Saturday, December 19, 2015
There you are, just flying through space, covering miles and miles, faster than bullets fly, when the tug pulls you off course. The first time it happens, you just alter your trajectory slightly and lean in toward some remote planet or star that gets just a bit too close. But you are moving so fast that you streak past and pop out the other side of a field of gravity none the worse for wear. In this way you chart your path through the cosmos as a circuitous series of close encounters that leave on you only a vague impression as the light years pass. Then it happens that you feel the familiar tug, feel your course arc again off in the direction of some body large enough to exert a force over your flight path. But this time the arc tightens and you find yourself overcome with an increase in velocity, a growing certainty that from this course there is no escape, no return to your solo wanderings between the glowing galaxies. You feel yourself drawn, helplessly, in and down. It is then you feel the rising heat of an atmosphere, a skin over a living mass of fusion and magnetic force. You begin to glow from the friction, the passing density of a system beyond your control or understanding. Part of you peels away, turns from heavy armor to light, burning light, as you blaze across a sky, distilled down to the finest of particles. Your trail is one of brilliance as you are consumed by the free fall. It lingers there, a moment of grace, just after the last of you flickers, blooms, and disintegrates.