Pre-Reading Note: This story connects to the Labyrinth Comics universe which begins as comics soon after the release of these stories. The comics will be released onto Comixology.com.
Barry Parker always wonders what life is like beyond Earth, and now that he's living it, he can't believe his eyes. Barry kneels down on the ground and scoops a pile of red sand onto the glove of his spacesuit. A smile grows on his face, and wonder fills his eyes.
"Hey, Parker! Get over here and help set up the shelter!" shouts Jayden, one of Barry's fellow astronauts. Barry jogs over to the rest of his crew, and helps lift up a beam. Barry and the rest of his team keep the beam upright while Jayden leans down and presses a button on the base. Dust explodes from the bottom as the beam as a second support beam shoots into the ground. The team steps back away from the cluster of support beams, and Barry presses a button on his suit. A field of lasers shoot out in between each beam, fabricating steel walls and windows.
"I guess we have your old friend John Davison to thank for that," smirks David. The shelter finishes fabrication, and the crew walks around to their supply cache. Barry opens a crate and pulls out a contraption labeled Life Support. He walks over to the back of the shelter, and attaches the contraption to the wall.
"Alright, crew. Let's get inside and get settled in!" Jayden shouts. The crew walks over to the hatch at the other end of the shelter. Jayden opens the hatch, and the crew all climb inside the base. "It's safe to take off the suits now. We got clean oxygen in here."
The crew all remove their spacesuits, and hang them up accordingly. Barry walks to the center of the room and presses a button turning on a computer. Holographic screens form from the beam in the middle of the base. "Computer is active. Operation Thirteen Original is a go," Barry announces.
"Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the first functional American outpost on Mars," Jayden announces.
Two weeks go by, and the outpost is fully functioning. A farm is set up in a separate shelter, the rocket is on a launch pad, and there are exploratory vehicles parked outside. The base is set up at the foot of Olympus Mons, the largest volcano on the face of Mars. Barry climbs out of one of the exploratory vehicles and enters the base. Jayden is standing in the center of the room, reading a map on the computer. "There's been some seismic activity happening underneath us," Jayden states. "Which is not a good thing because -"
"We're right next to Olympus Mons. One eruption from there will set us back months," Barry interjects.
"We need to make sure that the volcano is stable and won't erupt. We can't risk the operation."
"Pull up any information on the eruptions of Olympus Mons. Maybe we can find a trigger, or any patterns between the eruptions."
"Don't you think I've tried that? We don't have any information on Mons. We are the first humans to step foot on Mars, the rover was unable to send any information back to Houston, we need to examine the site. Make sure we don't have to evacuate the area and move somewhere else."
"We're not moving anywhere else, Jayden. Olympus Mons will not erupt, and we'll be fine."
"You may be right, Parker, but I just want to make sure."
"That's understandable. I'll gather a team-"
"No... no, just the two of us. If the volcano is unstable, we need to alert the crew down here to get us ready for evacuation. Get your suit on, grab a kit, and get the keys to the buggy. We're leaving now."
Two hours later, Barry and Jayden are half-way up Olympus Mons. Jayden is scanning the volcano as they drive up the enormous mountain. "We're getting closer to the epicenter of these tremors. If that means what I think it means, then we have what we're looking for already," Jayden states nervously.
"Olympus Mons will not erupt. The settlement is totally fine where it is," says Barry.
"I'm just hoping that-"
"It won't erupt. We're only half-way up the mountain, let's just keep an eye on the scanner, and keep feel out for more tremors."
Two hours later, Barry and Jayden climb out of the buggy on top of Olympus Mons. Barry places a small kit on the ground and opens it. He takes a device that looks like the same tech as the support beams keeping the base up. Barry stabs the device into the ground, and presses a button. Like with the support beams, dust explodes from the bottom of the device, and readings appear on a screen atop the device. Jayden walks over to Barry and shows him her scanner. Both scanners show the same readings, marking the epicenter of the tremors as Olympus Mons.
"Alert the crew. We need to move. Now!" Barry commands. Jayden turns to run back to the buggy, but at that moment, a tremor hits. The ground below them begins to shake, as rocks from the top and sides of the large volcano begin to fall towards the surface. The ground below them begins to crack and cave. The ground below the buggy caves in, and the mountain swallows the vehicle whole.
"Run!" shouts Jayden. The two of them take off running down the mountain, dodging rocks and jumping over freshly formed cracks in the mountain.
After what seemed like an eternity of running and dodging, Barry and Jayden make it back down to the base. "Get in the ship! Now!" Barry shouts. The crew runs to the launch pad and climb into the rocket. Barry and Jayden reach the rocket, and they begin to climb inside, but Jayden stops.
"The intel! Our research! We can't leave it!" Jayden exclaims. Barry looks to the base, then back at Jayden. He jumps off of the ladder.
"I'll get it! You get into the ship!" Barry exclaims. He runs off of the launch pad and into the base. He runs over to the computer, and ejects a flash drive. Barry runs out of the base and back to the launch pad. He climbs up the ladder and into the ship. He passes the flash drive to Jayden, who places it into a pocket in her suit. The ship takes off, and heads towards space.
"Guys, there's something up with the engine! It's not staying active! We're not gonna have enough juice to get up to the station!" David shouts. Barry looks out the window towards the back of the ship. They are just over Olympus Mons.
"I'll go out there, fix the engine," Barry says. He unstraps himself from his seat, and gets up. Jayden grabs his arm and pulls him back.
"You can't! It's suicide!" Jayden exclaims.
"I know, but I swore to you and to the people of the world that I would do what I can to keep this operation alive, now I am going out there to fix the engine, and you are going to get home. Tell my family I love them, and tell John and Roman I'm sorry I can't make it back home," says Barry. He walks over to the door to the ship, opens it, climbs out onto the side of the ship, and slams the door shut.
The wind rushes past Barry, sliding him down towards the afterburners. Barry grabs hold of the side of the ship, and makes his way towards the engine hatch. Once he reaches the hatch, he opens it, and finds that there is an leak. He tears off one of the patches from his suit, and wraps it around the leaking pipe.
"I've fixed the problem you should-" Barry begins, before the engine roars to full power, sending Barry flying off of the ship. At that moment, a large KABOOM sounds, and Olympus Mons erupts. The force of Barry being thrown off of the ship, counteracted by force of the eruption of Olympus Mons, sends Barry flying back upwards towards space. And then, darkness.
Wake up, Mr. Parker
"What? Who are you? Where am I?!" Barry shouts.
You are safe. You were badly hurt when Olympus Mons erupted, you were launched into a wormhole. The wormhole rewrote your DNA to a point no human can sustain. We pulled you out, but we were too late. Your DNA is too far gone.
"Am I gonna die?!" Barry asks.
No, you will not. We applied a device to your chest to keep your body from exploding.
"Where am I?" Barry asks.
Welcome, Barry Parker, to Chromus.
Continued in Elementor #1
About the Creator
I'm just a writer trying to get my stories out. They're probably going to be related to superheroes, Dungeons & Dragons, or anything I'm into at the time of writing. I hope you enjoy my stories as much as I enjoy writing them!