Science Fiction

"Callisto Base to Genesis, Commander DeSanto, telemetry shows you approaching the last dwarf planet, Eris. Can you give us a status update, before final prep?" Commander Miguel DeSanto turned to his co-pilot, Captain Sandra Niccola, "This is it, Sandy, we're the intergalactic pioneers, the first explorers to leave the solar system." Sandra Niccola tossed her long black hair as she turned to flash her stunning smile at the commander, "Can't believe we're finally here. So many years, seems like yesterday we left Olympus Base on Mars to travel to Jupiter's moon."

"Genesis to Callisto Base, colonists are in stasis and stable over the last 72 hours. Everything is operating normally, no problems noted, systems op are peak. The crew will begin assigned stages to stasis over the next week, while we maintain systems and check headings for Proxima Centauri."

"Callisto Base to Genesis, acknowledged. Good luck, Commander, we will continue monitoring. We're going to be experiencing communication delays soon. Callisto Base out."

"Acknowledged Callisto Base, Genesis out, boldly going forth into the long night."


Jennie O'Brien, ComSat Specialist, United Deep Space Command, removed her ear piece, shaking her head slowly, her blonde ponytail wagging with the movement. She sighed, turning to Jake, the dark haired kid who still seemed to young to be a NavEngineer, "Hard to believe we'll never talk with the crew again." Jake turned toward her, his large green eyes distant, "Amazing we still don't know with all the advancements in ion-gravity engines how long it will take them to reach Proxima. Forty years, maybe as much as eighty."

Callisto Base was alive with activity around them as they tracked the Deep Space Ship Genesis out past the edge of the solar system, the four dwarf planets, Pluto, Haumea, Makemake and Eris, now twinkling in Genesis' rear sensors.

Jennie stood and stretched, looking out the domed tower and seeing the majestic curve of Jupiter, filling much of the space behind them as their moon, Callisto, hurtled around the outer side of the gas giant from the sun, in its outermost orbit of the larger satellites.


Four days later, June 14, 2174, Jason Breen, Cryostasis Engineer, Deep Space Command, was running analysis on the colony cryo-pods from the Command Center. Banks of compscreens displayed internal pod temperatures, atmospheric pressure, and bio-med readings throughout the 10 attached colony saucers each holding 50 individual cryo-pods; the future colonists of Proxima Centauri Prime. Scientific odds said there had to be other inhabitable planets out there. Deep Space Command was banking on it; humankind was optimistic about it.

With all systems still running peak, Jason tripped the intercom, "Commander, Jason in cryo." "Go ahead, Jay," Commander DeSanto replied. "We're still condition green, Mitch, we can start cycling the crew into cryo tomorrow." "Roger that," the Commander clipped off.

Several days later, Commander Miguel "Mitch" DeSanto strode easily onto the bridge. He could not get over the forward screen view of deep space stretched out in front of them. No heavenly bodies in view, no asteroids or moons, space stations or other ships. The darkness of space was a figment of the human mind long before this mission. Space was depth and color and twinkling lights and nebulas splashed across the viewscreens. Mitch took the command chair, settling his 6' muscular frame easily into the shock-cushioned seat. He was alone on the bridge. He reached forward and thumbed the log button.

"Commander's Log, Thursday, June 22nd, 2174, 1624 hours GMT, for transmission to Callisto Base, Jupiter Deep Space Operations. This is Commander Miguel DeSanto, Deep Space Command Vessel Genesis, 12 days out from Eris, the edge of our solar system. After departure from Jupiter orbit, all colonists were placed in cryo-stasis over a period of two days. 500 colonists bound for Proxima Centauri Prime a planet we hope can be inhabited when we arrive, several decades from now. All ship's navigation and life support functions have been checked and triple checked by the crew. Every test we can think of has been run and the ship continues to operate at optimum levels. We are happy beyond belief; the next great human adventure awaits and no one left behind will ever know if we are ultimately successful."

"Captain Niccola and I have supervised the remainder of the crew into stasis, along with Lieutenant Jason Breen. Tomorrow, the captain and I will enter stasis under the lieutenant's care and he will finally place himself in cryo. The ship's command computer will take over functions of the ship and if all our experiments prove true, will automatically awaken Lieutenant Breen as the program recognizes our approach into the Proxima Centauri star system."


Finally, after everyone else has been administered the several drugs necessary for a long cryo-sleep and I finished sealing and monitoring the commander and the captain's vitals while cryo set in, I must make my final preparations to sleep for several decades.

First I spend several hours running diagnostics on the system and vitals on the pod inhabitants. Colonists have been stable for a couple of weeks now; crew for a couple of days, and one last check on the pilots. The drink I took earlier to help thicken and semi-coagulate my blood and neural fluids for the long sleep is making me a little sluggish and I run one last scan over all my individual pod systems. My pod is slightly different than the rest. I have an internal dashboard I will use to administer the final atmospherics into my pod to complete the cryo-stasis state and render my self dreamless for the next several decades, while keeping my body nourished. Time will tell if we were right about the length of time the body can survive this treatment, and if we will find another planet we can inhabit, or even life among the stars.

I climb into my pod, lying back, flat in the cushioned gel couch, form-fitted to each individual physique. I close the lid from the control dashboard and sequence the toggles and buttons which will complete the cryo-atmosphere. And like that, the dark horizon creeps across my consciousness and I am journeying into the long dark night.

October 02, 2020 21:49

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