We orbit with the dust, white and gray,
though what is mind-numbing to those on the bridge,
is a buildup of excitement in the lab,
in the insatiable minds of the scientists,
as we pass over the planet's ice caps,
or traverse its jungle-tangled equator.
For the crew up top, life is merely
one long sulfur cloud after another,
a boredom equivalent to watching geese bathe
or reading the "Rules And Regulations
Of Life Aboard A Starship" manual.
But it's the time of the intergalactic nerd,
the ones who penetrate through robotic eyes,
grasp with android arms,
collect from afar, examine up close,
demarcate, delineate secrets
of a world that's a textbook in hieroglyphics,
in the hands of a core of highly-skilled translators
for whom the unknown
is the most exhilarating thing they know.
So, keep the ship on course, autopilot.
Plug in those coordinates, navigator.
Keep the engines running smooth, engineer.
Go get yourself a cappuccino in the canteen, captain.
Somewhere, in the bowels of your vessel,
findings are feeding brand new theories,
impossibilities are on the verge of becoming facts,
computers dazzle with their speed of calculation,
human brains swap logic and imagination in and out.
By the time the mission's done,
the entire crew will have spun
more times around Gegagious IV
than they've chewed gum.
For most, it will have been an endless circle,
forever on route to its beginning.
For the few, a jagged line.
But with an end point that's not where it started.