"Space is lonely," Flight Engineer Tracy McAvoy looks out through a window.
Kratonic—meant to be the first ever practical generation ship—is adrift in space. It was meant to be our salvation from extinction.
"I have a theory," Tracy looks at Flight Commander Jonah Simpkin. "We are in a simulation. We are still at the corps. They are testing if we are capable of handling this mission."
Jonah is sat facing Tracy but his eyes are closed, his head is rested on his chair. "The mission is dead, Tracy. They are all dead. Something happened when we were in hibernation. The artificial ecosystem malfunctioned," Jonah opens his eyes—they are red as Mars—and teardrops slip out. "Something happened, Tracy!"
"Something always happens, Commander. The mission doesn't have to die," Tracy tells Jonah.
"What're you saying?"
"You know damn well what I'm saying. Survival of our species matters more than petty moral bindings."
"Literally why they allowed select individuals to board this ship—abandoning everyone and everything else. To explore, grow and survive. To live."
"I am on this ship because I am the best at what I do. If I tell you there's a chance I can fix the artificial eco, you know I'm not bluffing. But I'll need resources—resources that we already have on this ship. I need your clearance to access most of them. So, start taking care of yourself. Stay alive."
"Hope—I suppose we need that," Jonah looks at the window. "Tracy," Jonah utters softly, "Slowly move towards me." His eyes are fixed on the window. Tracy turns around, looks through the window. Jonah gets up from the chair.
"Commander, there's nothing out there." Tracy moves a couple steps toward Jonah with the palm of her hands facing him.
"You mean you don't see that?"
"That, Tracy. That! It's looking at you now."
"See what, Commander!" Tracy drops her hands. Tracy stops. Tracy smiles. Tracy chuckles. Tracy walks toward Jonah.
"Okay, I changed my mind. Stay the eff back, Tracy." Jonah steps back slowly. "Wait," Jonah collapses to the grounds. He presses on the left side of his head with his hands and screams. He throws his legs at the air. He kicks his chair away. "God!" He stops moving and looks up.
"You're not Tracy," Jonah pants as he says. "Tracy died yesterday—she went up the tower to fix the eco-control. I supposed it didn't work out. She jumped."
Jonah's vision of Tracy decimates. He stands up.
Alone, adrift in space with no Earth to go back to, Jonah chooses maintains his diary. "Space is lonely," Jonah writes before deciding to take one last look at the eco-control.