By: Steve Bolin

Near the edge of the one million light-year gap that separated galaxies, the black metal ship appeared, slipping through an artificially created wormhole hanging in the fabric of space/time. Normally, the portal closed behind them, but the work of the ship’s occupants here would be brief. The energy expenditure required to sustain the opening was minimal.

The vast expanse of empty space was awe-inspiring and the nearest spiral galaxy, roughly 87,000 light-years distant, filled the holographic projection screen within the command center near the front of the sleek-shaped ship. The captain of the vessel stood stoically as her co-pilot sat at a nearby console, calculating coordinates and preparing their package for delivery. The package was special and she would not leave the handling of it to the ship’s AI.

Within moments, a launch tube opened on the side of the ship and fired a projectile. The cylindrically shaped object created a small rift of its own and slipped through without incident. Almost instantaneously, it would reach its destination, where it would shed its outer casing and finish the final stage of its voyage disguised as an innocuous meteor. Inside galaxy Ʊ-9137, known as the Milky Way to many of its inhabitants, the small asteroid was programmed to land just outside a neutral moon base, located in a random solar system temporarily shared by a hodge-podge of various intelligent species.

The captain of the advanced spacecraft glanced at her co-pilot and nodded. Their task was nearly finished. They needed only to wait until the meteor was discovered but, thanks to the luminous entry function designed into its construction, the wait would not be long. In the mean time, the co-pilot switched the holographic projection from the magnificent view of the spiral galaxy to a view of the moon base. The data feed was a live transmission sent from the artificial asteroid itself, through the rift it had created, and neither the rift nor the data feed would terminate until a predetermined set of parameters had been met. This was yet another function designed into its molecular sized circuits.

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About the Author

With the exception of a four-year hitch in the U.S. Navy, Steve has been a lifelong resident of Indiana. He has more than 40 publishing credits, including co-authoring Black Rising, an epic fantasy novel. He plans to assemble his short stories of dark fantasy and weird tales into an anthology.
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