Chapter

ONE

The year 2030...a chilling silence in the void of space is what was being experienced by our Starboy as he works to repair a faulty wire that was glitching the navigation module. The anxiety of being out in space alone leaves him sweating profusely. Knowing that he has his comm-link and his state-of-the-art space suit caressed his body to keep him from the dangerous elements of space, he takes a deep breath to calm his nerves. What can possibly go wrong on this routine maintenance...

 

Pshht. "What's your ETA after that repair, Starboy?" asks his commanding officer.

Pshht. "Two minutes and I should be back in the depressurizing bay, sir," replies Starboy.

 

Just as he closes the wiring compartment, he glances up to see a clutter of space debris hurdling at him from a distance! While frantically trying to glide back to the bay, he realizes that he will not make it back in time and braces for impact. 

 

When our lone astronaut regains consciousness, he witnesses his crew members being spewed out from their cabins one by one, freezing instantly from the treacherous temperature of space. Clinging onto his harness, he knows he has to disengage, as staying grappled to the craft would be his demise.

 

As a last resort of survival, Starboy acknowledges his fate. If that means to stay alive just a bit longer, then so be it. He snaps the harness, and in his despair after losing his crew members, he closes his eyes to let the darkness swallow him into the abyss. 

Chapter

TWO

There is complete silence over the comm-link. He has been adrift for what seems like days. His advanced A.I. driven space suit utilizes a CO2 scrubbing and re-breather system, so he will most likely die of starvation before running out of oxygen. After mentally running through every possible plan to save himself, he realizes that all his options are exhausted. Just as Starboy surrenders himself to his fate of aimlessly drifting into the darkness, there is a sudden crackle sound on his comm-link... then silence again. He opens his eyes and asks ARTI.5 (Artificial Intelligence Version 5), “What was that?”  
 
“I do not know, Sir...” responds ARTI.5.  
 
Again, a crackling sound comes across the comm-link. Excited by the idea that he wasn’t alone, Starboy commands ARTI.5 to “Use the last known location of the exploded space station, and the relative position of my suit to triangulate the source of the sound coming through the comm-link.”  
 
“Processing...” replies ARTI.5. 
   
Ten seconds pass then ARTI.5 begins to state, “It is difficult to determine this suit’s position as it is rapidly accelerating away from the last known location of the space station.” 
 
“Accelerating away? Explain,” commands Starboy.  
 
“There is a spatial disturbance which is exponentially accelerating this suit towards it.” 
 
“What is the disturbance?” inquires Starboy.  
 
“Unknown, Sir.”  
 
“Ok... Then what are the dimensions of the disturbance?”  
 
“Unknown Sir. No scanning signals are returning for analysis.” 
 
Starboy thinks for a second. Then adds, “Given the facts of our acceleration, no signals being returned, and a spatial disturbance, speculate the cause.” 
 
“Processing…” 
 
Feeling a bit anxious Starboy groans, “Come On!!!”  
 
Minutes pass before ARTI.5 finally declares, “Given the current facts, there is a 98.9999% probability that the cause is a singularity, Sir.” 
 
“You mean a black hole, that’s impossible for one to be in our solar system!?”  
 
“Unknown, Sir,” answers ARTI.5 emotionlessly.  
   
Not knowing he was hurdling into space at such speeds, Starboy’s HUD (Heads Up Display) comes alive with activity!  His eyes can barely keep up with the rushing data that his on-board computer is displaying on the inside of his visor. He nervously asks, “What am I looking at?”  

 
“Within the last few seconds since your last inquiry, this suit has accelerated to a quarter of the speed of light. And the data that is being displayed on the HUD is the analysis of the debris that is accelerating alongside this suit." 
 
“Debris? From what?!”   
 
ARTI.5 immediately says, “Given the enormous mass, and the electromagnetic signals coming from the debris, one speculates that they are pieces of destroyed planets.” 
 
Looking out of his visor at the spectacular sights, Starboy is amazed at the enormity of the objects passing by him. That's when he noticed the gaping hole just at the edge of his visor. It all began to make sense. That black hole was the reason he'd begun moving so rapidly through space. It had been relentlessly reeling him deep into the very definition of the unknown. As much as he knew, no one had ever re-emerged from a black hole. Was he catapulting towards certain death? That question kept replaying over and over in his head. 
   
“Sir!”   
   
“What is it now, ARTI?” asks Starboy.  
   
“As this suit accelerates towards the singularity, it will become compromised.” 
  
   
Starboy asks, “What do you mean? Please explain.”  
   
“This suit and its contents are shifting out of phase, as it approaches the event horizon of the singularity.”  
     
Slightly annoyed, Starboy barks, “In English, please!!!”   
   
“Sir?” 
   
Starboy grunts, “I may have earned my doctorates in astrophysics, but you are talking over my head. Put that into clearer terms. You know, dumb it down for me.”  
   
“Sir, this suit and its contents are moving out of the third dimension and into an unknown dimension. Further analysis of the singularity affirms what has been postulated by Albert Einstein.” 
   
A further annoyed Starboy says, “Even dumber, ARTI.”   
   
“In 1935, two theoretical physicists, Albert Einstein and Nathan Rosen, co-wrote a paper on what novices call ‘Folded Space,’ or what experts call a ‘Einstein-Rosen bridge.’” 
   
Finally understanding, Starboy interrupts by saying, “Wait! You’re talking about a wormhole!”  
   
“Yes, Sir. This suit is phasing into another dimension, as it nears the event horizon of the singularity. I have also detected a shift in your DNA sir. It appears your genome is scrabbling, altering your appearance.”  
   
Starboy can see his appearance change continuously in the visor's reflection. He smiled, for his appearance reminded him of his home... Earth. At least now he knows there is a chance he may survive just a bit longer. Feeling more relaxed than he had in what felt like an eternity in space, he closed his eyes. 
   
Helplessly accelerating towards the centre of the wormhole, ARTI.5 scans Starboy’s bio-readings, and anticipate both Starboy’s anxiety intermingled with his gnawing excitement of the unknown. ARTI.5 then responds by playing music from Starboy’s 520-song music library that he uploaded to his space suit’s on-board computer. What lies beyond the wormhole? Stay tune, for the odyssey is just beginning!