Author : Clint Wilson, Staff Writer

Two-hundred and twenty years had finally passed. We had reached our destination. From our sleep tubes we could see the first images of the beautiful green planet on our displays. But I did not care about any of it.

Then as our ship descended through the light wispy clouds we were shown the first views of the surface close up; wonderful lush forests and meandering green rivers flowing from one marshland to the next. Rolling hills the colour of emeralds glowed in the distance. Yet still I did not care.

We were all still mostly paralyzed by the stasis drugs and unable to communicate with one another. But I wanted to converse with no one, and if my guess was right, no one would want to talk to me either. The mere thought of it was almost unbearable. Even though I could finally open my eyes the only other thing that worked right now was the thing that had always worked.

Finally we touched down in a lush green meadow and I began to feel a tingling in my extremities as my physical mobility was at long last returned to me. It would be some hours before I would be able to exit the tube, but soon I was at least able to key the console.

Just as I had feared, the malfunction had not been isolated to my chamber alone. I quickly deduced that sixty-five of the ninety-eight of us were dead. Not surprising all things considered. But how had they been so lucky when, pray as I might, I had not been able to wish death upon myself all this time.

After several hours I slowly dragged my still-numb body from the stasis tube. I noticed a couple others doing the same in another part of the chamber. I did not look at them or greet them, and they paid the same respect toward me. I was pretty sure that they had the same destination and ultimate goal in mind.

I didn’t care that we were mankind’s first explorers to another star system, or that the new world outside was more beautiful than any description of Eden. All I wanted to do was to get to sick bay and the cabinet with the suicide pills.

We were finally here, in an extra solar paradise, but the malfunction that had occurred in the chemical mixer over two centuries ago, paralyzing our bodies and our bodies alone, was to blame for our current state.

Our minds, our poor tortured minds had stayed alert all this time, trapped behind cemented eyelids. And all we had been able to do for the entire horrible journey was to think, and then think, think and think some more. More thinking than anyone could ever want in a dozen lifetimes.

I reached sick bay first but there were other tortured souls shuffling in behind me. We were finally free to take our own lives. We were finally free from the forever trap.

Yes we had arrived in paradise at last, and we were completely insane.


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