My name is Mina and I am all alone in this world.
I was born in 2451, on January 30th. That was twenty and four years ago.
“The government” is no longer a concept where I am from, but if there was a modern counterpart to it, then it was the Council of the Third. The Council funded research into FTL travel and eventually was able to come up with a prototype, a vehicle designed to break free of our measly physical laws and travel through a sort of hyperspace. Or was it a wormhole? Or spice?
Wasn’t really paying attention when they taught me all that stuff, covered it in the classes leading up to the launch. I wasn’t interested in it, beyond the bare essentials. We’ll get to them, later.
So there I was, in orbit.
The prototype ship was nicknamed Nostromo for its strange shape. I was floating outside it, going over every inch of her surface, checking her for holes, ruptures. It was tradition, that’s why.
She was a beauty, the gray outline of her side, in the glow of the sun and the African continent below us. I slowed myself a bit and enjoyed view and the serenity of the fly-by.
I entered the ship through the free airlock. The other airlock connected the lab to ship, so no way was I getting through it. Doctor Roland was already in the ship when I got in. She updated me on my vitals while I went over the pre-flight checklist.
She didn’t have much to report. The mission was still a go.
Twenty minutes later, I detonated the explosive charge that destroyed the lab, while a larger charge vaporized the Council headquarters. That was my actual mission. The Council of the Third, Airborn Division Three was a mask that I used to find my way onto the Nostromo. Once aboard the ship, I made short work of the scientists who designed it, then flew into the void.
They’ll never catch up. That’s what I remembered from the lectures.
FTL has an upper speed-limit, and I was at it. I was alone forever. The world I was born into did not matter anymore, it was beyond reach.
The ship was not built to navigate between the stars, this was a prototype we were hoping would fly us to Mars. When I slow down, I will be flying on manual. Finding a star with a habitable planet around it will be a miracle. Setting down on a planet is astronomically unlikely, I realize that.
Finding my way back to Earth was an impossibility.
Wherever I am, and wherever I find myself on this trip, it will be a new, different world.