There’s magic in the captain’s chair – the high back, the armrests, the gimballed weight – but the power is in the association, and that’s all but gone now. The bridge is empty, dark, the crew absent from their stations. I can see the view outside, and perhaps it is an indulgence to spare a brief moment to admire the endless beauty of the universe.
But it was mine to indulge in, and rightly so. It had been new once, full of sparkle and enthusiastic officers. Time passed, and aged us, and some of them returned home. A few stayed, like me, too stubborn to let go of this place.
I tap at the controls, but the course is locked. There is only one end for this ship, and it will have the tranquillity and peace that it deserves. I can give it that, at least – for I know that long after I leave, it will tell its story. And that story, in some small way, will also be mine, and the story of all the other wonderful human beings who flew with me.
Let us never forget that we once flew aboard this wonderful ship.