Nobody can hear a scream in the vacuum of space, or so they say. How did I get to this part of space heading towards a new planet of a galaxy, I've never heard of? Why was I chosen to try out this planet? I think I'm more of a sacrifice than a privilege to be one of the first to go. They called it “taking one for the team” . I have a general distaste for other humans. I have no illusions that any of them cared for me, but I was strong and seemed to be resistant to most viruses and healthy. They thought I had a greater chance at survival. I'll tell you how it all began.
November 1 2024 a civil war broke out in the United States of America. The elections were put off due to increases in a virus mutated by Covid 19. The people were sick of being run by a currently elected democratic government and things were getting worse. The economy was so high and barely anyone could afford to drive and barely could eke out groceries. Russia was growing more vengeful and decided to partner with China to attack the US. No one in the white house was making a decision to help its people. So not only was the US involved in a world war that it wasn't prepared for, but it became at war with itself.
China had nuclear warfare and bombed the US and left so much damage instead of N95 masks, people started wearing gas masks. Kids were afraid to go to school and the world was already in shambles. Fires seemed to be a permanent fixture and California's earthquakes were getting worse. Weather shifted more and the poles seemed reversed. The world as it was known was running out of time.
Christians thought it was time for the apocalypse and were awaiting the return of Christ. NASA was discovering more about time travel and black holes. They discovered more galaxies than was previously known. Humanity was searching for a world that could hold life when the current earth was no longer deemed safe.
Elon Musk and NASA put together a group of 20 people that would go in groups of 5, so hopefully if one ship didn't make it, there were others to back it up. Elon’s group went first and successfully landed on a planet they said was a lot like ours. The Russians sent a crew out next, but unsuccessfully got lost on the way to the correct black hole.
I was still finishing college and decided to join the ROTC in hopes to join the airforce when I graduated. I graduated near the top of my class, yet I was one of the only kids that could attend college since all the wars and attacks. I lived near the school which helped and was determined I was going to make a difference. I also seemed to be immune to COVID, SARS and other mutated viruses. I was always afraid I would kill someone else by carrying it. My mother wanted me to become a nurse like she was. She said with my immunity, I would be good at it, but it just wasn’t me.
NASA came to my school and selected a handful of people to join their mission team. They were offering a large bonus to anyone who would go on board and would pay off their student loan debt. It seemed like a good deal at the time. I didn't have any significant other and my family were too busy to notice if I was leaving. So, I accepted. I had 6 weeks to prepare. That was also 6 weeks to say goodbye to my family, friends and neighbors back home. If the mission was successful, it would still be a very long time before I would see any of them again.
My family thought it was a suicide mission. I told them I could be helping to save the human race. I really wasn't sure I wouldn’t die. I just felt like I was a part of something larger than myself. Most of my friends and I barely talked anymore but I still thought they should know what I was about to do. Some thought the idea was awesome. A few thought it was crazy to agree to that.
Finally the day came when we were ready to leave. I had a horrible upset stomach. I was kind of scared and chalked it up to having anxiety. I’ve seen the videos of rockets blowing up during take off and we were supposed to be going through a black hole in space and slingshot to a planet far into another galaxy. I just told myself, If I died it would be for a good cause. I just didn’t realize how hard it would be on a rocket that I can’t get off of whenever I felt like it. Food was freeze dried in a pouch. The antigravity made it difficult to shower, sleep or relax. We were weeks in and I was starting to get a little cabin fever.
I felt something push us forward at a higher speed but I didn’t expect it to make me feel dizzy and nauseous. I screamed as it seemed like someone slammed on the brakes in the middle of the vastness of dark planets. Then a brightness lit up space like someone flipping on a switch that only lit up the planets and stars. We were floating in our new solar system. We could see new planets or moons we were passing on the way to our new “earth”. Some had rings and colors unlike what we had seen before in our own system. We found the “sun” of the solar system, which seemed a little brighter and fresher. Maybe our sun was a little older and had burned a little longer.
Then the 5 of us aboard the ship all spotted the “earth”. From up here, it looked alot like our own. You could see the water and green land in various forms. You could even see clouds and storms. We all cheered. We had made it this far. Now we need to figure out where to land. The pilot attempted to contact NASA for clearance but we had lost the connection. We weren't sure where the last ship had landed, but decided we had to make our own plan.
When we came in for the landing I felt like I was on a rollercoaster. At first we were free falling and I thought we were coming in too fast. Then there was a parachute that opened after we broke the barrier and we slowed before landing in what appeared to be water. The odd part was we didn't sink, we were just bobbing up and down. We were right next to a big piece of land. We moved closer to the island before attempting to get out. We also were not sure about oxygen on the planet, so we had to gear up in case. No one knew if anyone else from the first ship was still alive and on this planet.
A slide erupted out of the side of the ship and a couple of NASA’s people stepped out before having everyone get out. They wanted to check for safety and signs of life. While they climbed out and the rest of us held back, I was struggling to pull myself together and put all the gear on I would need. After what seemed like an hour, one of the men came back to the shuttle to tell us we could come out. They just warned us to be careful getting out and they were still investigating the area but that it was quiet so far.
I didn't realize that I was holding my breath but started to let it out and evenly breathe while climbing out and going down the slide. I still had an uneasy feeling, but I was here and had to make it work. I landed in the water we were in but it did not splash when I landed. The consistency was like hand sanitizer and was thicker than the substance we were used to. It appeared to be daytime in the area we were in. We just had no real idea how long the day would be yet. We also didn’t know the weather patterns and how predictable it would be.
The green on the land and plant life was a darker shade than anything I had ever seen back on earth. It was breathtaking how beautiful it was. I felt like we were in a painting. That was one thing I knew, this planet had not yet been destroyed by humans and their machines. Not for long, I thought to myself. Man was determined to make this our new planet.
Even with all of our gear on, I felt lighter than on earth. Maybe the gravitational pull was stronger back home. Not that we would float away. Just almost like this land was more bouncy.
The odd thing was not seeing birds, animals or living creatures. What kind of beings were living on this planet? Were there “aliens” here? Or were we always meant to find this planet to save us from ourselves and create new life here? I’m sure if there was life here and they had seen us with the shuttle and all our gear, they probably would have been frightened away.
It was amazing how we could see other planets in view like they were a little closer than what we were used to. Or was it our moons of this planet? Either way, I was awestruck by the view. I almost missed the rock I had leaned onto for support, started to shake and move. Was it lifeform camouflaged? It seemed to glitch and transform in front of me. It was a creature that reminded me back home of an armadillo. It had a hard exterior and a long nose and tail. I tried to get the others' attention, but the creature just rolled back into a rock-like stance and camouflaged itself back again. I wondered what it normally was hiding from, but kept walking. I was way behind the rest of the group and was afraid of getting lost, but I could still see the shuttle so I just kept looking for other rocks or “life”.
I noticed by one of the rocks I was passing a foot print. It looked like a small human footprint. This was big, huge! I had to tell the others. Either it was from the other ship and they were safe and out of their gear, or there was other life on the planet. I turned to run and find someone before I lost it but lost my footing and I fell against something hard and hit my helmet.
I heard it crack as my head bounced and this was the moment where I would die without oxygen, or I would discover if I could live without the helmet. I took a breath and thankfully I was not smothering. I could breathe! I struggled to unlatch the helmet, but I got it off and dropped it on the ground. It bounced before rolling a foot in front of me. As I stood up I took the biggest breath and was smelling the plant life. The smell was sweeter than I was used to. It made me wonder if the plants were edible. I looked up and there was no one else within view.
I pulled a piece of green off of the leaning tree in front of me and smelled it. It definitely was the sweet smell I was savoring. I barely stuck the tip of my tongue out to see if it tasted as sweet as it smelled. It was like licking a stick of gum. Even the texture was like it. I took a small bite. It dissolved on my tongue and went down my throat. It wasn't chewy like gum though. I decided to pull a vine off with me and take it back to the shuttle. When the others realize I wasn't with them, maybe they will come back to the shuttle. I would be waiting for them helmet free and with my vine. At least I hope they are coming back here.
About the author
I am a mother of 2 beautiful girls. I am the soul provider in my family. I am a retail manager and a worship leader at my church.
I took English as my secondary major and musical theatre was first. I write stories, songs and poems.