They hover like human planets about him as he jots down the names of each world envisioned and studied beyond the sphere.
For fifteen years Thomas Hamilton, Miranda Barlow, and Peter Ashe had studied the wormhole and searched for clues as to what it held beyond without fully understanding the purpose behind its relatively sudden existence. Fifteen years looking for answers to questions they had yet to fully formulate.
And within the span of two short years, a new element named James Flint had peered into his own spyglass pointed toward the wormhole by Saturn, deciphered its coded imagery, and captured the very real planetary possibilities, the promising environment they existed within that lay just beyond its horizon.
“There’s just the issue of actually seeing their terra,” he murmurs.
Miranda goes to the computer adjacent and waits for the ping of data from their satellite, Horus, just as they had been for the past three years. Her lips purse behind a small grimace, one that had become familiar in the past few years, not welcome… yet… but, present nonetheless.
“Nothing from Horus,” she clicks the black screen wider for the consort to see.
“Nothing yet, ” Peter reiterates with a pat to her shoulder. “We saw it go through the wormhole intact, did we not?”
Thomas and James glance up from James’ notepad.
Miranda looks into all their faces, then across the room to Professor Gates as he writes out the formula across his whiteboard. She lowers her eyes and holds onto a small grin across her mouth.
“She did go intact, from what we can see, yes,” she says, eyes alight. “Theoretically, Horus is still taking images for us… it’s just a matter of looking beyond what we can see within the wormhole’s eye.”
Thomas looks at the blank screen, to the spherical image of twelve distant planets by a sun and a black hole within the wormhole, and then to the ground station's bustling floor full of builders hard at work in creating their future vessel. A magnanimous clock blinks above them, ticking down the days, the hours, the minutes and seconds until the journey to a new life begins beyond the edge of this galaxy and into the one of hope they offered.
“Soon enough,” Thomas speaks around a small swallow. He looks down at James’ freckled palm across the page of scribbled names for what they hope to be one of their new homes. “Soon enough we won’t only see what is beyond it, we will live beyond it. We will thrive beyond it. All of us. Us and them.”
He chances a glance across the room and sees their upturned faces— Miranda with her soft smile holding the secret of unknowns waiting to be tasted; Peter with his hand running through greying temples, his speckled wedding band dulled against the white lights of their lab; and James… James, with his green eyes full of hopeful determination, brimming with unquantifiable belief beyond the unseen.