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Floating Random Number 

 Saijo Ayako

English translation from Japanese by Wing Pun


The spacecraft’s shield, which had protected her for an eight-year flight at a speed of 285 kilometres per second, extended itself like a pair of wings and decelerated at a dash. 


In the silent control room, about forty people crowded together in rows suddenly burst into applause and cheers. However, just a moment later, the room became quiet again,like a skimming stone over the water. 


The enormous screen in front of the room showed how the spacecraft’s wings received air resistance and accomplished its final mission. Through a simulation from collected data and information, the screen showed highly-accurate images from a distant planet. 


The spacecraft decelerated under precise calculations and was heading to the earth of Proxima b. It took a few minutes to reach the gravitational sphere. The units attached at the inner side of the spacecraft’s shield extended horizontally to refer to the earth, turned into green signals accordingly, prepared for landing action without any hesitation. 


“Air brakes on. Landing velocity 500, 600 meters per hour…”


Compared to the operator’s calm announcement, the audience’s brains were tense. Though the eyes watching the big screen and personal monitors were variegated in blue, grey, green and brown colours, they were all thinking of the same thing. 


It had been 32 years since the discovery of the planet. Just a moment later, we would know whether the research would be a big step in history or just a waste of billions of dollars. Some of the audience held their hands together as if they were praying to God, some bit their lips tightly, some frowned heavily. 


Among them, a dark-haired Asian woman stood calmly in the last row, her shiny eyes flashing with wisdom. 




The bold man sitting next to her wanted to greet her but gave up since she walked forward to the screen. 


Surrounded by NASA staff in blue shirts, Miria was in a simple black top and a tight skirt draped by a white gown. The dark ponytail with a beam of blue highlights stood still on her back when she stopped. 


The camera crew turned their cameras to her. 


Were they interested in the results of the mission, or the outstanding, young and beautiful doctor?


However, she didn't even give a glimpse to the camera and simply pressed the earphone on her right ear. It was announcing the live news from Japan. 


“...The exoplanet exploration spacecraft ‘Ladybug’ co-developed by several countries, which contains a spacecraft pupa, has left the International Space Station ISS for 8 years and is now heading to Proxima b, which is 4.2 light-years from the Earth. Without further ado, we deliver the news of landing.”


Thinking about the news spreading out throughout the world, she stood back from the camera, looking at Japan on the screen among other countries. 


It was 1700 here but 0700 in Japan, however, there was no one asleep. 


“The drone carries an EPR communicator. The communicator applies quantum physics and contains microchips of personal information from ten million participants. The spacecraft achieves a sublight speed flight by several technologies, including the following significant ones. Firstly, the spacecraft accelerates by a swing-by caused by the gravity and centrifugal force of the planet. Secondly, it achieves an explosive antimatter acceleration by the annihilation of antimatter and the rocky planet. Last but not least, it makes use of acceleration by illuminate-type microwave propagation. It is the success of Dr Togo Tsuji and her daughter Dr Miria, who are the renowned authorities of Japan’s space engineering.


Saijo Ayako, Floating Random Number, Kakuyomu, 2021. 


Floating Random Number 

 Saijo Ayako

Original text in Japanese



浮遊するランダム・ナンバー 第1話 送り込まれる使者



































西条彩子, 浮遊するランダム・ナンバー, カクヨム, 2021.

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