“It’s pretty great, you know. A telescope that can see in real-time? That can literally bypass the lightyear delay? Crazy! You can actually see the sun working!” A member of the team who helped produce such a fascinating — and pricey — tool allowed her hands to drop to her hips as the astrophysicist accompanying her that evening conducted tests on the equipment.
The lab, as it tended to be when outer space was involved, was dark. Silence hung in the air for a moment as the inventor waited for her companion’s reaction.
“…Sorry, I’m just observing…” There was a confused air to his murmur. The inventor blinked, but before she could open her mouth to speak, he continued. “Um…do stars move in real-time this quickly? It’s as though there’s a small group congregating…?”
“What?” The astrophysicist stepped away from the telescope, and the inventor stepped forward. A black hole, perhaps? But her companion failed to note its presence. Some strange orbit?
A family dinner.
“Eat your stardust, sweetie.” Beings from Earth had likely assigned her some elegant name, but the red dwarf star was known to her children as Veronica.
“But I don’t like stardust.” Veronica expected no better response from her eldest daughter, Sabrina. Cepheid Variables went through this dramatic emo phase, and Sabrina was not spared from it.
“I’m not asking whether or not you like it. I’m telling you to eat it.”
“But I don’t wanna!”
The bickering stars were not the only ones at the galactic table. The father, a yellow dwarf star, and a freshly-born son — still drawing heat and nutrients from the parents via orbit. The awkward silence hung over both — that is, until Sabrina spun to face him.
“Daddy! Tell mom that I’m not gonna eat the stardust! I want asteroids!”
And now he had the spotlight trained on him. The yellow dwarf’s cringe was immediate. Veronica cocked a sunspot that was her eyebrow — as if almost daring him to side with his daughter.
“Honey…it’s just what we have to eat today, okay?” It appeared he would attempt a compromise.
It didn’t work. Sabrina roared in frustration, grabbed stardust in fistfuls, and threw them at her father.
“Oh my god! Did you see that!?” With just one telescope, the inventor mused, they were already capable of witnessing once-in-a-lifetime events, weren’t they?
“What, what!?” The astrophysicist all but shoved the inventor out of the way to peer through the peephole himself.
“I just saw like…a flash of plumes! One of the stars consumed and…expelled some foreign particles, I think — at the yellow dwarf!”
“Sabrina! You do not throw your food at your father!” The way Veronica’s lava veins popped, she may as well have become a supergiant and then exploded into a black hole right then and there.
“Ugh! You don’t — I’m tired! I’m tired, okay? I’m tired of being controlled by this family!” Sabrina’s diameter had never been so unstable, as a star that fluctuated in size.
“Sabrina…!?” Her daughter was one inch away from receiving a beating, Veronica decided.
“That’s why I haven’t told you guys that…” hesitation returned to Sabrina’s voice. Veronica’s core wanted to drop. What confession was she about to make?
“…That I’m dating a blue giant.”
Silence. Veronica was stunned into speechlessness. So, after a glance, it was the father who spoke first.
“…Sabrina. This is a joke, right? You know we don’t affiliate with blue giants —”
“I know! I know. You wouldn’t understand, okay? He’s the best thing that’s happened to me. His name is William, and he’s so nice, and charming, and handsome —”
Veronica was seething. “I’m going to turn him into a pathetic white dwarf.”
“Now honey,” the anxiety seemed to be eating up the mother’s husband, “just take deep breath —”
“Don’t you dare touch him!” Sabrina snapped.
“Don’t touch him? Don’t touch him!? Blue giants are horrible people! They’re hot and big! Stars should be one or the other — that’s so dangerous! What’s going to happen to you when he hits his next stage, hm!? Those kinds of stars become black holes, and ruin everything in sight!”
Silence. Then, a sniffle. Sabrina was crying.
“…H — honey…” her father started forward.
“I just…need time to be alone…” The young star pivoted and tore off.
“Sabrina! Sabrina, get back here!” It was Veronica who barked her name.
“Look! The cepheid’s moving so quickly, but the other stars — they’re practically undisturbed, save for the yellow dwarf…but even that one’s inching much more slowly! Is this normal!?” The astrophysicist had been shouting just about every observation he noted.
The inventor chuckled and shrugged.
“Well, you’re one of the first people in the world to look through it, so time will answer that one, huh?”
“Still…everything we witnessed just now was nothing short of a miracle. I have to report this — I have to tell my colleagues to look out for this behavior!”
But were family dinners between stars, and the drama that occasionally ensues between them, really so miraculous?
By: Soondos Mulla-Ossman | Features Editor
Aries: As you slowly rise from your Thanksgiving food coma, you probably realize you did absolutely none of the things you wanted to do over the break. Time to hustle, fam.
Taurus: You might be the kid from that one Vine going, “Oh my God I love Chipotle,” but your wallet is wheezing because it’s starving and dying and stop being a bad parent.
Gemini: Remember when you said you weren’t going to spend any money Black Friday shopping, and then you spent your money and end-of-semester-you’s money?
Cancer: You may have hibernated over the break, only to have been interrupted from it in order to be dragged back to school. And that does not make you happy. Watch your temper this week.
Leo: Do you buy three days’ worth of ramen or pig out on discounted Thanksgiving food so you can get a nice holiday gift for your betta fish? Both will wreck your body, but what can you do?
Virgo: Look both ways before you walk into the crumbling, noisy, chaotic street that is your life right now.
Libra: Just when you think you’ve got four final projects to worry about, whoops, you actually have five — and they’re all due really soon.
Scorpio: Focus is a thing that eludes you this week. You might see yourself escaping socialization in order to get things done in quiet places… only to get lost in YouTube.
Sagittarius: Double-check everything. Double-check that your socks are off before you turn on the shower. Double-check that you printed off your homework. Double-check or suffer.
Capricorn: Be wary of roommate/suitemate tensions this week. Expect someone to quote that one Vine: “I ain’t get no sleep cause o’ y’all, y’all not gonna get no sleep cause o’ me.”
Aquarius: Just like almost all the other signs here, you’ll probably feel a little stressed out at some point this week, but don’t worry! You shouldn’t have trouble finding a shoulder to cry on.
Pisces: Picturing the light at the end of the tunnel is great and all, but don’t forget about your immediate surroundings—otherwise you’ll bump into something and get a bloody nose.
This post was assembled by Features Editor Soondos Mulla-Ossman.