Rick had fulfilled his childhood dream of becoming an astronaut since he joined the Space Agency’s training programme from a young age as one of the most promising members who had ever passed through. Now, being one of the most prominent young astronauts, demonstrating potential, skills and responsibility that were rare for his generation, he eagerly awaited his first grand mission.
It was not long before he was assigned it.
Once astronomers discovered a planet 40 million light-years away that could possibly have sustained (or is still home to) life forms similar to those of Earth, Rick knew this was his mission. He had dedicated his life to this and was ready for the launch.
Space orbiting offered a solitude like no other. It was a confinement that, despite the responsibilities and work that had to be carried out, provided ample time to think, to literally gaze at the Earth from a distance and revise his perspective on everything.
But once Rick was in space he knew that his mission and the next – uncertain – years of his life would be spent chasing a reported discovery, which could not be proven unless someone reached its core.
Back on Earth, conspiracy theorists and alien fanatics relied on rumors and hearsay to strengthen their arguments.
So did pretty much everyone who was too lazy or naïve to search for a holistic approach to everyday developments. As a result, people remained restrained in their perceptions of what they heard, accepting news without questioning anything and allowing themselves to be manipulated by anyone who was a bit more devious and cunning than the masses.
And all the while, the spaceman was skidding through the solar system in search of a rumor of a planet that may very well have already vanished…
Also part of Daily Prompt: Solitude