Author : Kurt Hunt

“Failed,” said the ship. Its transmission burst into jagged waves, a white noise elegy.

But the station didn’t understand. “Greetings, Generation-32! Welcome to Centauri Colony!” It beamed yottabytes of data, everything from advertisements to statistics suggesting a critical population shortage. “Please share these exciting details with your passengers, and–”

The chirping auto-welcome fizzled. A tired voice interrupted: “G-32, clarify failure report.”

“Decompressed,” said Generation-32. “Long ago.”

“Cargo status?”

Generation-32 scanned again; same result. Cradled within, it found only ghosts, the hundred million phantom limbs it had carried through the dark.

“Alone,” it said. “I am sorry. I am alone.”

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