Sometime during the six month journey, Horatio realized that he couldn’t remember the name of the woman who’d dumped him. “Susan?” he asked the cold stars. “Esmerelda?” Was she tall or short, fat or thin, dark or fair? What had her voice sounded like, or her laugh? Had they talked politics? Did they have a favorite reality show? He’d named the ship after her, but that wasn’t much help.

All gone now, lost in the seven and a half years between jilting and liftoff. Hard years; if they’d still been together, he wouldn’t have had time to talk to her, just enough time to snatch a kiss here and there before falling into bed and sleep. Each of the seven thousand equations governing this flight was burned, clear as crystal, into his brain, but nothing of her.

The Lying Asshole burned on through the eternal day, curved as an arrow toward Mars. You couldn’t get further away than that, but now, too late, he began to doubt.