I lost a day in another frenzied run of 68 jumps of scanning new planets as I approached Kashyapa, my last stop on the road to Colonia. During one scan I found myself nodding off at the controls, at which point Midnight insisted that I go and get myself a full sleep period. Eight hours minumum, he said, or else he would mutiny. When I reminded him that mutineers are subject to capital punishment, the old man invited me to court-martial him, and so I relented and went to my quarters for some much-needed shut-eye.
I dreamed a strange dream in which I watched time flow by at a dizzying speed until I found myself in a far-flung future where all life was clustered around dying black holes, awaiting the end of existence and surviving from the meager amounts of energy given off by their hosts. This life existed not in physical bodies like we humans do today, but as purely electronic consciousnesses living in simulated universes of their own creation, experiencing nothing of the endless, lightless void outside of the shell of their habitations. In my dream, I saw the final moments of the Universe, when the last singularities finally evaporated and exhausted the last of their energy, and in that final outburst a new Universe was born in a blaze of light.
When I woke, I found that I had wept in my sleep. I am not a religious man, but I believe I may understand a little more about religious experiences after having that dream. I washed up, ate, and brewed a pot of shockingly strong coffee before returning to the bridge for another round of jump-scan-scoop for forty more stars until arriving at last in Kashyapa, where Vihara Gate awaited with open arms:
Once on the station, I eschewed the bars or restaurants I might have normally visited and instead found a quiet park with a little flower garden tucked away on one of the Hab-decks and just sat on a bench for awhile, gazing out at the dense blue star-field before me and contemplating the strange wonder of life. It wasn't long before I dozed off and caught the attention of a local who shooed me away, taking me for some kind of vagrant, I suppose. I didn't take it personally, I belong out in
the black, not snug on a station just looking at it.
The next leg will take me to Colonia itself and the end of my journey. My next entry should be from Jacques Station, the place that got Colonia started in the first place. See you there, my fellow void-walkers!