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Mission Log Book (short story)

Posted on June 11, 2009 at 3:05 AM

<STATUS>

  • Log Entry #001
  • 26.03.4478 [16:04 hrs] Current Time (CT)
  • Launch Day {- 3:56 hrs} in flight
  • Position: Earth, U.S., NASA Launch Site

Less than four hours remain until the greatest and most expensive space mission in history will begin its launch sequence. I am lying in the front seat of my Ford Falcon (hover-craft 3000), my wife Annabelle curled up asleep next to me, the radio humming softly in the background while I stare up in wonder at humanity's most magnificent achievement – “The Phoenix 3”, the most advanced space-craft ever built on Earth. It took almost 350 years and 231 quadrillion dollars worth of wealth and recourses to make and test. It stands a glorious 7.5km high alone and can travel at a top speed of 300,000,000km a minute; survive all known space/atmospheric radiation; is invulnerable to mega-asteroids and has the strength to transport a human being outside this solar system. This is truly the glory of mankind. I have been waiting out here at the Phoenix's launch site since 10am this morning and since I have no more than three and a half hours left on this planet I don't plan on wasting this day on last-minute training programs, I'd rather spend it here with my wife. NASA scientists have asked each astronaut to keep a log book while on our trip, to record the mission statistics, our thoughts about the journey or any feelings based on living conditions within the vessel. I thought it would be best to complete my first entry before the launch. The mission to planet Juno itself will take about thirteen years, but because of the universal time difference over five hundred years will pass here on Earth, so by the time I return it will be close to the year 5100 A.D.  It is a great loss to suffer, outliving the rest of my family, my wife, but I will play a great role in the evolution of humanity and that alone is worth the life of one man. I would love to explain more but I must make some last minute preparations before the mission, the whole world will be watching this phenomenon and it must be perfect. I will resume my journal after lift-off, until then… goodbye.

  • <END_OF_LOG_BOOK_ENTRY[1]>

*   *   *

<STATUS>

  • Log Entry #002
  • 27.03.4078 [01:11 hrs] (CT)
  • 27.03.4078 [01:08 hrs] Shuttle Time (ST)
  • {+ 5:11.23 hrs} in flight
  • Position: 92,000,000km outside the [human inhabited] planet Mars

We are finally in flight. We left the Earth's atmosphere about five hours ago and we're heading towards Mars at about 18,000,000km/h WS (Warp Speed). We plan on touching down on Mars to re-fuel the ship with Dun^ne gas. Dun^ne gas will give us enough Turbo Boost to drive safely through the Asteroid Belt. The other members of my crew – John Mustan, Albert Smith, Tom Rogue and Edward Jones – are all very excited about the trip, as am I, but so far the mission has been pretty much as expected. We left Earth around eight today (or yesterday to be exact) and are scheduled to land on Mars around 6:30. All I've thought about since I left was Annabelle, oh how I miss her. I have kept close contact with Huston and made several news interviews, but as I said before, the missions been rather boring up to this point. It won't be long until we enter the asteroid belt, that's when the fun'll really start.

  • <END_OF_LOG_BOOK_ENTRY[2]>

*   *   *

<STATUS>

  • Log Entry #003
  • 27.03.4078 [06:57 hrs] (CT)
  • 27.03.4078 [06:42 hrs] (ST)
  • {+ 10:38.97 hrs (on land)} in flight
  • Position: Mars, Northern Plate, Sector 8-F

As expected we landed on Mars about twenty minutes ago. We didn’t bother getting out to greet the rocket technicians so they got straight to work installing the turbo thrusters and fueling them up. They should be ready in about half an hour or so. I can't remember the last time I visited Mars. It must have been roughly ten years ago that I flew to the ‘red planet’ for a trip with my wife (God bless her). It hasn't really changed much, though it feels much colder and electronic than Earth, like one big round factory. It's amazing that thousands of years ago Mars was just an empty island of rock and dust. Oh good, the turbo thrusters have been installed ahead of schedule, in that case we ought to launch through the asteroid belt around seven. I'd better go get ready, see you in about four hours. Bye.

  • <END_OF_LOG_BOOK_ENTRY[3]>

*   *   *

<STATUS>

  • Log Entry #004
  • 27.03.4078 [11:12 hrs] (CT)
  • 27.03.4078 [09:04 hrs] (ST)
  • {+ 14:06.45 hrs} in flight
  • Position: 500,000km outside the asteroid field, heading towards Jupiter

Whoa, what a rush. We made it though. That was the best moment of my life, if you haven't guessed we've just come out of “turbo mode” going through the asteroid belt and let me tell you: IT WAS INTENSE. We're currently heading towards Jupiter at a slow 2,000km/s. I can just make out one of the planets' moons in the distance; I'm not sure which one though. Once we pass Jupiter we'll move into orbit over the Ring of Saturn, although it'll take over half a month to reach Saturn at this speed. Everything concerning the mission has gone according to plan so far, though I did make note of a strange object drifting along the perimeter of the asteroid field an hour or so back. I mentioned it to Huston and they too had no record of it, though they said not to worry, as it's no doubt just some space-wreckage from a previous space mission. I've become great friends with the rest of the crew, especially young Tom. We spend most of our time reading and playing chess. It can become very quiet and lonely out here at times. Sometimes you'll get very cold and frightened for no particular reason, though most of the time you'll be too busy to notice.

  • <END_OF_LOG_BOOK_ENTRY[4]>

*   *   *

<STATUS>

  • Log Entry #005
  • 18.07.4078 [02:04 hrs] (CT)
  • 13.04.4078 [00:45 hrs] (ST)
  • {+ 423:34.18 hrs} in flight
  • Position: Orbiting through the Ring of Saturn

I am beginning to loathe space, and this ship. I've seen nothing but both of them for a month now and it's getting on my nerves. We've manned the Phoenix 3 into the Ring of Saturn, so now we're going to have to pull its speed back to slow 500km/s, which will mean another two months of space-travel until we finally touch down on Uranus for a craft over-view. Because our transmission system will also be shielded by the mass of the planet it'll also mean two months without contact from NASA, or any humans for that matter. Yep, two months of chess with just me and my crew. I've found that music is able to help a lot when ever I feel scared and alone, so I've been listening to plenty of Beethoven to preserve my sanity. I've also noticed a few more pieces of that space-junk drifting around in the distance. I didn't mention it to NASA before we entered the Saturn Ring though. I'm sure it's nothing.

  • <END_OF_LOG_BOOK_ENTRY[5]>

*   *   *

<STATUS>

  • Log Entry #006
  • 09.02.4079 [21:00 hrs] (CT)
  • 01.06.4078 [06:09 hrs] (ST)
  • {+ 1911:23.03 hrs} in flight
  • Position: Uranus, Pod 8437-659, Re-fuel station

I awoke this morning to find that we had finally landed on Uranus for our craft check-up. I was told that we'd be staying here for a day or two while technicians re-fueled the ship. I've had a chat with the locals, a friendly bunch of folk. Quite different from those back on Earth, but nice enough. They've also noticed a lot of objects drifting in from Hyper Space. They seem to be coming in larger amounts than a few months ago. I was given an update by NASA informing me that everything was on schedule. I was also baffled to find out that although the Phoenix 3 had been in flight for at least three months, almost a year has passed back on Earth. From Uranus it should take another couple of months before we reach Hyper Space. On our way there we should pass the only two uninhabited planets in the Solar System – Neptune and Pluto. By then Earth should be at least three years ahead of the shuttles' time-zone. I'll resume my journal as soon as we get back in the air.

  • <END_OF_LOG_BOOK_ENTRY[6]>

*   *   *

<STATUS>

  • Log Entry #007
  • 05.07.4081 [16:52 hrs] (CT)
  • 23.08.4078 [23:51 hrs] (ST)
  • {+ 2423:19.56 hrs} in flight
  • Position: 2,000,000km outside the [uninhabited] planet Pluto

It is beautiful, so natural; so quiet and untouched. The ship has just begun to make its pass outside the great planet Pluto. We're almost on the verge of Hyper Space, an experience only two other ships have witnessed (The Phoenix 1 & 2). The crew and I are so excited, it's taken a long time but I'm sure it will be more than worth it. Once we enter Hyper Space we'll be driven by NASA along the route to the Alpha Centauri Solar System, and eventually planet Juno. The journey through the Unknown Cosmos will take about twelve years, and because of this we will have to be placed in a state of cybernetic hibernation so that we are not overcome by space madness (a computer will wake us up when we have reached the planets' atmosphere). As I may have mentioned earlier the time difference of being outside this Solar System will mean that over five hundred years will pass back on Earth. We're travelling at about 100,000,000km/m so we should reach Hyper Space in about a day's time.

  • <END_OF_LOG_BOOK_ENTRY[7]>

*   *   * 

<STATUS>

  • Log Entry #008
  • 12.09.4087 [01:04 hrs] (CT)
  • 24.08.4078 [12:56 hrs] (ST)
  • {+ 2447:12.16 hrs} in flight
  • Position: 2,000km outside Hyper Space

We're almost ready, only a few more minutes until we enter the Unknown Cosmos. We've each been placed in a hibernation chamber that will be activated as soon as we leave the Solar System. I'm so excited, all I can think about is my poor, sweet Annabelle, and how I wish she were with me. The countdown has just started so I better finish my journal quickly. This will be my last entry until we reach Juno, so until then, goodbye. See you in twelve years.

  • <END_OF_LOG_BOOK_ENTRY[8]>

*   *   *

<STATUS>

  • Log Entry #009 (last entry)
  • Unknown (CT).
  • Unknown (ST).
  • {? hrs} in flight (until abduction).
  • Position: Unknown

May God have mercy on my soul! The ship, Phoenix 3, never made it to planet Juno. The vessels route was intercepted. All I remember was waking up from hibernation to the sound of an alarm, the computer clock said that we were only a quarter of the way to the Alpha Centauri Solar System. We had made an emergency stop for some reason. And then we heard the crashes and screeches’ coming from outside the chamber – something else was aboard. In a frantic hurry we armed ourselves with weapons from the chambers' artillery desk and fled to the exit to face whatever was out there. Unfortunately we weren't counting on a party of hideous aliens waiting to greet us. Without warning they pounced on us, tearing Albert and Edward apart, I still can't get the images out of my mind. Like a coward I ran into the hall while John and Tom stood and fought whatever it was back there. The laser-shots got fainter and fainter as I sped further down the ship. All of a sudden I remember hearing a blood-curdling roar, followed by a high-pitched scream. Hearing light footsteps I waited by the lobby door for any survivors. After a while Tom came running down the hall-way covered in John's blood. I don't remember much after that, besides running and panting as fast as we could away from the creatures that had killed our crew. But it was no use, there was no where to go, more creatures pilled into the vessel and eventually overcame us. Tom struggled to fight them off so the aliens just killed him after a while. I surrendered without any trouble at all; they put me aboard their spaceship (which happened to be the mysterious space-junk flying around near Uranus) and drugged me. That is all I remember until I woke up here, in this white cube-shaped room with just me and my laptop. I don't know what my fate is, or the fate of the human race, but as I said before, “May God have mercy on my soul.”

  • <END_OF_LOG_BOOK_ENTRY[9] >
  • <OVER & OUT>

Categories: WRITING, Short Stories

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