The darkness beyond the viewport was disconcerting. A deep and endless void that seemed to change, turn and twist a dozen times with every passing moment.
Just gazing into it made him shiver, trying to come up with answers how a deep and absolute black could change its color to another deep and absolute black. The only thing that aided him with this question was his background as mathematician. There were numerous different forms of infinites and that alone was an enormous ordeal to wrap his brain around.
He knew that he should look away, to concentrate on other, more important issues, but it was just so hard. The longer he stared into it, the more hypnotizing it became.
Suddenly the incomprehensible movement of swirling darkness changed and focussed, forming waves of pure black itina into a mane surrounding a pale face of some description just outside of the viewport.
With a scream he pushed away from the porthole, where the strange face had already disappeared again. His scream suddenly intensified, as he felt a cold hand touching him from behind, scrambling away into yet another direction.
“My, my, aren’t we jumpy today,” a voice noted with amusement.
Staring at the source of the voice, he first tried to keep his hearts from ripping their way out of his body, breathing in deep, plumage spread out like a fan around his head.
“Don’t do that,” he shot back, with more force than he had intended.
Nauyund tilted his head in negation after taking a short glance towards the viewport.
“You shouldn’t look at it for so long, Dynen,” he said and walked over to Dynen, placing a hand on his shoulder. “It isn’t healthy.”
Dynen closed his eyes and took a deep breath. Nauyund’s people perceived the strange space used for faster than light travel differently to his own, due to their eyes and the light spectra they could perceive. For a moment he tried to imagine how they did it, but shivered at the thought of their version of this haunting, maddening darkness.
“I’m trying, but…”
Nauyund shook his head again.
“Just typical Rak’ris’ayc,” he said. “Never listening to anyone.”
Dynen’s plumage bristled at that. But he kept himself under control.
It was not his fault that his people, the Rak’ris’ayc, were the personification of evil in some regions. At least it was not fully known whether they were actually responsible for the Fall and destruction of all Civilization that came before the current one or not. The only place where there was no vilification of the Rak’ris’ayc was Enper-ough.
Even if Nauyund was a Enper-ough, some prejudice still remained.
“Anything new yet?” he asked, trying to divert the discussion to something else.
“Not much,” Nauyund answered with an wiggle of his head. “And its not like we would be able to solve the problem any better than thousands of big chests back home.”
“And its not like they could help in any way even when we get back into normal space.”
“Unfortunately I think that you might be correct. Its a mystery. All the spectral lines indicate the use of water as a propellant, but its lacking any signs of uranium or its fission products. I wonder how they do it?”