• Vol. 05
  • Chapter 12
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The River of Stars

We landed on planet Earth at 09:23 local time. The hardest part of the journey came after, as we hiked across the desert on foot. None of our training prepared us for the blistering heat. It kept our medbots so busy that I was worried they couldn't charge fast enough. Night came as a relief for us. We finally stopped moving and set-up camp to eat and rest for a few hours. We couldn't linger too long though, for our destination was time-sensitive.

We started moving again when it was 21:23. The desert night suited us better and we moved faster, energised by the excitement of getting closer.

01:01. Our guide halted us and requested that we set-up camp again for an hour. We're close, it told us. Too close. We need to arrive just on time.

At 02:01 we moved. Calmly, surely, and together. You wouldn't know that there were three thousand and fifty-seven of us.

We arrived at 02:20 and we merged into the snaking route of the canyons. We trained well for this – there were no mistakes, no hesitation. We were one with the canyon, and one with Earth, as the oldest known portal opened to us, above.

I read about the River of Stars in stories of legends, and heard it in tales of people. It does not allow itself to be described, for it will always be so much more and yet nothing. As we came together, we distanced, and the River of Stars took each of us where we wanted to be. I looked up and I was there, in an instance, at ULAS.

02:22 was the last recorded time I have from Earth. Here, time is eternity, and time is irrelevant.