Am I even real?
I’ve been drifting through space for an unknown amount of time. My ship is set to wake me up from cryosleep every couple thousand years to check if anything has changed outside.
Space is empty. In the past I fought in wars and piloted ships through the 7th great war of humanity. I traveled to forreign galaxy’s and made alliances with alien races. I destroyed civilizations as a drifter of the imperial human empire.
It all seems like a distant burning memory. Every time I wake up I see the same view of the empty black space all around me. It's a void as far as I can see.
I worked with the empire for around 50 years of my life. In space time is relative to your position so it can pass differently for everyone. The empire counts its servitude according to an individual's body clock. Each person carries a clock that only tracks their specific time. Mine read 50 years before it was discontinued.
I was betrayed. Near the ending of the 7th great war Humans were conquering enemy land. The army I led as a drifter general was tasked with conquering the Salvar section of the area. It was said to be habited by a weak alien species with low level technology. The truth was anything but that.
Higher ups in the military had sent advanced weaponry to the race before my troops and I had arrived. They intended for the Salvars to use the weapons to fight back against us. Eventually we ended up killing each other's forces. I won in the end but my troops were vastly outnumbered and suffered huge losses. In the end my 2nd best officer, Nathan Smoke, stabbed me in the back.
At first I hated him but after all these years I can understand where he was coming from. The mental strain from commiting a genocide and paranoia from the imperial army had gotten to my head. I was lost. After all these years my hate for Nathan has transferred from him over to the higher ups in the imperial army. To a point Nathan was trying to protect the rest of the troops in the army. The higher ups were the ones at fault for manipulating the battle with their interference.
At this point it is out of my control. I don’t doubt that they are all dead by now. Perhaps only the Royal Imperial family still remains alive to this day. I remember that they entered cryosleep the moment the war started, intending to sleep until Humanity won to save their lifespan. The bastards would simply sleep while trillions died.
My original intentions of returning and getting revenge were fairly impossible against the entire empire, now especially because of the edge they had gained after winning the 7th great war. With all the new territory and technology gained I would simply be a passing speck, not worthy of attention from them.
Now that all is said and done I am the only one who remains. My thoughts and dreams have fully converged and my sense of time is horrible. Nathan was right in saying I was losing my mind.
I continue drifting endlessly through space. The vast expanse is almost mesmerizing. I can sense that I am nearing it. The Edge of the Universe.
After getting out of the cryopod and dressing I made my way to the living room and cafeteria. A dim orange light shines through the halls and reflects off the sleek metal inlays. The floor is a smooth dark brown wood with black metals forming patterns all around. After making myself some steak for dinner I sat down on the couch by the windows of the ship.
The ship I live in now is called the Cyrus X and I have had it ever since I became a general for the human army. Every general is granted 1 request so I asked for the best ship in the universe. The result was the Cyrus X. After Nathan betrayed me I managed to escape into this ship and just barely got away with its speed. After my paranoia became directed at the imperial army I had taken out all of the tracking technology and it ended up working out for the better. I was untraceable in the greatest ship of the empire.
With the help of wormholes and dimensional pocket jumps I travel long distances though the universe in a single direction towards the edge. To make up for time I sleep in the cryopod and only check the ship's situation every thousand years. During ship checks I get out the cryopod and check all of the ships main functions to maintain the ships quality. At this point I think it has been a couple thousand of them.
As I sit on the couch and look outward the ever present void seems to look back at me. The artificial steak I am eating tastes amazing but lacks the texture of a real meal. The lights all around me begin to dim. Sensing something is wrong I finish my food and then gradually make my way over to the control room. I have all the time in the universe.
In the control room I can see that the ship's energy levels are low. Cyrus X runs off multiple sources of energy. Back when stars could be seen outside the main fuel was solar energy. When the darkness set in the energy source transferred to nuclear power, harnessing atoms being split. Now that the edge of the universe is near the atoms present are thinning out and space is getting less and less abundant. Soon I will have to use my own powers as a drifter to power the ship.
I disconnect the energy supply from all rooms besides the engine, boosters, and cryopod zone to save energy for the next dimensional jump. Hopping into a wormhole will take a considerable amount so the energy of the ship will need to be conserved. As a drifter I can use the ability known as mana so I will be able to provide energy for a time. That will be the last bastion.
Back in the main living area I wash my dishes and then continue back over to the living room. I go to the gym for exercise and stretch out all my stiff joints. After 1000 years of sleeping my body has still remained in top tier shape due to the cryopod maintaining my muscles while sleeping.While in the gym I start with heavy weights and then move on to cardio. My bench and squat forms are impeccable. In the army a soldier had to know how to properly train their body in order to survive. Exercise, stretching, and diet are all necessary things in my lifestyle. I have always been the strongest even without using my abilities as a drifter. Perhaps now that everyone is dead my pride means nothing.
I plan to sleep outside of the cryopod tonight. After brushing my teeth, stretching, and drinking some water I slide myself into bed and begin to fall asleep. The lights regulate themselves to turn off. Now I can truly see the vast space around me. My bedroom walls are all windows so before sleeping I watch the space outside. As a kid I grew up on a planet known as Calypso. The planet had all kinds of unique environments but due to its position and orbit as well as the unique ozone layer all of the plants were more blue than green. Bioluminescence was present in almost all of the flora and fauna throughout. As a child I remember looking up at the stars before sleeping outdoors. I would try to count the stars and see how many I could find before falling asleep. The unique constellations were looked upon by the locals as gods. After finding out I was a drifter was able to leave the planet and go on to greater things. My homeland was destroyed in the war so I was never able to return. Thus was the fate of Calypso.
Back in my bed I could feel my conscious fading when I finally saw a glimpse of light. Before I could think about it my consciousness faded and I fell asleep.
When I awoke the room that was previously dark was lit up by a single glowing light in the sky of space. My sleek teardrop shaped ship could be seen with the newfound light. The black and gold color scheme reflected the golden light perfectly. Inside I saw the light and immediately knew something was happening.
At the control room I found that the mysterious light not only could not be detected by the sensors but also could not be picked up as energy by the solar panels. With the lack of energy on the ship and this newfound mystery I decided I would stay awake and monitor the changes for some time.
Weeks passed and the single glowing light changed into two. After a month there were four. 2 months in and they continued expanding. After a full year the entire view of space as far as the eye could see was filled with them. It seemed that the edge of the universe was filled with infinite orbs of glowing light. The light seemed to shift and bend all around the orbs similar to the starry night painting by Van Gogh. After a full year of powering the ship my energy was weakening. I could sense the end was near.
By estimating the distance I figured that the time until arrival would be about two days. The ship was constantly going at light speed and shifting through wormholes and warp space. This consistent speed would allow us to arrive quite soon. The destination was the largest of these glowing orbs and the very first one I had seen. At this point it was already so big that it filled up 90% of my vision and even peripherals. Thinking about the speed I was traveling and the distance, this orb must have been many times larger than even a galaxy.
A single day later I used the final wormhole jump and almost all of my power was spent. For the remaining day we would use the ship's inertia to fly to the orb. The orb of light had no gravitational field and the entire space around it acted like a vacuum of space with nothing tangible floating around. As I neared the final hour mark an interesting phenomenon began to happen. Particles of light with no physical mass would float through the ship despite the protective layer. They could not be felt nor interacted with. The particles simply ignored matter.
Nearing the edge of the orb I slowed the ship down by a large amount. On the off chance that there was something outside then I did not want to crash into it. The orbs' edge was now within a kilometer. I took some time to think about my actions as I neared the edge. No heat could be felt despite the vast amounts of light. No energy from the light could be felt. The edge of the universe was simply an enigma every way I thought about it.
If I died then everything would be for nothing. I suppose that everything was not much in the grand scheme of things. As I sat back on the captain's seat in the control room I put my feet on the dashboard and spoke for the first time in millions of years.
“Whatever happens, happens.”
With that I entered the orb of light.
Chapter 1 - The Edge of the Universe - Part 1