• Sophia Menesini

Beyond

It’s just a routine surveillance mission. The alien planet’s sun gives off a bright, white glow, different from our own yellow glisten. The planet itself shines a deep blue, and sparkles against the light like a Sapphire. Circling slowly around its wide girth roughly the size of mars, is an ice belt.

My attention of the planet’s beauty is slightly amiss as my ship barrels towards the planet’s surface, engines aflame, and unfortunately, I’m about to be a very flat pancake.

“Please! The ship is breaking apart! If anyone can hear me, I’ve lost control of my vessel!” My hands are shaking, the color in my face drains. I’m going to die.

Tiny beads of sweat slip down past my brow into my eyes. My stomach is in knots. Looking over the numbers again, the readings on the scanner go ballistic. The readings detect the planet’s atmosphere shows it has high doses of oxygen and hydrogen. Hopefully it will be like stepping out into mountain air, cold and crisp. That is, if I survive long enough to take my first breath.

The clock reads one minute to impact. Life doesn’t flash before my eyes, there’s no bright light.

The minute goes by and the ship impacts. The rest goes dark.


My eyes open but the darkness still remains. My mind is blank as I unsteadily reach out my hand into nothing. Am I dead?

I’m lying on something soft. I expect to feel pain but again there’s nothing. My hands move down my body feeling for any abnormalities, coming back to rest on my bare chest. I’m naked. A chill begins to seep back into my bones, how long have I been here?

“Hello?”

Perhaps this is a terran outpost. They must have heard my distress call and followed the signal to my ship. A sound off to my right catches me off guard, like water trickling into a glass.

“Is someone there?”

It’s too dark to make out any movement but there’s another sound like swaying water. Suddenly something cold is laid upon my bare chest, I hiss at the sudden temperature change. Chilling my core as if someone is wiping a wet rag up to my throat.

“Who are you?” My voice shakes; I scold myself for the intense fear I’m feeling.

A strange gurgling noise answers back. Then it morphs. The rag withdraws and with it comes an almost ethereal voice, “Who are you?”

I clear my throat trying to stop my quivering hands, “I’m Lieutenant John Hostem of the SEC. My ship crashed here.”

“Yes,” comes the voice once more, “I know. I saved you. You had hurt yourself…” From the sound of it, a woman, pausing as if searching for the right word, “Badly.”

I nod taking in the information, “Thank you. Can you tell me what outpost this is, Miss?”

“I am Syvan.”

“Okay… Syvan. Can you tell me where I am?”

There still isn’t any light; I squint trying to make out her form but nothing. She stays silent for a moment.

“It’s hard to explain.”

“Is this a terran outpost, are you with NASA?” My legs around off of the ‘bed’ until they touch the floor; it’s hard, course even, the ground feels like rock.

“I do not know what that is, you are safe John.”

I’m not so sure.

“Can you please turn on the light?” My brow furrows, what if this is an enemy outpost perhaps I’ve been picked up by the Chinese or Russians. I had heard of other countries taking American pilots captive for money. But she didn’t have an accent. In fact she didn’t have any accent that I had ever heard before.

“I do not think that would be wise. How scary it must have been to think this planet empty, but I’m going to protect you.”

This is news, had I stumbled upon the natives?

“Protect me, from whom?”

“My family. They would wish to examine you.”

A heavy weight settles over my chest and suddenly I feel as if I can’t breathe.

“But as I said, I’m going to keep you…safe.”

That doesn’t reassure me.

“I have a life back home, people I care for. I must get back.”

“I’m afraid that’s not possible,” Her voice trails off slightly.

“So I’m your prisoner?” I ask, my breath coming in short gasps.

“My guest,” she answers calmly back and it only infuriates me more

“Enough. Show yourself!” I snarl, biting my words.

“John, you’re not...”

“Now!”

The room fills with light, blinding for a second as my eyes adjust. I’m lying on a bed covered in furs with animal prints I’ve never seen. The room is a colossal dome, and from the look of the light bouncing off the walls it’s made of crystal. It’s been grown naturally. Finally looking upon my captor, my mind races. Standing before me is the outline of a woman made entirely of what looks like water. Her organs shine, pulsing from inside and her veins wind up her arms. She’s translucent, and yet you can clearly see features of a more or less human face. It takes a step towards me and I crawl back onto the bed further away from the creature.

“What are you?” I whisper keeping my distance.

“Your friend, John.”

It takes another step toward me and sits on the bed reaching out one of its hands.

I can’t breathe.

“You are not alone.”

Tears burn my eyes and I hang my head.

Oh but I am. I am very alone.




 

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