It is the 23rd century. Maureen, an insecure artist (may be I just repeated myself) is on a voyage to the Planet Hippocrene where her latest sculptures will be cast into resin by aliens on the planet. She is accompanied by a dead man whose head is eventually dismembered from the rest of his body as parts of the their spaceship begins to breakdown. Throughout the voyage he decays. Eventually when all that is left of him are his bones, Maureen uses his remains as part of her art. When finally, she reaches the distant planet, the aliens are no longer interested in her art. She ejects the sculptures as she grapples with her rejection. The man she had detached herself from was her husband. A soul who loved her and did not want her to take this journey and leave him. An accident at take off led to his death and for fear of not being able to embark on the mission, she launched with he husband’s dead body. This is the accident that started the journey and the accident that finished the journey brings her back to earth in the form of apologetic bones.
At first, I was not sure why the man had no identity. It seemed strange that a random dead man would just so happen to accompany someone on a voyage to another planet. Did he die during the voyage, or was he dead before it all began? When the man is later revealed to be the husband of the artist, her detachment became more understandable to me. How else can one stay sane in a tomb inhabited by one’s spouse without creating mental distance when physical distance is not possible.