Set in a world similar to (or possibly the same as) that of "Call of Dawn", the story follows an expedition into the depths of space to explore and colonize a strange alien world that is orbiting the galactic center at an incredible speed and will only be in range for a short window in time.
This is only a small initial fragment I am experimenting with, and I would be grateful for comments, opinions and criticism. Thanks!
I. Darkness behind us
TC 278094.9983 - Personal Log: Technician TERRY KRIN
Terry Krin: I have the night shift again. What a joke. They are all night shifts. We check the maintenance protocols for the ark's automated systems, even though it's pretty clear that the computer could run circles around us any time. Stupid bureaucratic nonsense all of it.
They told us going into space would be a great adventure. Well yeah, it was. Up to the point when I had to do the same old routine for the hundredth time without anything happening. Welter keeps telling me that this is the best possible scenario and I should be "thanking the stars" for our luck. He goes on about the stars at length all the time, but I don't even want to go there.
The reason I am recording this is that I finally got permission to join the permanent sleepers. No more babysitting the bulkheads for me. Next time I wake up it's alien world exploration! It kind of gives me the creeps to think that we have been underway for almost 300 years now and I slept through most of it.
Doc Jones is the only one who was awake all the time. I hate looking at her eyes. There's something... different about people who have had more than half a dozen bodies. Seems like she did lots of research in her free time. 300 years really add up and the update broadcasts from Earth only stopped like 25 years ago.
Stanley and me have this bet going about whether or not he'll manage to ask her out, but I really hope I'll win. It's not just for the beer he'd owe me. I wouldn't want him to get crushed under all those years... if you get my drift here. We've been around, but sleeping through it isn't the same.
Alright, that's all folks. I'll set the alarm clock for 60 years from now. Wish me sweet dreams.
* * *
TC 2780/95.0726 - Medical Log: Doctor KIMBERLEY JONES
Kimberley Jones: Subject is technician Terry Krin, ID 41181. Life signs have been suspended until destination. Add treatment protocol 7 for minor depression and psychological instability. Add treatment protocol 47 for slight testosterone reduction...
Stanley Brooks: Damn, I knew you were going to try something, doc. You're right devil lass, you are. Cutting off his balls while he's taking a nap? I'll never be able to close my eyes again!
Kimberley Jones: Then why are you grinning like that Stanley? If you want to ask me out, you need to do better than insults and male condescension. And I am hardly castrating him here, just a little adjustment.
Stanley Brooks: Well, how would you feel if you woke up after a good long sleep just to find out somebody played a few games of ping-pong with your ovaries?
Kimberley Jones: Oberon, rescind last treatment protocol. Stanley, you keep amazing me, and that is a rare commodity these years. When you get as old as me, you know all the good jokes. Backward and forward.
Stanley Brooks: I know I'm a lil' pup compared to you missy, but I have slept a lot more than you and that is supposed to be good for your skin. Look, don't you want to take a closer look? A kiss maybe?
Kimberley Jones: Stanley.
Stanley Brooks: Yes luv?
Stanley Brooks: Get. Out. Of. My. Medical Bay. Right now.
Stanley Brooks: As you wish luv. See you tomorrow luv.
Stanley Brooks: And don't call me... never mind. Oberon, end log.
* * *
TC 2780/95.0727 - Memory Projection: Doctor KIMBERLEY JONES
"And another one... They just keep piling up. And I need to stop talking to myself... bad habit."
She run the fingers of her left hand through her straight, long reddish-blond hair, as she always did when stressed. Krin had been the sixth case this month, which was hardly any time at all considering the length of their journey. If she didn't find a cure soon, they would run out of technicians long before arriving at Enigma.
An artificial world orbiting an artificial sun. She could still remember the uproar in the scientific community and her own mixed feelings of anxiety and exhilaration. To think that she had actually gotten the commission.
Where would she be now if she had chosen to stay on Earth? Probably dead. You don't get your own personal clone facility as a common researcher, no matter how talented you might be. And then there was the matter of Earth itself. The last she had received was an automated status report about a malfunction in the planet core fusion reactor.
She was still pondering the exact details, but it looked grim. It could very well be that Earth had been utterly destroyed, which would have vaporized the orbital platforms as well. There was a small space port on Mars, but with no more than a few hundred personnel.
Mars wasn't even properly terraformed and the port relied on supplies from home. This meant that project Enigma had a far greater significance than anybody would have anticipated. They could be the last human survivors. The responsibility weighed heavily on her.
"They are all going mad on me as it is. If anybody finds out about Earth... Maybe I should be grateful they are a lazy bunch and simply believed the thing about gamma interference. I'm too old to be keeping secrets like that."
Brilliant, Ben. Positively
Lol, all over the place with injection here, I need hours in the distillation on this alone. Lotta potential material, coming at me from all sides,lol. I'll throw them in the box with some semblance of logical following...late in the night, morning...
Well, this one is something that popped into my head and I wrote it down until the inspiration ended (along with a general plot to follow for more). If you feel like it, feel free to play with it and throw in your own ideas? You could create a character or three and make it/them live through the plot if you want? Up to you of course :)
Goodtoknow, good! Heh, is this ever fun. :D