When I went to the 24th terminal to visit the old man, there was only one person left. Terminal 24 is located on the necessary route from the solar system to the outer solar system. The spacecraft is often parked here. The function of the terminal is very complete. It provides a rich supply and comfortable landing for the crew of the dusty servants. It is one of the busiest terminals in the solar system, at least once. The reason I say this is because when I arrived at the spacecraft, the terminal has become very deserted.
Under the guidance of the automatic mooring system, the spacecraft landed steadily on the platform. “It’s here.” I took a deep breath and calmed my emotions. I put on a heavy spacesuit and walked out of the spacecraft, taking the funny pace of low gravity, following the flashing guide beacon, and walking towards the station step by step. When I walked to the airtight door, I saw the old man. He also wore a heavy spacesuit and stood there quietly. Like a solid stone statue, I thought it was really a stone statue of a real person. It wasn’t until I tentatively waved my hand.
After a few seconds, the stone statue waved and responded. I realized that it was the old man I was visiting. The old man saw me coming over and turned and walked towards the station. I tried to keep up with the pace of the old man and walked into the station with him. Accompanied by the sound of the “squeaky” airflow, the airtight door behind it slowly fell, and it closed a little bit tightly, blocking the vacuum and radiation.
I took off my spacesuit and saw that the old man was still trying to unlock the button. I went to the front and politely nodded and wanted to help him. The old man shook his head and said that he refused. He used his twitching hands to slowly follow the process. His movements were slow and elegant, like a sacred ceremony. I patiently waited for the old man to complete this feat, while observing him seriously. As an old man in his 70s, he is a bit too old. In this era of technology-led everything, the average life expectancy of human beings has reached 150 years old.
People like him in their 70s should be in the middle age, but still have not lost their vitality. The old man in front of me is not like this. His face is very awkward, and the wrinkles are printed on his face like a knife. To my surprise, the eyes of the old man have been covered with a sly white, I know, it is a precursor to gradual blindness. Now in the eyes of the old man, I am just a vague outline. Seeing the appearance of the old man, there was a bleakness in my heart. The deserted terminal and the embarrassing old man seem to suggest that this sudden visit will not have perfect results. The old man finally took off his space suit. He hangs the spacesuit gently next to the airtight door and then looks at me silently.
After a long time, he slowly spit out a sentence: “No one has been here for a long time.” “How long has it been?” I asked. “17 years.” The old man said, “Those scientists invented a more efficient transition spacecraft, and then there are no more spacecraft passing through here.” “I am a reporter.” I said. I make my voice look natural as much as possible to cover up my true purpose here. “What are the reporters doing here?” “I want to be an interview, can I?” The old man meditated for a few seconds and then answered me: “Let’s go to the bar for a while, it’s suitable for chatting.” 2 The bar is very spacious and you can imagine how lively it was. Astronauts and tourists from all directions gathered in the bar. They held a large glass of beer in their hands.
While slamming into their mouths, they sang the “Space March” slantingly, and laughter filled the entire terminal. Now those voices and scenes are gone, the big bar doesn’t have a living person, only one machine waiter is wiping the glass in front of the bar. Even if there is no customer here, he will perform his duties faithfully according to the set procedures. “Two good, what do you want to drink? There are whiskies from the earth, Marconi from Pluto, and vodka from Europa…” The robot emits a gentle electromagnetic sound and mechanically reports dozens of kinds. The name of the wine. “The old look, come to a cup of Marconi.” The old man sat skillfully in front of the bar, responding to the chatter of the robot, and then he asked me, “What about you?” “Like you,” I replied. “I like you a little, young people.”
The old man smiled. After coming here, this is the first time I saw the old man smile. “Marconi is very strange. There are not many people who like to drink this wine. It is rare to meet people who have the same taste as me.” Two glasses of Marconi were quickly picked up. The old man used his wrinkled right hand to pick up the glass and slowly sent it to his mouth. He first licked his lips and nodded with satisfaction, then slammed into a big mouth. “Let’s say, what kind of interview should I do?” Under the catalysis of alcohol, the old man’s face was not so embarrassed, and there was a slight bloody color. “About Terminal 24.” I also picked up the glass and sipped a sip. “I want to know the history of Terminal 24. I am responsible for searching for stories that have been forgotten. Terminal 24 was very important, now though Forgotten, but its story deserves to be remembered.”
“There are a lot of stories here.” The old man fell into meditation. “But those stories have been going on for a long time.” “Let’s talk about it,” I said. “No. 24 was officially completed 74 years ago. Coincidentally, I was born that year. It seems that from birth, my fate is destined to be associated with this terminal. Terminal 24 is the entire asteroid. With the busiest terminal, I came here at the age of 22 and became a spaceship guide.
I like this job, every time I see those long-distance voyages landing safely under my password. On the platform, my heart will rise to a sense of pride, as if the entire universe is operating in an orderly manner under my password.” Speaking of this, the face of the old man gradually emerged with a satisfying expression, and the memory brought him back to the busy and busy age, and the 24th terminal was still playing an important role in it. “Here, I can see astronauts from various planets. Because of gravity and pressure, their bodies are very different. Some people are slender and elegant, some are bloated and chunky, they speak completely different languages. With the help of the translator, I am free to communicate.
It seems to be a noisy big market, and I am the one who can make this market work smoothly. I just work day and night in the terminal, though Occasionally unpleasant, but most of the time is very satisfying. Just as any beautiful things in the world will not last long, Terminal 24 has gradually ushered in its destination…” The old man sighed and drank a few mouthfuls of Marconi and continued to remember. “The automatic navigation system is installed at the terminal.
Only a few people are on duty. Many colleagues have left. Later, when the first generation of the transition spacecraft was mass-produced, there will be no spacecraft coming here to park, if you jump from the earth to It takes only three minutes for Pluto, why bother to spend ten days coming to me.” “What about the remaining colleagues?” I asked. “Since there is no spaceship to park, the terminal has lost its role.
Everyone has left. They advised me to leave together, but I refused. I have to stay here and continue to hold on, even if there is only one spaceship in the rest of my life. After this, I have to let the 24th station play another role.” “Why don’t you leave?” I asked again, actually I know the answer. “You can say that I am stubborn, but I have enough reason to stay here. I told you that the year the station was built was exactly the year I was born, but I have never seen my father before I was born. My father is 24 The welder at the terminal died because of a space junk accident.
He sacrificed for Terminal 24. I have to hold the terminal for him.” Speaking of this, the old man’s bleak eyes overflowed with a few tears. I handed him a paper towel. He didn’t pick it up. He just wiped the tears in his eyes with his rough hand. He was silent for a moment and then continued: “If I am gone, the government will remove this terminal, but I will stay here, they will let me be stubborn. In their eyes, this is just a trivial The terminal and a negligible person. But they are no longer shipped here, but fortunately the inventory here is enough, I can not exhaust it for hundreds of years.”
After the old man finished telling and drinking again, I tentatively asked: “You have been here for the rest of your life, watching your colleagues leave one by one, and then you stick to yourself for some faith and continue in this deserted place. Have you regretted it for so many years?” The old man listened to my question. Something deep in memory was climbing on his face. He didn’t answer me.
After drinking the last bite of wine, he slowly stood up and said, “I am tired, rest first. Wait until we wake up and talk.” 3 I was lying in the room, staring at the whitish ceiling. I don’t know if it’s right. I drove a stolen spaceship and ventured to visit an old man I shouldn’t have seen, falsely claiming to be a journalist. There was a serious problem that bothered me. I couldn’t find the answer. I can only come here to visit him. He is the only one who can give me the answer. Through the doors and windows, I saw that the room where the old man was resting lit the light, and put on the clothes and walked over. I walked lightly to his door and tapped the door tentatively. “The old man, the lights in your house are still on.”
“Come in.” The calm voice of the old man came from inside the house. I pushed the door open and saw the old man wearing a light blue cotton pajamas, sitting quietly at his desk, the desk was neat and orderly, he wore a pair of silver-rimmed reading glasses and a wooden photo frame in his hand. I am looking at it carefully. I went over and picked up the image in the photo frame. It was a photo of a young woman. Under the rush of time, the photo was yellowed and old, but it still could not cover the beauty of the woman. Against the backdrop of soft lighting, the woman in the photo looks dignified and elegant.
This is the purpose of my coming here. I am close to the answer. “Who is this?” I asked in the chair next to the old man. “A woman buried in the depths of memory.” The old man stroking the photo frame and said to me in a tone of recollection of the past, “I have not seen her for many years.” “Can you tell her?” The old man was silent for a long time and then told. “That was 50 years ago. At that time, I was still young like you. One day, there was a special spaceship at Terminal 24. I followed the routine guidance procedure to let the spacecraft land on the platform.
At that time I Not paying too much attention to this spaceship and any passengers in the spacecraft, for me, it was just a normal spaceship parked here for a few days. Until after work, I met her in the corridor, that is, the woman on the photo. She was one of the passengers of the spaceship. I was deeply attracted to see her at first sight. She had short yellow hair and was elegant and beautiful. Her eyes were clear and hopeful.
She looked When I was staring at her, I smiled politely at me, and I responded to her with a smile, and we got to know each other.” I nodded with the old man’s remarks, and thought to myself, I never thought that after so many years, the old man can still remember so clearly. “I invited her to drink at the bar. We talked in a quiet corner, talking about the orbital playground of Pluto from the gold mine base of Mercury. We exchanged views of each other enthusiastically. Although we just met, we seem to I have known for many years, and we have had the same intimacy.
I later learned that the spacecraft was going to the Alpha Centauri. She was the first passenger to voluntarily go there and would not return to the solar system. She Inviting me to go to Centaur, I hesitated.” “You didn’t go with her, stay here, why?” I asked. “I did a bold move at the time. You may not know. At that time, there was a spaceship with a space shuttle at Terminal 24, which was just a prototype. It was very unstable.
I sneaked into the spacecraft and went to 50 years. After that, I want to ask myself about the future, what should I do.” “What do you say in the future?” I asked nervously. “I didn’t meet him at all. I didn’t even see Terminal 24.” The old man’s tone was disappointing. “So you made the final decision yourself, right?” The old man nodded. “I thought about it all night after I came back. I am reluctant to stop at Terminal 24. I am also reluctant to leave my hometown. I don’t know what kind of life I will go to with Centaur. I gave up at the last moment. I guided with tears. Her spaceship set sail and she never saw her again.” “You haven’t contacted yet?” “You know, it’s about 4 light years from the solar system.
It just takes eight years to say hello to each other. It takes her eight years. She has her own life. Why do I have to wait for my eight-year greetings. So we haven’t contacted you anymore. ” “Do you regret it?” I asked. I want to get an answer from him because I have encountered the same dilemma as him. The old man gently lowered the photo frame and took off his reading glasses and said to me: “Although I miss her very much, many times I even call her name in my dreams, but tell you the truth, I don’t regret myself. s Choice.”
“Why?” I don’t understand. “Because this is my own choice. I have deep feelings for this terminal, I guard it, like the ancients of the nautical era guarding a lighthouse.” The old man replied. “So what if you left with her?” I asked again. “I don’t know,” the old man said. He muttered something else, and I sat quietly beside him and listened carefully. A few hours passed quickly, I looked at the watch and arrived at the time of return.
“Your story is wonderful, but I have to go, the old man.” “Young people, I can’t see you, but I think you are like a person I met a long time ago.” The old man stretched out his rough hand and fumbled on my face. “I know that you are confused by some problems. Like my age, I’m like this. Every young person will be like this. You want to come here to find the answer, but I am sorry, I can’t give you the answer, you have to follow your heart and find your own answer.” I looked at the old man in surprise and he understood everything.
4 I drove back to my time and space and used the trailer to transport the ship back to the warehouse. In the corridor to the accommodation area, I met Lena again. Lena’s pale yellow hair swayed slightly, and the air was filled with a charming, delicate fragrance.
“How are you thinking about it?” Lena asked me. I remembered the old man, remembered the look he had when he touched the photo frame, and remembered what he said to me. I went up and hugged Lina and cried. This cry was not for me alone. Later, I left with Lena. We went to the Alpha Centauri and started a new life on the planet 4.22 light years away. After 50 years in a blink of an eye, I became an old man in his 70s. One day, a group of tourists came from the solar system. I asked what happened to a station called Terminal 24. Many people shook their heads and said that they did not know the existence of this place. A young man who was keen on history told me that the flight The station was dismantled more than a decade ago. I already knew the fate of the terminal, but I was pleased to think that at least when it was dismantled, there was no one who was alone. I told this to Lena, Lena said: “If the old man stayed at Terminal 24 when he was young, he would see himself 50 years later, but he did not meet; and you are young.
When I left, how do you see the old man who remained at Terminal 24 after 50 years?” I smiled and said to Lina: “I told you that the time and space shuttle prototype is unstable. I guess I crossed the time while crossing the time. I went to a parallel universe, in that universe. I didn’t go with you and stayed at Terminal 24. As a replacement, the universe I came to our universe, so he couldn’t meet me in 50 years, because I am now in Centaurus, No. 24 The terminal has also been dismantled.” “So this is your story in two universes?” Lena asked. I nodded. “When you are young, you all want to find answers in the future, but you have not found an answer.” Lena said. “But we did find the answer, and we followed our heart. This is the answer.”
“These two universes, which choice is wrong, is it with me, or stay at Terminal 24?” Lena asked. “There is nothing wrong.” I looked at Lena’s shoulder and looked through the porthole of the base to the distant sky.