Science Fiction Adventure

Lost Connection

“Houston, we have a problem! This is Stargazer. Do you read me?”

“I’m sorry, commander, but all I’m picking up is static on every channel. I can’t even raise the ISS.”

“The ISS is on the other side of the planet, so it makes sense we won’t be able to contact them if the Earth’s relays are down. We should be able to achieve line-of-sight communications with them in 17 minutes. Keep trying Space-X command central. In the meantime, does anyone have a theory about that inky black anomaly we just flew through?”

All but one crewmember shook their heads no. The youngest person on board appeared lost in his laptop and unaware of his surroundings. During their lengthy training, the young man had gained the nickname Sheldon because of his obsession with trying to understand the time-space continuum. He stopped typing and looked around the capsule, realizing everyone was staring at him.

“I’m sure you all remember that asteroid NASA blew up last month. The anomaly you are referring to is in the exact location where the explosion occurred. I know you’re all going to laugh, but I think it tore a hole in the fabric of space and time and we passed right through it. We might be somewhere in the future or in the past. I really can’t tell which one it is right now.”

“Okay, does anyone else have a theory that’s less Sci-Fi and more real life?” the captain asked.

Once again, silence reigned.

“Look, I know this sounds as though I’ve lost my mind, but consider the facts for a moment,” said the young man. “Normally on flights to the ISS what do people report seeing outside? They talk about lights shining up from Earth, orbiting satellites, and space junk. What can you see right now? No lights from the dark side of Earth, no space junk, nothing orbiting but us. We should be able to see the ISS in 2 minutes, but I don’t think we will.”

When he finished, everyone on board unstrapped and floated to the nearest porthole, anticipating the ISS to come into view. Time seemed to slow to a crawl as the ship approached the location where the space station should be visible. It wasn’t there. All they could see was the blackness of space perforated by starlight. Everyone looked back at Sheldon, waiting to hear what might come next.

The young man looked at his fellow astronauts for several seconds, then nodded to the captain as if asking for his permission to speak. “Go ahead,” said the man in charge. “I’m as curious as the rest.”

“Think of space and time as a sheet and blanket covering a bed. One covers the other and normally moves together as one. If the sheet, space for this example, develops a hole, you now have access through the hole directly to the blanket or time. The explosion caused a tear in space, but not in time. When we entered the anomaly, we traveled a long time until we found another hole in space to glide through. If Tina, our resident astrophysicist, can check the positions of the constellations, we might determine whether we went back in time or forward.”

Everyone sprung into action, letting their training take over. Tina charted the stars while Garret, the flight engineer, checked the ship’s systems for any damage that may have occurred during the space-time jump. Norah inventoried provisions and life support while captain Zackery coordinated the duties as he piloted the ship. That left Sheldon and Beth, the crew’s medical officer, to work out how to return home.

In less than an hour, everyone gathered in the main cabin and exchanged information. Tina told the crew that according to how the stars were positioned, they were somewhere near the beginning of the 8th century B.C. Garret reported the ship sustained no physical damage, but electronic navigation systems were useless without ground links or GPS satellites. Norah said if they rationed, there was enough food for 10 days, but air would run out in 7. The captain told his crew they might have enough fuel to return to the correct tear, but if it didn’t work, they would be adrift forever. Then they all turned to Sheldon for his report.

The boy genius quoted astronomical odds of ever finding the correct time and space to re-enter their exact crossover point. Their best chance to survive would be to land in the past and learn how to survive on an Earth that was as foreign to them as landing on Mars. That was the end of any further discussions.

Stargazer looked like a chariot of fire as it streaked across the early morning sky. A tail of white smoke stretched behind the craft for miles. The spaceship announced its return to earth with an ear-splitting sonic boom that was heard by humans and animals alike. People reacted by either running out of their huts to view the strange phenomenon or scrambling for shelter and cowering with fear. Either way, they knew this was a spectacle created by the gods.

Zackery landed safely on the shores of the Aegean Sea. The crew cautiously cracked the hatch and took their first breath of ancient air. One by one, they took their first steps on a planet that was home, but as unfamiliar as Europa might be. Distant noises were indistinguishable from any of the sounds they were used to hearing. What was clear was that they had a lot of work ahead of them.

The crew was assigned specific duties involving stripping the ship of anything useful. Next, they destroyed what was left of the spacecraft. It was important not to leave any trace of their time for others to find, which might distort future time. The new arrivals roamed the countryside familiarizing themselves with many plants and animals that had been extinct centuries before they were born. Because of the way they arrived and their use of technology that wouldn’t be invented for several millennia, the spacemen were considered gods by the local humans. Eventually, the crew established homes on Mount Olympus. Today we know these space explorers by the names the ancients gave them: Zeus, Athena, Hephaestus, Hestia, Demeter, and Apollo.

February 07, 2023 19:49

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Mary Bendickson
02:24 Mar 17, 2023

Yes, you are a creator.


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Douglas W. Carr
15:10 Feb 16, 2023

I loved the concept and could clearly imagine being one of the six. Nice work.


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