And the few places that only the brave can know
I remember the jump. Do you?
The sun was like a massive ember. Beneath you was a rippling sea of orange and yellow. You exploded forward with speed and aggression knowing that this mirrored the fire within that was only beginning to burn. It was about time you leaped out of that metal cocoon: Everyone talks about flight, but not everyone will emerge and soar with their own wings.
The horizons blurred away once you pierced the cloud cover. That fiery vibrancy from moments ago receded into something else: a bottomless chasm that stretched from every end of the horizon.
You spiraled into these depths until you were swallowed by darkness. The descent had pulled you into a black silent void. There was no impact, no blood, no flash, no immediate light to guide your direction. You grasped at the air to identify the confines of the infinite black space that had now engulfed you.
Your body was suddenly tugged sideways. Various streams of white light flowed in one direction. You allow your body to drift along the same direction, eager for an escape, and hopeful that a way back up would reveal itself.
You spotted a dim rotating light approaching your line of sight. All light streams coursed into it and then disintegrated into thin sinews. Your hopes were short-lived when you observed something odd about it. Its brilliance seemed artificial, unnatural. You tried to swim against the magnetized current after realizing this star was feeding and devouring everything around it, but you were overpowered.
Unable to fight, you closed your eyes, and prepared to be crushed.
Opening your eyes, you saw your body hovering over this neutron star. Your body was captured in its fierce gravity and orbit. Your limbs were almost welded in placed, and it took twice as much effort and energy to move. But, you were still alive and aware. All you heard was your heartbeat, synchronized with the star’s abnormal pulsing.
The star emitted twin jets of light, spewing pale reanimations of all your worst fears and projecting them onto the black void’s panoramic theater. It was like a colossal holograph of your internal thought processes: scenarios you thought you had resolved and shelved away, even before the jump, had found itself recycled into new forms. This was your inner universe. A mirror of the anxieties that consumed you during your many jumps and many moments of truth.
It was always in your power to remain in flight. But the weight of your doubting had brought you here. It wasn’t until you could look closely — and squarely — at these replays that you could see these lifeless animations for what they really were.
You drew out your hand and pierced the projections, and they disintegrated into wisps of smoke.
Then came the scene of the bystanders who chose to remain trapped in flight: The dream-talkers and dream-stalkers. You could see their lips moving: You shouldn’t have jumped. We told you so. You should’ve stayed inside the cold cocoon and watched everything from the small window. And that’s when you knew you wouldn’t let the last remaining excitement you had left to be annihilated and extinguished.
Just as you learn to jump, you also learn to escape the gravity of your own fears. Somewhere in the deep recesses of your mind, your universe, you keep dictating the worse possible scenario of the journey. And so what happens?
These are just the rules of physics, but of your universe, anyways. Rules are meant to be rewritten. The constants can change. You can let your version of the truth prevail, or let these depths become its eventual resting place.
Slowly, the grip from an unnatural dying light source released you.