Monday, September 16, 2013

Finding Life.....

 When I was asked whether I would love to join the expedition to planet Zubago, I was in a not in a dilemma. I had nothing to look forward on earth anymore, other than the stinking prison life I was given for doing what was right. Wouldn't you kill to protect the woman you loved more than your life? That is what I did when those strangers crept into our home catching Maria unawares. I entered to horrifying sight of her being attacked by two strangers and in terrible pain. I was no more a man but a monster who wanted to kill and kill even the dead bodies of those creepy things who called themselves humans. The kick in the abdomen proved too much for my love who breathed her last 3 days later.
From the sudden beautiful romantic life with the woman I loved, I was shut in the prison as a murderer. The prosecution did a good job of convincing the jury with the gory pictures of the dead bodies of those rapists. Anyway that did not make any difference after all whether I would be locked in prison or set free. The world without my love would be same everywhere. The helplessness of not being able to save the woman who trusted me, not being able to say sorry to her, hating myself for stopping to buy her that beautiful butterfly brooch and not being able to change anything tortured my soul. The walls of the prison which locked hardest criminals inside its bosom failed to lock away the memories of Maria.
I signed the agreement with a stoic face. I wanted to get away as far as possible from the memories which killed me every day but still allowed me enough life to live and suffer. The expedition did not have a definite outcome because this was a new venture undertaken by the private company. Everything would be managed by machines other than the human perspective which I was supposed to provide.  The strenuous journey would last for 70 years, which I would sleep away. 70 years without nightmares, haunting memories, regrets or pain! Aaahhhh! How was life when I did not have this pain of losing Maria to deal with? I had no clue. I was now just a blob of pain and regrets.
I looked forward to the new adventure. Or was it danger I was looking forward to? Confronting the unknown was not something that interested me earlier, but now it came as a relief. So I slip carelessly into the Statis in a cryogenic sleep capsule as I did not have anyone to say goodbye to. May be the suspended animation of sleep would be able to erase away my pain.
I woke up the next morning feeling groggy and nauseating. They said it would last nearly 70 years and here I was awake in a day. Did the mission fail? Will I be back to the prison, locked up there once again with my haunting memories? Wait! I see something quite different out there. A small sun, red in color shines over a completely white planet.
©Farida Rizwan
 Has it been 70 years and I was near the planet Zubago. I look up the log. OMG! I have slept for 69 years and woken up in the strange land. The strange fear of unknown engulfs me, and then the horror of the memories strikes me hard. There was no escape from the memories what I had seen 71 years ago even when I had traveled light-years to some unknown land. The emotions associated with the known and irreparable was much worse than the fear of unknown and what would happen to me here. I do not care anymore.
The spacecraft was self maneuvered; in addition it took care of everything I needed. All I had to do was give a human perception of his strange land and enter it into the log.  Even though robotics had advanced in leaps and bounds, they still lacked the human compassion, perception, keen observation skills and insight. If the planet was inhabited by intelligent species who did not want to be discovered, then all they had to do was use some manipulation to throw the smartest machine off tract. We the humans have distinction of owning very powerful visual cortex's, which may have developed in the past out of purely evolutionary necessity. They rapidly parse through any distortions in the data in order to identify abstract qualities like pattern and organization, in addition to the sensing things which are visible to naked eyes.  This was discovered when the bots failed to enter the verification code on websites. This was the only reason why I was on board of this spaceship which could do everything on its own.

The geologist in me was now fully awake, as I watched the icy planet in awe. It was nothing but mass of ice covering the whole planet. The appearance of the planet clearly meant that it had water, so whatever could survive in the cold temperature could survive on this planet. I slipped into the special Planet Storme Explorer vehicle and hover on the icy expansion. No sign of life, not even a tiny movement caught my eye. The sturdy vehicle withstood the rough terrain as it hovered steadily in the rough and chilly winds moving at the speed of 200 miles/ph. I peeped out the window to look at the expansion of ice below.

 I had strict instructions not to set foot on the planet for another 3 days. I was tempted to touch and feel the snow. Was it the same as it was back on earth? The one which I played snowball with Maria throughout the winter? I tried to shut down the memories that followed the pleasant recollection. Here I could hear again Maria withering in pain and two men mercilessly brutalizing her limp body. I am late; the visions are haunting me again and sending waves of dark pain shadowing my heart. I hover over the planet for 7 hours. I come to the comfort and safety of spaceship once again. Tomorrow I go back there to explore some more.
I lie in my bed and look out of the window. Something catches my eye. A speck in the distant space was moving towards the planet or its star. The ship sets its camera’s ready to click the pictures of collision. The angle of the camera does tell me that the comet is going to pass close to the spaceship but not collide. It was on a collision course to the planet. Was this a co-incidence or had the spaceship woken me to be a spectator to this wonderful cosmic firework? I think of asking the spaceship the question, but then I cannot bring myself to talk to the machine. I sit near the microphone and start narrating the event as it happens.
The comet crashes on the icy planet, melting the ice around it. The burning comet forms a huge crater that covers almost ¼ of the planet. It was amazing that a small comet which looked just like a tiny speck a few hours ago now looked so huge immediately after the collision. It started disintegrating and seeping deep into the planet until it was one with it. The melted ice covered the gaping hole creating a huge body of water. Within an hour, everything out there had changed. Now I had a planet which was half covered with water and half with ice in front of me. I observed that the impact with the comet had changed its path and it was now moving closer to the star. The heat was melting the ice, creating streams on the planet. I could finally catch glimpse of some land.

I watch the planet for 3 days according to the instructions given to me. Then I get back into my sturdy Storme Explorer and finally land on the mysterious planet. I completely trust my companion which is a powerful vehicle built to be feared and respected by any terrain. This powerful machine with stunning gadgets and rugged accessories is a true explorer that hovers, cuts through and runs free, refusing to show mercy to the new planet.
Its robust turbos allow me to explore the planet without even landing on it, but then I want to touch the ground. I bring out its tires and start to drive. I explore the edge of the crater which had been formed due to the impact with the comet. The water looks exactly like it would back home, on our very own earth, but it is more bluish in color.

Some movement catches my eye as I look into the vast body of water in front of me. I see tiny specks in the water floating, no wait, they are not floating but they are moving. The planet is inhabited, though it is not by the creatures that I expected to see, it is indeed inhabited with life. They were smaller life forms that could withstand extreme cold temperature, or it may have received life forms from the comet that crashed into it 3 days ago. Did this planet just start its new life in front of my very own eyes? I collect the sample from the water along with the specks that were moving in it. I get back into my machine as the star Merrinatti goes down on the icy slopes.
It has been a month since the comet crashed into the planet Zubago. Everything has changed ever since. The planet is thrown off its orbit and has moved much closer to its star. The change in climate has seen the melting of ice into water which is already inhibited with small life forms. The mystery has not been answered whether the life forms existed on the planet, or was it on the comet that crashed into it. Seeing such a great cosmic event taking place in front of my eyes has changed me completely. I no longer feel the pain of the incident that happened in my past life. When seen through the space where even stars and planets are toyed with, we lose our own egocentricity and our importance.

Another long sleep awaits me as I travel back to earth, a changed man who is looking forward to share his experience and explore more unexplored lands. I had not only found life on a new planet, but had found back my own life. I am an Explorer. I welcome the future with a smile. 

This fiction story has been created for the contests I am Explorer! on Indiblogger by Tata Safari Storme.

The explorer pictures courtesy Animator Rayyan


Rayyan Lost in Laptop

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...