The scientists told her the void of space was not empty, instead filled with background radiation and loose molecules and other shit. Terilla hadn’t paid much attention, figuring it never would matter in her life. Who cares if space is full of all this shit if you couldn’t use it? What did cosmic radiation matter when your ship was dealing with a faulty drive and the O2 levels were down to critical? Could you breathe void energy? Could it build a new converter?
But they were wrong. Space wasn’t empty, but it wasn’t just full of esoteric particles. God was in the void, hidden from the eyes of mortals. God was there and if you knew how, you could touch him. Embrace him. Love him.
And he would love you back.
It began with a routine inspection of a faulty drive. Terilla, the only one certified to handle the drive and a spacewalk, was prepping for EVA when the stellar engines blew, taking out the bulkhead with them. Of the six techs checking her seals, the three working the boards, and the two grunts doing heavy labor, only she was prepared for venting atmosphere.
It was a stupid mistake caused by lax standards. It had been fifteen years since a fatal decompression had occurred aboard a class three merchant ship. Everyone let slip some of the checks needed in case a critical issue occurred. Now it cost eleven good men their lives and would likely take her as well.
But it didn’t matter. Terilla saw God and knew he loved her.
When the decompression happened, her suit’s transceiver hadn’t been switched yet. Her comm was destroyed when she bounced off the tear in the hull. She had no way to tell the captain she was alive or where she was.
She saw the rescue vessel scanning the area for any survivors, but knew it was going through the motions. Dirtside, a rescue operation in open water could take a week. In the forests and mountains, it could take a month. Extra-atmospheric, you could search the same cubic mile for a year and not find anything smaller then fifty feet to a side if it didn’t send out a distress signal through a transceiver. And you couldn’t spend a year searching for survivors. SOP said you looked for half an hour then returned to base if you didn’t have a signal. The dead didn’t hit their distress call or comm their location.
But God answered all calls.
When the rescue boat turned back for the docks, Terilla understood she was dead. Her O2 hadn’t been recharged and the seals weren’t prepped. She’d vent what little oxygen she had left and no one was going to rescue her.
Then she was bathed in brilliant light, warm and inviting. Her body trembled; she felt her hair standing on end in the helmet. A voice rang out in her head, telling her she was safe and all would be well. The voice said He found her; there was nothing to worry about. Those who died were lost, but she was saved. She would be safe. She would live if she was strong.
* * *
Terilla awoke in the medical bay, her limbs strapped to the bed to prevent her from flailing off. Med bots hovered back and forth, checking on her vitals and making sure the tubes were in place. A doctor was standing at the end of the bed, looking down at his clip board and reading off Terilla’s stats to the ship’s captain. Terilla couldn’t make out the words, but she couldn’t think what else the doctor might be saying.
* * *
“Are you sure?”
The doctor looked from his board to the captain, weariness in his eyes. “Yes captain. Due to the sustained lack of oxygen, I’m afraid technician McClaim suffered brain damage. When she first came aboard, she was screaming that God had saved her, that he spoke to her. She wouldn’t calm down, so I gave her a sedative. Since then, she has floated in and out of consciousness with similar statements. I did a scan and it appears a portion of her brain suffered from oxygen deprivation. When we return home, they might be able to perform surgery to rectify the matter. She won’t be able to return to active duty this run and might need counseling hereafter.”
The captain nodded and walked out of the med bay.
This isn't at all serious (or good). It started as a joke with a friend ages ago, then came back in my head today after watching the shuttle launch. It isn't meant to be good, just a bit of random writing to kick this off.
There IS a story behind this. I was having a conversation with a friend about people seeing God and hearing him speak to them. We both wondered if any of them are really crazy or if god spoke to them through others. I then made the comment about how odd it was god only spoke to the people with brain damage.
From there, the conversation turned. What if it wasn't actually brain damage, but the only way we could recognize the touch of god was as damage? After all, when something out of the ordinary happens, the first reaction is to rationalize it as part of the ordinary. If you saw someone bleeding from the hands walking down the street, your first reaction isn't "STIGMATA!!!" It's "oh my god, I hope they're okay" or something along those lines. When someone performs faith healing, we nod and accept the mind is a powerful tool and the person healed believed strongly enough they were healed. So if we see part of the brain altered by an outside force, it must be broken.
So did Terilla hear the voice of God or was it the rescue crew speaking to her after taking her on board? How did they find her with no means to communicate and no signal pointing them in the right direction? Is God in the void?