Saturday, March 26, 2011

FICTION: Moments from the Fringe By George Wilhite



Probe Hercules

Captain Ronald Harmon

This may well be my last transmission, my love. I will not waste it on official business since that is now irrelevant.

Sad to say, I am indeed adrift with no chance of return.

Vinnie, the voice of the obviously failed computer that was supposed to be the triumph of this tin can, informed me in his cold metallic way in a single message that amounted to a machine’s equivalent of “oops!”

Can’t blame him—it I should say—I think of my digital Man Friday as a him. His creators likely had just as cold of a response to their blunder.

I am so far away that it is easy not to consider me a person, only an instrument in another SNAFU mission. Maybe now they’ll stop trying.

Though time loses its meaning out here, I believe you will receive this message on Christmas Eve. I want to wish you a Merry Christmas. Kiss Erin and Richie for me and try to decide what story you will tell them about their long lost father. Erin may remember my face but I am forever a ghost to our beautiful baby boy.

Don’t make me into some invincible hero, remember my faults as well. I can only hope the good outweighs the bad. Please don’t hate me for volunteering and putting too much gung ho faith in this program.

The probe rotates in a ceaseless dance through the expanse of space and time. I only know two kinds of illumination now—pitch black or blinding white, depending on the particular cosmos which surrounds me.

I will live a very long time unless I take action to end my life, and Vinnie will likely be quite aggressive in his efforts to thwart such attempts.

I must stop typing and transmit this soon for I am moments away from The Fringe. I will attempt another transmission but I assume the Com Disk will suffer the same rapid deterioration as that of the Achilles before me.

Maryanne, I love you and will see you again someday, when we behold the truth that lies beyond this short frail existence we now know.

The Fringe is right before me. It is beautiful beyond our wildest dreams, more stunning than even . . .


No comments: