â€œIâ€™m sorry, will you repeat that?â€ Admiral Bunka was squinting to hear, even though his very nervous ensign was right beside him.
â€œWe, uh, are at full stop sir. Thereâ€™s nothing left.â€ The young man was sweating and the two continued to look out the viewfinder towardsâ€¦well, nothing. The whole crew was there, staring out into what should have been space but where space stood it wasnâ€™t black. It wasnâ€™t white. It wasnâ€™t molecules. It was nothing.
â€œNothing?â€ The Admiral began to blubber off non-sense like an ancient car tries to shoot off its muffler when it starts. He pointed at the viewfinder and glared at his ensign with a twitch just above his left brow. â€œBaâ€¦dâ€¦ erâ€¦ donâ€™t give me that nonsense, ensign! Move us forward at once!â€
The ensign nodded nervously and returned to his post. Theyâ€™d been traveling for seven years now, at about five hundred times light speed, when they suddenly came to this rather impassable juncture. The ship just stopped, and the crew had been clueless for the past hour trying to decipher just what was in front of them.
Someone from across the room yelled out, â€œEnsign! Donâ€™t! Weâ€¦ we canâ€™t!â€
Bunka rose up and cleared his throat, â€œAnd why not, Sergeant Gimble?â€
Gimble was a stout man, but his eyes glowed with the seriousness of his words, â€œWeâ€¦ we canâ€™t just go forward into nothing! Then it will cease to be nothing!â€
â€œWhat fimble-tossle! Of course we can go forward. Itâ€™sâ€¦itâ€™s just a cloud.â€ The whole crew heard the Admiral, but they knew that he was lying. It was like telling someone who just had their arm cut off that they still had use of that limb. The ensign glanced at his Sergeant.
â€œWell, if nothing is nothing, then maybe if we go into it weâ€™ll change it into something.â€ In any moment other than this, those words that the ensign spoke would cause any man to bleed from the eyes, nose, and ears. As it was, the words unfolded a debate in the main cockpit.
Admiral Bunka was the first to try and add in his opinion, â€œWell, if weâ€™re next to nothing, then nothing is next to something. Therefore, nothing would be something. It canâ€™t be something if itâ€™s nothing.â€
â€œArenâ€™t we looking at nothing? Isnâ€™t it something weâ€™re looking at?â€ said the Sergeant as he stood up to get a better look at nothing.
â€œUhm. No. We canâ€™t describe what weâ€™re looking at. We may not even be looking at it. Itâ€™s barely even an it. Nothing, people. Weâ€™re talking about nothing here.â€ Now that the ensign had everyone thoroughly confused everyone on the deck, the three took a moment to look at each other before turning back to the viewfinder. The definition of nothing had these men absolutely confused, and they were suffering from a mild case of brainpan rupture.
Admiral Bunka appeared understandably perplexed, and rather upset at the whole situation. He stood up straight and nodded in personal acceptance of the decision he had made. â€œFull reverse then! Weâ€™ll go back the other way.â€
The Ensign returned to his seat and began typing the orders until he stopped and glanced back to Admiral Bunka, â€œSir, wouldnâ€™t that be going away from nothing?â€