Mostrando las entradas con la etiqueta moon. Mostrar todas las entradas
Mostrando las entradas con la etiqueta moon. Mostrar todas las entradas

miércoles, 17 de mayo de 2017

Survival

   As the capsule pierced into the unknown, the three former passengers of the ship known as Aurora, stared through the small round window, watching as the remains of their spaceship slowly separated from one another. They had been close, but fast-thinking from Beta, the onboard artificial intelligence, had saved them from a massive meteorite hitting them with all of its might. Now they were floating around in space, without a proper plan of survival and worry in their minds.

 Annika, the captain, had been the last one to enter the pod and was now trying to figure out what to do. They were too far from Earth for anyone in there to rescue them before the oxygen ran out. And besides that, there was the fact that no other spaceship was on that system, as it had been deemed a territory for observation and not exploitation. Other systems were being deprived of their resources by humans, but not that one. Their mission on the Aurora had been to observe and note.

 The planet closest to their position was a gas giant, maybe the size of Jupiter or a little bit larger. Mathematician Steve had been calculating many of the planet’s characteristics when the meteorite appeared out of nowhere. As they looked through the window, he noted that the planet was maybe so powerful that it had diverted to trajectory of a meteorite, sending it in the exact route on which they were working. An unfortunate occurrence but also of great interest. That comment wasn’t very well received.

 Shawna Clark was the main engineer and had been put in charge by her superior to guard the spaceship. Usually, she would have been with a senior engineer on the ship but he had to bail at the last moment because of a death in his finally. A replacement should reach them in a few months but now that was not really the best timing. The pod present many more challenges than the ones she was used to. Her training was the same as the one of any other person but she was very insecure.

 Annika ordered her crew, including the A.I. Beta to start working on improving their stay on the pod, at least long enough to be able to map some sort of plan that could end up on them being rescued or, at the very least, alive. Hours passed and everyone agreed the oxygen level was fine, although it could have been much better, and that the pod had no problems. Or at least not yet. Looking at the trajectory, they realized they were being pulled into the gas giant and their tiny ship could be destroyed if they didn’t do something to correct their path.

 The first thing was to choose another destination, at least for the time being. They decided to aim at one of the larger moons of the planet, one that they hadn’t been able to properly survey, as they had not been long enough in the system. They locked on the planet and used most of the small pods energy to propel themselves towards the moon. The bad part of this plan was that they had to control everything manually and certain problems would arise from the sudden thrust.

 Right enough, the ship started to shake violently even after all of the energy had been wasted. Shawna reported that most of the structure of the pod was damaged due to vibrations and Steve was trying to determine, with the help of Beta, how they could be able to remediate for their choice and if they actually had a chance of orbiting the moon. The reason why it was their goal was also because an old couple of satellites floated around it, which they could use to power the ship’s communications and call home.

 Shawna complained, as they moved around in haste, that calling Earth should have been their priority. However, Beta noted that the pod did not have the capacity to make contact with the Earth. Instead, it could only communicate with the main ship, whose pieces were now plummeting towards the gas giant. Luckily, that wasn’t going to be their faith but uncertainty was a lot more to handle for only three people and their friend with no body. They had to work fast.

 The impulse used to get away from the attraction of the planet, had been enough to liberate them, at least for the time being. They had to deprive the pod of many non-essential components in order to get a little bit closer to the satellites they needed to reach. But as they drew closer, a huge realization came to their minds: the satellites had stopped working for years, maybe even centuries. They would have to repair them and then use them and there was no time to do that inside the pod.

 And not outside either. There wasn’t enough air to breath. Their supply would last for about to more Earth days and that would be it. They would die of suffocation, inside a ship that was floating in space adrift. They all realized that their death was close and, instantly, their minds went to those they had left on Earth. They remembered their mother’s scent, the voice of their father’s, the tenderness of their grandparents and those who had children, heard them laugh once again. For a very brief moment, they were in peace with the fact that death was upon them.

 However, Beta interrupted them by announcing he had being able to access the memory banks on one of the satellites. Apparently, it had been able to function for a few more months after it stopped sending information to Earth. But the interesting part it’s that it hand found out that conditions on the nearby moon were similar to the ones in cold regions of the Earth. Climate was not ideal but they would be able to breathe.

 This statement by Beta made the crew breathe again and even a smile was brought to their faces. They decided to immediately recover the physical remains of the satellites by doing a spacewalk. This had to last the less amount of time possible so all three astronauts decided to do it together. Beta would coordinate from the pod and help them with robotic arms. That way, they would pull in the two satellites and use them down in the moon, once they landed.

 Because that was the idea. They knew it was their only chance. So once all the metal was inside the pod, they started calculating an entry route into the moon. It was difficult to choose a landing site because most of the information inside the satellite may have become obsolete. Ice and snow shift, as well and continent and they had no idea of what they could encounter down there. It could even have an entire ocean beneath the frozen surface, something that excited them and scared them at the same time.

 Once everything was done, all the calculations and thought processes, they began their descent into the planet. They decided not to rest or overthink their mission. They had to try to stay alive and the only way to properly do that was to launch themselves into the unknown. The ship, however, was much more damage than thought. As they plummeted to the surface below, they felt parts of the fuselage fly away from them. It got so bad, that even the main circular window exploded minutes before hitting the ground.

 The pod glided over an icy surface that seemed solid. It stopped after what felt a long time. They immediately knew the satellites information to be correct, as they could breath. They were happy, even with a broken ship. Beta survived on their special suits.


 The first thing was to check on the satellites and build a proper shelter. However, as they stepped out of the pod, they realized something that the satellites had completely missed. The planet appeared to be populated, as remains of building made of ice laid on the ground, destroyed by their ship as they landed.

martes, 16 de agosto de 2016

When in Rome...

   The first thing I heard was the automated voice indicating people if they had to stand on the doors on the left or the right. I heard the sound as if it was coming from a place very far from me but then it seemed to become clearer. That made me open my eyes and then I realized I was in one of the metro trains I had used years earlier to get to know the city of Rome. People were talking amongst themselves, some tourists were looking at a map above one of the doors and a small child looked at me straight in the eye.

  I decided to stand up and get out of the train as soon as possible. There was another audio automated service and then the train entered a station. I didn’t really see the name of the station I was in. I only wanted to run away from that underground location in order to check out something above ground and feel a little les intoxicated. When I finally got out to the street, I felt very dizzy, my legs had problems letting me stand up and every sound and image apparently adjust itself in a few seconds.

 There was a park bench near the exit of the station and I decided to use it because I wasn’t feeling good at all. I felt my head was spinning around. Besides, everyone around me spoke a language I didn’t know and I didn’t really felt safe speaking to them in English. I felt I had forgotten everything about myself. I tried to remember what I was doing before appearing on the subways but I couldn’t remember.

 A young nun then came up to me and said something in Italian. She spoke very slowly for me to understand what she was saying but it wasn’t good enough for me. Anything that involved thinking hurt too much. She decided to give her hand and I grabbed it without thinking it much. She made me walk around a beautiful but very lonely neighborhood until we arrived to a very typical Roman house with an inner patio. I didn’t know much about religious people but that must have been a convent.

 She fed me and gave me something to read as he washed my clothes on a very modern washing machine. I waited on my underwear in the kitchen and was very ashamed when a group of four nuns entered the kitchen and I was there naked, reading a magazine. The nun that had saved me, I think her name was Angela, appeared out of nowhere and explained the situation to the rest of the sisters.

 They decided to give me a room for the night, as the weather was not as sunny as before and the clothes may take a longer while to be ready. I couldn’t deny the offer, even if I had wanted too. But I didn’t because in that place I felt the peace I needed to organize who I was before appearing on that city and why that had happened.

 That night was very strange. I was assigned one of the cells in the upper floors, were formerly the new novices slept before they were fully accepted as nuns. Sister Angela explained to me that they hadn’t had a new girl in a long time, as she had been the last one. The woman looked in her late thirties and explained further, commenting that girls nowadays had no desire to get in contact with their religious roots and have a life of celibacy and dedicated to the Lord.

 Through the very small window in my room, I was able to see the moon. It looked so beautiful but at the same time a little bit false. I pinched my hand in order to know if I hadn’t been dreaming or something but it didn’t work. I was really in that small room and had to get used to the idea of not remembering anything about my past o at least not in a very obvious way. I was lost, technically, and had to wait and see what I could do to go back to wherever I was before.

 I slept strangely at peace. My eyes closed early and I woke up early too. Normally, I would require several hours to feel rested but in that moment I felt I could take on the whole world by myself. It was a very nice feeling that I had never really experimented before. Normally I woke up much more tired than I was before going to bed. I guessed it had something to do with the strict code the nuns had going on there but I also expected it to be something related to the fact that I was in blank, no memories inside.

 The next day, I put on my clean clothes and they all came to the door to bud farewell to me. They were all very kind people and I would have loved to see more of them, maybe take a picture. But somehow, I didn’t think of that then. It would have been the best proof to guarantee that what had happened had not been a dream or an illusion caused by my mind. I waved at them as I walk further away from the convent, until I didn’t see them anymore and realized how lonely I felt, again.

 After walking a little bit more, I arrived in a square: it was very beautiful and tourists were all over the place taking pictures and discussing the shapes and sizes of the figures in the fountains. I was trying to understand what a couple was saying near me when I heard a voice, a very strong male voice coming from somewhere. At first, I couldn’t tell what he was saying. Then, I understood he was saying my name.

 I looked around for the owner of the voice but there was no one that seemed to have that very deep register near where I was. Besides, no one seemed to be looking at me, ignoring the fact that I was there as if my existence bothered them so much that they had decided to ignore until I decided to disappear.

 That happened a few seconds later, when the voice called upon me again and I understood that it was calling me from very far. Walking rather slowly, I was able to follow the deep voice saying my name. I walked through deserted streets, packed avenues and beautiful gardens until I reached some long and white stairs. The bright sun above made them look as if they were from glass.

 The voice called upon me again, urging me to come to him fast. His message to me had changed so I knew I was very near. When I arrived at the top of the staircase, I realized there was a museum up there. There was a small square and on one side the entrance and on the other side, the exit of the museum. The voice appeared to be coming from the exit so I walked towards there.

 Beyond the machines that controlled the exit process of the museum, there was a fountain and I realized the voice was coming from there. But there was a security guard nearby and the only way I could’ve entered the museum was by jumping over the machines. I decided to pretend I was reading some pamphlets they had on a table by the door. The guard finally moved, in order to face towards the inner courtyard of the museum. I took my chance and jumped, landing silently on my feet.

 I wanted to scream in celebration because I had never done anything so cool in my life, but I realized it wasn’t really the place and the moment for that. So I turned around and walked towards a small garden they had by a room filled with sculptures. The faces of those objects seemed to be looking at me but I knew the voice was coming from a fountain in the garden. Sure enough, there was a huge figure of the God of the seas, Poseidon, on the fountain.

 The figure did not move but it did talk to me. He told me the Gods had decided to bring me to Rome in order to let me know everything was going to be all right. When I heard that, I didn’t know if I wanted to laugh or punch the statue or what. I got closer to the water and the figure told me that I was there by choice and that I could’ve left at any moment, if I had wanted to leave.


 As I heard that, I felt dizzy again and then the world became blurry for an instant. Then everything went dark, I felt my head hitting something and then my eyes opened once again. I had fallen from my bed, my insane dream having finished. I was covered in sweat and had to go to the bathroom to clean myself, ignoring the metro card that fell with me from the bed to the floor.

sábado, 13 de agosto de 2016

The secret of Moon Bay

   The massive ship entered the silent waters of the Moon Bay. The silent fishermen villages could be seen from it, waiting to be attacked and pillaged. The pirates aboard the ship were getting ready to do what they did best, drinking wine and recalling past victories. However, their captain was on the observation deck, contemplating the bay were he had been born all those years ago. It was his first time back and he was thinking about telling his men to stand down and retire to the open ocean.

 Captain Fox was renowned as one of the most vicious pirates in all the seven seas. But that night, he felt as a kid, unprotected and filled with emotion because of the place he was in. He had been taken from his home from a very young age and he had never known what it was to have a family. His crew was his family but he felt that wasn’t the same thing, especially when he had seen true family love in his past raids.

 When the men were ready, he was unable to say anything. Captain Fox authorized them to set the first town on fire and take all they wanted from it. There were only a few houses there, so not many people. Fox stayed on his ship as he saw his men rowing in the silent night, slowly taking the town by surprised. From his place, he was able to see the houses catch on fire, he heard the screams and he even felt something strange, a certain uneasy feeling that he had never felt before as a pirate.

 As expected, the men returned almost empty handed.  Village of fishermen was not an interesting target and Captain Fox was sure of it. He told his men that they needed to go back to the open ocean and then plan the raid of a real big city or at least of towns that had something more to offer than rotten fish. But his men argued that they were hungry and that they needed the fish to survive. None of them was smart enough to make a net and use it a way to get food.

 Without permission, the pirates attacked the second village. That one took longer to fully take over but they did. When they came back from the shore, Fox noticed they had brought someone with them. It was an elder, and old woman who was shaking and seemed to be on the edge of dying of how scared she was. Fox told his men to hold her in the empty cabin and not in the lower cells.

 His men obliged as they ate and celebrated the fact that they had a decent dinner for the first time in a month. The captain when to his room and tried to sleep but the noise his men made was difficult to ignore. Besides, he just couldn’t rest. There was something pressing his chest. Maybe it was being in Moon Bay again or maybe it was realizing he was becoming a very weak captain.

 He decided to join his men for a beer and some fish, seeing he wasn’t going to be sleeping for the next few hours. On his way to the staircase, he passed the cabin where the old woman was and the door there was wide open. He returned to see the woman sitting on the bed, in complete silence and darkness. However, he could feel something was wrong. Fox decided to enter the place and talk to her. Maybe she needed to know she wasn’t going to die there. When he was about to touch her shoulder, the woman looked at him with glowing red eyes.

 In some strange tongue, she said various words. She began saying them in a normal register but then she raised her voice and look upward, to the bridge. The captain then heard some noises above but he didn’t move because he wasn’t able to. He was very scared and wanted to do something, whether it was running away or stabbing the old woman with his sword. But he just couldn’t do any of those things. Something was preventing him from doing so.

 The woman had stopped speaking but her eyed were still very much red. After a moment, she spoke again, her voice amplified a thousand times. It was like receiving a massive wave on the face and being pushed a long distance by it. She told him he was a sun of the bay and that he shouldn’t have come back.

 That made Fox less scared somehow. How did she knew that he had been born there and why shouldn’t he be there? The woman then stood up from the bed and stretched out a hand towards him, as if she was going to grab something. And it felt like she did: the captain couldn’t properly breath, his eyes going blurry and his legs feeling very weak. It hurt a lot inside his chest and he still couldn’t move at all. It was torture, the worst kind.

 When she finally stopped, he was very dizzy. The old woman had driven him very close to the edge of death. She moved her hand again and then he was able to move but only to collapse on the floor like a bunch rocks. His breathing was heavy and he couldn’t talk but he knew he had been very close to the end. He looked at her and she looked at him. It was a strange connection that they maintained for a while.

 The witch told him Moon Bay was a haunted place. The villages there were nothing but illusions. All those things his men had done that night were scenes played out in their heads. There were no real villagers or fish or wine. It was all her, as she was the last surviving inhabitant of the area. No one else there lived and it was because someone else had been there before the pirates, setting everything on fire.

 She told Fox that it was that warrior, that creature made in hell itself, which had entered the bay in a similar night and had set on fire every single soul there except her. She was able to hold him for a while but he was too powerful to be stopped by an older woman. Her magic tricks were nothing against his darkness and villainy. However, he spared her life and made her stay there forever, attached to the waters of the bay, waiting for any adventurers trying to take what that devil had taken.

 Captain Fox was able to speak, even if his chest was aching too much. He wanted to know why that creature, if real, had left her there. Why her and for what purpose? The woman laughed like mad. She was surprised he didn’t realize she was a slave of the devil that had burned those waters. By magic, she was attached to the place and obliged to kill anyone who entered the bay. She had to offer their lives to his cause. That would make him stronger for his return.

 So he was going to come back and set the world on fire once and for all. She said it was not going to happen for another couple of hundreds of years but that his reign was unstoppable. There was no way to prevent it from happening. The captain asked the woman if she could be able to break free from the shackles she had been put in. Her expression went somber and turned away from him. The answer was obvious.

 The old woman changed the subject, telling the pirate that she had only let his men take her to the boat because she wanted to speak with him, as she had an idea to try and tilt everything in her favor, at least once. He didn’t understand. She explained that she knew his parents very well, the witch knew exactly who he was and remembered the day he had been taken away by a group of pirates. She told him about the tears they cried and how they did during the creature’s first raid.

 They had been very brave and had asked her, just as the monster neared, to cast a special spell making their boy immune to the powers of hell. After all that time since he had been gone, they still loved him and wanted to protect him against the outmost evil. She did so and that’s why she was onboard, to tell him he had a chance, a long shot at making the devil pay.


 Before he could ask anything of her, she said some more words and vanished, turning into thick black fog that disappeared in seconds. The captain ran to the bridge of his vessel to see if he could call her back but he was stopped as he saw the bodies of all his men. It had been her but only because It had ordered it. It was then when Fox realized he had to think his next step very well.

sábado, 23 de enero de 2016

Alone in the desert

   There was no wind. Only the heat and the sand that was very soft and in which her feet sunk deep, making every step very difficult to make. She had been holding her shoes on one hand but suddenly decided to drop them and let the sand claim them. She might never return to that beautiful hotel she had been staying in and even if she did, she had more shoes there, where they could actually be used.

 She stopped walking sometimes and tried to compose herself, looking in every direction; desperate to get any sign of life or of the person she had been following. Suddenly, she saw a scorpion come out of the sand and just ran the opposite way, not minding the heat, the sand and the fact that she had to climb a really big sand dune to escape the small creature.

 It was on top of that sand structure that she saw the oasis that the woman she had encountered in the market had told her about. Or at least it seemed to be it, because all of those water springs in the desert looked the same and she couldn’t forget that she might be imagining the whole thing, her mind already being affected by the heat and by having walked around a very still desert for at least an hour now.

 Once she made it to the oasis, she realized it was real and just when straight for the water. The small pool of liquid that was there was no good for swimming but good enough for her feet to relax and have a well deserved rest. She also took some water in her hands and drank, feeling how her body thanked her for it. As she drank, she looked around. Besides that small pond, there were only three palm trees, a few rocks and that was it. It was a very small island of life in the immensity of the desert.

 She started thinking that maybe she needed to go back but then she realized she had no idea what “back” meant as her senses of direction was not precisely on point. She had her cellphone with her but, obviously, it had no signal and the map feature wasn’t working. So she just there, here a soft breeze that brushed through those parts and moved the leaves of the palm trees.

 But the sound also moved something the woman had failed to see. Just in front of her there was the pond, and after that one of the palm trees but the wind made her notice some sort of fabric that was caught behind the palm tree. She stood up slowly and then realized she really needed to open her eyes better because what lay in front of her was not just fabric, it was a women dressed in a black gown, barefoot, apparently passed out, just there in the sand as if it was the most normal thing of Earth. She thought the woman looked beautiful but also a bit scary.

 Her body was very still. The other woman came closer and noticed she had a beautiful bracelet on her right arm and a necklace made also from gold. The bracelet had a name on it: Desi. She concluded that her companion’s name was Desi and that someone had left her there, because she was so perfectly put on the ground that it wouldn’t be possible that she had fainted and just assumed that very calm position.

 Desperate for human communication, the woman touched Desi’s face and caressed it a little bit too hard in order to wake her up but it didn’t work. She also tried shaking him by the elbow and the shoulder, even going to the extent of doing it really strongly, but without success. The last thing she tried was tickling her sleeping companion’s feet with her fingertips but the body didn’t even move a millimeter.

 So the woman just sat there besides her sleeping, or maybe dead, companion and just stared at the pond and the palm trees, secretly begging for an answer to this ridiculous situation. She even attempted to remember what it was that had drawn her out of her suite into the desert but the only thing she could remember was the voice of the woman in the market, telling her to find that oasis she was in right now, and wait for a revelation to occur. Maybe that was the place where she was destined to know a great truth but, being honest to herself, she didn’t want to know any truths if it meant being in the middle with nowhere with a dead body.

 She shook Desi violently this time but the body wouldn’t budge so she decided she didn’t care. Also, she decided to go back to her hotel and just hope that the same voice that brought her there was capable to get her back into a nice bed and a continental breakfast. She had been out of bed before dawn and she felt dusk was about to take place and she certainly didn’t want to spend a night in a place filled with scorpions.

 So she just stood up and started walking the way she thought her hotel was located in. Her steps were more secure now and the sand didn’t engulf her feet as it had been doing before. She almost floated over the sand and walked with much more grace than anyone else could in such an awful place. She reached a high dune and decided to look back; in order to give a last look to dead Desi but the oasis wasn’t there anymore. There was only sand.

 It was the first time that she felt scared and that feeling was accentuated by the fact that the sun was less and less bright, and she could already see the moon in the sky, very bright and all of her features visible. The moon seemed massive in the desert and she found herself looking at it for a long time before she remembered her wish to go back to the hotel.

 She walked and walked. But couldn’t reach any place. She was now thirsty and no oasis awaited her in the route she had chosen. She just had to keep on walking but she wasn’t walking as secure as she had been walking before. Her feet were starting to sink again and she felt very insecure about every single step she took. It was very sudden when fear took over her mind: she was sure she was going to die there, all alone, cold and with a thousand scorpions and other creatures of the desert poking her lifeless body, Her mouth would fill with sand before her whole body was to be covered by the desert, forgotten by the world there.

 It was a bright light that made these thoughts go away. But the light had been just a flash, just a moment in time that she never saw again. She kept walking and decided to travel only on the crests of the tall dunes in order to have a vantage point and not be surprised by death, if it came from beneath her. But it was there, the moon almost in the highest part of the sky, that she saw her again.

 She recognized the dress and her face and ever her feet, there in the dark. The moon illuminated Desi and that beautiful blue light bathed her in a strange aura that made the woman feel scared but also very calm. It was as if her mind was screaming but her body was incapable of acting on that fear. She was kind of paralyzed, also fascinated by the fact that the woman she had seen earlier was there, looking at her.

 But none of them moved. Not until Desi took off her necklace and let it fall into the sand. Then, a gust of gust covered her body and she was never seen again. She had been an illusion or maybe a dead person. That was why the lost woman had not been able to wake her up. She walked to the spot where she had been standing and grabbed the necklace from the sand. Just like the bracelet, it had a charm with a name. And the name was Florence.

 It was right then that she opened her eyes and realized the desert was there, just beyond the windows in her room. Her grandiose bedroom was there, all the complimentary beverages, the fruit basket that had been given to her as a gift and all of her clothes and shoes. Florence just touched her face and the rest of her body, trying to understand what had just happened. She stood up and went to the bathroom. She checked her eyes and her mouth. And then she just looked at her reflection.

 And as it happens often, she forgot Desi’s name, and the scorpions, and the body in the oasis. But she didn’t forget the fact that she had dropped some shoes in the desert, that she had found a necklace with her name on it or that a voice had called from beyond.


 She cleaned her face with cold water and decided to get some breakfast but, just as she walked in the space between the window and the bed, Florence stepped on a small mound of desert sand.