Andromeda 2c

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Our Fleet Carrier is preparing to jump. I grab the intercom: “Attention, the Galaxy Shuttle is scheduled to jump in 5 minutes. Please stay in your ship or in the viewing deck. Please put on your safety belts.”

A dull lifting noise indicates to me that all the remaining ships are parked in the hangars.

I make the last announcement: “Lockdown begins in 2 minutes. Autopilot is engaged.”

As always, I stay in the captain’s deck, strapped into the chair with a safety belt. This should be a usual jump, and we should be in Alpha Centauri in a few moments.

Suddenly, I hear vibrating and cracking metal. Those are not the usual jump sounds. Everything is vibrating. The view in the front now has thick red lightning strikes.

I grab the intercom and say: “Chris, what’s going on? Tell me now, but do not leave your chair.”

“Frame Shift Drive overloaded and overcharged. Probably some energy beam.”

I look now to the plotted route. We should now leave hyperspace.

“No one leaves their chairs. We will most likely be a little off course.”

Metal rattling and vibrating continue for 5 minutes. This is five times longer than our usual jump.

“Chris, I think we are leaving hyperspace now. As soon as you can navigate, tell me our location.”

Everything settles down. Autopilot completes the jump and after-jump checks begin.

“Chris, where are we?”

“I am not sure. We are definitely not at our destination. Give me a minute.”

“Chris, I can see too many stars.”

“Yes, that’s near the galaxy center. But the galaxy is not ours.”

“What do you mean?”

“It’s not our Milky Way.”

I feel like my stomach is filling with heavy stones.

“Do you mean we have jumped many times further?”

“Yes, the Frame Shift Drive is capable of doing so. It is the 2C version. If overcharged, it can jump many thousands of years.”

“Fine, what galaxy is this?”


“This must be an error in the navigator or something. I do not believe this.”

“I have checked on two navigators, and they say it is Andromeda.”

“Okay, I will jump in my Anaconda and see.”

My ship, the Anaconda, was recently prepared for exploration and has all modules radiation-hardened. The navigator there will be the last to fail.

“Are you sure some passengers did not have fun with blasters and hit our reactor?”

“No, I checked monitors. Nothing like this happened.”

I go into my Anaconda, drop into the pilot’s seat, and power on the ship. Everything seems to be working as usual.

The star map does not show anything. I try to fiddle for a few minutes with it. Suddenly, I realize that this is how it should be because my ship does not have an Andromeda star map.

I stop for a few moments. I really need to process this. This is too much.

I power down my ship and return to the Bridge. Let’s take a rest today. We will plan something tomorrow morning. And yes, we are all in Andromeda now.


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