Lost In Time (part 1)

Follow the story of an eight-man crew to a planet after an SOS message was received by the earth. What happens next...


Ah! It feels so good when you are finally done with work. This is the feeling of any person who recently retired, I am still 50 and I will be working for the rest of my life. I am proud of it, my job is not very common among normal people but during my working hours, the sceneries just make my day. I think you may have guessed my profession by now, I’m an astronaut. By the way, by ‘rest of my life’ I mean until I die sadly or tragically in a rocket explosion. But no I say, I shall not die until I get back to earth. Every time in the last 18 times I visited space when everyone thought everything is lost, I made sure that everyone made it back. I did not care about cost; I literally blew up a space station once so that we could make it back… long story. I am on an eight-man crew mission on the Conqueror and we have just exited the stratosphere of the planet earth and our destination planet is the recently discovered planet named Zenith. The planet is 700 light years away from the sun previously known as SY 570943. The planet supposedly having life on it and we are to investigate and try to conquer the land.

 

Zenith or SY 570943 was first discovered in 2104 when Sieben Drowns created the world’s first Hawknium telescope and looked into space. That one great man now has the discovery of over 25 trillion stars and has over 1 million stars named after him. Of his many discoveries, the most significant one was the discovery of a blue-red planet that lied in the Andromeda galaxy but was hidden from the human sight until then. This discovery intrigued the scientists as this was the ideal planet they have always been looking for. The Syndromyn galaxy has several functioning systems with a proper functioning sun and proper gravitational effects like that of the earth. There were also several such planets that fit the description of Earth but for every planet discovered, there was a catch. SY 293070 was the perfect fit with lots of oxygen and large freshwater sources, but the problem was that the planet was too acidic for growing crops. SY 938802 was picture perfect and was an exact replica of Earth but the problem… the atmospheric pressure was deadly. The scientists have also considered SY 570943 but due to the abundance of red soil, it was rejected as a planet incapable of life. This was not a case of ignorance by the astronomers but the situation of having Sieben discovering sooooo many stars caused the astronomers to work by the second.

In 2114, ten years after its rejection, a fisherman in coastal Morocco became famous worldwide when he first, complained to his radio company that his radio was not working. Then, scientists noticing that the recording may have some meaning to it. Then, flew to Geneva with his radio and was given clear instructions not to change the tune of his radio. Eleven months later, scientists have finally found what the voice was tongue clicking in Morse! The scientists and the world grew more curious when it translated to SOS. The message was also dated to 24/04/2222. The scientists, though, found the wave again once it reflected from the Golnow galaxy. The scientists, especially every physicist alive, was awestruck when the wave travelled at approximately 10c and still lasted for 21 days. This sort of technology for a planet that was only 200 light-years away can have dangerous implications on the safety of our planet. Thus, in 2121 after checking and rechecking, the ICAST, The International Council for Astronomy and Space Technology, recruited me to go to Zenith, find any life, and try to keep peace with the aliens.

 

Thirteen months later, we reached the planet’s orbit after several months and just insight was a satellite that was revolving around the planet. The probe was dysfunctional but the properties of the gravity of the planet still cause the probe to revolve around the planet at a speed of 63.48m/s. The probe was 3,300.96 away from us. We are at 63.25m/s and 3829m away from the orbit, which means… the probe may intersect our path in about 52s. Oooooooooooh no. We are going to hit it straight in the head. I run to the main station and command to steer hard left, we should still be able to make it through without any fatal damage. Everyone and everything on the ship is thrown right. The probe is coming in sight and will hit us in 20 seconds, this is a huge mistake by the ICAST, they should have seen this and could have warned us about the density of tracking probes on the planet. The huge probe coming at us from the right got past us but scraped the side of the ship hard, sending everything back to the right. We make it through the probe with a few scratches, and I code the pilot to readjust to the main course. The conqueror was truly a very robust machine built by ICAST to truly last a very, very long mission, but the concept of going head on to a huge satellite did not cross the minds of the engineers.

Well, while we were worried about a satellite going our way, astronaut 3 spotted the identification marks on the satellite and called us all out to the window to have a look. The satellite was not ours, as in from earth, the satellite was from the planet we are visiting.  That. Was. Shocking. We look at the inscriptions on the satellite and it looks as if the satellite has been dead for a long time but has not fallen within the atmosphere yet. On the side of the satellite, we read the organization’s name, surprisingly written in plain English, ISC. We observe the satellite for longer when we see a full-fledged space station flying past us at the same speed as the other satellite, which also is the same speed at which satellites orbit the Earth. Things are getting a bit peculiar now, the satellite is marked in Earth English and now the satellites are orbiting this planet at the same speed of Earth satellites. I agree that is could be a coincidence, but what are the odds… so we investigate the space station.

The space station was unsurprisingly deserted. Luckily for us, the satellite on the station utilized the same batteries which the ICAST used, which lasted for 30 years without a recharge. We switch on the lights and explore the space station. The place was eerily similar to the standardized layout of every earth space station. Astronaut 5, our technician calls everyone out the main computer he found and manages to start it up. It takes a while for us to untangle the lumped mess of wires forced out of the computer stand. We separate the wires and manage to plug the power cable into the main plug. Plugging the main computer into the plug cause all the lights to flicker and the entire power supply to restart. In five seconds, the computer screeches, we all still have our helmets for our spacesuit on so we could barely hear it, and plays the animation for the ISC. The date on the corner of the system displayed 01/01/2222.  We were aware of the different time system of the aliens, so we were not too surprised when the date read exactly 100 years early. The system was already logged in, much to the disappointment of astronaut 1 who was ready to hack it, and showed the following options: call, records, message, SOS, eject. We did not want to mess around with the aliens which could be there on the land so we just went to the records, the only option which did not engage the aliens. The latest record of the system dated to 2200 when a group of five astronauts visited some nearby solar system to look for land to “conquer”. I then went on the check the earliest of records to see this planet’s history with space travel. The first missions recorded in the system dated to 1969 to an organization called “NASA” and was to the moon of the same planet.

This information freaked us out because the NASA, as we all knew, was the pioneering space agency on earth before the space union was created to unite all the astrologists worldwide. Just out of the Sheerest of curiosities, I go to the current date and look for missions, and much to our surprise, the missions during this time frame belonged to none other than ICAST. The mission we were on was for some reason missing but all the missions which happened after ours were recorded. Astronaut 2 starts hyperventilating and tries to send a message to the ICAST back home while I get into the lost archive file, which had to be hacked into by astronaut 5. The file had the files for only one mission which was dated to the present. We open the file and look at the names of the participating astronauts and as I expected, at the astronaut 8 column was my name, XSION PAOLSKA.

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