No TomorrowMature

“Cause of death?” he asked, his voice strained.

 It read,Asphyxiation. How could that be? She was in suspended animation, as long as the power levels were still nominal, she couldn’t have died. The pod, now that he paid attention, seemed dark and he couldn’t make out any detail on the glass.

“Computer, lights!” he barked.

I’m sorry, I cannot assist you.

“I said, lights!” he argued, looking up at the ceiling where he knew to be loud speakers.

I’m sorry, I cannot assist you.

 He pressed his palm to the connection port of the pod, selecting the holographic button on his wrist that read, “power transfer”. Another button popped up, reading, “Are you sure? Power cost required is 300 calories”. He hit “yes”, gasping as the transfer of energy from him to the pod made his legs go weak. He fell to his knees, gasping, and pushed himself back up. In a moment of pure horror, Douglas’ eyes met with the empty sockets of a long decomposing corpse behind a thin pane of glass. He jumped back, hitting his back against the pod behind him.

“Computer, what happened?”

I’m sorry, I cannot assist you.

“Command, delta/ epsilon/ information/ crew status.” he said, his eyes still locked with what was left of Daniels.

Command recognised,” the machine said, its voice much more monotone. “Delta/ epsilon/ information/ crew status. Restricted information accessed. Crew members 1 through 5000... deceased. Douglas’ jaw dropped. Cause of death: asphyxiation.

“What?? Why??”

Protocol 3-7-1, prime directive 4. Most relevant personnel given priority, all other considered irrelevant. Prime directive for maximum mission success possibility was initiated at [data corrupted]. Most relevant personnel total: 1.

“Then… It’s just me?”

 The machine didn’t answer, and Douglas slumped to the ground, stunned.

He couldn't believe it. Was it possible? Could the machine be telling the truth? It had to be. After what seemed like a long time, Douglas stood up, walking back toward the elevator. He took it all the way back to his cabin, walking inside and looking out the window and into the void. It was an endless sea of blackness, grim and foreboding. His mission had failed, he had failed. And he still couldn’t wrap his head around how. He then thought about the family he left behind, his parents and brother. A tear escaped his eye, knowing that it was all for not. As he stood, silently mourning his lost friends and fellow crew members, a shrill beep sounded at the computer console. He glanced in its direction, the stern video feed displayed next to a set of text. Rushing over, he read the bright orange words and fell to his knees. He needn’t look at the video to know what it displayed.

.:. Tau Helix 3 not found .:.

.:. Supernova event evident .:.

.:. Critical mission failure .:.

.:. No .:. Land .:. Beyond .:.

The End

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