• Nick Richards

Chapter 7: The Emptiness of Space - Part One

“Five more days,” answered Renger when Wenden asked her how much longer they would be traveling through space. The Enarw native had not yet lost the wonder of his new world, and he was routinely poking his head into various areas of the ship and taking it all in. Renger and Tateena had little to do during these parts of the voyage, and they were glad of the distraction. Wenden noticed this, as he noticed his presence wasn’t quite as welcome in the engine room, so he hung out here when he wasn’t doing soldier training.

“How can you tell?” he asked.

“It’s a simple equation, actually,” said Tateena, “for it’s just a matter of distance and speed, as long as you account for the drift of planets. If you rode a horse to the forest, how long would it take you?”

“Fifteen minutes.”

“How do you know?”

“Because I have traveled that way many times before.”

“But what if you hadn’t, but were told how far away it was?”

“Ah, I see, because I know how far it is and how fast a horse can trot, I can do the math and come up with an answer.”

“Right,” said Tateena brightly, “and that is what I do. We have maps of space even as you had maps of your land. The nawledgists left us with detailed records of other planets, where they were, how far away they were from each other, and in what direction to travel to reach them. That’s my job — navigator of the ship — to read these maps, plot a course, and tell our pilot how to get there and how long it will take.”

“I get it, thanks, Tateena. You explain well.”

Tateena blushed and nodded acknowledgement of his compliment.

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