There was a time when food could be remembered; a time when you could lick your lips and recall the sweet sting of dehydrated packaged delights. Too bad those days donâ€™t exist anymore. Days like that leave you when the thirst takes over.
Travel has just about stopped by now. No one comes off-planet because there is no source of sustenance to be had. I am smarter than that. Perhaps there were fewer of them, but the lack of competition made it easier to capture what you needed.
Watching, I remind myself that I cannot afford the luxuries of stress or frustration. Those things could cause a leak, and I wonâ€™t have it. The temperature in my craft is well below what it should be. They say the thirst holds itself at bay for longer when itâ€™s frigid. My breath attests to the fact that I have taken this rumor to heart.
As my cold eyes watch the dead space I know that whatever is left of my soul is out there beyond my reach. The cold, hollow truth lay bare before me while I stand vigilant near the radar. There is nothing left inside, above the saturation percentage. I can measure it by the time that passes between when I swallow and when the glands ache as they thirst for more.
Well above the dying planet I can witness the small blots of what isnâ€™t land. Sometimes I muse to myself how they still exist or why I havenâ€™t drawn closer. They would kill me if they saw me, but in the end they would do exactly as I have done. They would do the same, because there is no other way. Clouds will not gather over a dusty rock and let redemption fall down from the gray mass.
A beep, and my eyes stop wandering. They are now fixed upon the red screen, watching the tiny dot edge closer like an insect to a web. My God, I can feel it rising within me, wanting me to feast. I must wait, however. I must prepare.
One on board? Two on board? It doesnâ€™t matter now. Iâ€™ve locked onto them and I prepare the grappler. If not for the emptiness, I could hear their screams. Their horror at being pulled in while the oxygen ceases to flow in their vessel. It must be maddening.
On one side of the device, I observe a gallon-sized capsule stained a dark brown. This is my sin. On the other side, I can see a flask with a dusty, cloudy, but ultimately empty interior. It smells of metal, and it tastes of hydrogen. This is my salvation.
I hear the grappler pulling home, and I hear it lock in before the ship becomes silent again. Itâ€™s silent as the inside of their pod. They need not worry anymore. What is left of them will be my salvation. What is left of them will slake my thirst. I power up the machine and I wait for the doors to open into their vessel. Ounce by ounce, pint by pint, the future is on its way.