(Serial fiction, sci-fi)
In interstellar space, nothing moved. Nothing changed.
One atom per cubic mile, and so many dark miles. More than the human brain could fathom.
Yet, in all directions, there was light. Billions of years of nuclear fires dotted the universe like brilliant lonely islands. Stars hugged their planets. Gravity swept the vast distances clean.
But in the tiniest speck of the tiniest fraction of the tiniest sliver of space, something did move. A small vehicle like a bloated coffin arrowed forward at terrifying speed. Of course, in interstellar space, terrifying speed felt like the tick of a second in the course of a year. Insignificant. Pointless. A race standing still. But back on Earth, that kind of speed would vaporize the craft in a millisecond if it ever touched the atmosphere again.
Inside SEED4611, the cargo slept. (If the near-arrest of molecules could be called sleep.) A sixteen year old woman. Her womb impregnated with a male fetus unrelated to her. The systems didn't maintain the cold. The nothingness provided the absolute freeze.
SEED4611 was launched with energy for one purpose alone. The on-board system processed one burst of data each year. Two hundred and fifty seven years ago, the light of one star in the look-zone registered a tiny increase in magnitude. A tiny increase greater than the other stars. SEED4611 used the stored energy to delicately steer toward it, slower than a glacier on Earth. Now, it only had to maintain. Now, it only had to collect the thin streams photons striking its dark, metal skin. Now, it only had to wait.
On to Part 2.