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He’s long since passed terminal velocity, and the shielding glows day and night with air-compression heat. This far down the pit it’s the only light. He is still falling.

Cramped into his tiny cabin, he measures the radio lag in seconds. “You can still turn around,” pleads HQ. “You’re not past the retrieval horizon yet, Atesh.”

“I dive until I stop,” he says, checking the gyroscope status lights. “That was the mission. This is the deal.”

“Everything we know about physics—it has to end sometime. It can’t actually be bottomless!”

But what if it is. What if it is?