Beyond The Stars
In my private captain’s chamber, I looked out of the ship’s windows and stared into space, literally. I had nothing to do with my time. Months and months of space travel had made me bored and tired. I thought a space mission would be fun and exciting, but that part hadn’t come yet. After a while of thinking I decided to write in my journal. It read, “After many days of long, tiring days, we have finally reached the newly discovered Tarran galaxy. Our cutting-edge technology is the only reason we still speak today. Our spacecraft, the Thunder Bay ESC, is highly protected-pretty much indestructible- and is equipped with a wide variety of weapons such as ion cannons, plasma blasters, and seeking missiles in case we encounter any war-hungry extraterrestrials. Our scientists have even invented a hyperdrive device, making it capable for our ship to hit 500,000 miles per second, making this trip a little less boring. Our communication links are extremely fast, reaching earth from our location trillions and trillions of miles away, in less than a minute. Nothing could possibly touch us.” I looked back down at my journal. I wasn’t entirely sure about that last sentence. After all, we were the guinea pigs of out-of-system space travel. We were to look throughout the surrounding galaxies for alien life and activity. The project was called Find Martian and they sent only the best of the best. I still had no idea what we were going to go against. We were the first people to be out this far, and no one knew what was out there. I went back and scribbled out the last sentence. I was so bored. When will there be any action?
I called in to HQ.“We are now on the outskirts of the system, with no signs of life so far. It is extremely hard to navigate in. There are lots of asteroids, meteors, and space debris flying around us. We are taking evasive maneuvers. Gees, the pilot needs to renew his flying license. He’s driving me crazy. Okay, enough joking around. We are now nearing the center of this wasteland. Everything is revolving around this strangely looking planet. It seems that this “Thing” is the center of this galaxy. We are getting a scan on this planet. Good news, there could be signs of life. Even more shocking, it looks exactly like a tennis ball! We’ve done a scan and the results show that it has a rubber core and yellow fabric, but it is over one quadrillion times larger. This is insane. Oh my gosh! This can’t be real. This is….” I was cut short by a huge explosion. “Oh no, we’ve been hit by an asteroid! Our hull has taken a beating. I don’t know if we can survive this.” I cut the conversation and started yelling orders to my men. “All power to the front shields. We’re going in. Oh, come on! Now we have system malfunctions? Land on the planet! What, are those lasers coming from the planet’s surface? You have got to be kidding me. The planet’s inhabitants are opening fire on us, but why. Ugh, I hate this job. We’re at the mercy of these aliens. Brace yourself, men, we’re going to crash land on the surface.” There was a huge explosion and the world went black.
“Ugh, where am I? Ow, my ankle!” I sit up and look around. Who are these people? They look exactly like us, except their feet are claw-like, probably to hook on to the planet’s felt-like cover. I tried to walk up to an alien and start a conversation but yelled out in pain when I put weight on my leg. The nearest alien looked at me curiously but quickly understood. He walked up to me and put a splint on my ankle. He started to talk with me. He said his name is Kyron. Wow, I thought. These aliens speak English. He tells me that this is the planet Atthas. He said his planet’s ruler saw the crash and will repair our ship, but only if we share our knowledge. I didn’t trust him at all, but I went with him to discuss matters. I ask him “Okay, Kyron, tell me the reason your people fired on us.” He says, “Our people are very superstitious because we have been constantly attacked by neighboring planets and we didn’t want to take any chances.” Sure, sure. I still didn’t trust him, but I was starving. I asked him if there was anything to eat. He says he will come back with a meal. As I wait, I think about my crew’s future. Are these people hostile, or are they friendly? My thoughts were interrupted when Kyron came back with a huge steak, a plate of fruit, and a roll of bread with butter. He set it down and gave me a goblet filled with a strange liquid. He says, “This drink is called Prol Mead. We took the Vikings traditional drink and modified it to our liking. You can imagine anything and the drink will taste exactly how you want it to.” I didn’t know how they knew about Norse mythology, but it smelled great. I thanked him for the meal and sat down to eat. The food was delicious. The steak was tender and juicy, very well marinated. The bread and fruit were 5 stars. The mead tasted like I wanted it to, sparkling fruit juice. I was very impressed and envious of these people. It is not fair. They get restaurant quality food while I have to eat dehydrated junk day in and day out. After eating, I lay down and took a nap.
Zzzzzzzzzz….. Huh? I wake up to find Kyron’s head looking over me. “Hello, Kyron,” I said, “I am ready to share the earth’s knowledge with the king.” He escorted me to the ruler’s palace. The building was covered in jewels and gold. The throne room was even more magnificent. All the riches imaginable covered and lined the ceiling and walls. The king was dressed in expensive and luxurious clothing. I bowed to him, and shared everything I knew. I told him about the geography of the land, the civilizations, the technology, the people and many other things. I knew it was risky, but it was a chance I had to take. The king looked at me with strong concentration and tried to take in all the information that had been given to him. He said, “Very well, your ship shall be fixed today. I wish you safe travels and good health. However, I shall not support you starting from tomorrow on. You are on your own then.” I thanked him for his consideration and left with Kyron. I told him that I would like to talk to my crew in private and he agreed. I told my crew “We are leaving tonight no matter what. Everybody understand?” They called out “Yes, sir!” and went back to their work.
In a couple of hours, the ship was ready for take off. I thanked Kyron and the king for helping us and told my crew to man the ship. We were just about to take off when suddenly an explosion rocks the planet. “The planet is under attack. Everybody run!” I looked up and saw billions of armed bug creatures flying out from a dimension portal. They outmanned the planet’s inhabitants 10 to 1. I told my crew “They helped us, now we should help them.” We grabbed our equipment and got in action. I imagined signing my death warrant as I ran into battle.
The battle went south almost immediately. We dispatched a couple of the weak ones, but reinforcements were coming in fast. This time they were twice as strong and armed with technology that humans could only imagine having. Our weapons were getting drained and we hadn’t even taken one of them down yet. I couldn’t believe that there was a world more sophisticated than earth. I wondered what shape we would be in even if we got out of this alive. I wasn’t helping my chances because my men were getting shot down left and right. “Sir, wake up!”, one of my officers yelled. “We only had a couple guys left on their feet.” I told the survivors “Listen up, I know you want to help them, I want to help them, too. Nevertheless, this is for our own safety. We have to leave now.” With lots of screaming and flames in the background, we ran into the ship and the pilot reluctantly started the engine and we blasted off from the planet.
In space, I looked down at the planet that had shown us so much hospitality, blowing up in striking colors of red and orange. I felt terrible as we sped away from the burning planet below.