Saturday, April 9, 2011

Starlight, starbright

Alone in the lab an old man worked, surrounded by instruments and stacks of paper. Only the outline of his faded lab-coat could be seen, illuminated by the light of the stars falling through a gap in the dome where a massive telescope peeked at the heavens above. Eyes wrinkled with age tiredly scanned the reports before him, endlessly checking the calculations for the slightest mistake. One hand grasped a large porcelain mug, it's surface worn and scratched from time. Just barely, one could make out letters, words, a tiny heart; 

"..est...sband. Wi..t....lov..ife."

An alarm sounded, piercing the silence for a number of seconds as the old man stood up. The gap in the dome widened, the celestial glow of the night spilling in. More reports could be seen, red block letters spelling out various titles: 


All these had been strewn all over the floor, gathering dust and footprints. 

The old man hobbled over to the telescope, ignoring the shuffling of papers underneath his feet. The necessary data had already been collected. The calculations: perfect. The starlight illuminated some of the more recent reports,  pieces of them also scattered on the ground. Many contained graphs and tables, collected from countless people from all over the world for this project.

Briefly a second alarm sounded, one the old man swiftly quashed. He ignored the dozens of messages asking the CEO if he could show up for one pointless meeting after the other. Meetings that became pointless fifteen years ago.

Enquires on his health, investigations into his projects...he couldn't afford such distractions now. The computers indicated the prime moment was but ten minutes away. He had to focus.

The stars above him seemed to form an endless sheet of light. Bathed in thier glow, he could only gaze in wonder, fear and hope. A foolish hope- but if it brought them together back then, perhaps it could work once more. There was an old did it go again?

Starlight, starbright, fir-

A third alarm. Three more minutes.

He waited. 

A brief flicker of doubt. He quashed it.

Statistically, this was the best chance he had.

It was the only chance he had. 

Especially when all the other routes had failed.

The final alarm. He closed his eyes.

Above, the shooting star streaked through the night sky vanishing into the horizon-

"Did it work?" asked a voice he hadn't heard in fifteen years.

Yes, he thought as he turned around to hug her, 

Yes it did.