Shooting Star

The sunrise was blue. She couldn’t get over the slick sheen of it, rippling across the void like water, curling purple at the edges, flickering silver. Heartbeat in her ears, and her breath kept fogging up the poly-carbonate in front of her face. With the sunshield up, her eyes would start to sting, soon, from so much input. She would have to get her work done soon; she wouldn’t be able to see the details if her sunshield was down.

She worked quickly, hands trembling, whole body tense with the knowledge that this was the last oxygen tank, and that everyone back inside was already blue-lipped. She watched the sunrise eclipse her field of vision, and watched the beauty of it just a little too long. When she turned her head away, she couldn’t make out the circuits any longer. She could see the ship’s hull beginning to glow, could see her own suit begin to light up. Her eyes stung and wept, and so she turned again, to watch the whole universe come afire and awake.

Far from the edge of sunrise, where the last stars of the night were twinkling out, she and her ship and her crew were a meteor streaking across the sky, pulsing with light, blazing with the last of life.

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