Like all simple rescue missions, ours was the same. Get to the planet, rescue any humans left alive, kill anything or anyone that gets in the way, and then get out. Simple, right? Nope. In the year 2019, scientists found a black hole. Everyone was happy, this was huge, major. In the year 2030, humans wanted to know more about the black hole. First, they sent robots to explore it. To our surprise, the robots were able to send back information that inside the black hole was a stable solar system similar to ours: planets, a sun, stars, air, and other natural gasses. The new solar system was weird, however; its space was green, the sun was tiny, smaller than some of the planets, and the planets carried life . . . every single planet carried life. The life that the planets carried was like trees, plants, and animals. After twenty years of exploring, scientists did not find anything in this new solar system to be a threat. So in the year 2050, scientists thought it would be wise to send other scientists in every field in the black hole to make double sure that it was safe. The first few months of 2050, everything went as plan. Many scientists came and went, in and out of the black hole. Some even wanted to start a new life there with their families. It was like 1492 after Columbus had found new land, and shortly after everyone wanted to travel to this “new world” with new people, life, animals and vegetation. This was exactly like that, except this was a different universe. What could go wrong living in a black hole? Well, during one of the fall months in 2050, something strange happened. Mission Control lost contact with the latest black hole crew. The last intermission was of someone screaming and another person frankly spoke about wall creatures and other undesirable things that happened, a month after, the United States, along with the rest of the world, decided that it was time to send in a rescue crew. That was be us. Special military, army, space forces dudes and a chick.
To get to the black hole, scientists made a wormhole that teleport the crews to each planets’ main headquarters. Each crews’ mission was simple, like I had said before; we were to find any survivors in the main headquarters base and transport everyone back. Our crew would travel to the next planet, planet Jehovah Shalom, through another wormhole and continue our search. There were eleven planets. Nine crews of seven and one crew of eight were sent. We were the biggest crew, so we were responsible for two planets. The rescue mission on Jehovah Elohim, the first planet we visited, went perfect. I could not complain. We did not find a soul. So we assumed that another team had rescued the scientists. “You would think Mission Control would had the decency to throw us a heads up about this empty planet. ‘Hey guys, another team rescued your scientists already. Don’t waste your time there. Go on to the other planet and prepare to be home by dinner. Huge celebration for you guys when you all get back home.’” One of our team members, Daniels, Robert, complained. We all laughed. He was right. The only reason most of us did this mission was for the money. We would be set for life after this mission, America’s promise.
After we had cleared the first planet, the second planet was not as easy. Once again, we could not find our missing scientists. No one was where Mission Control on Earth had said they would be. Our equipment died as soon as we had exited the wormhole; but the worst thing out of all was the creatures. All of them: the wall creatures, the skin creatures and even the invisible creatures. Wondering into a new universe, solar system, we, as the human race, knew the risk of running into new life forms. However, invisible creatures seemed a bit far-fetched even for this universe. But after I saw one for the first time, I could no longer deny their existence.
Our first encounter with them was when my partner, Hart, Autumn, and I had heard someone scream.
“You heard that?” She asked. Her gun was pointed toward the noise. “Yeah, but I don’t plan on finding out what’s going on.” I said. I started in the opposite direction. Hart looked puzzled. In training we were told to help our fallen, always. But I wasn’t about to help anyone after I had heard that scream. “What do you mean?” She had her back toward mine, and secured our tail. I secured our front, as I slowly pursued in the opposite direction. “Whoever is screaming, for whatever reason, is screaming because they are dying or because they’re jerks. Either way, I do not want to find out which is which.” Hart smacked her teeth. “Don’t be so pessimistic.” She sneered. A few moments later, we saw two of our other team members. They ran in our direction as they screamed and thrust themselves against the walls. One, Michaels, James, screamed as he cut his organs out. The other, Perkay, Denis, got on his hands and knees growled at us. Even though he looked as if he would kill us if we got close to him, his eyes looked scared. He looked as if he could not control his actions. “Perkay!” Hart called. She pointed her gun at him; you could tell that she did not want to shoot, but would if she felt threaten. “Perkay, back down!” She ordered. He growled louder. Both Hart and I slowly backed away. Were we about to shoot our comrade? “Don’t shoot, don’t shoot!” Our commanding officer, Mace ran toward us. He waved his arms in the air. He shot Michaels in the head and gave Perkay some medicine by intramuscular injection. Not long after, Perkay was stiff as a piece of wood. But his eye, his eye bulged out and let out hot air that we later on found out was an invisible creature. To see them, we had to look at its waving air parts. The creature exited Perkay’s body and quickly disappeared through a nearby air vent. “What the crap was that?!” Hart roared, her gun pointed toward the air vent, just in case the invisible creature decided to come back. Mace stepped over Perkay’s stiff body and handed us both an intramuscular injection syringe. “You’re going to want to follow me.”
Mace led us to a nearby lab. Papers were thrown everywhere, things were disarray, torn photos of dead subjects hung from the walls. “What were they experimenting here?” Hart questioned. She was not a shy one, always ready with the questions.
“I don’t know.” Mace confessed. I turned around toward my teammates. “Why were they experimenting on an exploring mission? They were strictly here to explore these planets, making sure that it was safe to colonize.” I picked up a bloody photo. “These pictures look like soldiers. It looks like they were experimenting on soldiers.” Mace copied and picked up a photo. After he exam it; he agreed. “I don’t know what they were trying to discover or what they were doing to these soldiers, but the result are those creatures out there.” Mace explained. We heard a howl from something outside the lab. It was in the distance, but it still caught our attention. We were on our guard, guns pointed toward the door as we waited, seconds for something to walk through. When nothing had, we were at ease. “So you mean this isn’t nor was it ever a rescue mission, but we were sent here as guinea pigs!” Hart’s voice cracked. Tough gal Hart was gone and emotional Hart was here. I wanted to hug her, but I knew better. Tough gal Hart might come back, so I kept my distance. I am glad I had too, Hart quickly snapped out of her emotional state when she realized where she was.
“No wonder they said after this mission we could live in any country we wanted and could retire with half a billion in our bank accounts.” I said and shook my head. I hated myself for believing the lie.
"It seems like this stuff in this syringe stops them for a while." Mace said. He held a syringe in his hands as he studied it.
“What about the other teams?” Hart interjected.
“I called them minutes before I ran into the two of you. They should be here through the wormhole . . .” just then, we heard gunshots and screaming. They were here.
We met the last members of the other crews in the power room. There were only ten of them left out of ten crews, not counting us. It appeared that the wall creatures and the skin creatures took out the rest of the other crew members. As far as we knew at that moment, we were the only thirteen left.
After we had cleared the power room from any creatures that had come through the wormhole with the crew, Mace approached the other commanding officer, Jones, Sean, from the crew that went to planet Jehovah Nissi. “Jones, you know what’s happening?” Jones nodded. Him and his crew found dead soldiers’ bodies, some ripped a part others opened where you could tell someone had taken body parts out.
“What’s the plan now?” Mace asked.
“To get out of here,” Jones announced. Everyone was pleased to hear that.
Jones looked at me. “Rodgers, please tell me that you still have the controls that opens up the main wormhole home?” The main wormhole was the biggest wormhole and was our only exit out of the black hole. Even though, we all came in smaller wormholes at different times, we were supposed to leave together in one. The travel back to our solar system had proven to be far more dangerous than our travel out of it . . . so we’ve been told.
“Yeah, it’s right here in my pocket.” I said as I stuck my hand in one of my pockets, searched it, tried another pocket, searched that one, and then another. “Please tell me that you haven’t lost our only way home?” Hart barked. You could tell she was antsy, ready to go home. “It was just here,” I shouted, frantically searching my pockets for the missing controls. We heard howling. It was close. “Find those controls, Rodgers!” Mace ordered. I searched my pockets, but it wasn’t there. We heard the howling again. Everyone steady themselves, riffles pointed toward the entrance as the howling grew louder, closer. “What kind of creatures are here?” one of the other crew members asked, nervously. “Invisible ones,” Mace answered. The howling was right outside of the power room’s door. The creature struck the door. The door was a big steel door, but it bent like cardboard with every pound. “Rodgers, I would like to go home now,” Hart cried. “I’m searching, I’m searching!” I screamed at everyone. But we all knew the controls weren’t in my pockets. We all knew that I had lost them. And we all knew that we were goners.
The door crashed to the floor, and a huge gush of wind hit us like a bomb exploding. We all flew back, and hit the wall behind us. “How are we supposed to fight invisible creatures?” the same worried team member from before asked. None of us had the answer, so none of us answered. The invisible monster became visible to us. It slowly shifted into a huge, nine foot green glob. “Ewe, no wonder it stays invisible most of the time.” Mace commented. I chuckled.
As we all stood, I saw the controls on the other side of the room, behind Mr. big, green glob. “Hart,” I yelled. I kept my eyes on the controls. “I see.” She yelled back. We both knew I needed to get to the controls. “Everybody, shoot at will!” Mace yelled. All the soldiers started to light the green blob monster up. But the bullets didn’t hurt it. It got angry with every shot. The monster howled and then stormed into the troops; bodies flew all over the room. Hart covered me; she shot at the monster as I ran for the controls. But what we did not know was that there were two invisible monsters.
Once I had the controls in my hands, my back was toward Hart, her back toward mine. We were inches away from each other; she was shooting glob monster and I opened the wormhole. As soon as I did, monster number two made himself known. I must have woken it or something because it was not happy when the wormhole opened. Monster number two upper cut me, which threw me and Hart into the air and into the wormhole. The hole closed as soon as we went through it, and trapped our teammates in an unforgiving universe.
The trip through the hole was longer than the other trips. I gripped the controls in one hand and Hart in the other. It felt like we were melting, the hole was so hot. I saw Hart’s mouth open, but she didn’t make a sound. Her eyes were closed; a single tear ran down her face. She looked hurt, but I couldn’t tell. I let go of her hand to touch her face. But her body vanished right before my eyes. I screamed for her, but I didn’t make a sound. Instead, everything got dark. It was obvious that I was lost in the wormhole.
The wormhole popped me out me out in front of NASA where a team of scientists met me.
“Where’s Hart? Where is the rest of your team . . . Rodgers? Rodgers, can you hear me?” They asked as they helped me to my feet. “I-I don’t know.” I choked out and touched my head. My body was hot. I felt like I was on fire. I threw up, it was green. “I don’t feel well.” I cried.
“Don’t worry, Rodgers. We will help you.” The team of scientist took me inside.
After a day of rest, I was told everything. “We believe Hart was sent to another universe.” One scientist told me. “How? How was I sent to Earth and he was not?” I felt pressure in my chest. “We don’t know.” I stood. “You sent him there, didn’t you? You all want us dead?” I screamed. The scientists tried to calm me. “Rodgers, what are you talking about?” they asked. I cried. “Send me back, send me back in, let me save him?” A river of tears flooded my face. All I could imagine was Hart stranded alone in a universe where more monsters roamed, ready to kill. I finally calmed down. A scientist touched my shoulder. “Rodgers, you can’t go back in. We don’t know if you’ll come back.” He confessed. I was confused. “What?” The scientist sighed. “The scientists that went inside the black hole with the first set of soldiers never came back. We lost communication with them. So we sent you guys to rescue them. You’re the first human to ever exit the black hole.” It all made sense to me. “Those monsters . . . the experiments . . . it was not because our government wanted to kill us, it was because they were trying to figure a way to get home.” Everyone was confused. “We found pictures,” I pulled the pictures that I took out of my pocket and showed them. “we thought soldiers were sent there to be killed and experimented on, but they weren’t. The scientists were trying to figure a way to transform the human body, so they could get through the black hole.”
The scientists started to whisper among themselves. They all came to an agreement. “What?” I asked. “Rodgers, someone will take you home. Good job, soldier.”
Just like the scientist promised, someone took me home. During the ride, I stared out the window toward the sky. I couldn’t help but wonder where Hart was. Was she okay? Did she enter a universe with food? Was she lonely? My thoughts were interrupted by the driver. He told me that I was home. “Have a goodnight.” He said as I got out of the vehicle. I nodded my head at him and smiled. “Hey,” he yelled after me. “Don’t worry about your friend. If there is one thing scientists can do, is figure out the impossible. Always be optimistic.” I closed the car door and watched the driver drive away. I was optimistic.
I was happy to be home. It felt like I’ve been away for months. I jumped in my shower. The hot water soothed me, until I heard glass breaking in my kitchen. I slowly turned off the water, wrapped myself in my bathrobe, slowly but carefully walked into my kitchen. “Hello” I whispered. I knew I shouldn’t have whispered ‘hello.’ But strangely, I felt more at ease after doing so. I heard someone grunt. “Hello” I asked again, scared. Did one of those monsters make it through the wormhole?
“Rodgers, it’s me” I walked behind my kitchen island to see Hart on the floor. She gripped her arm in pain. I laughed, relieved. “The scientists are going to kill you when they see you tomorrow.” We both laughed, happy to see each other.