They closed us down three days ago – the whole lab. I don’t know where the others are, but they offered me this desk job so long as I said nothing. I’m not breaking that promise – there are so many galaxies out there, you wouldn’t know where to look. But try Draco on the winter horizon if you’ve the right equipment.
We’d been monitoring that sector for a few months and had made some decent images for the media. Then I trained the scope on a region we’d not covered before and left it on overnight.
What came back couldn’t be explained any other way. There was the nebula in the background (I can’t give its name) but that was nothing compared to the shapes weaving in and out of it. Wings, claws, sinuous tails, the works – unmistakable. We sat there in front of the recording, silenced by their beauty.
But then the time came to upload. We knew it was over but relished two hours of tranquillity before the vans arrived with the men in suits. I’ve loved the stars since childhood, and for a few years I lived that dream. It’s over now but I wouldn’t change a thing.