Of Fields, Half-Sown by Kurt Hunt

“Failed,” said the ship.  Its transmission burst into jagged waves, a white noise elegy.

But the station didn’t understand.  “Greetings, Generation-32! Welcome to Centauri Colony!”  It beamed yottabytes of data, everything from advertisements to statistics suggesting a critical population shortage.  “Please share these exciting details with your passengers, and–“

The chirping auto-welcome fizzled.  A tired voice interrupted: “G-32, clarify failure report.”

“Decompressed,” said Generation-32.  “Long ago.”

“Cargo status?”

Generation-32 scanned again; same result.  Cradled within, it found only ghosts, the hundred million phantom limbs it had carried through the dark.

“Alone,” it said.  “I am sorry. I am alone.”

[Originally Published in 365 Tomorrows, 2014]

Kurt Hunt was formed in the swamps and abandoned gravel pits of post-industrial Michigan. His short fiction has been published at Strange Horizons, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, PodCastle, InterGalactic Medicine Show, Kaleidotrope, and more. He is also a co-author of Archipelago, a collaborative serial fantasy adventure.

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