Spaceship Verotchka …
A voyage into deep space…
The Spaceship Verotchka
1.) Time for Rotation
a.) Old Memories
“I hate going away in weather like this. This sunset is actually quite romantic, the ocean, the beginning of moonlight….and all the Honors! Do you want to know something Tera? I am eighty-nine years old and I have spent my life serving Verotchka. The only relationship I have had was a working one with Kuzi. I have known no one else…never met a partner and raised a family like in the books I have read…”
As Alex looked at Tera in silence he remember his old routines. He recalled waking from his cyro-youth where years had passed. His thoughts centered on how the Verotchka slipped gently through space while the crew felt the motion of the engines. Here was the tedium of space, the solitude and the years spent struggling to learn complex mathematics. A practice that Alex felt was a practical use of his time.
A small room to call his own that he only used for his sleep cycles. How most of the time he journeyed from one end of the ship to the other. For instance he remembered the contrast between the metal hull and the stone path he walked on, in the greenhouse, daily.
“Is it possible,”Alex asked Tera,”that you and this crew will soon breath the perfume of Oxygen scented with my essence? And is it true that this is the highest honor of my work here on Verotchka?”
He remembered the day he walked into Kuzi’s office with pages of statistics and mathematics necessary for the mission. Kuzi’s face lit up when Alex placed the pile on his desk. Kuzi smiled, pulled on his beard, laughed, stood up, and gave Alex a huge bear hug. He then offered Alex his first taste of homemade liquor, distilled from fruits grown in the greenhouse, that burned Alex’s throat and made him blush. Both started laughing and passed the bottle back and forth until the evening was upon them. Consequently they fell asleep on the floor, drunk and exhausted.
Once in the dining hall Alex and Kuzi began a heated argument on how Verotchka recycled molecules. They screamed at each other for hours.
“We began a conversation about our health and now we are screaming at each other about our death.” Kuzi had muttered.
“What a host of images I carry with me as if each image of my life is condensed within every cell. Whey did we end up on this mission? Is our truth here in space?” Alex asked Tera but noticed she was staring off at a bridge that started on the beach and moved to the horizon.
b.) The Bridge
“We are at The Bridge.” Tera sighed, “You must return to Verotchka.”
“Let us sit first.” Alex put his hand on Tera’s shoulders as they both sat crosslegged on the cold sand. “Let’s sit before I say goodbye. It is your turn Tera to make sure that the numbers match and Verotchka stays on course. It is you who must work out pages of probabilities that may take your lifetime. But now we sit on a beach….Tera you have a lifetime and this journey will change you.”
He noticed that Tera’s face changed. Her complexion paled and her hair thinned. She looked tired and ill.
“I am cold.” Tera whispered.
“You are ill?”
“It is awful.” Tera exclaimed.
“What is awful?”
“I must share with you Alex before your new journey starts. This must be said.” Tera’s words were suddenly interrupted by tears. She hid her face and wept. Alex, confused, coughed, and not knowing what to say stared off into the ocean.
“This is not regular. What is happening here. Tell me…” Alex tried to lift his hands to her face to wipe away the tears but Tera pushed his hands away.
“Verotchka loves you Alex.”
The atmosphere surrounding them both took on a purple glow as Alex suddenly felt awkward.
“What does this all mean? I love Verotchka too but why this emotional encounter?”
Tera wiped tears from her face and stood up. Above all she stopped crying and took a long deep breath. Alex paid as much attention as he could. Once he started to walk on The Bridge his memories would vanish.
“Happiness is based on mutuality…when ship and crew love equally.” She said as she bowed to the ground. She looked even thinner and her shoulders seemed narrower.
There is poetry in life.
Alex turned towards The Bridge. He felt alone for an instant and felt doubt. Verotchka stood in front of him yet he felt like he was loosing something important. Therefore he felt his precious memories slip away, without profit, never to return.
Verotchka felt cold. Though Alex shivered he saw clearly for the first time. He saw Verotchka’s aged and beautiful soul and everything seemed perfect. A gift in honor of his grim struggle. He remembered Kuzi. He remembered Tera bowing.
In what seemed to be a perfect afternoon Alex found himself lying in tall grass looking up at the sun.
I hope you have enjoyed the story so far…
If you started reading here are links the rest: