A science fiction story set on a beautiful but dangerous world at the edge of the Solar System. Published in Clarkesworld Magazine (issue 85, October 2013).
“It’s going to be the greatest symphony anyone has ever composed,” said Jurriaan. “Our best work. Something we’ll be remembered for in the next millennia. A frail melody comprised of ice and dust, of distance and cold. It will be our masterpiece.”
Chiara listened absently and closed her eyes. Jurriaan had never touched ice, seen dust, been able to imagine real-world distances or experienced cold. Everything he had was his music. And he was one of the best; at least among organic minds.
Sometimes she felt sorry for him.
And sometimes she envied him.
She imagined the world waiting for them, strange, freezing, lonely and beautiful, and a moment came when she could not envy Jurriaan his gift—or his curse—at all. She checked with Orpheus how long the rest of the journey would last. The answer was prompt.
In three days, we will approach Sedna.
Chiara decided to dream for the rest of the voyage.