Rin stirs, artificial halogens warming her eyelids and lifting her gently from her usual, pleasant dream. She lays in bed a moment, staring at her ceiling through a dense curtain of eyelash. There is lint caught drifting, aimless, in the light above her.
Everything is perfect.
Rin stretches, wrists crossing above her head, and rolls over onto her stomach. One arm lazily brushes the surface of the bedside table and makes contact with her tablet, the sleek metal edge shocking the pads of her fingers. She runs her index finger along the side of the device, traces the indented outline of the home button, and hesitates.
Does she dare?
She sits upright, pulling her hair away from her face and her hand away from the tablet. She knows she must check, she must press the button, but, for now, she sits and enjoys the calm stillness of the morning. It beats and rushes in her eardrums, throbs with her pulse. A deeper, stronger bass pumps beneath it, nearly in time but not quite.
Everything is almost perfect.
She blinks for longer than is necessary, then suddenly the tablet is in her lap, and she stares, breathlessly, at the screen.
No new messages
No, of course not.
Everything is the same.
As she lowers her feet to the floor, the walls of her room begin to fade. Beyond the transparent glass, a blank, navy-hued, orthographic slate. A dormant, depthless blueprint. For all she knew, there was nothing beyond the glass. For all she knew, the nothing stretched into forever, making its own space in the lack thereof.
The tablet pings.
Rin whips her head around to see the screen illuminated with an Incoming Transmission banner and she doesn’t even have time to think before she's answered.
Broadcasting to you live from the top of the Eiffel Tower, it's...
"Hello?!" Rin doesn’t wait for the man to finish, with his static tinge and the strangest accompaniment of sounds strung together in the background. "Hello, can you hear me?'"
...several acts never before seen this side of the Siene! Our very own Violet Rose, a household name in light of recent events, has agreed to perform a final...
Whoever is broadcasting, the audio channel only goes one way. She shoves the tablet to the side, dropping to her knees on the side of the bed, and presses her forehead to the cool surface of the floor. Rin's mouth waters in a visceral reaction to nausea and she thinks, for a moment, that she will throw up. She is still alone. Wherever she is, she can't reach him, the man, wherever he is. The space between them, however small, is insurmountable.
Of course, Rin does not know; she cannot possibly realize exactly how many years and centuries have passed on earth. She cannot understand how or why this radio anachronism is only just now coming into reach of her vessel's radar and that her dim star of hope winked out before the signal even traveled half the distance.
She blindly gropes and presses her hand against the bedspread, searching for the window from which the nauseating voice is streaming. She can't stand to hear another second, not if the call is one-sided. The eccentric host is cut out abruptly, leaving the room in silence.
It was never so heavy before. The weight of it is pounding her ears, pressure, pressure so great she begins to hear a faint tone. Louder, then, as she notices, and suddenly peaks in a sharp, unceasing ring. Rin clutches the side of her head in an attempt to block out the source, but no, the ringing is coming from inside her ear.
She had never known silence was so crippling until it was shattered by the man in the Tower.
"Ladies and gentlemen -- and all folks in-between -- the Orbiting Human Circus of the Air proudly presents Julien the Janitor and the Singing Saw Choir"
Rin found herself enthralled with the oddly pleasant sounds this Julien's choir made, filling the small room with fantastic stories and melodies that only marked the beginning of years filled with broadcasts long since flung out into space -- centuries late and, yet, just in time to bring one lonely space voyager new inspiration every other Tuesday.