Accelerating Universe

A log by cryotechnician Coadyl Rassin. Here, transcribed by Dennis Staples
Art by Justine McGreevy

My shift begins an hour after I wake up, whatever time that is. I don’t really know. I haven’t gotten used to reading the ship’s clocks. The alarms are set up by the computer techs though, so I never have to worry about my schedule.

I wake up this morning to some trouble.

Ever since the ship left Za’ira I’ve been tired. Today the alarm just wasn’t powerful enough, and I slept through the loud annoying bell. The touch screen didn’t get my fingerprint confirmation since I didn’t get out of bed. That’s what alerted the captain.

Captain Otheo himself marches to my bedroom and yells me out of bed. I’m standing half-naked and getting scolded by a man in a suit. It was just like childhood nightmares about school, I swear.

“Do you realize hundreds of lives are at stake, Coadyl Rassin? Each more important than you getting a few more minutes in,” the captain yells.

“I know, I’m sorry.”

“Don’t apologize. Just get your lazy ass dressed and to your department. And fucking shave, pretty boy.”

I almost wanted to laugh at how his voice is so rigid, so practiced, but being scolded in my underwear makes everything lose its humor.

In the small bathroom in my quarters, I look at my face in the mirror. Aside from the red-streaked eyes, I don’t think I look that bad. My beard isn’t that long, and it’s the only thing that makes me look older than eighteen. I shave quickly and rush to the cryo-hangar.


Accelerating Universe

“This is Captain Otheo. Unfortunately, I must announce that our telescopes have confirmed the total destruction of Za’ira. As a precaution, we will be traveling at a faster speed to prevent any possible collision with debris from the planet. All crew will report to the flight deck to assure safety.”
I turn away from 13-471 and walk slowly out of the cryo-hangar. I think I can feel my heart through my entire body, my ears, and my head. It won’t stop.

To read the rest of this story, check out the Mad Scientist Journal: Autumn 2014 collection.

Coadyl Rassin was born on the planet Za’ira. He attended the Guild’s Initiative College with a degree in cryogenics. Shortly after graduation, he was selected to be a crew member on the Guild’s exodus to the planet Ersepha. After the landing, he was part of the successful first settlement on Ersepha. He enjoys drawing and spending time with his wife.

Dennis Staples was born in 1992 in Minnesota. He is currently an undergraduate student at Bemidji State University with a major in creative and professional writing. He enjoys writing fantasy, science fiction, and creative nonfiction. His work has appeared in the BSU literary magazine,

Justine McGreevy is a slowly recovering perfectionist, writer, and artist. She creates realities to make our own seem slightly less terrifying. Her work can be viewed at and you can follow her on Twitter @Fickle_Muse.

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