Missed Opportunites

Hers was a long journey. I watched as her archaic liquid rockets accelerated her primitive craft to escape velocity. The use of multiple stages to get her spacecraft up to escape velocity and their continued use that accelerated her to three quarters light speed did not surprise me. Humans as they call themselves are doing their best not to advance.

What did surprise me was when the energy field blossomed out from her spacecraft, creating a bubble able to withstand the crushing forces of the black hole she entered. I thought she was doomed. However, her clever engineering actually used the force of the black hole to power the field. Pretty brave of her to test untried technology in that way.

I can never fault human courage.

After emerging from my side of the black hole she was a victim of inertia and gravity. Her craft crash landed into my little rock three days ago. Days as I know them on this lifeless orb.

I feel her approaching now. I feel her exhaustion. Her pain, her weakness. Her time in this universe is short.

Another intriguing human trait, their drive and determination, even at the expense of their fragile mortality. They will die in pursuit of their dreams.

She knows I am here. She can feel me. My presence guides her. How should I present myself?

I see her head slowly rise over the horizon. The helmet bobbing with each step as she limps towards me. I watch her form take shape through the dust infused haze. She wears a red spacesuit, a white patch covering where here leg suffered injury. She is tall by human female standards. The suit is not as bulky as humanities first space suits. This one revealing a slender figure. Her right-hand pushes into her right hip, as if to block the pain that radiates up from that leg.

I wish I could see her eyes, but they are hidden behind the reflective face shield. I picture them as intelligent. I imagine her lips set in a thin line; a vain attempt to hold in the pain. Its not just her leg that is injured. Her essence radiates hurt.

Pity fills me, and I scan her thoughts for something pleasant. I find something in that brilliant mind, something from her childhood. I assume that visage.

I can tell when she spots me, her step faulters, then resumes its previous gait. She approaches until she is close enough to reach out and touch me, but her hands remain at her side. The one still pressing firmly into her hip.

“Welcome,” I offer in her language.

“You speak Russian?”

“I speak all languages.”

She is silent, her helmet moves almost imperceptibly as she studies my form.

Finally, she asks, “Where you born a fox?”

“I chose a form that would please you Viktoriya.”

“You know my name?”

“I know many things.”

She again pauses, watching me before asking, “Are you God?”

“If you are asking if I am your Christian God, the answer is no. I offer no heaven, no hell, and mine is not to judge.”

“But you know all things. My name, to speak my language, my favorite thing from childhood stories.”

“I am eternal, as old as the universe, but I do not think I created all this. And no one is all knowing. You surprised me with your energy field that allowed you safe passage through the singularity.

“I also do not know why you came here.”

She is silent a long time as she studies me, her thoughts whirling. “I did not come here,” she says, waving her left arm in an arc that encompasses all my little dirt ball. “I was thrown here after my successful transition through the black hole.

“Frankly, I am surprised to still be alive.”

“You humans are a careless bunch,” with a thought, I produce a seat for her and motion for her to sit. She obliges as I continue, “The energy field…was that a product of your countries space agency?”

I sensed more than saw her shake her head, “No, they scoffed at me when I presented the idea. They couldn’t understand the concept. I built the ship, the rockets, the field generator on my own.” She paused, “well, with the help of a few investors.”

“Investors?”

“It will take years for their telescopes to see that my field worked,” she replies, understanding my question, “but they will reap the rewards.”

“You had no plans for returning home?”

“No,” she says without hesitation.

“It is the few, the minority that propels your race forward,” I say after some consideration.

“How so?”

“It is not the educated masses that have allowed humanity to move forward…to progress…to achieve. It is the brilliant creations and discoveries of the one, or the few that have achieved manki…humanities greatest achievements.”

“The Soviet Union achieved spaceflight as a whole. All of NASA surpassed us afterwards.”

“One man invented the rocket, one man discovered electricity, invented the light bulb, a couple of brothers mastered flight. One man took the industrial revolution and propelled it forward by mastering mass production.

“I could go on.”

Viktoriya watched me in silence.

“You,” I interjected hoping to keep her engaged as I felt the life slipping from her.

“My invention will not do my people much good for years to come. Besides, flying through black holes doesn’t end well.”

“Your race would be so much further ahead if not for your practice of murdering those with the potential to do great things.”

“Hitler, Stalin, Pul Pot?”

“No, your doctors and clinics.”

“For a creature who knows so much, you are not making much sense.”

“America has whole clinics dedicated to the practice of murdering unborn children. However, the practice is not just limited to that country.”

“How can you claim that people who were never born were destined for great things.”

“I know many things. I know that life has predetermined paths, and all life in this universe must follow that path. One of the few things that can interrupt said path is untimely death. If ever there was an untimely death it is abortion.”

“Abortion is as old as the brothel.”

“Those are not the places you would find the greatest minds in history being conceived.”

“Where would we be, if these babies had lived?”

“Calvin Sturgis, terminated in Brooklyn in 1964. He would have discovered the secret to using the bodies own immune system to beat cancer.

“Joseph Cleo, aborted in an Alabama clinic, the year 1974 was destined to discover a battery that would replace the internal combustion engine in all aspects. Power, range, and recharge.

“Alexandria Norton aborted in a Whales clinic 1987. She was destined to invent a technology that would contain a fusion reaction.

“Just today, a man named Arron Ward, his life terminated just days before he was to be born, he would have led the human race to faster than light travel.”

Viktoriya studied me, her posture revealing her waning strength.

“You,” I continued, “you would have done so many great things had you not pulled this foolish stunt. If you would have just given yourself more time, not allowed yourself to be lured by greed, you would have taken humankind to its first colony in space.”

“Hah, you said we must follow a path!”

“Leading humanity into space, that was your path Viktoriya…and you did. But too soon. Now you will die, and your future with it.”

“Can’t you warn them?”

“Your people?” I asked, knowing the answer, “My path is to observe Viktoriya, not to intervene.”

She stiffened, struggled to her feet, then turned on me, “Help me get back.”

Weakly she dropped to one knee, then to all fours.

“I cannot interfere, and you will never survive the journey. It’s a shame Viktoriya, I have enjoyed your company. It has been so long since I engaged in conversation.”

With deep sadness, I watched Viktoriya sag to the sand, her strength leaving her arms.

“Help me,” she murmured, then I felt her life leave her broken body.

With sadness, I turned my attention to Viktoriya’s home planet, and counted the lost opportunities until long after my companion turned to dust.

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