The Darkest Sun

from The Far Star Mission (audiobook) by Apotheus

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Chapter 4
The Darkest Sun

The whole mission was planned with an excruciating detail. Each member of the crew was carefully selected and they all had passed the most demanding tests one can think of. “The gifted” knew that their physical strength alone, even if it was an important thing, was not going to take the mission very far just by itself. A very delicate balance of psychological and physical skills was needed if they wanted to succeed. Leadership and intelligence were crucial, but things such as agreeableness and parenthood were also extensively tested. The journey was going to last at least three generations, so having the best in the first wouldn’t mean anything if the third wasn’t going to be equally good. Every birth was planned. Every male and female knew with whom they were going to mate. The first, second and third generations’ education were different, according to the different necessities of each phase of the mission. The crew had procedures for virtually any problem they could foresee happening and exhaustive training in improvisation for unknown situations. They were the best of the best.

But even for the best, the uneasiness was clearly reflected in their faces as day zero was approaching. This journey meant something different for each generation. For the first it meant abandoning their loved ones for something yet unknown. For the second it meant living their whole lives without ever setting foot on a soil. For the third it meant carrying the burden of all the effort of the past generations.

Day zero was a cloudy day, just as if the sky was painted with each member’s gloomy feelings. After boarding the two new shiny spaceships, loaded with the latest pieces of technology, the crew cast one last look at their home planet. The uneasiness grew inversely proportional to the countdown numbers. The engines started and suddenly their feelings completely vanished and gave way to the dizzying speed of their heartbeats. That was all they could feel in that small fragment of eternity. Six minutes was the time to leave the planet’s exosphere. And for six minutes the crew endured the deafening noise of the engines.

And then it stopped. Silence replaced the unbearable sounds. The apparent zero-gravity calmness replaced the tremendous fuselage shaking due to the g-force. A new clean and almost divine space view replaced what once was a dark and cloudy sky. They saw their host star like they have never seen. It shone proudly, yet faintly. Casting the same look at the window now contained everything. All their loved ones. All their memories. Everything that they were leaving behind.

There, on that moment, the crew realized one important thing that they would carry with them and pass on to their children and to their children’s children: the more you withstand the worst and the cloudiest days, the brighter and more hopeful tomorrow will be.

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from The Far Star Mission (audiobook), released March 26, 2020

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Apotheus Paços De Ferreira, Portugal

Apotheus is a Portuguese Melodic Metal act from Portugal.

Founded in 2008, the group currently consists of Miguel Andrade (vocals/rythm guitar), Luís "Gold Monkey" (lead guitar), Daniel Rocha (bass) and Albano “von Hammer” (drums). ... more

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