Cyrano Page wasn’t sure he could do it. In fact, he was almost certain that he couldn’t.
The sublight engines of the stubby Telsat Industries one-man scout ship thrummed through the bulkheads as the Seraphim waited on the verge of the multiverse for the command that would send the ship hurtling toward rift drive velocity.
One lever to accelerate; one button to activate the drive. After that, he’d be through the multiverse gateway and off to some new destination, full of new worlds to discover and new challenges to overcome.
But he just couldn’t seem to muster the will to push that lever forward. He didn’t think he could punch the button.
You’ve come this far, though, he thought. You’re so close to the edge. Just do it. Jump!
He had friends back on Mars, people he had known all his life. His parents were there. His older brother and younger sister. His ex-wife.
Do this, he thought, and you may never see any of them again.
They would gladly welcome him back on Mars, if he decided to return. He knew his parents would feel relieved to have him home, safe and sound. He might even be able to take back his production design job at the Martian Broadcast Network.
No risk there, really. No danger, except…the lack of danger seemed dangerous in and of itself. Cyrano knew he could just as easily drown in the sweet security of boredom and routine. He didn’t hold it against anyone who chose that for themselves, but he just couldn’t see himself settling for that simple life.
He throttled the Seraphim forward, watching the velocity gauge rise. Ahead, the Nocturn gateway rift shimmered an eerie blue. Cyrano let his finger rest on the rift drive button.
Maybe he could work things out with Ann-Marie. Sure, they’d said and done things that hurt, but maybe the damage could heal. Maybe they could trust and love each other again.
He liked his chances better beyond that strange horizon.