• I’ve had the dream many times, so many that I had lost track. Dozens? Hundreds? No... it didn’t matter, it was always the same. It began the same... and ended the same, with my waking up in a pool of my own sweat.
    It began with darkness, a void as deep as the heavens. Then the dream slowly materialized, like the fog that was so prominent that moonless evening. An occasional light and shape would pass by in the mist, the freeway was nearly deserted that night.

    “Papa? Are we going to be late again?” I asked the figure in the seat directly in front of me. It was pitch black, all I could see was his silhouette against the passing street lamps. He smiled, a grin that would light up any dull, black abyss.
    “No! Well... maybe your mommy is just that bad of a driver.”
    The woman chuckled in response, light glinted off her glasses.
    “Don’t listen to Mr. Silly Socks, dear...” She said, shooting a mockery of a glare at her husband. “...It’s not my driving that’s the problem...its his navigating, hahaha.”
    “I don’t wanna to be lost again!” I protested. “I wanna visit Auntie Jenny!”
    My mother turn away from the wheel a brief moment and placed her warm hand on my head, she smiled softly.
    “We’ll be there soon, don’t worry so much...”
    I held onto her hand with my own. My mother’s face was lit again by another light, as was my father’s. They were both we’re smiling at me with such kind faces. Faces I would never forget...

    ...for that was the last time I ever saw them.

    The next instant came a deafening sound, that of twisting and buckling metal, shattering glass and explosions... and faint screams of deathly terror.
    Our small family sedan was no match for the massive fuel truck that plowed head-on into us. From what I learned years last, the driver of the larger vehicle was killed instantly, a section of radiator replaced the space his head used to occupy. My family met a similar fate, they’re bodies hardly recognizable. Nobody survived the crash... nobody.......... except me.

    I woke up a dozen meters from the blazing wreck with barely a scratch. Heh, asphalt wasn’t exactly the softest of surface to land on, but looking back I consider that to be fortunate. I gazed the blazing inferno before me with awe, I had never seen a blaze that big before. But the warmth of the fire was dwarfed by a kind warmth on my hand, like that of a loving embrace. I looked down at my palm, that was when I discovered that I was still holding mommy’s hand...

    .....her severed hand.

    CHAPTER 1: A Bad Dream

    I awoke from the nightmare and shook my head, shutting the memory out of my head. It was normal to have survivor’s guilt, and car accidents happened all the time. But it was more then a little depressing that I had lost both of my parents before I was even out of grade school. I sat up slowly, like undead mummified remains rising from they’re sarcophagus. I stretched my aching limbs and glanced at the clock. It was still early morning.

    I slipped into my vintage Hello Kitty slippers and threw on a robe over my argyle pajamas, the garment had served me well over the years and was starting to fade in colour, as was most of my eveningwear. I guess maybe its time for a new set.
    I strode out my bedroom door like had for many years, with an aura of mild fatigue. If it was up to me, I would sleep for the rest of my life... Too bad the warden of this gilded cage is an early riser.
    The bathroom was a simple setup. Shower, toilet, sink... you know, the usual stuff. My hair brush waited in its usual position on the counter, next to the cup of toothbrushes, I held the wooden handled object and stared at it for a moment. It used to belong to my mother...
    As brush was doing it’s job untangling and straightening my hair, I took a moment for a brief glance out the window, a sight I had seen for the past seventeen years. A small field of crops, mostly carrots, enclosed within a glass dome. The planet Saturn and the stars lay beyond.

    Yeah...that’s right, I live in space. But so what? So does a large chunk of the human race. It wasn’t all that spectacular anyway, just another large ball of gas. When someone has spent most of they’re life seeing this same view every morning, it becomes a bit of a routine.
    Our family dome was a simple setup. Under our large glass and steel canopy was a small field. They say the soil was flown up here from Earth but that’s bullshit, even Alice would be able to tell it was from an airless moon.
    Our house was built into the side of the dome. The living section was 2 decks, the top is mostly for sleeping, the bottom is mostly for everything else. Upstairs had two bedrooms, including mine, a bathroom and a converted spare room which Henry used as a study. Down below was the kitchen, dining area, living room and another bathroom. There wasn’t much room left to move around in, but to be honest, I feel lucky! Some of the other domes have half the space we have.

    Braiding my hair was simple, it also didn’t take me too long to do it, this way it stays out of my face. Once done, I brushed them back behind my shoulders and smiled at my reflection.
    “Lets see the galaxy stop you now!”

    I skipped back to my room to get dressed, a short trip indeed. My favorite plaid dress was waiting next to my closet, blue and white with navy trim. It was out of fashion many decades ago. But compared to what most people wear out here, I look like a princess in this thing. Now that I think about it, the frock was more of a skirt’s length then a dress’s, it didn’t even get all the way down to my knees. I adjusted the short sleeves to sit better on my arms and buttoned up the front.
    “Damn I look good.” I couldn’t help but say to myself. I was overheard... my warden was awake...
    “Dorothy!” I voice shouted, it had come from a speaking tube on the wall. “It’s time for breakfast!”
    I immediately threw on my apron, just in case I needed to do some housework before I was allowed breathing space. I quickly checked myself over in the mirror, everything seemed fine.

    “Dorothy! Stop ogling yourself and get down here before it gets cold!” The voice shouted again. Can she see though bulkheads?
    I quickly made my way down the ladder at the end of the hall and was greeted by the sweet smell of bacon and eggs. My “parents” were already at the table enjoying breakfast. Uncle Henry and Aunt Em. The three of us made up the bulk of the remaining Gale family lineage.
    Henry had spent most of his retirement years on the station, working the soil out in the dome. Em worked in the chemical labs in the station’s lower sections. Henry and Em were two of the first people to move in once this old trade station, “Kansas”, was completed twenty years ago. After I was orphaned, I was sent to live with my closest living relatives... close meant Saturn.
    ...I suppose you could put a sarcastic and half-hearted acknowledgment of a joy-like feeling right about here, I know I sure could...

    I sat down at the table and started to eat. My dog, Toto hoped onto her lap. Toto was a gift from Em about 5 years ago and had served my well as a companion. He was a cute little black ball of fluff, his only drawback being he technically served no real purpose here on Kansas. But in another sense, he did. He was probably the only thing that would stop me from going crazy and stepping outside to see how long I could hold my breath. The dog clearly wanted food that wasn’t engineered for a small animal. I slipped him a scrap of bacon.
    “Shhh... don’t tell Auntie Em.” I said to the pup. Then I glanced at Henry, who saw the whole transaction. “Neither should you!” He simply shifted his gaze to the dog, then to Em and continued eating. He was such a pushover.
    The bacon was clearly artificial and probably grown in a factory, but the eggs seemed real enough. I was about to bite into a piece of a bread-like substance when aunt Em spoke up,
    “I’m probably going to be late again tonight, Tara says she needs a hand installing the new sprinkler system in the lab.”
    “That’s fine,” said Henry “just as long as your back in time to fix up a another great meal afterwards.”
    Bullshit. I knew this was a lie, Henry had never liked Em’s cooking, but he was too kind to say anything about it. He was a bit of a weakling that way. I had always wondered if he had ever or will ever stand up to her.
    I glanced at the calendar. “June 18, 2234." The digital readout displayed boldly with no memos shown below. Perfect!
    I immediately popped a question. “Hey Henry, is it ok if I go hang out with Alice later? We were going to the theater.”.
    “That’s fine too, but I’ve got a little chore for you first...” Henry paused a moment, grinning behind his thick, grey moustache. I knew right away what he was going to say.
    “...would you be a dear, take the old girl out for a spin and deliver some cargo for me? My old eyes cant see as well as yours can. Plus I think someone has been station-side a little too long.” He said with a wink.
    I inhaled the rest of my breakfast and rinsed my plates quickly.
    “What is it and where am I going?” I asked past a mouthful of bacon.
    “Just a shipment of sodium chloride for ol’ Bill on the Mimas colony. Think you can do it?”
    I swallowed the last of my meal and grinned at the old man.
    “Just who do you think your dealing with? Dorothy Gale! High Speed Express at your service!”
    Toto barked at me, followed by a quiet whine.
    “Sorry Toto, a dockyard is no place for a dog, let alone a warship...I mean CARGO ship.”
    Em sneered at me.
    “Never gonna get into the Defense Academy thinking like that, would never get past the mental stability evaluation. We’ll keep an eye on Toto ‘till you get back.”
    I bent low and stroked the little dog’s head. “See, you’ll be fine, and I won’t be gone long. Be a good boy and take a nap or something.”
    Toto snuggled up against my hand, I would occasionally take him with me but it was too dangerous for him out there, by all logic he shouldn’t even be here, one small hull breach and I would never see him again. He finished his goodbye and trotted off to his usual spot next to the couch.
    “Em, make sure he doesn’t get into the garden again, ok?”
    Em nodded her acknowledgment and waved me off. “He’ll be fine, you go have fun.”
    I smiled warmly at my family, nodded and jogged briskly out the hatch to the hallway.

    The agricultural domes weren’t high on the station’s maintenance list, the corridor was full of jerry-rigged system conduits and patchwork wall plating. Several engineers crowded the corridor.
    “Hey Dorothy! Off to make more trouble?” One shouted.
    “As usual, delivering useless crap to useless places.” Another chuckled, he was met with a mild jab to his large stomach.
    “Someone has to season that fast food you inhale.” I said past a laugh. “And Jean... by the way, you installed that cable section backwards.”
    With those parting words, I skipped off down the hall. Moments later phrases and sounds of disbelief could be heard behind me. Heh, score one for women.
    I soon reached the tram to the station’s main body. It was a short trip but not having to walk lightened my mood a bit. The doors hissed closed.
    “Huh? That’s odd...” I said to myself. An odd sensation crept up my spine, I wasn’t ready for it. I shivered.
    It was strange, the weirdest sensation I had ever felt. Like...

    ...like I may never see home again.

    After weaving though various subsections I finally came out to a large open area, the main concourse. It was pretty big, just a bit wider then my dome. Even though it was morning the place was already packed with people. Some were locals but most were travelers waiting for they’re next shuttle to arrive. The concourse itself was quite impressive, three circular decks lined with shops. In the middle was a large oak tree, hydroponically grown of course. When I first arrived on the Kansas the tree was only two decks tall, now it almost reaches the large skylight at the top of station. A familiar face ran over to me, waving her arms.
    “Hold up Dorothy!”
    I halted and greeted my best friend. We had know her almost as long as I had lived here. It was easy to recognize the long haired blonde, Alice.
    Alice was born on the New England lunar colony and her family moved to the Kansas twelve years ago. Alice and I became friends and nearly inseparable in a very short span of time. We however have huge differences. Alice was more into society and beauty rather then my love of machines and history, this was clearly reflected by our dress codes. Alice wore a sultry, tight dress that was clearly more for display rather then my simple, functional dress.
    I paused a moment to examine Alice’s freakishly revealing garments... if they could be called that.
    “Is there anything you WON’T wear?!” I said in surprise, it was nearly a shout
    “Apparently not.” She responded, togging slightly at the tight cloth around her breast. She then looked at me with a devilish grin and pounced on me.
    “Your coming with me today, right? They’re still having really old school movies this week, they’re starting a Gojira movie marathon today if I’m not mistaken. I hear it’s so old, it’s in black and white film! Can you believe that!?”
    I pushed the well endowed blonde off me. “Can’t today, I got a job.”
    “Anything like last week’s old calligraphy sets?”
    “HEY! People LOVE those!”
    “Whatever... So if your not going...” Alice clung to me again, he eyes almost shimmering.
    “Can I PLEASE have your extra movie pass? I was going to ask Alexi if he wanted to go with us... well, I guess its just ME now.”
    I pulled the forged adult-level movie pass from my pocket and taunted my shorter friend by waving it above her. “Fine.” I said. “But you owe me.” I dropped the ticket onto Alice’s face, then it bounced into her waiting hands.
    “Thank you! But, for the record, its Alexi that owes you. OH! I could get him to hook you up with one of his friends!”
    “Fat chance, fat like them... besides, I’m already in love... in love wi-...”
    “YEAH YEAH, I know who...”
    “Yeah, so anyways, I’ll see you when I get back, should be before the movie is over.”
    I didn’t even wait for a response, it would have been another “Be careful, there’s mean men out there, blah blah blah.” speech. I just left her by the base of the large oak tree.
    I felt a minor jolt of hunger flash though my stomach, apparently breakfast didn’t quick cut it this time. I quickly stopped at the bakery and bought a box of donuts for the trip, then jogged to the dockyard.

    A catwalk ran the full length of the dockyard’s main bay. From here I had a wonderful view of everything below me. The Terran Union always used the Kansas as a rest station for they’re customs and patrol ships. One of they’re Andropov Light Cruisers was taking on fresh supplies below. I’d seen the ship a few times, even raced with it when it was out of The Union’s tracking range. But the hell with that, I was too preoccupied to worry about the money they still owed me. My mind was fixated on one single thing, a simple goal. I rounded the corner at the end of the bay into my reserved parking space. There sat the one thing that could light up my normally dull life, The “Yellow Brick Road”

    Uncle Henry was once a well known trader in and among the known worlds of the Orion Region, he’d been from one end of the region to the other. However, the economic collapse of 2210 had caused him to sell off his business. He only keep his ship, turning it into a home for him and his wife. Eventually they found shelter on the Kansas. Henry, no longer having a use for the vessel, gave it to me hoping that I may take an interest in space travel. Hell, I was beyond interested, I was OBSESSED.
    The Yellow Brick Road, or Y.B.R. as most people call her, was probably the oldest ship on the station, but looking at it’s grey hull and goldenrod markings you would never know that this was once a fearsome gunship used near the end of the Oceanic War. Gunships were used to attack lunar colonies, space stations, habitat platforms... anything that could be shot at. Although lightly armoured when compared to most warships, they packed one hell of a punch. The Y.B.R. was built and operated by the Isoruko corporation in Japan, where it protected its borders, aquatic interest and populace, also we as those of Japan’s allies, for over twenty years. It was eventually phased out of service and sold to a used starship lot, where it was quickly snatched up and refitted by a young Henry Gale.

    None of this history and back story mattered to me, the ship was mine now, my own set of steel wings. Nothing would be able to separate me from it. I calmly approached the ship and wrapped her arms around one of the forward landing skids. Leaning my head against it, I spoke softly to my beloved vessel.
    “Did you miss me? Don’t worry, mommys back now...”
    a voice rose up from behind me. “Dorothy...you REALLY need to get yourself a man...” I sighed and sat up slowly. “With this baby I have over four thousand tons of thrust between my legs, what do I need a man for?”
    I grinned at the technician, a young Japanese woman named Tomoko. Although she was only 24 years old, Tomoko was Kansas’ best engineer. She wore her usual grey overalls and tool belt, her brown eyes matching her short hair. She was not the cleanest person on the Kansas, generally working long shifts in the dark bowels of the station, almost always by choice. Such a hard worker...
    She, like always, was held together with several bandages.
    “Support cables again?” I asked, gesturing at Tomoko's wounds.
    “Nope, one of the public washing machines decided to start with me in it.”
    “I hate it when that happens...”
    “Yeah, I beat it with a wrench for a while and yelled at it. Seems to be working fine now.”
    Both girls erupted into laughter. I glanced back at her ship for a moment. Tomoko had helped me with almost every refit and modification made to the Y.B.R. since I took command. The vessel was almost family to both of us.
    “Uncle Henry said something about a load of condiments.”
    “Yeah, the container is all loaded up, just bring your ol’ rust bucket over and...”
    I stroked one of the hydraulic rams on the Y.B.R.’s landing skid. “You don’t need to take that from the mean old lady... we’ll show them not to underestimate you.”
    Tomoko grinned, her teeth glaringly white against her engine grease covered skin.
    “Is that a challenge I hear?”
    “Here to Mimas and back in 50 minutes.”
    Tomoko pondered for a moment.
    “.....deal, your ship gets my respect if you win, what do I get if you lose?”
    Dorothy pulled a small slip of paper from her apron pocket. “How bout’ a free dinner coupon for the Cobalt Grill?”
    The engineer thought for a moment, probably remembering the amazing oden she had there last week.
    “Deal! The clock starts when you ship leaves the rails, and no cheating and using your fancy little Phase Drive... by the way, do you have a permit for that thing? And is it even civilian legal hardware?”
    I smirked and patted Tomoko’s shoulder. “You talking to a Gale here, when have we EVER done anything legal?”
    Tomoko thought for a moment.
    “Well there was that one time you flew the speed lim-...”
    “THAT DOESN’T COUNT!” I shouted. “I had to stay in the lane and I was stuck behind a ninety year old bushpilot in some antique NASA Shuttle!”
    We both laughed again, the atmosphere seemed out of place in the dull, steel dockyard.
    “Anyways, I’ll see you at the rails, hun. Sayonara!”
    Tomoko ran off to set up the launch catapult. I grinned widely, I knew I had already won. I could fly to Mimas blindfolded in twenty five minutes if I really had to. The trip was a simple cakewalk.
    I dashed up Y.B.R.’s boarding ramp, I had a bet to win.

    Y.B.R.'s cargo capacity actually was actually quiet small but with its armor plating Y.B.R. was excellent at running the gauntlet of pirates corsairs in the Sol Asteroid belts. The cargo bay already had crates littered around, filled mostly with spare parts as the Y.B.R. was always in a state flying itself apart.
    I made my way to the cockpit. It was a large, open area housed at the front of the ship, divided into two decks. The lower deck served as a lounge, with places to relax and entertain one’s self on longer trips. The upper deck was where I, the pilot, sat as well as the navigator and communication technician. There was also a spare multi-role terminal. I took a seat and harnessed myself in. The chair absurdly comfortable, like a cloud bolted to this massive bullet. I began to start up the various systems. Navigation, engineering and communication screens lit up with a faint green glow. The deck plating outside had already been demagnetized, I would simply need maneuvering thrusters to get around in the weightless environment.
    The container waited near the launch bay, it was little more then a large, steel box with docking sockets.
    “30 metric tons of salt, wow, how glorious...” I said to myself without thinking.”
    I didn’t pay much more attention to the large crate and easily latched my ship to it.

    Skillfully guided my ship and cargo pod down the bay. In a separate area was the launch catapult. A standard Terran launch catapult worked much like a Railgun, creating a powerful electric charge which is then used to propel a vessel or cargo pod down the magnetized rails at tremendous speeds. Tomoko had spent the first 3 years of her career tuning the device to its maximum potential. Because of her hard work, ships using the catapult, on average, reach speeds of 600 meter per second by the time the rails ended. Because Yellow Brick Road was so much lighter then a standard freighter, it could (with an extra push from its engines) easily double the catapult’s max launch speed; making this one of the fastest catapult launch systems in the Sol star system, the contest was already won.

    As the Y.B.R.’s landing skids attached themselves to the rails, I stretched. Although flying was easy enough, being loose for such a ride doesn’t hurt. As the launch board outside began to display all green for the catapult’s system, the launch clock started to count down. I gently gripped the controls and slowly eased the throttle open inch by inch.
    The engines had started out with only a gentle hum, now the whole ship was convulsing. If I were to run the engines for much longer like this, the station’s bulkheads would likely begin to melt.
    Tomoko’s voice reached my ears over the communication channels.
    “Yellow Brick Road, Main catapult launch approved. Traffic clear. Charge is steady”
    I pulled my headset tighter over my ears and adjusted the microphone.
    “Yellow Brick Road confirms. Ready to go.” I shouted, my voice barely audible over the echoing thunder of the engines. I looked up at Tomoko in the control loft above me. She smiled.
    “Sometimes I envy you...” she said pass her grin.
    With those brief words, Tomoko pressed the launch button.
    My vision blurred and went dark as I almost blacked out as the Y.B.R. shot down the tunnel into the deep void, The electrified rails firing my craft like a bullet from a rifle. Stretched out before me was breath-taking sight. Sparkling lanes of dust and ice stretched out like a cosmic highway along Saturn’s broad axis.
    Tomoko’s voice crackled though the earpieces once again. “One airborne, One sensor contact, no interval. Yellow Brick Road you are clear of Kansas airspace. See ya in a while.”
    “You too.” I responded. With that, I switch frequency over to the shipping lane traffic.
    With my big girl on autopilot and plenty of time to spare, I leaned back a took and brief nap. The voices and sounds of other ships acting as my lullaby.

    Not long after I had closed her eyes did I hear a strange noise over the radio. The Saturn gravity well was full of mining outposts and trade ports, meaning there was always a sizable amount of ships near the planet. But this was different, it didn’t sound right.
    Curious like a young cat, I held an earpiece hard against my skull and scanned the radio frequencies, listening to the random chatter. I closed her eyes and waited for something interesting to pop up....... something did.
    Amidst the idle chatter, way point codes and static I heard a far distant ship’s transmitter crackle, then....a faint scream, quickly cut short by silence.
    My face turned white like snow, my blood became ice. Something was very wrong!
    I quickly ran the transmission though the computer and targeting array, it had come from somewhere behind me.
    “Yellow Brick Road to anyone within range!” I shouted over the trade channels. “Did anybody else hear that scream from sector 37?!” I waited, praying I was only hearing things.
    “Titan Shuttle 338 to Yellow, we heard it too, our sensors aren’t picking up anything out there. Does anyone know what the hell is going on?!”
    Several ships called in, they were equally clueless.
    “Terran Union heavy cruiser Prince Eugen here, we’ve detected a large explosion in sector 37. We've also got a massive contact headed this way at high speed!"
    I immediately flipped on my 3d sensor mapping screen and stared at the display. Just as the Eugen had said, something big was headed my way.

    I began to panic. I rolled and turned me ship around and flew backwards to get a better look at the strange reading... panic quickly became terror. It was a storm! A moving nebula was barreling down on me with mind-numbing speed. The storm had to be at least an entire AU across and static electricity lit the cloud in bright flashes... it looked like a doorway to hell itself.

    Quickly spinning back around, I pushed the throttle controls as far as they could go... but even with full afterburner there was no way I could outrun that thing! I heard a familiar voice shouting my name... it was Tomoko.
    “Dorothy! Run for it! This things trashing everything in its path! I... Ah!?” Screams of pure terror rose up above the static, then... nothing. I quickly checked the sensors, only to be greeted by a horrifying sight, the Kansas’ sensor signal vanished. No wreck, no escape pods, not even debris....... it was just, gone.

    My family......my friends...................my home..........

    I began to cry, cry like I used to my parents died... but this was different, It was also my turn to die.

    I won’t settle for that! I won’t have my fate decided for me! I WILL FIGHT!!!
    My last chance to escape now lay in the Y.B.R.’s onboard Phase Drive. A Phase Drive system works by opening a temporary wormhole between one point in space to another. I wouldn’t have hesitated to use this earlier had it been working properly... the drive’s targeting dish had been acting up since it was dented by a meteor 2 weeks ago...... I had been waiting for a replacement.
    Without a properly working disk I could end up inside Old Sol or a nice soft rock but at this point it didn’t matter where in the Sol system I jumped, just as long as it wasn’t here. The drive would take 60 seconds to charge, the nebula would run me down in 50....
    “10 seconds in hell, eh? ........I’ve had worse!”
    I input the coordinates for a Mars orbit. It seemed reasonable, plus to was on the far side of the system. I braced myself and closed the viewport blast shields, normally one would also activate the proximity hologram but all it would show right now would be nice, happy static.

    As the jump clock reached 11 seconds the nebula caught up with me, I could feel the ship shake from the impacts of static discharges against the hull. The roar was like a gigantic, deafening tiger. I began to count along with the clock in my head.

    A sudden jolt made me stop, it felt like I had just lost my main engines. I grinned slightly as the clock reached zero, but it was cut short when a massive discharge struck the Y.B.R. just as the jump drive activated. I fell forward, smashing my head against the navigation display. As my eyesight faded, I felt the familiar sensation of entry into a wormhole... I had made the jump to phase space.

    When I came around I found herself floating near the Y.B.R.’s ceiling, along with a box of donuts.
    “Damn seatbelts really were worth 20 credits a set... never trust flight equipment made by a corporation that also sells tissues...”
    I was surrounded by droplets of my own blood, my forehead probably had an unsightly gash. I pushed off from the roof and floated over to my pilot’s seat. Restarting the gravity plating was my first step, though I was immediately hit in the head with a Honey Cruller. I examined the nav. panel. Though it was a little glitchy and was covered in my blood, it displayed a successful jump to a Terr....
    “WHOA WHAT?! TERRAN?!?!.”

    I quickly retracted the blast shields but had to shield my eyes from the brightness outside. As my eyes slowly began to adjust, I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. Before her my a lush green world with deep cerulean oceans. It looked like the blue world I had left so long ago. However, I didn’t know what it was...but some thing felt odd. The planet looked normal enough, but it wasn’t until I looked elsewhere that my confusion was replaced by terror. It wasn’t the fact that this planet was in a binary system, many of the known worlds were binary systems. It was because this planet was orbiting a large gas giant. Dorothy had seen many terra formed moons around similar gaseous worlds before, but nothing on such a massive scale had even been thought of, this was not a Terran Union world!

    I quickly dashed to the engineering controls to review my navigation logs and charts, hoping that I may have just not been to this part of the Union yet. However, according to the computer.... I had jumped far beyond the reaches of known space. If the measurement was accurate... I wasn’t even in my own galaxy anymore.
    I fell to my knees, overcome by shock.
    "Th....that’s impossible!"

    As I looked back at the blue planet before me, I couldn’t help but say out loud...

    “.......Is...is this a dream???”