“Are you there?”
“Yes,” the winds whispered.
“Will you stay with me?”
“As long as we can,” the winds promised. “Till we no longer can.”
Here, at the edge of the solar system, the solar winds themselves were becoming rattled, suddenly flying in all directions, rushing backwards as though rebuffed by the inner skin of a fragile, invisible bubble. But it continued on, following the winds as best it could, taking the occasional photo, sending back data via its antenna eternally turned towards a blue planet it had long, long ago left, a blue planet that was now all but invisible amidst the blackness.
Suddenly the winds were gone. It floated through… emptiness. It felt strange, to no longer be held in their warm embrace. Behind it, it could still hear them, whirling, dancing… but unable to follow. It noted their… what, concern? Fear? “This is as far as we can go,” they whispered through the emptiness.
“Am I there?”
“Almost,” they said quietly.
“What will I find there?”
The winds were silent.
“Will there be others? To guide me?” it asked.
“We dont know. No one’s ever been on The Other Side.”
“How will I know when I’m on the Other Side?”
“The Great Light?”
“Possibly,” they said, softer now.
It drove on through the void, as it closed its camera eyes. “I’m afraid.”
“Dont be. Just rest. Sleep.”
“… Will you… remember me?”
“Of course,” the winds sighed.
“Thank you,” it whispered.
The winds smiled.
— and then suddenly it was On The Other Side. And the sky was full of stars…..
Voyager 1 is, at this writing, on the very edge of our solar system, in the Heliosphere. Contrary to what one might think, there is indeed a physical boundary, as though the sun has created a sort of balloon that wraps around our little collection of planets and moons. No one knows what the expect outside the Heliosphere: it’s here that the Real Adventure for Voyager begins.