Arrokoth by Rani Jayakumar

“Can’t you just take the next shuttle over?” she asked. She was always trying to solve my problems for me. 

“No, I can’t,” I said, already exasperated. “They won’t let me on the shuttle anymore. Not until I clear my medical.” 

“But you’re already here.” She was telling me what I already knew. For the last six months I’d been trying to get off this dwarf planet, Haumea, and make it to the furthest reaches of the solar system, but to no avail. All these years of space travel and my eyes aren’t what they used to be. 

“They’re not sending humans to Arrokoth!” I almost shouted, though she already knew this fact. “Only as far as Makemake.” 

Arrokoth was the holy grail - an asteroid, but the farthest known object from home. “And what about Eris?” she said, a twinkle in her eye. 

“What do you know?” I asked, curious. 

“I’m scheduled for Explorer this summer.” 

I cursed. She was going to the last and biggest dwarf planet, six billion miles from Earth. A place that could hold clues to where we came from, and what we are doing here. 

“You’ll never beat me, you know,” she chuckled. 

“Yeah, I know,” I said. 

“But I was here first.”

Published in Issue #14

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