We the Astronauts, We the Ghosts

The old religions lied to us. There is no heaven. No hell. But there is also no death. After our flesh expires, the 'soul' lives on. Billions of ghosts haunt our world. After 'passing', we know freedom. Flesh is a prison, a time machine that moves only forward.

The soul? It can travel anywhere, visit any when.

For a while, ghosts content themselves with Earth. We dip back and forth through time, following Man from its inception, to the species' end. For a while, ghosts content themselves with only our planet, haunting it from creation to its death and back again.

But only for a while...

Eventually, as with all men, our eyes turn skyward. What would it be like to haunt the stars? What wonders there await only the 'dead'? So we drift into the void, immune to its dangers, innoculated to the ravages of time's bitter hand. The Final Frontier is ours to explore, and ours alone.

Drifting in the timeless black, we discover worlds: distant, dead and empty. We content ourselves with haunting the Neverwas. We drifting invisible through the sanded dunes; we sink into pools teeming with monoxide and toxic gasses; we wander deep into forests of boulders the height of skycrapers, and we wait. We watch the shifting shade of the never setting dueling-suns, lights of red and chrome and yellow mixing with the dust. The constant sunrises and sunsets are… beyond us to describe.

We wait for you.

Eventually, bodies follow. Distracted by death, want, the needs of generations, progress is slow. They eke across the sky at the speed of life, its rise and fall bearing them across the galaxy in fits and starts. Their ships leak the spirits of their lost, drifting past them in the cosmos towards us at their many ports of call. As they travel, billions more ghosts join us in the waiting.

Eventually they discover our worlds. Eventually they land, haunted by an odd familiarity. They have never set eyes on these grounds before, these varied desolate plains, and yet…

We drift towards our breathing brethren, unseen, arms wide in greeting.

"We have been waiting a long time for you, the 'living'. As always, your ghosts precede you. We follow you. We persist where you will not. We guide you where you will. Welcome."

You push through us, the omnipresent throng, the bloodless. Our salutations fall on death ears. You build among us new lives. Building on worlds, that for reasons unknown to you, feel already like home. We who are content on the margins, who exist in-between, leave you to your lives. We, mankind's boldest explorers, drift back up to the stars. Many wonders lie ahead. We can feel it in your bones.