Deep breath. Eighteen intervals of training. You'd suppose he'd feel ready. He didn't.
He wasn't born a hero. They tried to make him one. Today all would see, once and for all, if they had done.
Gravity would be different there, they said. Bone density and DNA mutations over centuries of living here... there was no way to know how it would affect us all. "That's why we have to send you. We have to know if we can go back."
"We used to be taller, much taller," they explained. "According to our research..." the details of his training flitted through his mind on fast-forward. It was all best-guesses. It was all theory... and it would all be tested. On his body, on his mind, their hypotheses would be measured. He tried again to drown out the overwhelming sense of chaos ruling his thoughts.
The campaign to select a candidate for travel lasted fifty revolutions while they waited, patiently searching for the perfect choice: a completely average, unremarkable individual with nothing to lose. They'd found him. "If you succeed, if you arrive and report with great news; the rewards will be beyond measure!" They used their best development technologies to transform him. "An investment into our future!" all decried. He doubted they would get their money's worth.
He silently rose and dressed quickly, racing against the chill of the early morning. He would report early; there was no use delaying any longer. Whatever fate was written for him would reveal itself in precious few hours.
He passed through the tunnels, his pace deliberate, from the retaining quarters into the launch deck. The team preparing the vessel was already hard at work. NSH Kestrel was ready to fly, but as he boarded and took his place at the enveloping seat at it's center, he couldn't help but feel more like the field mouse than the falcon.
Want to make one of your own? Next week's prompt is,
Read Robert's submission.
Read Keri's submission.
Read Kindra's submission.
Read Jeffery's submission.