Greetings everyone. I continuing the in-depth look into passages of my works. The previous series of blogs I feature my first project “Avenging Knights.” Today it is Astronomical turn. This is a pure science fiction book that deals with the horrors of arrogance in deep space. So with that theme in mind here is a excerpt, enjoy and comment please and don’t hold back.
The enemies of Earth did not do so at all in this story.
Present time; mission on the uncharted planet
Both astronauts were in complete silence to their astonishment on the unknown world that they affectionately, but arrogantly, named Lincoln 5. The purple like color of the hills were a sight. The iridescent plant life of green stems and orange flowery tips would make Dr. Seuss green with envy of such colorization. The ground was solid. Not even a hint of moisture was felt as he walked the soil heading towards the buildings in the distant background. Sgt. Crawford instinctively pulled out her recorder and took various samples of the air and dirt. All readings were reported as normal, well at least life sustaining normal. She did notice a high concentration of iron and mercury in the soil along with an unknown alloy. The cool breeze was a comfort to her as she turned to her Commander. He stood surveying the countryside. “Everything is a go Colonel but there are high readings of iron, mercury and some unidentified alloy in the soil.”
Col. Harrison was taken back a little from the initial report due to the unknown element located in the ground. This wasn’t unusual to encounter such readings, especially when visiting a new world. The difference was that they were in another galaxy. The rules of exploration were now being rewritten as they conducted their mission. “Well, just keep performing readings every fifteen minutes,” replied Col. Harrison as his forehead wrinkled from a sick sensation in his lower stomach. Also, perform internal scans on me as well as yourself to make sure we aren’t affected by this. If any new readings of chemicals show up, inform me immediately. Send a message back to the ship via written. At this point, I want to continue radio silence.”
Both of them walked towards the distant buildings as the alien sky started to become darker. Sgt. Crawford stared up and realized that the planet had two suns. However, the current temperature was like a normal Spring day back home. Col. Harrison caught her mute reaction to such an occurrence but said nothing. In truth, the Amaco hadn’t finished any of their readings of the atmosphere. Hopefully, after the full scans and analysis were completed, they could get a clear picture of Lincoln 5’s climate. Both the Colonel and Sergeant found no other traces of life on the world with the exception of scattered plant life. The vivid yet poignant tones of the straight, firm flowers were a sight to behold. Col. Harrison decided to stop and actually attempt to smell the flowers. He knew it was a risk but as an explorer, risk is part of his duty. He just didn’t want his nose to fall off or anything tragic to such notion.
“You are bold Commander,” chuckled Sgt. Crawford as she stood right next to him. “Our scanners are working slowly so if you smell something not to your likings, I suggest you stop.”
“I see your point,” remarked a smiling Col. Harrison as his response was also masked with seriousness. “But if I can withstand an alien ambush in our solar system, I think a scent of an outer-galaxy flower won’t scare me off so simply.”
“That level arrogance can get you—well lets just say you would be under those flowers.”
He ignored her barbed statement, knelt down and placed his nose at least 2 inches away from the head of the plant. It’s purple like petals bounced in the cool breeze but he smelled nothing. In fact there were no distinct aromas either of them could pick up during their brief tour. Sgt. Crawford noticed her scanning device losing power and then suddenly, it died completely.
“Commander,” spoke Sgt. Crawford as she stared at the lifeless device. “My scanner is out. I don’t understand why. It was fully functional seconds ago.”
Col. Harrison stood up and extended his hand towards his shipmate. Crawford gave him the device. He began to open it up to take a closer examination. It was dead. In fact the power source was totally drained of energy. With notice, he grabbed his device and the same result, both were powerless.
“What the fuck?” snapped the Commander as he smashed his fist unto his scanner device. “Can you contact the ship?”
Sgt. Crawford then opened her Commlink and viewed only three yellow bars. “Well sir, we can send typed messages but no voice. Should we still continue radio silence?”
They both proceeded on as Col. Harrison placed the unknown plant into his bag for later studying. His fingers gently opened as the plant dropped into his carry bag. His eyes attempted to focus as sweat began to form on the right side of his upper brow. He stared to his right and a structure that he hadn’t noticed before was in the near distance. It was a triangular shaped building but the color was difficult to distinguish from such a distance. If he wasn’t aware of his current position, he could have sworn he was in ancient Kemet, staring at a pyramid.
“I see it too Robert,” exclaimed Sgt. Crawford. “This is odd and beyond any rational understanding.”
“What’s to understand?” asked Col. Harrison as he turned and faced his companion. “We need to continue on and……”
“Correct, but just in case, —-keep your gun handy.”
The hike to the unknown structure was a long one. It appeared to be such a long hike that both explorers’ backsides were drenched in sweat. The heat was rising steadily each minute as the distant sun gave much authority. The Commander’s nose itched a little. A smell of pepper and violets filled the air more and more as they moved closer to their destination. The purple like trees became larger and the ground became softer as each step gave them pause for caution. It was very quiet. There was no sound, not even from the small breeze that gave a little comfort to them. Crawford surveyed the area as her eyes twitched a little. Her right hand grasped her gun but still kept it at bay. Her chest was beating fast and sweat ran towards her neck as dryness now inhabited her throat.
She wanted to drink so badly.
The realization came to them both like a shared dream of looking for buried treasure. The structure was still afar. They took many steps and were walking for the past thirty minutes with no luck. It appeared as if the building itself moved several paces back as they moved closer. The air then began to pick up. Their noses began to twitch as a stingily stench of red pepper filled the air. The smell caused their eyes to water until small droplets of tears rolled down the front of their cheeks nearing their outer lips. Both in unison wiped their wet faces with their free hands. Commander glared with one eye opened forward and his companion closed both of her eyes. The wind became stronger.
In sheer amazement, both were thrown down onto the hardened ground. The tender soil moved beneath their tattered bodies. Unbeknownst to them, the structure started to fade then just disappeared completely. The air became calm again as the scent of pepper left like it wasn’t even a factor to their discomfort.
He just stared with total surprise. No words were uttered as he looked forward to nothing. He knew this wasn’t a dream or an illusion. Sgt. Crawford then whispered, “I think we need to leave.”
“No, we can’t. You saw the building,” Col. Harrison asked strongly!
“Yes, I think I did, but—-there’s no fucking way it could have disappeared,” retorted Sgt. Crawford. “It’s not feasible Robert.”
He ignored her advice. He wasn’t going anywhere. This was a major mystery that needed to be solved. He wanted to know if what they saw was real. He needed to find out without delay. Time in this part of the galaxy was an indefinite equation, but so was their immediate safety.
“We are moving on, that’s an order Crawford.”
“Yes, of course Sir.”
It was decided rather quickly in his mind, the refusal to run but more importantly the less regard for their lives. This could turn dangerous. Even their next few steps could be precarious. The strange environment, along with the unpredictable weather, could be a forewarning. He continued to ponder these factors as both walked on towards the supposed site of the structure.
In minutes, they made it.
The field was empty with numerous gray color stones scattered across the red grassy fields. The stones ranged from all sizes. They were smaller than his hands and nearly up to Sgt. Crawford’s waistline. He read the readings from his recorder. There were no signals of harmful radiation. In fact, there were no readings at all since they began walking through the unknown world. Sgt. Crawford was somewhat tired from their hike and took the liberty to sit on one of the larger rocks. She took out a flask of water and began to drink as if she hadn’t had any fluids for days at a time.
“Oh yes, we can stop for a bit,” chuckled the Commander.
“Sorry Colonel, I was thirsty,” remarked a smiling Sgt. Crawford. “My mind took full command just for a second.”
Col. Harrison followed suit and sat on a nearby rock adjacent to his companion. He too began to drink but not as feverishly as his crew member. He was finally at ease but still wondered, what on Earth was happening to them.
“I’m beginning to think our senses were playing tricks,” spoke Col. Harrison as he took a deep breath staring opposite Sgt. Crawford. “Well, it doesn’t matter for now. We can at least take some more soil samples of the area before going back.”
“Agreed Sir,” replied Sgt. Crawford. “My instrument is starting to function properly. It appears as if this area is free of the magnetic interference for some odd reason.”
“Commander, reply over.”
Col. Harrison grabbed his communicator in preparation of ill news due to the abrupt end to radio silence.
The news was as bad as he feared.
“What’s going on Catfish? Over.”
“Sir, there is a small solar storm approaching the planet,” exclaimed Lt. Greer. “Our readings of Lincoln 5 atmosphere are that it won’t be able to withstand the radiation. In essence, y’all about to be fried in about 20 minutes.”
“OK, fine, understood,” retorted a short Col. Harrison. “We are heading back; over and out.”
“I wish we could have done a full planetary survey,” spoke Sgt. Crawford in a disappointed tone.
“Not without a planetary survey team. We have at least six months to complete our mission, not six years.”
“I know Sir. Won’t get a debate from me on this one.”
“Yeah,” remarked the Commander as he placed his communicator back into his side pouch. His eyes slanted towards his right. For some reason, he felt the need to look. He glanced at a circular rock that was a brownish color with purple like vegetation growing on top of its surface. It was an odd sight. It was funny how they had missed it initially, but he wanted to walk over to it. It was almost like some energy was pulling his attention towards it. Strange, but he soon followed.
He started to walk over to the strange rock as Sgt. Crawford called out his name. She was extremely confused over this current action. It was like her voice was in a vacuum tunnel, very faint and almost nonexistent. His nose tinged a little from a strong pepper like scent that invaded the air. The wind began to pick up again. A medium sized breeze, not like the one they had encountered earlier, but peculiar just like this object head. He was nearing it as a low hum pierced his ears. Almost like a small child, a girl seemed to be humming a nursery rhyme in both of his ears. Both of his hands rubbed his ears as he reached his target place. His companion’s voice was now gone like a scream in the void of space. He looked down and saw a stone book embattled into the surface of the rock. It looked to be an ancient book of languages that appeared like zig zag lines with black dots in some type of order just above each broken line. Nothing he’d seen before. It was not even close to old Earth language or even to the old guard idiom of Mars. Then in wonder, a light grew out of the book. A yellow like radiance spread out then in all quickness, morphed into a thin line laser. Suddenly the lasers shot directly into his eyes. They beamed right into his pupils. His head became cloudy. Harrison lost awareness and fell into a deep slumber……..
“Robert!!!” “Damn, ROBERT!!!!”
The voice seemed so familiar, like a good dream of a good friend…..
Do I know this person?
“..Rob…it’s the command…I don’t fucking know!!”
Now—-I do remember…