Monday, 11 July 2011

In Deep, Far Out

As the Atlantis Rescue mission sped towards Io to aid the crew of the lost freighter, a makeshift rescue attempt was staged by the crew of a mining vessel en route from Callisto. The large freighter carried a full range of heavy construction and mining gear from the crews base on the nearby moon. As the freighter picked up the last transmissions from the distressed ship, it was able to make a pass over the area where the freighter went down and finding an area of comparatively stable ground, dispatched an all terrain carrier vehicle with two extreme environmemt suits on board. No evidence of sub surface activity was detected by the craft and the first of the powerful exo-suits was lowered into position. Reaching the edge of the methane sea, the pilot made a brief scan of the shoreline before beginning his descent over the steep lip of the liquid filled crater..

As the eerie light beaming down from Jupiter filtered into the depths, all colour was drained from view and a darkness began to pervade the surroundings. The sides of the crater were smooth and soft with fine silt and sandy deposits from Ios constantly shifting surface, the rocks ground to powder by the titanic pull of the jovian gravity on tiny Io's structure. The sea was calm however and although visibility was limited, delicate scanners and intrumentation in the suit revealed everything the pilot needed to see. There was no sign of the ship on the local scan and the topography of the immediate area showed that the shoreline beneath the seas of Io shelved away steeply a few metres ahead of the suit. Edging forward with the suits jets, the pilot hovered over the steep drop, directing the long range scan downwards... at first nothing appeared on the scopes, and the deep scanning lidar revealed a drop of some considerable distance. But then, as the pilot prepared to drop the suit deeper into the murk, a feeling of strange unease gripped him and a sourceless panic began to rise - making his skin crawl and his hands shake involuntarily. Quickly, he tried to contact the carrier above, but the comms were dead, inactive. Trying to hold it together in the face of mounting fear, the pilot adjusted the jets for a return to the surface, but found he had oriented them wrongly in his rush and was heading sideways into the wall! Suddenly, as sweat began to run into his eyes and the panic overtook him, he found that he could no longer tell which way the surface lay and before he could adjust the course of the careering suit there was a terrible jolt as the right side of the suit slammed into the wall of the crater. Inside the airtight cockpit, the pilots head was smashed against the instrumentation and unconciousness took him into a darkness more complete than the dismal sea around the suit..


  1. Great continuity WOTE! Great story. I love the last line ' a darkness more complete than the dismal sea....". I wonder how many more budding authors are out there reading t'blog? I know that there's lots of fan fiction inspired by Thunderbirds and in particular UFO. Does SWORD/ SpaceX light the same fires or is the lack of a TV programme a serious disincentive?

  2. Well the next installmemt is waiting in the wings unless someone else is brave enough to step up to the plate... It's amazing what you can do with a few choice words and a phone camera


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