The Ark

The Ark

A Story by xyriach

The start of a story I keep coming back to...just an introduction or a first chapter that never quite has a follow through...but I'm working on it!

Her slender body crawled slowly through the doors. The hazy sunrise cast a flow about her body, her white skin glistening in the new born light. Silent as an angel she moved across the backdrop of night the giant doors making ample room for her small fragile frame to pass between. Brightly twinkling stars littered the sky behind her, dimmed only by the growing mist of sunlight over the horizon and her own brilliantly white shimmering.

The silent blue roar of her breath hung behind her like footprints in gaseous snow, the vapour leading from where she had lain for so many months to the void she now tenderly stepped into. The scream of her thrust silenced forever by the airless abyss and her passengers silenced by their chrysalis of cryostasis, waiting to be reborn in a new world at their journeys end.

From the gantries on Alpha Station a mere few hundred kilometres away, she seemed to drift like a swan across an icy pool, her body wafting through the cold waters, stirring nothing but her wake.

Rick stated across at her sleek body, the plexiglass in front of him polarising as the sun rose steadily, obscuring his view. His eyes explored her gleaming white hull, the perfection of her body, watching his love leave behind the world he was condemned to. Like a fledgling leaving the nest she moved away without discourse or regret, a new life await some forty silent years away.

His eyes glisten as shallow tears held themselves in place, the completeness and finality of everything weighing down upon him. Was this indeed the birth of a brave new world, or the end of an era throughout which he had reigned supreme. For two decades he had loved this vessel. She had been his life, his reason for living, and now, she would be gone. Had he been a younger man he would have gone with her, eloping from the world she now left in her past. How he resented being told he was too old, too weak to withstand the trauma of cryostasis, for he knew that he would not withstand the trauma of being left behind.
Behind him, a noise stirred. He didn’t look, his whole world was before his eyes, and nobody was likely to disturb him, certainly nobody that he couldn’t do with seeing.

“Father?” Chloe called behind him as she closed the dull great doors behind her, a stark contrast to her willowy blonde figure.

His glistening eyes remained transfixed on the child that was leaving him, not the child who had joined him. He watched her as intently as he had any passing beautiful woman in his youth.

Chloe nestled her head on his shoulder, her arms around his waist. “I thought you could use some company.”

His hand moved to hers, holding them firmly in his weary engineers grasp. He comforted her more than she had he, Rick knew she worried for him. “It’s alright,” his gravely voice lied, “all things that are born must grow and leave, this is just the start of her life.”

“And not the end of yours.” She warned, stroking his hands delicately with her thumb.

He sniffed a laugh, brushing his cheek against her hair. “You know me too well honey-bee.”

She watched his ship pass deeper into the void, as her father felt sorry, she felt almost joy like a jealous sister watching her sibling drift off into the world. For almost her entire life she had lost him to this cursed mechanical monster. The ship had devoured him, and she could not bring herself even to fain grief at is departure from their lives.

“She will deliver us the galaxy,” he said, his words like those of a preacher consoling his parish, “my only regret is that she won’t do so within my lifetime.”

Chloe remained silent, she knew the futility of anything she said now. He was a star, watching from space, her presence was only a im awareness to him, a feeling she had grown used to over the years.

His eyes panned over the giant gateway, its construction complete a decade ago, its destiny lying with the vessel he now watched leave the solar system behind. In three days she would approach light-speed and then would be lost on a voyage into the heavens that no starship had ever ventured into. An adventure that he had created, one that he had given life, that he had given his life for.

Rick had always believed that the actions of one man could usher in new avenues or humanity to explore, for better or worse, and this avenue he had opened would be one of the more wondrous.

The plexiglass became almost solid black as the sun rose over the horizon to totality. The brilliant light of our nearest star dwarfing the dim light of its rivals, the earths hazy atmosphere quivering beneath its might.

Rick turned to his daughter, cupping her face in his hands, “Now we begin a new journey, eh, honey-bee?”

She moved her arm around his waist and began to lead him to the doors she had entered by. “There’ the Atlantis project, Dr Burns has wanted you on that for years.”

“What does an old starship engineer know about the depths of the oceans?”

“It’s closer to home Dad, its closer to home.”

He stroked her hair, perhaps it was time to return to Earth permanently. Too long the cold vacuum of space had held his soul. “Yes,” he smiled, “perhaps it is.”

The door closed behind them. The door closed on a chapter of the old mans life, and though he had walked through it, he still could not see the new doorway ahead of him open. For him, they were no longer doorways, simply doors.

© 2010 xyriach

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Added on March 27, 2010
Last Updated on March 27, 2010
Tags: sci-fi, starship, space



St Helier, Jersey

I'm a 30 year old development consultant in the Channel Islands. I've been writing since I was 14 and am trying to get back into it after a break of a few years. I'm pretty middle of the road geek.. more..

Introduction Introduction

A Chapter by xyriach