Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Shouldn't Have Asked That

All I remember is that I screamed. The leap through hyperspace brought my ship too close to the atmosphere and we went crashing down. The ship was not designed to even ENTER the atmosphere, so its failure was catastrophic.

Mankind's first starship and we went shredding through an atmosphere we were never intended to enter. Cross the stars and becoming a shooting star. Wonderful.

The ship shredded, tore and...I don't remember.

Here I am, lying on the ground, strapped to a crashchair. The seats we all took when we leapt across space and I'm stuck in one on an alien planet. Awesome. TO make matters worse, a parachute covers me, so I can't see a frakkin thing.

Give it to the engineers, the command module was designed to paranoia levels: if something terrible went wrong, we were to strap in and be ejected from the ship. Each of us would have a personal heat shield and parachute to get us to a planet's surface. It seems to have worked even when we were already in the atmosphere. Go engineers!

And, fortunately, my space suit is in one piece. I gotta get out of this seat.

The buckle finally gives way: it'd been bent. I pull myself free. OMG it hurts. The diagnostics say nothing is broken. No internal bleeding. Still under the damned chute, but I check to see if the emergency kit was still in the seat. Yup, we're good. Food, water, tent, flares, knife, extra radio, solar panels (small and roll up) and gun.

Don't look at me that way. Do YOU want to be stranded on an unknown planet without ANYTHING to protect yourself? uh huh. Put away the judgment. I've seen the movies. Last thing you want to do is go blasting away, but you still SOMETHING. geez.

Use the knife to cut through the chute and...

I'm in the middle of...a forest? Its like no forest I've seen. Its...oh geez. I standing in a phallic forest. If Roman phalluses were adorned with wood ear fungus. I ... really don't want to think about that, too, hard.

And they are grey and purple. Veiny. Words escape me.

There's buzzing around and climbing, but very little as far as I can see that's large as far as critters. They seem to be avoiding the cute. That might be a bonus. I'll mark the place on my internal map and go exploring. Perhaps there's someone, somewhere else that survived.

There's a rise, cheez, a hill that looks a bit sharp to my right. I'll head that way and see what I can see. It appears to be clear of the ... trees. I shouldn't have been a 13 yo boy. I'll have to see if we can skip that stage in the next version of humanity. On the other hand, I'd be freaking out of my mind if my inner 13 yo hadn't reared up to snark, so I think I'll not recommend that.

The hike over was a wonder and weird. There seems to be little critters all over the fungal trees. And the trees are not alone. There are smaller plate looking mushrooms like things. Even the 'grass' seems fungal. And bugs, bugs everywhere.

Fungus and bugs. I'm keeping bottled up as long as I can. They seem to want to keep away from me though. I must smell bad. Good.

Climbing up the hill side, its steep. There seems to be autotrophs that actually look like plants, at least if they came from Mars or the Silurian. They don't look too moldy either. Hey buddies, glad you're here.

Ok. At the top, and...I look around. I'm on a mesa above a huge plain. There's a crater. Smoking, lightly, still. The ship. I don't see any signs of others. No sign of chutes. I key my radio even so. Not going to lose much doing it. No reply.

Robin frakkin Crusoe on Nuwa. I'm going to need that chute. The sun never sets here. A SuperEarth stripped of its atmosphere and became habitable, even life bearing. Gliese 832c. a frakkin hot world with no night.

What MORE could possibly go wrong?

Frak. Shouldn't have asked that.


Anonymous said...

The style rather reminds me of "The Martian". Really digging all these short stories. It's impressive how varied in tone they are.

Will Baird said...

Thank you. I'm trying to figure out what voice works best for a longer treatment. I was told I was meant to be a writer when I was in HS. Decided to be a rocket scientist/computer geek/laser freak/etc instead.

Sorry, Mr Buckland.