Henrik Harlacker opens the door to their house and scratches on his chin with his right hand as his stubble itches. He is a thirty four year old man with a by now at least three or four day old beard stubble, he can’t remember the last time he shaved but it could have been this Tuesday or maybe Wednesday. He wonders if he might just let it grow into a glorious full beard, Joanna his loving and beautiful wife would surely love it he believes.
After a long week in the office he is glad that they are finally relaxing on the sofa together. At this moment, on this Friday evening he doesn’t know that their existence will drastically change quite soon, at this moment he is just an ordinary man with an ordinary life who enjoys the small things in life. He isn’t yet aware of the dangers lurking in a very near future light-years away from his sofa.
In their comfortable sofa they relax and enjoy a glass of red wine in their large living room, on the table they have fresh dates and some fine chocolate. The bottle was recommended from a close friend years ago on one of their vacations in the middle east and have since then been their favourite, keeping at least one bottle in their cellar at all times. The living room is filled with green plants of various sizes, some smaller and some rather larger ones that have been allowed to spread out and claim their place in the room.
Along with the wall hangs pictures with varying motivational texts beside different animals, together the frames form geometrical shapes, Joanna has a sharp eye for indoor decoration and their home would fit perfectly into any catalogue for furniture or decorations.
The windows facing the garden runs from one side of the room to the other, from floor to ceiling, along with the windows Henrik has lowered the floor and planted palm trees together with smaller plants.
Joanna leans her head flirtingly against Henrik as she smiles with her eyes to make him massage her tired feet. Henrik smiles back, he takes off her white socks, puts his warm hands on her cold foot as he slowly begins to massage one foot at a time as they watch the opening scene of the movie she suggested the night before. It’s an action movie, starring Jason Statham, their favourite cool guy character in any movie.
Monday morning again, Henrik wakes up as usual at 05:15, the sun’s warm rays slowly find its way in through the slots between the blinds travelling up against the wall, the air in the bedroom is cool and fresh since the window has been ajar during the night, outside he can hear the birds chirping their morning salute together in a sweet summer symphony.
Beside him he can hear Joanna’s calm relaxed breath, it looks like she is dreaming about something nice, he softly whispers to himself. “Perhaps you dream about waves hitting the beach, while we are flying in the sky together, who knows?”
Her feminine lips form a weak smile, her slender body that barely can be seen under the thin summer blanket together with her dark hair with an ever so familiar scent makes him want to stay in bed beside her, keep dreaming on through the morning in pace with her calm heartbeat, thinking “only 10 more minutes”
He reluctantly decides that he should prepare for the day, so he slowly gets out of the bed, gently closing the door when he is out of the bedroom to allow Joanna to sleep in peace.
Back to work after a long weekend, he opens the door to his office which is decorated in beautiful natural colours, the room is filled with big green plants, among them is a tall old fig, the top is bent downwards, just like it once had been outdoors covered with heavy snow, it is a beautiful plant that always gives him peace when needed, built into a wall beside to the fig is a relatively large aquarium where colourful Cichlids from Africa swims.
He sits on his leather chair, feeling the need for a refreshing cup of coffee buzzing in his brain, he shakes off the feeling as he usually wants to start the computer first, allowing it to wake up during the time he finds a cup of coffee. On his large rectangular dark wooden table, two big screens are positioned in an inwards angle, a black ergonomically designed keyboard with a smooth rounded shape together with a mouse that is equipped with programmable buttons complements the keyboard.
Henrik never leaves his desk untidy; he always makes sure that everything is in order before he ends his day at the office. So he was a little confused when he saw a dark cube about the size of an orange along with a note with the text “From Viterin” standing behind the right screen.
He picks up the cube, inspects it, rotates it, feeling the perfectly shaped sides against his fingers, suddenly, Henrik realizes that the cube is getting warm. A slight vibration spreads throughout his fingers, the absolutely smooth sides of the cube now pulsates in a pale blue tone, in the middle of the cube, an image begins to take shape.
Henrik is absolutely fascinated by its beauty, by its warmth, a few seconds later he can see the contours of the image taking a clearer form.
“It looks a bit like a galaxy .. maybe .. what can it be?”
A few minutes later the image has now become clear. Henrik can see the incredibly detailed image of a galaxy, he stares with wide-opened eyes on the galaxy, feeling a little tingling sensation as he is swallowed up by the picture. Suddenly everything is black, life is perceived as a feeling of endless space without boundaries, in addition to an unpleasant feeling of weighing a lot; while simultaneously weighing nothing at all. A sense of falling combined with complete stillness at the same time, he can see a dim light in his field of view.
Terrified, with a silent voice he whispers, “Am I dead?”
It is black everywhere except for the galaxy that is in the middle of his view, Henrik is floating in space, he can see all the individual stars shine clearly. In the smallest detail, he can feel that there is an incredibly powerful force in the middle of the galaxy, a presence that fills up all existence, it makes him feel really small.
He calm himself down by focusing on a breathing technique he once learned while traveling, he realizes that he must be inside the picture now, almost in the same way as when he puts his VR headset on, but with perfect picture quality.
“What is this?” Immediately after he thought it, a box appears to the right in his field of view, with the text.
Spiral galaxy in the Andromeda constellation, also called the Andromeda Galaxy.
2.9 million light-years or .8 Megaparsec from your current position, end of information, shutting down “
A slight swirling occurs before the image fades out, the office slowly starts to be seen again.
This is the end of part 1, please buy the book when it is published to continue the journey.