Hazy New World

Submitted into Contest #8 in response to: Write a story about an adventure in space. ... view prompt


Science Fiction

The darkness was so different in space, when I opened my eyes all I could see was the blinking red light that reminded me it was time to get up. I rolled back and forth, with the sun being millions of miles away it was harder for my body to wake itself up even though this one was the day my entire life was going to change. I pushed the red button and the dark rectangle that looked like any other wall with nothing on it phased away and Saturn appeared. The button was now green, and I yet again got to wake up to see Saturn instead of the Sun. It was an image I could never grow tired of watching Saturn in its infinite glory all the secrets it kept hidden for billions of years. The clouds moved along the most breathtaking gas giant and the rings so vivid and close I feel like I could reach out the window and grasp them. The pictures do not do it justice and the sounds of the massive planet put me at peace. My team is beginning the first ever human voyage to Titan to explore and map the moon in all of its entirety. Earth is becoming more unstable and life as we know it will cease to exist if we do not find another place to live. After the Mars massacre, NASA wanted to make sure we knew exactly what was going on before we allowed humans colonize another planet, in this case moon. There was a lot weighing on my shoulders as captain of Celestial Spectre, all the plans and ideas running through my head as I went to my post in the observation deck. I pulled the shade to reveal Saturn and Titan, the orange moon forever tidal locked with Saturn, only showing one side of its face to the planet. It makes me wonder what is hidden on that dark side. There were different filters we could apply to see the different colors of the universe as well as telescope on screen, which zooms into any area to reveal what is really hiding in the darkness of the naked eye. There is 360-degree view of the surrounding darkness, my focus was Titan and the anticipation of starting our surveying was nerve racking, how can my crew sleep so long? I said to myself. The haze of the moon was swirling around, it was hypnotic everything I had worked so hard for was laying right in front of me. I wanted to unlock every secret this solar system was hiding then move on to the Milky Way. Steve tapped me on the shoulder broke that trance, “Rachel I’m surprised you didn’t leave us on the ship and go down yourself.” I laughed, “Don’t think it didn’t cross my mind!” I grabbed the equipment list for the first touchdown on the moon to make sure the probe was all ready to go. “Dawson is the probe ready for today?” Dawson was the computer system that was built into the ship for us to communicate with, his knowledge base was vast, but he was limited as we were about what we were to expect on Titan. “Yes” Dawson replied. “Haven’t you quadruple checked that list?” asked Steve. “Yes, Steve I have, I wouldn’t be a good captain if I didn’t.” He smiled, “Waiting for everyone to wake up.” I smiled slyly, “Ugh! Is that obvious!” It was his turn to laugh, “I figured that’s why I woke them up before coming up to check on you.” I couldn’t stop smiling, “You are the best!”  The twins, Marcus and Mia, were the first to emerge from the dorm corridors. “We are awake,” said Marcus. “And ready to go,” as she yawned said Mia. The mechanical genius, Nikki, was the last to emerge, “Ready to go!” she said with pep. “That’s what I liked to hear. Let’s Go!” I said. I was the last one to get on the probe.


Descending through the haze of Titan’s atmosphere was so exciting as well as completely terrifying as we did not know if the probe would make it through and still be able to take us back to the ship. It was designed by Nikki to not only fly through space, but to be a land rover and a submarine for any oceans or lakes we discovered. So much was running back and forth in my head I couldn’t get a grip on any of it, I was excited I wanted to scream but I had to keep my composure as a good captain. We descended through the clouds getting samples of them along the way and having DAWSON analyze them. The clouds started to thin and that’s when I saw it. A colossal ocean that was as giant as the Atlantic and Pacific put together, there were n ranges which didn’t reach the clouds but were still steep. There were rivers that lead to the Titanic Ocean, which I just named it. Past some of the mountains were lakes that could hold so many possibilities. Humans could get another chance here. “Look” I whispered to them I couldn’t bear to look away from the window, it was like a picture I always had in my head and to see it with my own eyes it was amazing. Valleys and areas covered with some type of alien florae, it was all just waiting to be explored. The probe came to safe landing with no damage to the craft at all, once it was secure to get out, I ran for the door. I wanted to be the first one to step foot on Titan, dreams really do come true. Each of us was equipped with a special suit specifically designed for the surface of Titan, again created by Nikki. Dust storms are a possibility on this moon so each suit has an outline in a neon color that will make us visible to the other crew members, I was pink, Steve was orange, the twins were light and dark green, and Nikki was blue. Each of us looked around where we landed and again how small we felt. It would take centuries to map everything on Titan, so we started with the immediate area to see if it was habitable. Once this region was down, we would extend out until all of Titan was printed on a map, so people could find the areas they wanted to start their new lives in. The region that faced away from Saturn was my personal interest, but I know that wouldn’t be smart to start there. “Let’s begin right here and call this region Home for now until we learn more about it.” My crew agreed and we start to unpack along with setting up a small camp for us to continue research and sleep. DAWSON alerted me when I was moving equipment, “There’s movement at the lower range of the mountains, I am unable to detect what it is other than it is alive.” I quickly equipped my hydrogen rifle using the recon scope was able to see exactly what the creature looked like. A three limbed creature with a thick fur covering its entire body, it was watching us with its three set of eyes. It had large set of teeth at its abdomen area and it appeared that it was sniffing the air with its tentacle/limb. “2 o’clock Steve.” He already had his rifle powered and aiming right that the creature. “Tell me when” Steve whispered toward my direction. I stood there for what felt like hours just observing I didn’t want to make the mistake of shooting a new life form. I decided in that moment, “we need a closer look.” I started to climb the mountain slowly keeping my eye on the creature while Steve watching the surrounding, so we didn’t get ambushed by anything else. A low humming filled my ears as I was looking at the beast, I took a chance and lowered my rifle. “Stay close Steve, but do not attack.” Steve responded by stopped and setting up by a rock just in case I was wrong. I knelt on one knee and extended my hand hoping it took the gesture as friendly and not threatening. It started to move; the limbs moved across the smaller rocks like an octopus shifting along the ocean floor. The fur was a deep purple and it slithered toward me. It took all my willpower to not runaway screaming with complete fear, but that would alarm it putting my team in danger. I took a deep breath, slowly opened my eyes to see it standing right in front of me. It was about three feet tall with three eyes that were bright orange and square. It never blinked the whole time I watched it and even when it was in front of me.

Suddenly, the thing started to glide away again, but this time it was headed to ocean we had seen when we landed. I started to chase after it with only having three limbs it moved rather quickly. The land began to dip down slightly and then gradually it went farther down until we reached the beach area. The ocean was like of Earth with waves and currents. A huge wave came crashing down and I swear I caught a glimpse of sea creature from my nightmares. It had fins poking out for every direction and a long narrow mouth. I turned to look back at Steve, whose face was as pale as mine. “It’s like the Jurassic period here with all of these different types of animals.” Steve replied once he saw the monster that lurked in the waves. “Is this a good idea Captain?” Mia asked. “We need somewhere to start. Keep your eyes open and guns charged.” We rounded the corner where these cliffs ahead were sharp that’s when I noticed a cave with a blue hue coming from it. “Over there!” I shouted to my team. The Titan fur stopped at the mouth of the cave and pointed its tentacle at the entrance. “Stay here at the entrance Marcus and Mia.” They both nodded with their rifles in hand. Steve, Nikki, and I started to walk through the cave looking at all the amazing purples and blues that covered the walls of the fissure. We followed the blue hue which lead toward a metal door, “this is the last thing I expected to see.” Steve replied, “yeah I was ready for certain death.” I opened the door and there was another thing I least expected to see even more so than a door on a moon that orbited Saturn. There were hand drawings and notes everywhere on the walls. There was a partial map hanging on another wall with BEWARE OF THE DARK CREATURES and drawings of regions we hadn’t seen yet. Nearby were journals that were filled with descriptions of creature and tree-like foliage. One tree was completely twisted from the root and when grown would drop this blue oval that would explode once it hit the ground. The author of these diaries Mr. Seymour Dates described its reaction because of the methane in the ground would mix with what the fruit was made of which he still was unable to figure out. Under some other papers was a fold out map of an area that was dark that he referred to as Nix Valley, the area was so dark with no light and a drawing of a creature that was 25-30 feet tall. A description of the creature he encountered there:

“The biggest creature I have encountered since I started exploring

Titan, I haven’t had the nerve to explore the ocean yet,

The largest land animal if you can call it that. His skin was

White like death with eyes that were cloudy as well

It does use its eyes to see but it uses all of it senses to get

Around. It has bones protruding from his head and along

Its back. Its arms dragged across the floor while still haven’t

Gotten close enough to see any sort of lower extremities.

It mimics gentle sounds and ones in pain to lure in other animals

That walk around on the surface. Nix valley is located underneath the mountain range

And some flatlands. It never comes up to the surface only can

Be seen when finding its hidden caves along the mountains

Where I first landed.

Accompanying to the short description was a sketch of what the monster looked like and it was like a giant snake and dinosaur mixed together and was kept from the sun. “We need to find this monster; our job is so important. If this is here, we can’t bring humans to live here.” I said to Steve and Nikki. Nikki was as pale as a ghost and Steve just stood there unable to say anything. I noticed the door slowly opening and I aimed my rifle right at the opening. The Titan fur was standing there, and I immediately grew concerned for the twins, “I’m going to distract it, you both go for the twins. Make sure they are safe.” I ordered. Then the furry creature took its head off and a man was there inside a giant costume. “Thank you for not shooting me, it took me a while to build this costume.” Said Seymour Dates. “We need to talk.” I responded with, “Where are the twins?” We all raced to the entrance of the cave.

September 26, 2019 15:19

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