"Hello? I'm (static) the lightning speaks (static) speaks to me."
I record them all -- standard operating procedure -- but never really listens to them. It's not just the fact they don't make sense. It makes me miss him, and other things as well.
I don't like to look at Mary's photo anymore. The way it cries blood isn't the way I want to remember her. She's waiting for me -- smiles, kisses and hugs. I know it.
The computer is glitchy meaning it needs fresh fluid. Down in the computer core unhook Robin from the main line, and attach the IV to George's spine. Fresh cerebrospinal fluid for the computer's glymphatic system -- clear out the waste build up.
I let the crew know, "You're all doing a great job. As captain I couldn't be prouder. I'm sure I've said this a thousand times, but we wouldn't be here without you. Plus, I've got a good feeling help will be here soon."
Afterwards I check on the food supply. Marc is healing nicely. Trick is to shave off strips then apply a coating of med gel, so the meat can grow back. And anesthetic of course. No reason to be monstrous. Carving slices for dinner should be painless. Don't enjoy it. I enjoy it a little. Marc always questioned my methods. I'm keeping everyone alive lieutenant. That's all you need to know. Now sedate the crew. We need parts.
I'd give up myself to keep things running, but someone has to remain in charge. Who else is willing to do whatever it takes? Not Jackson, or Lisle. Goddamn Lisle. He wanted to go out the airlock after Mercer. Saying no knocked over the first domino setting off a long line spilling one after other until every fallen tile spelled out mutiny. But I know he meant well. That's why I feed him to the computer crew. Pureed seasoned with a few mood stabilizers and tranquilizers then the whole slurry fed intravenously. Has to be done.
When we get back I'll recommend them all for medals. Soon. We're going home soon. We're not really that far away. Green across the board. Confirmed, we are go to cross the bridge. Take us in Marc. Let's see what's out there.
I blame myself. I was in command. I'm in command. In control. But crossing the bridge no one knew what to expect, so is it really my fault the exit collapsed ahead of schedule trapping us in the rift? We were on our way into history -- the future of space travel. I suppose, in a way, we still are. No one's ever been in the Void. Keep the instruments running. Record everything. Maybe we'll find a way out. 926 days in, and the instruments register nothing. Kelly put it best, how the rift opened a hole in the universe, and dropped us in the world outside the world. She figured out how to turn the crew into spare parts. Killed herself not long after. She tasted like the kind of person she was -- sweet. Thank you Kelly. You helped us last this long. I'll take us the rest of the way. Home. We're going home. I can get us there; I can save us... save us.
"Mission control, this is the Orpheus. We are opening the rift now. Keep your fingers crossed."
"We copy Orpheus. We're all rooting for you."
"Mission control, this is Orpheus. The rift is open, and we are receiving the beacon from the Shackleton. Repeat we are receiving their beacon."
"We have them in sight. I can see the ship now."
"Roger Orpheus. You are go to extend the bridge. They've been gone 3 days, probably anxious to get back. Let's bring 'em home."