Saturday, September 13, 2014

Star Voyager

(Quite often I will start out a new book or story in first person point of view. During rewrites I'll change it to the more normal third person viewpoint. This piece is no exception and it beginning to look like something. The initial bits of this I wrote down right after a dream I had during a nap. I've been adding small bits over the last few days. I'm kind of looking forward to seeing where they land and what they're going to do.)

I’d been the first to wake up. We were supposed to land on Europa and drill into the ice covering. It would be the first time the moon had ever been explored by humans. At least that’s what they wanted. For two days I checked the readouts and looked the hull over.

When I first awoke the air smelled stale. I got used to it though and now began to try to ignore it.

I thought I could feel a shudder under my feet. It was almost imperceptible and I knew I shouldn't be feeling anything out here between Mars and Jupiter. My pulse quickened and my wrist health monitor began to go off. I peered at every single thing near me in the ship. Looking around I couldn’t see any reason so I couldn't explain it. There has to be a reason? Am I going crazy?

They had done a great job of making us hyper aware during training. Then again, I realized, I might be a bit paranoid which the shrinks explained to us might happen the expedition. The hull hadn’t been breached or I'd see anything loose being pulled toward the opening in the skin. There hadn’t been any burns either to add acceleration or change direction. The craft should have been floating along in the void. In two days I’d be waking my fellow astronauts sleeping soundly and in about a week we should all be reaching Europa.

Then I looked out the small window in the side of the space craft. All of the stars I could see appeared as streaks. I ran to the monitors and gazed at them barely able to understand the words “No Signal” blinking back at me. “What the hell?” I muttered under my breath.

I should be on the earth side of Jupiter so there shouldn’t be anything to interrupt the signal I realized. Flipping to the telemetry readout to double check where I was at. It showed me where the craft should be in relation to the rest of the solar system. I should still have ten million miles to go but that wasn’t what was happening. The numbers on the distance readout were changing so quickly they were blurring. And they were growing larger.

Right now I longed to return to earth but it wasn't possible to do so. The spacecraft was being pulled to some new place inexorably. Then it hit me. Why don't I spin the craft around and execute a burn of a few seconds? "After I try this I'll get both of you up," I said to my still hibernating crew members even though they couldn't hear me.

My first thought was that I would need to see any results quickly. Hitting the blue button on the console the images on the LCD screens changed to the exterior of the craft. Streaks of light I knew were stars filled the image.

I sat down at the console and grabbed the pair of small joy sticks. In order to turn the craft I knew I should be able to hit both red buttons on the ends and then move the sticks in opposite directions. Closely staring at screen I hoped. There was no response in the craft.

It still hurtled at too high a speed to wherever it was going. Breathing a heavy sigh I let loose of the joy sticks and mulled it over. I want a drink! Unless I could convert my urine to alcohol that wasn't happening though. The equipment would only turn it into water that I would be drinking once more.

My two crew members were just coming as the streaks on the screen became visible as individual stars.

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