Gateway to the Distant Stars

The ship glided effortlessly through the inter-space traffic. Cruisers, frigates, saloons, two seaters , and a ponderous dreadnaught were all moving along digital pathways towards Ganymede and the hyperjump gate in orbit there. Jupiter loomed behind Grivo’s ship as he moved his furry hands across holographic buttons on the dashboard. The low red ambient light illumined the little alien  as he steadied the wheel and operated through the spaceway. The smooth jazz from the radio passed away as a steady electronic beat came in with heavy synth and drums. A voice came over the radio, the frequency and waves were from a dead time.

“This is Double-you Ex See I, college radio at 91.7 on your radio dial. Keep Kickin it.” The music then went into an 80’s style overdrive. The lights of the space-lanes passed seamlessly with the beat.

Grivo looked from the traffic to Lynda, watching the window in the passenger seat. The human woman didn’t move, but in the reflection of her face on the window, a liquid seemed to be pooling in her eyes.

“Is she sad?” Thought Grivo as he focused back on the road.

He looked back. “She might be sad.” Thought Grivo. Yet he said nothing for some time.

“Ahem,” He said, clearing his throat. “You know, your Earth music isn’t that bad. that jazz smooth stuff was ….nice, but I like this, it reminds me of Telphi in the Sergardi quadrant:  fast thrills, amazing food, hot dancers in every club and…um”

The 80’s overdrive faded into The Guns of Brixton by the Clash.

Grivo looked back quickly to see that she had not moved and the liquid was slowly rolling down her cheek.She wiped her face with her sleeve, sniffed and attempted a resolute demeanor.

“Yea.” said Lynda. The neon lights of the spaceway and the thrusters of passing ships moved across her face. “you know we aren’t that far from earth…well, not relatively far.”

Grivo looked back over. “Oh yeah?”

“Mhmm” said Lynda, “Same solar system.”

“No shit.” Said Grivo looking back forward to Ganymede and the swiftly approaching hyperjump gate.

There was a long silence as the music of Steely Dan’s Asia flowed into perspective. Grivo gulped down excess saliva that seemed to be building in his throat.

“Ah, more jazz smooth. Does earth have different music, or is it all just this stuff down there?”

“We used to have a lot of types of music on earth.” Said Lynda looking away from the window, into her lap.

“oh.” Said grivo looking back forward. “Right”

Another long silence continued between them, the space was filled with the keyboard skills of Donald Jay Fagen.

Grivo watched the road, ships weaved and sped through the lanes.

“There was Metal, and pop, and rock, Jazz of like a million kinds, opera, beroque, blues, BLUES!, motown, and funk, and disco, EDM, punk, rap, hip hop, and fusions between all of those things!” Said Lynda suddenly talking. Grivo watched her continue. It seemd as though she was trying to yell at space to hear her more than participate in a conversation.

“It all started with folk musics. Little tribes of people on our planet crawling out from whatever cave or rock they lived under. Wherever we came from, people made sounds. We did it to keep us happy, to remember sad times, to help us understand. To keep us from being afraid of the dark…”

She let her head hit the glass quietly, looking down into the vastness of madding space. Her hair trailing down around her as tears began to flow silently from her eyes, blurring the stars.

Grivo was focused on driving. But his ear was cocked towards her.

Lynda spoke into the glass. “Music was everything. It said what words just never could. It gave feeling to that which you never experienced, opened your eyes and reached into what made you what you were….and it was ours… it was our soul. And you didn’t need to be from the same time or place, you didn’t need to speak the same language in words to know how they felt or who they were and learn something new about the whole godamned experience of it all. It was…it was just human.”

The space between the next song lingered. As the Hyperjump gate neared a longing song by Vera Lyn warbled it’s way onto the radio in a rising crescendo of wistful pain. “…I’ll be looking at the moon,” Came over the hi fi as Ganymede passed slowly by the window. The gate loomed before them. Dominating the view from the cabin. A structure made to whisk the two travelers across time and space with imposable science and technology. A second existed in silence until Vera returned with her chorus. “buuuut I’ll beeee seeeeeinnnng youuuuuuuu.”

Lynda stood up. “AND THEN STUFF LIKE THAT WOULD HAPPEN!” She yelled and left the pilot’s cabin.

Grivo glanced back as the door closed with a hydraulic hiss. He looked back down to the instruments. At the gate before them. He sighed and pressed a few buttons turning the wheel and shifting the ship into the exit lane towards the moon of Jupiter.

A few moments later. Lynda came back. her face a little more loose and stretched.

She looked over the instruments and course.

“Where are we going?” She asked

“Earth.” Said Grivo.

part 3—> http://bit.ly/1yNqdEa

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