The Barrier

Essay by Logan Merritt, presented by James Ford
Illustration by Katie Nyborg

There is, in the universe, a constant flux of destiny, luck and happenstance which creates the very fabric of reality. A system, for want of a better word, that establishes balance, a balance that exists under constant assault–tipped and set right and tipped once more. For every action, a reaction exists and the final outcome of any such reaction can never be fully known.


The view from the one small porthole of the escape pod was my only reprieve from the   monotony of the cramped ship.

My name once was Logan but that no longer mattered.

I had journeyed far.

The pod had floated past the outer perimeter markers, and three days later passed right through the barrier.

The Barrier.

The same obstruction that had stopped the crippled passenger ship Cuspid from floating off on the cosmic tides three years before, preventing it from the infamy of becoming the greatest space tragedy in Earth’s history.

The Barrier

I was now no more then a discarded bit of junk, lost in space and there was nothing I could do.

To read the rest of this story, check out the Mad Scientist Journal: Spring 2012 collection.

Logan Merritt

Captain of the Palesare. Set adrift by his crew while on route to the phenomenon known as the Barrier. Mission purpose – to attempt the destruction of the Barrier to save Earth. Palesare to be deliberately destroyed in this attempt with anticipated death of all crew. Journal account by Capt. Merritt of these events recently discovered in empty escape pod.

To date, no trace of Captain Logan Merritt has been found. Unknown as too what book of myths he referred to in journal. No books found in escape pod. Unknown if connection exists between Capt. Merritt’s passing through the Barrier and prevention of anticipated destruction of the Earth.

Captain Logan Merritt:
Advanced Astronautic Surveyor

James Ford

Ottawa, Canada.

Author of many (forty and counting) online and print Fantasy, Sci Fi, and Horror short stories. Husband, father and (he thinks) all around nice guy.

Katie Nyborg’s art, plus information regarding hiring her, can be found at

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