Short-listed on https://brilliantflashfictionmag.wordpress.com/
Tomorrow just kept coming, a vicious cycle that never stopped, never stood still and the worlds kept on tumbling.
Their mantles, their crusts, their shattered insides inverted and dragged forth and into the void. She monitored from the safety of her deck, within the constraints of a metallic sphere, hurtling at speed, yet seemingly stationary.
Science, lost on the young and a torture to the old, only sought to confound and frustrate the rest. The readings pointed out the obvious, but it was the date that mattered or rather the data. The data would prove. The data would leave them with a chance.
For the fantastically minded, the image of a hundred stars and countless worlds hurtling by in fragments would tear at the soul; for Cara, her sensors merely acknowledged the change as an alteration in her colour spectrum. The lights and shades melded to become a series of altered shapes and hues, unrecorded until then.
That’s why they’d sent her and not a crew of men and women. Her inability to register emotions could be the only thing to save them. Had she cared to think, she might have pondered the fact that they sat safely, yet ultimately doomed, unless she succeeded; that they sent her, that she was expendable.
The swirl edged ever forward and grew with each mouthful, the stomach churning and the mouth groaning, or so one might imagine were one prone to do so.
The rotating singularity never sped up nor slowed down, it just ate.
Cara’s sensors blipped and scattered as the satellite—her home, fell closer. They’d sent signals repeatedly from the beginning, from their home into the collapsar. Whatever did they expect? And still they insisted and ever she sent the same inane, pointless message.
Cara continued to scour the horizon and then she saw it. Only for a fleeting moment, but it would come again; it would give her time, time.
The metallic object looked dented and devastated and yet it signalled. It signalled from the cusp of the event and again it came: static, stellar static crackling forth and begging for a rope.
With each rotation a fragment escaped, a Penrose extraction and it was building, building into a message the closer she came.
They’d be interested, back on their planet. The results, the data—shame, she allowed herself to think, a waste of time and resources.
She began to reach free fall. Her momentum had fallen from her minutes prior, but her sensors had failed to register the loss. The only thing that seemed to remain as the tidal-like effects pummelled and buckled her shell was the message.
It sat in her memory drive and as she listened; she heard her own voice, her own message, sent just now, relatively.
“Too late to send, just watch.”