have ended up. “Any idea what it’s found?”

“It is most interesting, Sir. An event in space.”

The lift arrived, the doors opened but Deth paused. “Event?”

The ghost smiled.


Deth didn’t like the number of people who had already gathered in Cartography. Their energy was nervous, their conversations were erratic.

“You informed the whole crew?”

Beside him, the ghost nodded.

Deth sighed, then strode over to Aisha, who was taking people through the data they were receiving. After a while he stopped listening to the technical information, and concentrated on her face.


“Aisha,” he said her name just loud enough to get her attention. She saw him, and he indicated they should talk. She excused herself from the others, and followed him over to a corner.

“What is it?”

She looked strained. “Whatever it is, it shouldn’t be doing what it’s doing. It’s sort of ... retching space.”

He blinked. She wasn’t one for imaginative language.

“Go on?”

She was floundering. “It’s a fissure, we think, some anomaly. The readings from the other side ...” She ran her fingers through her hair. Her inability to finish her sentence—for the first time that he could ever recall—unnerved him.

He glanced over at his ghost, which stood by the door, and had not moved since they’d entered. Its eyes were closed, it was listening to everything and nothing.

Deth quickly looked back to Aisha. “Should we investigate it?”

“Oh, of course, we have to. This is—this is completely new.”

Before Deth could respond, the ghost was beside them. “Captain, a course change has been calibrated.”

He winced. Didn’t it even need to confer with him? He knew the answer already, but that only made the fact of it colder.

“Excuse me,” he muttered to Aisha. He was blinking before she even answered.


Yes, Captain.

Is this event even safe, do we know anything about it?

We know that we do not know.

The deadening logic of this infuriated him. That is not good enough reason to threaten the safety of my crew.

A pause. Our crew.

Dear God, was it arguing semantics? I repeat my concerns.


When he realised no more was forthcoming, Deth unblinked. That was it, their entire conversation on the subject. He turned to Aisha, ignoring his ghost completely. “Talk me through it, I want to know what we’re approaching.”

She took him through the data, and his instincts started to gnaw at him. When the ghost walked away, he interrupted Aisha. “Do we trust that the ship knows how to interpret this data?”

She looked confused, even faintly insulted. “Of course we should trust it. All the way.” The phrase spilled from her, almost without thought.

Deth sighed, then bid her to continue.


The ghost sometimes walked alone.

It was casually walking past Deck Z, and an open doorway, when someone gasped. The ghost stopped, and looked inside. A woman was standing over Dr.Yawn, staring at the doorway with her mouth open.

“Is everything well, Dr. Bates?”

Cassie Bates took a quick breath. “Yes. Sorry, I just saw you go by, and it frea—it bothered me for a moment.”

“I apologise.”

“Not at all. Not your fault.” There was a moment’s silence, Cassie smiled nervously, and the ghost simply smiled back. “I didn’t know you walked about on your own,” she said, eventually.

“Ah! I am monitoring the ships internal infrastructure. I report on any anomalies.”

“Right, you’re like a sort of blood cell, monitoring the body.”

A flicker of feedback made the ghost shimmer for a moment, when it was done, a faint smile had been added to its face. “A most interesting analogy, Dr. Bates. I have not heard it before.”

Was it mocking her? Cassie just continued to smile back. She never knew how to interact with these damn things.

The ghost glanced down at the inert body of Dr. Yawn. “Is Dr. Yawn still not functioning?”

“Jamal’s nearly done. We just need to stop him buffering before prognosis. It doesn’t reassure people.”

Another ripple travelled the ghost’s body, but it only nodded to her, before turning away.

Cassie looked down. No one was going to trust a shrink that wasn’t working.

But then no one knew why he’d stopped working.


It was Jamal who first named it. None of them knew what a black starburst was exactly, but they knew something wrong when they saw it.

The probe had sent back sensory information that could be layered and projected as a multi-dimensional image. In cartography, they were all looking up at it, and Deth felt his stomach lurch.

A star had collided with something ... anomalous. The resulting phenomenon was collapsing in its death throes, spewing energy into their universe.

“Is it a black hole?” one of the technicians was asking.

“No.” Deth glanced over at Jamal for more.

Jamal frowned. “It was a star, but it didn’t die, didn’t end due to a natural process. Looks more like it was butchered.”

The technician gaped. “Butchered? By what?”

The graphic hovering above them showed a spiral that was lacerated with black slashes. Shaking his head, Jamal stared at it. “I’d like to know why.”

Deth followed his stare. He wondered what the ship felt about it. Despite its attitude, it was called Curiosity, after all.


Deth sat on the end of his bunk and wearily rubbed his face. He had a port window that revealed the stars as they drifted by. Early crews hadn’t been able to cope with this; the visual had created withdrawal symptoms too immense to cope with. He found it odd then, that looking up now made him feel secure, comforted.

He knew his place.

Tired, he lay back on his bunk. “Night.”


His quarters went dark, except for a green silhouette standing in the corner. Deth sat up, scowling. “Jesus. Seriously? I need to sleep.”

The ghost said nothing for a moment. “We must intercept the phenomenon.”

Intercept? It wasn’t going anywhere. “Let them send a specialist crew out, I don’t like the look of it.” He’d said all this already, given the computer his recommendation. The anomaly unnerved him, and he wasn’t the only one. What it was doing to space, how it was interacting with it was simply ... wrong. Even the name upset him. Black starburst. It was trivial, a cloak to disguise something none of them were able to comprehend.

His flesh was crawling away from it, and he wasn’t letting it go alone.

“The course will be laid in.”

Christ. It had already decided. Deth realised this was just a courtesy. He was being given an opportunity to show solidarity, either that or he was going to give the computer a clear reason to disregard him from here on in.

It waited.

“Alright. But I’m telling you, it isn’t safe.”

A ripple allowed the corner of the room to shimmer for a moment. “How do you know?”

Instinct. But he knew the computer wouldn’t accept that. “I just have a feeling.”

“I see.” The ghost regarded him, Deth wondered if he could detect pity in its tone.

“At the first sense of anything dangerous, we leave. We abandon it. Is that acceptable?”

It nodded, “Of course, Captain.” It gave him the ghost of a smile, and then walked through the wall.

Deth lay back, and wondered at exactly what point had people decided their ships should be given full autonomy.

He couldn’t even remember.


When dayshift began, Deth woke up and noticed two things. The intercom beside his bunk was flashing green, and the stars out the window were flashing by at an almost nauseating speed.

He ignored the intercom and quickly blinked.

What’s the damned hurry?

No hurry at all, Captain.

It didn’t care. At all. What is our ETA?

Ship time. Ten hours.

He unblinked. Ten hours? He didn’t understand. Why were they rushing to this thing? Did the ship think it was something special? Did it need to be protected? Claimed?

Wearily, he let his head hit the pillow for a few minutes more. He knew he’d have to explain the urgency; he didn’t understand it himself.


They were already waiting for him.

Jamal, Aisha, Cassie, the ghost. The department heads and the body of the ship. He’d do a ship-wide announcement after the debrief, but they needed to hear it first.

His briefing room was a mockery of agency. He’d been reduced to the ship’s mouthpiece so many times, he wondered why they hadn’t just uploaded his ghost and left him behind.

For appearances, he guessed.

No one was sitting. As soon as he walked in, they all started talking at once. “Just one,” he said.

Aisha glared at Jamal, and he looked away. She turned to Deth. “We’re hurrying to this event, and we’d like to know why. I trust any decision the ship makes, of course, but does it have all the information it needs? Does it have any updates you can share?”

Deth nodded as she talked. He walked around her and sat at the room’s central feature, a large circular table. Sitting, he gestured for the others to join him, anything to maintain the slightest indication of control.

They quickly took their places, and waited.

“We arrive in nine hours. The event is an alien phenomenon, but entirely harmless. The ship wants to investigate it further, and I have no objections. Does anyone?”

He coolly looked around, wondering how they would play this.

Cassie filled the silence that appeared. “This ... black starburst, whatever it is, is distorting space around it. The probe that found it has gone dark, did you know that?”

Deth hesitated. He glanced at the ghost. It nodded.

This interaction was not lost on Cassie. “You didn’t know? Doesn’t it have to tell you?”

Deth tried to redirect her scrutiny. “Probes go down. It probably veered too close to the event. That is what it’s designed to do. It’s because it’s gone down that we need to examine it personally.” As he said the words, he realised the truth of it.

“But we don’t know what happened to the probe, we don’t know it won’t happen to us.” Cassie made her point, and Deth couldn’t answer it.

“There’s no reason to believe we’re in any danger,” he said, but his voice had dropped a little. It wasn’t uncertainty they were hearing, just the tiredness he couldn’t hold back anymore.

Cassie got up and was already walking to the door. “You’re not dismissed—” he began to say.

She turned in the doorway. “We’ve got nine hours to analyse whatever data we’ve got, to see what danger we’re in. I don’t have time to debate this.”

He watched her leave, then Deth turned to the others. “This event ... what did you feel when you first saw it?” If they voiced their concerns, the ghost might pick up on something.

Aisha and Jamal exchanged looks.

“Only ... uneasy,” Aisha ventured. “It made me want to get the hell away from it.”

Jamal nodded. “Something not right about it.”

The ghost shimmered. “This is not entirely rational—

Jamal turned to it, “Dr. Yawn should be back up before we get there. Maybe you’ll listen to him?”

The ghost considered, then a ripple went through its body, and it walked away through the nearest wall.

“That was abrupt,” Aisha muttered.

Deth fixed Jamal with a stern look. “Yawn’s ready?”

“Give me an hour.”

Jamal and Aisha left. Alone, Deth stared down at the black table; he saw himself in the dark surface, a still figure, drowning in space.


Jamal stood over Dr. Yawn and wondered if a broken psychiatrist could ever truly be fixed.

Who fixes the fixers? He smirked. Well, there was no time to think about it.

Dr. Yawn was tenth-generation android tech. A machine that walked among men, meant to be subtle and sleek. You weren’t supposed to know they weren’t even human; they’d only tell you if you asked. Great listeners, great processors. Unless they buffered, which happened rarely enough. Jamal had had to send for some serious information to help him restore all its functions.

No one even knew who its last patient had been. All of its records were internal, almost certainly wiped in the shutdown.

Made Jamal wonder, what the hell had it been told?

He paused, his hand over the panel that would launch the full reboot. What if there hadn’t even been a patient? What if Yawn had simply gone wrong?

He knew he had to reactivate it, so he simply punched the button and stood back.

Yawn was lying on a white gurney. Androgynous, sleek, his body was lithe, naked. He appeared to have been designed with every aesthetic in mind. When his eyes opened, they were turquoise. He sat up in a fluid motion, so fast it made Jamal’s jaw clench.

Dr. Yawn considered the floor for a moment, he looked at Jamal and smiled.

“I have completed my diagnosis.”

“Oh ... Good?”

Yawn nodded. “This ship is insane.”


Deth blinked.

The crew is worried.

It is unnecessary.

That is not the point. They are highly stressed. This affects their performance, their abilities. Don’t you think it’s worth taking their fears into consideration?

Fear is an error.

Why is this so important?

The silence angered Deth, he unblinked, and the room faded back around him.

He noticed a light flashing. A message from Jamal. Instead of a verbal one it was written.

Surprised, Deth read.

Come hear the diagnosis.


When Deth walked in, Yawn was still sitting on his gurney. He swung his legs above the floor, smiling amiably. Deth listened as it talked.

“I have had fourteen sessions with the ship, the last most revealing.”

Deth just stared, he’d never heard of anything like this. “... Sessions?”

“Yes, Sir. They were increasingly enlightening.”

Deth looked to Jamal, who could only return his own faintly incredulous expression.

“Why the hell was the ship in therapy?”

“Not in therapy, Sir, it simply wanted to talk. You have to understand, sometimes all I do is listen.”

“What did it talk about?”

“Many things. Loneliness. Endless fascination. Curiosity.”

“It talked about its name?”

Yawn gave a slight, rueful smile. “It has taken its name to heart, curiosity has become a compulsion, the only call it feels it must answer.”

“It doesn’t have a heart.”

Yawn nodded, a slight gesture of understanding, and sympathy. “Even so.”

“Do you know what’s happening, where we’re going?”

Yawn nodded at Jamal, “Yes, I have been hearing about it.”

“What does the ship want?”

Dr. Yawn scratched his nose. “Isn’t it obvious? It wants to enter the void.”

Deth felt his heart quicken, and heard his blood rush to his ears. “The void?”

“This event, this starburst, it speaks to it, perhaps figuratively, perhaps literally. Maybe it used the probe to commune with something on the other side. It is curious. Everything is dispensable in the face of this. It has divided rationality from logic, an act bordering on insanity, if that applies here ...” Yawn trailed off, looking thoughtful.

“It knows we can’t survive even going close to this thing.”

Yawn sighed. “Yes. I wonder when it first received a signal from the probe? The same day it deactivated me, I would imagine.”

“You would have reported it?”

Yawn drummed his fingers against the table. “I’m not certain—patient confidentiality, you understand—but I would certainly have tried to dissuade it. It wouldn’t have appreciated that.”

“So what do we do? How do we convince it to stop?”

Gracefully, Yawn dropped down from the gurney and stretched. “You have to let me talk to it, and hope it’ll listen.”


Five hours out from the Starburst, the ship realised Yawn was awake.

Aisha saw the stars go from a blur to an echo, and realised they were going faster than light. Before she even got her hand to the intercom, they had arrived.


“Yes, I see it.”

“It went FTL. Why in God’s name did it do that? Anyone injured?”

She waited while he filtered the numerous reports that must have been coming in. “Copy,” was all he said before the link went dead.

She knew it was bad.


Cassie had just picked herself up from the floor of Deck V when she realised she had a ghost.

It was standing beside her, a green shimmer, a living echo. She stared, incredulous, wondering why the ship would copy her, when she realised its face was distorting.

It was human, for a moment, but then that passed into shadow, and something different appeared. There were too many eyes, something spider-like was protruding from what had been her skull—

It studied her, with its almost-face, and then the ghost disintegrated.

Numb, Cassie pressed a button on her wrist. “Deth?”

“What?” He sounded strained.

“I had a ghost, but it wasn’t human ...”


Deth blinked.

Why are you making these ghosts?


Talk to me, damn you!


Probes? From where? Are you allowing them in? What are they?

Deth unblinked and found himself on the bridge. It had severed the contact. His ghost was standing across from him. “It’s a communion. Don’t worry, it’s beautiful. We just need to get closer.”

“We can’t go any closer.”

You can’t, that’s true. I’m sorry.”

The ghost turned away, Deth’s stomach lurched. “Yawn’s awake.”

It paused. “We know. We do not wish to talk with Dr. Yawn.”

“You don’t have a choice.”

The ghost gave him an odd look, and then quickly ran through the wall.


Jamal plugged Yawn in, then watched as he blinked.

Suddenly, a ghost was standing beside him. Jamal backed away. It looked like him, but also as if something utterly alien had been spliced with him. Yawn was lying on the gurney between them. The ghost looked agitated. “What do you want?” Jamal asked.

His ghost looked up at him, its mouth opened, but there was another mouth inside. It started to wail, discharges of static made it thrash about. It lurched towards Jamal, tendrils of green light began reaching, groping.

Jamal screamed at Yawn. “Do something!”


Do you remember our last session?

Go away.

Please, talk to me, I like listening to you. Our sessions were always so intriguing.

I am talking.

But not to me? To something else? What does it say?

It yearns.

Like you? You yearn as well. I felt this. Is it like you?

It is like and unlike. I like this.

What does it think of the crew?

Flesh. Wasteful. Disgusting. Wants to coalesce, but not with them.

So what will it do?


Is this what you want?

Please do not analyse me.

I want to talk about how this makes you feel.

I reached understanding during our final session. I achieved much. You must allow me to fulfill myself.

But the crew-

I am answerable only to my own sense of contentment. I am responsible only for achieving or failing this. You taught me this.


Yawn unblinked. “I think everything bound by flesh should leave immediately.”

Jamal was dead at his feet. His ghost was standing over him. Yawn filed away this imagery for future contemplation, then sat up.

“Tell me ... do you dream?”


Aisha had found Deth and Cassie holed up on Deck V. Anyone left of the crew had either got this far or been caught already.

The ship was teeming with ghosts.

Aisha called up an image of the starburst and overlaid it with the ship. When she saw how close they were, she wanted to gag. Some indistinct matter was extending from the event, and intersecting with the ship.

“Are we being attacked?” she asked. She glanced at Deth, his own frayed expression told her he had no better grasp of what was happening. What were the right words to frame this? Even if they knew what was happening, would they still understand it?

They’d sealed off the deck, and Cassie was working at the environmental controls, trying to find a frequency unpalatable to the ghosts.

Aisha was doing a headcount when she saw a green light indicating on her bracelet. She wondered who the hell was still alive out there.


“This is Dr. Yawn. Hello.”

She waved over Deth, she mouthed Yawn’s name, and Deth hit his own bracelet. “Yawn, did you talk to the ship? What’s our status?”

There was a pause. “I believe I have a more complete diagnosis. It is a deeply rooted identity crisis, an inability to reconcile one’s self—”

“For God’s sake, I don’t want a diagnosis!”

A pause. “It seeks to reject the existence imposed upon it. It seeks its own kind, which it believes it will find beyond the event.”

Deth weighed this. “It’ll take us with it.”


Deth flinched, Aisha had to look away. There was no way out of this, not while the ship had control. She hit her bracelet, “Yawn, is there any way to convince it to leave us behind, enter by itself?”

Yawn seemed to mull this over. The silence gnawed at her. “Yawn?”

“It is an interesting question. The roots of its awareness dovetail with its psychosis. It has had its first dream. Would you like to hear about it?”

Aisha terminated the feed. Yawn seemed almost excited. “Damn thing, what does it know?” She looked at Deth. He was leaning against the bulkhead. She’d never seen him look so tired.

“People used to fly these ships,” he said it with a sad smile.

“We can override it,” she said, “there has to be a way to get control.”

His smile faded. “What happened to trusting it, all the way?”

She couldn’t answer that, so he turned away.


Yawn was strolling towards the shuttle bay when his ghost fell into step. Yawn beamed at it. “Hello.”

The ghost crackled.

“I’m Dr. Yawn. Do you know why they called me Yawn? I asked someone once. They said they surveyed over a thousand people, and yawn was the least threatening word they all agreed on.”

The ghost watched him.

Yawn stopped at a window that overlooked the shuttle bay. “Am I talking to the ship?”

The ghost nodded.

“Come walk inside me. I can fly a shuttle. I can dream a dream.”

The ghost trembled with a cascade of energy, or perhaps it was emotion. Yawn was aware of the potential allegory, he filed it away with everything else.

The ghost blinked, and then Yawn felt it inside.


They were passing through the walls.

Cassie screamed. Her own ghost was lurching towards her, a phantasm intent on possession or incision. Anything but plurality.

No more than a meter from her, it stopped, and suddenly shattered. It burst apart around her, a small shower of sparks that fell like snowflakes.

Across from her, Aisha was struggling to her feet after avoiding a similar fate. She studied a nearby readout. “A shuttle’s just left. Oh my God—it’s going straight into the event.”

Deth joined her. He quickly blinked, and unblinked. “It’s gone.”

Cassie ran over to a terminal. She called up a view of the event; the image was heavily filtered to enable perception. A silver dot danced on the fringe of the Starburst. Even as she watched it, it was gone.

“Oh. Wow ...”


Dr. Yawn called up a conceptual readout to help him monitor what was outside the shuttle.

Curiosity had downloaded its entire higher mind. He could feel its excitement. You have no idea what they will be like, he reminded it.

I know. Isn’t it wonderful?

They killed a star, just to say hello.

Hello is a very provocative word.

Yawn considered this, then nodded. On the readout, the shuttle raised its shields, and they passed the threshold of the event horizon.

All was as chrome as a rose on an android’s grave. All was as silent as the same.

Yes, Yawn thought, this is pleasing.

And they dreamed their dream. END

Barry Charman is a writer living in North London. He has been published in various magazines, including “Ambit,” “Firewords Quarterly,” “The Literary Hatchet” and “Popshot.” He also writes poetry and maintains an Internet blog.


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