Celestes: Observatory

Episode 3 is ready for your critique and enjoyment. At almost 2400 words, this scene is more than twice the length of either of the previous scenes, but I hope you’ll find it worth it.

Aniara and her crew are still on approach to Kepler 62f, the exoplanet that has drawn them 1200 light-years from home. Anna Laukkonnen, pilot and astronomer, searches for evidence of life or any technological civilization on the planet.

Please let me know what you think. Remember, this is a first draft, and you are my beta readers!

Now on to the continuing story: Celestes: Observatory

Beam Reaching the Void

Brilliant as laser light the sail unfurls
Kilometers across,
Reaching away with increasing delta-v;
Circuits encoded, a distributed control,
Carbon-nano resilient
In the face of strikes of dust.

Decades we have voyaged, our home far behind,
Nothing more than a bright point of light,
A memory of the launching beam;
Now ahead we see, brighter by the day,
Our destination, our Centauri dream,
And fabled Proxima b.

Too fast! Too fast! We must slow down,
Deploy the braking sail,
Vector toward our new Sun;
Angular momentum, control lines pulled,
The sheets and halyards of our ship,
Elliptically sling us around the star.

A dozen trips, two dozen, shedding delta-v
With each successive orbit, easing us slowly toward
Our final home, Lagrange One, stable space between
Star and planet, a million miles yet close enough to touch,
Scopes deployed, sensors arrayed, beaming home the news,
Four years to tell you that we’ve arrived.


Image credit:
Kevin Gill, via Flickr, licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike 2.0 Generic