It’s dark now, here in back, but I like it that way. You can see the entire Galaxy sprawled across the sky, now that they’ve shut the engines off.
We’re traveling so fast now, a hairsbreadth below c, and there’s still no redshift to the tail, no bluing of the foreground. Melanie, the physics wonk, keeps telling me I wouldn’t see it, it’s not a visible thing. I wanted to see the the Galaxy as a crimson spiral, but no dice.
Jili, my girlfriend, she won’t stop crying. “I can’t b-b-believe they sh-shut the engines aw-aw-off,” she said last night. “How are w-w-we gonna get home?” I just held her, because she didn’t want to hear the truth: we aren’t going to get home. We’re going to take some measurements, then bundle ourselves into the freezers and hope the power stays on till the robots find us a nice E-type planet.
There’s twenty thousand of us left, and that’s enough for genetic diversity. Right?
Anyways, I let Jili sleep late, and came down here to look back, at a home we’ll never see again.