Casual Play Astrogation

Beta Morgan Effinger 17c (Declinati)

Void. Stars. You pop out of between-space in a place that's totally devoid of nearby suns, planets or sizeable debris. Darkness, that's all there is. Just darkness spotted with the tiny, constant specks of distant stars that burn on through the silence. The emptiness is a little disconcerting, but there's also a sense of harmony to it, a sense of order, as if all this depthless nothing were the creation of some greater hand, every event planned, unfolding as it was meant to be.

It's only when your ship's integrated intelligence directs your attention elsewhere that you notice it, that you notice them– your reason for being here.

Light. That's all your sensors have to work with. That's the only reason you know they're there. Two lights, like stars, but somehow closer, less substantial, pulsing with strange life as they circle one another, spin fading spirals of green-white through the void. The way they move– they're beautiful, mesmerizing to watch, especially since they read as not even really being there. There's no explanation for it, nothing to indicate an actual source for the light that registers across your ship's sensors. The integrated intelligence can't make heads or tails of it, and there's no frame of reference in the database or the network for this phenomenon. It's almost as if the lights shouldn't even exist, and yet somehow they do. The dance they weave amidst the starry sky is elegant, precise, unending.

Intrigued, you push the ship a little closer to the lights. They don't seem to notice you, don't move or react. The dance continues, moves at the same speed– and then, when you're practically right on top of them, they suddenly dissolve into nothing, leave only hazy trails in your eyes.

You linger for a long time after their disappearance, just stare into the stars wondering what the lights were, where they came from, where they went. They don't come back, don't leave anything behind, and as you spin up your ship's phasedrive, you almost feel a sense of guilt, as if maybe the lights were something truly rare and special, something you unwittingly destroyed while trying to understand them. The ship's integrated intelligence picks out a new point of interest, prepares to fling your ship back into between-space, but you hesitate for a moment, just for a moment. In the silence, you study the stars with tired eyes, finally give the okay, watch as reality peels and cracks away with the sudden jump through the fabric of normal space-time.


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