Too Many Stars

In 2017, scientists on Earth discovered a star not too far from us, TRAPPIST-1, with seven planets orbiting it. Three of those seven were considered to be in the Goldilocks Zone, an area around a star where life could possibly exist. Such a discovery was celebrated, with the possibility of extraterrestrial life ever closer.

However, TRAPPIST -1 was very far away; 40 light years, to be exact. So, humanity set their sights on a closer star, Proxima Centauri.

In 2025, the IASA (International Aeronautics and Space Administration) sent their fastest spaceship into space, in the hopes that one day, its crew would set foot on Proxima Centauri b, the star's only Earth-sized planetoid.

Join the ragtag crew of the Nomad, the first interstellar spaceship, and it's historian, Lt. Thomas Aemon, as they recount the events of the Nomad's ten-year journey, and follow their story as it progresses.

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2. A Letter To Mom, From Thomas

May 17th, 2025

Dear Mom,

I know that physical letters are pretty much obsolete now, but it makes feel better to write the words rather than type them. Sadly, there’s not much writing paper onboard, but our communications officer, Jorge, told us before we left that there was plenty of time to send messages through email. Does anyone still call it email? I’m not sure. I can’t tell you the official classification of this technology, because it’s super top secret, but I can tell you that it sends messages at a tremendous speed from any distance. And it doesn’t even hit a satellite before it gets to the recipient. It just goes straight to them. Jorge won’t tell me the details, but I’m sure this project is his baby.

I realize now that I’m getting way off-topic. Oops. Kori tells me that it’s just one of my many charms, and I can only respond with the simple fact that the presence of any women out here besides the rest of the crew is next to nothing. But he just laughs, and keeps working. I never understood the importance of bringing an old artillery officer on an interstellar expedition, but his morale-raising skills and ability to pilot a ship so smoothly are worth noting. Yesterday, he made a big contest about how many MRE potatoes he could fit in his mouth. He got to about 12 of them before Lola thumped him on the back, and he spit them out. We all laughed so hard, even Pieter.

It must be rough for him to leave his family behind in Moscow. Jorge and Lola have it easy, since they’re married and all, no kids. The others, like Kori, don’t have much in the way of family, so I guess the rest of the Nomad crew are like their family.

Talking about family now gets me down. Like Pieter, it depresses me, leaving you and Moriah at home. I hope you’re okay. Leaving the roof in the condition it’s in doesn’t bode well, but I feel better knowing that you’re having the Steinway brothers come in to fix it. They really do know their stuff.

Right now, I’ve got my “Jazz Noir” mix running through my headphones as I write this. I wanna thank you for suggesting it. It really does help at night, or whatever you can call it out here. There’s not much of night and day in outer space, millions of miles from home. But, who knows? We may just find what we’re looking for, you know? There may be life out there, and we’re gonna find it. That’s why we’re out here, right?

Well, the main reason I’m writing this letter is because, by the time you get it, it’ll be my birthday. Right about now, Jorge says that there’s very little cosmic radiation around us to interfere with the signals at this time. I dunno how he knows this, but I guess working on a super secret space radio has you learning about a whole bunch of stuff.

I hope you read this out loud at the table on the night of my birthday. Moriah would love to hear this letter, I hope.

Well, I guess it’s about time to go to bed. My night shift ended about ten minutes ago. Harry’s telling me to ‘get my mangy arse to bed’, or she’ll be ‘very cross’. She’s very good fun to talk to at nights when she gets on her shift early. But she’s usually in the cockpit to do system checks every twenty four hours. She’s a lovely gal, with the most beautiful Cockney accent, but I don’t want to tell her, for I might foul up her humility.

I suppose now’s a good time as any to say good night. I love you very much, Mom. Kiss Moriah good night for me. Sleep well.

Your loving son,

Thomas

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