Chapter 0:

A Prologue of Existence

Nova: A journey through space

Calendar Year - 30XX, Date: Unknown.

We know the concept of time, its theory and also how it works. However, there is only one place where the latter becomes abstract, where laws can and cannot occur at the same time.Bookmark here

That place is known as space, an abyss that is flooded by an infinity of stars and celestial bodies, a place that, although gigantic today, is undoubtedly still expanding. We just turn a blind eye to this and continue in a tireless and boring daily routine that we impose on ourselves throughout our lives.Bookmark here

Pigeon-holed into jobs, studies or any other minutiae that may arise, the daily routine was, to say the least, very dull.Bookmark here

However, humans are not the only ones who have a routine that eventually became boring. In that starry void there is a small five-pointed beam of light, a small star; bored of just standing there illuminating, unable to move anywhere else. Listening to the insignificant everyday conversations of her companions.Bookmark here

"I'm bored" thinks the star, as it watched with a gloomy expression its other companions, following their daily chatter. "How can they not be bored in this place?"Bookmark here

-Hey S: 11280901. -A voice called out, soft as a bell.Bookmark here

"Huh? Did someone call me?" Curious, the star named S: 11280901, looked around in search of that mysterious voice, who only called her by her number. Not finding it or hearing it again, the little girl looked straight ahead again with an angry expression. "Tsk, why do you call me by my existence number, I don't like it. My name is Emilim!" she shouted in her little starry heart.Bookmark here

-S: 11280901, Hey!

-Don't call me that, my name is Emilim! -Clearly annoyed and unable to bear it, the little star, Emilim, raised her voice in an audible and deafening tone.Bookmark here

The noise that had once been brimming in the place came to a screeching halt. Emilim caught the attention of her other companions and was suddenly the focus of each and every one of them.Bookmark here

-Oops, sorry folks, I raised my voice a bit. Heh, heh..." Recognising her mistake quickly, the little star apologised to her other companions.

However...Bookmark here

-Ah, that girl again. She's a bit of an airhead, isn't she? -replied a random voice in the crowd.Bookmark here

-Completely agree with you. -acknowledged another voice.Bookmark here

-Yes, I still don't understand why she insists on giving herself a "Name" if it's not necessary to identify herself. -Another voice interrupted, supporting the previous two.Bookmark here

-Well yes, leave her alone. It's not like it's a big deal really, it's useless yes, but it's not bad. Let's get back to our talk! -said one more, diverting attention.Bookmark here

-Yes, she's right. Let's not pay attention to her. -said another in agreement, ending the exchange abruptly.Bookmark here

With these words spoken, again the stars resumed their chatter. Noise once again crowded the space illuminated by nebulae and space dust.

"Heck, you obviously know why I chose another name, I don't like to use my existence number to identify myself, it's too complicated!" Emilim, embarrassed by the words of her companions, considered this in silence. Soon after the little star turned her gaze elsewhere, trying again to locate who called her name. "It's all her fault! I have to find who called me, I want to tell him a thing or two!"Bookmark here

After a while of searching, she finally caught sight of a star a couple of stalls away calling out to her. Signalling for her to come closer.

-Huh? That's not... Kuin? -Emilim muttered to herself, a little confused. -What does she want?Bookmark here

Kuin, also known as S: 22256083, is one of Emilim's "best friends", or at least she thinks so. Even if they only spoke with some regularity, Emilim simply went and gave her a name. Though the latter doesn't seem to mind it at all, as she occasionally uses it in casual chats with Emilim.

-I guess I have to get closer, don't I? But... How was it done?Bookmark here

Emilim was a star, and therefore had no legs to move. Although he could gesture with his spikes, which he used as "hands", with them he could only do things like wave or indicate, so there were certain limits to what he could and couldn't do, so sudden movements were certainly out of the question.

Of course, to replace the mobility afforded by a good pair of legs, the stars found a foolproof method to achieve this, this method used space dust as fuel to generate a short-range explosive reaction and allow it to move, as if surfing the ocean waves. Still, there was no way Bookmark here

Emilim would remember this instantly, due to his downtime when using it, it was easily forgettable.Bookmark here

-Tsk, it's because of things like this that I hate being a star. I wait for the moment when I can be reborn as a fragment of life. -Grumbling, Emilim tried her hardest to remember how to move with the space dust.Bookmark here

-Aha! -Emilim exclaimed, "If I remember correctly, in order to move I had to absorb the dust and then...".

With a little preparation Emilim managed to remember how to move.Bookmark here

-Oh, it worked! -Full of herself for her achievement, Emilim began to move smoothly, as she somehow managed to expel the space dust.

"Hmm, if I keep going like this I might make it in a couple of minutes, I'll keep up this pace" the little star reflected, as she continued to move smoothly.Bookmark here

Within 15 minutes of starting, the luminous five-pointed beam of light had managed to get close enough to its friend Kuin. "All right, I think this distance is enough, I'll stop here." And with those words declared in her mind, Emilim positioned herself right in front of her friend. Totally static.Bookmark here

-Girl, it sure took you a while, didn't it? -declared Kuin, as he looked at little Emilim with exasperation.Bookmark here

-Huh? Don't blame me, you start calling me out of the blue and expect me to find you instantly, besides, do you know how long it took me to start moving again, remembering the stardust ejection method is a lot of work! -Excusing herself with a bitter expression, Emilim spoke.Bookmark here

-Really? I knew you were idle, but I didn't know you liked it so much. -With a wry smile, Kuin made a gesture, similar to shrugging his "shoulders", which, by the way... he didn't have.Bookmark here

-Hey, I don't like slacking off! I just find doing this stuff too much work for me, you know?Bookmark here

-Well, that's exactly the definition of an idler, isn't it?Bookmark here

-Tch, it's not, how could you possibly believe that? -whispered Emilim.Bookmark here

-Uh? Did you say something? Speak up, I don't think I heard you.Bookmark here

-It was nothing! -So why did you call me at this time of all things?Bookmark here

-Ah, yeah well, you seemed bored, so I just called you. -said Kuin, smiling a smug little smile.Bookmark here

-Well, I can't deny that I was bored, but it still doesn't answer my question... But if that's all you have to say Kuin, if you'll excuse me, I think I'll go back to...Bookmark here

-No, no, no, no. Wait a minute, that was a joke! -As he prepared to leave, Kuin quickly stopped little Emilim. Bookmark here

-Haa~, alright, so what's going on? I hope you didn't call me just to make me listen to your "funny" witticisms.Bookmark here

-Phew..., that was a low blow Emilim. But no, I called you for something else.Bookmark here

-If you can joke, I don't see why I can't do it too, but anyway, what's the point? -Emilim asked curiously.Bookmark here

Hearing her words, Kuin quickly put on a serious expression and proceeded to open his mouth.Bookmark here

-Well, have you heard the rumours?Bookmark here

-Rumours? Hmm? I've heard all the other people's conversations, but nothing I haven't heard before. I'm serious, it's like these girls only know how to tell the same stories over and over again, so no, if I'd heard anything interesting I wouldn't be standing there static as usual, you know?Bookmark here

-Oh, now you admit you've been wasting your time, eh?" muttered Kuin.Bookmark here

-Did you say something? -asked Emilim.Bookmark here

-No, nothing," Kuin denied, shaking his head. But, anyway, these rumours are rather interesting. If you ask me, it has to do with solar storms.Bookmark here

-Huh? Solar storms? They happen infrequently, so they're pretty rare, yeah. What's so special about them, though?Bookmark here

-That's the problem, it's not like there's anything special about them though... well, these solar storms are said to be diverting meteors around space, you know?Bookmark here

-EH?! -Meteors?! I mean, isn't that too dangerous?!Bookmark here

-Yes, it's just as you say. Some are likely to hit near this area soon, so we'll probably have to move around a bit or they'll drag us down with them. -Kuin explained, in a low tone of voice.Bookmark here

-¡¡¡¡? !!!! Move? Are you serious? -Shocked by little Kuin's words, Emilim cried out in surprise. Why haven't the higher-ups said anything?Bookmark here

-Wait, don't get excited, it's just a rumour at the moment, it's also probably just a false alarm, so I really wouldn't be surprised if you didn't hear about it. Possibly to avoid panic, they haven't told the rest of the stars.Bookmark here

-Ah, I see, that makes sense. Do you think it's true, though? -Emilim asked intrigued.Bookmark here

-Hmm, to be honest with you, I can't say it's true, but I can't deny it either, you know, after all, it comes from the top, and while it's true that their word is law, in cases like these we can question them a bit..., first it would need to be confirmed what's going on out there. Besides..." As he explained, Kuin paused for a moment and then quickly recovered and spoke again, "there's something else I have to tell you.Bookmark here

-And that is?Bookmark here

-Well...Bookmark here

-Girls! Quick, come and have a look at this! -a deep voice called out loudly to all the stars, interrupting the conversation between Kuin and Emilim.Bookmark here

-Eh? Bookmark here

Emilim, Kuin and the rest heard the cry coming from somewhere.Bookmark here

-What's going on S: 33587237? -asked another voice at the call of what seemed to be Star number 33587237.Bookmark here

-It's amazing, it's unimaginable S: 55325001! -she shouted ecstatically.Bookmark here

Interested in what was happening a few metres away from them. Kuin and Emilim looked at each other and leaving a "Let's go", both nodded, quickly approaching the site of the commotion to observe the exchange.Bookmark here

-So, what's going on S: 33587237? I hope it's important, you interrupted a conversation between me and S: 12300000. asked a sky-blue star.Bookmark here

-S: 87500001, it is! It's about that rumour thing, a ship! he exclaimed, looking at the little sky-blue star with a desperate expression.Bookmark here

"A SHIP?!!!!"Bookmark here

Suddenly all the stars screamed in unison, with the startling declaration of star 33587237. A commotion stunned the surrounding space and the noise could be heard in every corner of infinity.Bookmark here

-What nonsense are you talking? A ship? Are you having your bizarre delusions again? -S: 87500001 sputtered in exasperation, clearly sceptical of her sister's statement.Bookmark here

Star 33587237 was known for its bizarre delusions of interstellar travel and made-up stories. As such, she did not have a very good reputation among her close and luminous friends.Bookmark here

-No, I'm not lying this time! I mean, I know I tell crazy stories sometimes, but this time it's true, I swear on my existence number! -declared the little girl in her loud, singing voice.Bookmark here

-Did she just swear by her existence number? That's too much! Is she serious about what she's saying? -exclaimed several voices in the crowd.Bookmark here

Swearing by your number of existence among the stars was known to be one of the greatest covenants among them, it was impossible to lie about your name and therefore an oath on this basis was irrefutable.Bookmark here

Emilim and Kuin watched this with their eyes wide as saucers, and soon after, Kuin opened his mouth.Bookmark here

-Well, it's very strange that you swear by your number of existence, I'll grant you that, but what proof do you have that what you say is true?Bookmark here

-Yes, I have proof, just look over there, towards the horizon.Bookmark here

Following the command of the small star S: 33587237, Kuin averted his gaze to where he was told, and right there as if in a hallucination. A gigantic, deformed object of what appeared to be very large metal and white with some shades of silver hovered in deep space.Bookmark here

-I see it and I don't believe it, girls, it's true! There's a ship over there and not only that, it's moving at a frightening speed! -Kuin exclaimed in utter surprise.Bookmark here

With this statement the place became much noisier than before, and all the little stars looked in the same direction, only to be stunned by the incredible sight.Bookmark here

The object was moving yes, but it seemed to be badly dented by the different sections of its hull and looked like a total piece of junk, besides the fact that its speed was even faster than the speed of sound.Bookmark here

Anyone standing there would possibly have already been turned into a hideous lump of mutilated flesh with the strain exerted by the G-forces in the internal cabin.Bookmark here

However, there was no way for the stars to know this, or at least not all of them.Bookmark here

-But hey, where's the piece of metal headed? Will there be one of those rumoured humans there? No, indeed, is he still alive? -Emilim questioned reasonably.Bookmark here

-I mean, I think I'd disintegrate at that speed, you know? -said another with a mixture of surprise and concern in her voice.Bookmark here

The stars knew, because they moved in almost similar ways, but not that fast, their speed certainly was almost monstrous, if there was even the slightest chance that anyone could survive that, they would simply be classified as a totally inhuman endurance beast.Bookmark here

-That speed... I mean not even the best of our comet brethren can move like that, how is that even possible? -replied another breathlessly, as she watched the almost unrecognisable chunk of white and silver tones disappear from her range of vision.Bookmark here

And within two minutes, the object's presence disappeared completely, into dark space.Bookmark here

Holding their breath, the stars watched as a pure white trail appeared in space. Surprised and shocked by what had just happened. There was no oxygen in space, so such a trail was impossible, though of course, it was not smoke at all.Bookmark here

"What was that, no, why was it here?" questioned little Emilim in her head. It just didn't make sense, Emilim had heard that far beyond where she lived there was a place known as the Solar System, where there were several planets, but one in specific that caught her attention. "Earth. A place that was said to have intelligent life. "Will someone be on that thing? And if so, would it be alive? Also, was that strange, misshapen hunk really a ship?"Bookmark here

Whatever the answer to that question, Emilim didn't have one, and like her sisters and fellow luminous women, she could only watch in silence. "Be that as it may, whoever was there is probably already dead, I may not have seen what a ship actually looked like, but at that speed, anyone would notice" Emilim mused.Bookmark here

But right in that place she had heard rumours of, there were people, people who knew the situation, and almost negligently allowed it to happen. For both Emilim and the humans this lost ship was a thing of the past, the person or persons inside it? Well, they were as good as dead. And yet, in that piece of junk, floating in the void and infinite space, there were not several people, but a single young man.Bookmark here

"How the hell did this happen, it was just a damn mission!" the young man asked himself, with a grim expression, as he cursed his ineptitude and alarms blared inside the cockpit.Bookmark here

He was a person who knew his situation perfectly well but refused to believe in it. Though alive, thankfully, he just sat in his battered chair, while scared and fearful, he slowly awaited his death. Bookmark here

Even if he didn't realise it, his life would change completely.Bookmark here

Even if he didn't realise it, at some point, not too far from now, on his journey, he would meet that little star.Bookmark here

And even if he didn't realise it, what he considered a whole in his world would quickly turn around to teach him a lesson that would be deeply engraved in his soul. Something that would make him understand once and for all, that just as those stars spoke without him being able to hear them, there was something else in that abyss in which it was confirmed, 200 years ago, the non-existence of intelligent life like him.Bookmark here

But first, let's go back to the beginning of it all, how it happened and why it happened.Bookmark here

This is where the real journey begins.Bookmark here

You can resume reading from this paragraph.