Planet Destiny

May 16, 2010
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The team was heading towards the planet known as Destiny. They were sent there on a special mission to find the first group of explorers that had gone to Destiny and seemingly vanished. Team one’s job had been to explore the planet and decide if it was livable for humans. A week had gone by without any word from the explorers of team one. This was when Sandra and her team set out on Project Rebound.

The planet looked like ice from a distance. As Sandra’s team continued to make their way closer, she wondered why the government had thought this planet would be livable in the first place. However, when she finally saw some trees in the distance, her doubt slowly faded away. Maybe it was livable here.

The ship that held Sandra and her team finally landed, but it couldn’t get a firm grip on the ground, so it began digging into the surface of the planet for a stronger grip.

Once the ship was successfully grounded, team two made their way out onto Planet Destiny in their spacesuits. Sandra, the team leader, started by testing to see if the air was breathable. Once she saw that it was, she took off her spacesuit, her team following her example. The air outside was surprisingly calm and, although cool, it wasn’t freezing outside.

“We should’ve brought different shoes for this job,” Samantha, one of the other group members, said. Samantha was five feet two inches in height and had shoulder-length brown hair that contained a few blonde highlights. She was the youngest group member, being only twenty-three.

“Yeah, well, it’s a little late for that now,” Alec said, stepping outside behind Samantha. He was six foot two inches and had short dirty blonde hair. He was twenty-six years old and had emerald green eyes that matched his earthy personality.

The snow boots that should’ve been on their feet were replaced by normal space boots. Team one had the other shoes and it was too time consuming to wait for the shoes that would be needed for this rescue team.

Once everyone was outside, the group began to head towards the trees they saw in the distance. It was amazing how much the landscape changed within that mile. The land changed from all ice to hard dirt. Most of the sky was light gray, but storm clouds could be seen rolling in rapidly towards the group.

When the group was halfway towards the trees, a sudden wind began to pick up. Before anyone knew what was going on, these winds began to have the force of a twister. The group was suddenly blown back some, landing on the cold, hard ice, no other loose objects surrounding them. As the group got back on their feet, stronger winds blew them back to their ship.
“Everyone, grab on to something!” Sandra yelled to her teammates.

“Grab onto what?” Samantha screamed in response, “There’s nothing to grab on to!” Samantha, not close enough to grab onto the ship, continued to slide on the ice.

“Help me!” Samantha screamed out. Samantha slid farther and farther away from the ship that the others were clenching onto.

“Samantha!” Alec yelled, releasing his grip on the ship with one of his hands to grab onto Samantha.

The foreboding thunder clouds darkened the skies and were almost directly above the team now, much faster than clouds would ever have moved on Earth. No reports had been provided from team one about spontaneous weather, but then again, team one had been missing for a week now.

Samantha continued sliding across the ice, barely missing the hand Alec held out to her. A pit began to form in Sandra’s stomach, warning her that if the winds kept up like this that all attempts to help out Samantha would be futile. Sandra’s thoughts raced, trying to create any plan that would help out her friend. That’s when she saw the cliff. About twenty feet away from where Samantha was sliding was a cliff. If Samantha slipped too much further, she would tumble off.

Alec’s grip on the ship was weakening, the ship groaning as it continued to hold itself upright all the while fighting the individuals clinging onto it and the winds that blew against it.

“Sandra, what’s the plan?” Alec called out to the leader.

“I’m working on it,” she called back.

“Well stop thinking and start acting!” he yelled.

Sandra wanted to yell back, but she knew that would just take up more precious time. Instead, she reached into her backpack and began to pull something out. Before the others could see what it was, Samantha let out a small screech as the wind picked up even more, tossing Sandra and Alec off the ship.

Screams filled the air, Samantha’s scream louder when she felt her foot fall over the edge of the cliff. Not long afterwards, the rest of her was freefalling. Seeing Alec’s feet right above her, she grabbed on, hoping that he would be able to save her. Samantha’s grip on Alec was loosening by the second.

“Hang on Sam!” he called out, feeling her weakening grip. Desperate, Alec tried to find anything that would help pull the two of them back up, but his blind searching was useless. Soon, Alec, too, was slipping off the cliff.

Sandra was soon the only one still barely on the ice. She knew what she had to do. With all her desperate force, she dug the metal object she held deep into the ground, while her hands grasped the metal, and her body hung over the edge of the cliff. Here the winds were absent due to the placement of the cliffs.

“Hurry! Climb up Samantha! This thing won’t hold forever!” Sandra yelled down below to her companion. The site below them would have been hauntingly marvelous if it wouldn’t have led to their deaths; unlike their home planet, this planet actually had an edge that you could fall off of, and this was it. People would have had a reason to fear falling off the edge of the planet if they had been here, but they were on the wrong planet to be concerned by that fear.

Samantha began to make her way up with a little help from Alec, who was surprised he even had the strength to help Samantha up while still managing to hold on to Sandra’s leg with a firm grip. Samantha successfully crawled past Alec and on to Sandra. This put more immediate weight on the metal piece that was holding the three of them up, dragging the members even closer to their doom. As Samantha finally reached the edge of the cliff and started pulling herself up, she could once again feel the wind pushing against her. With the combination of the wind and ice, she almost fell back off. However, to her surprise, the winds began to slow dramatically, almost to a full halt. With extra help from Sandra, Samantha was able to regain her balance and pull herself up. As she did so, she noticed the storm clouds were already past them, leaving only light gray clouds as before. Samantha suddenly had an idea.

“I’ll be back in a sec!” she said to her companions as she headed towards the ship with as much speed as conditions would allow her. Throwing the door to their aircraft open, she quickly scavenged the objects beside the door, knowing that a rope was nearby. When she found it, she began tying the rope securely around one of the legs of the ship. She tugged a few times to confirm the rope would hold and, seeing that the knot would hold for now, began quickly making her way back with the other end of the rope to her friends.

“You guys, take this!” Samantha told Alec and Sandra as the rope toppled towards them. With a few groans, hands met the rope and tugged their way to the top. Samantha provided a helping hand to Sandra and Alec when they were close enough to her, though the older team members depended more upon their own strength so they wouldn’t pull Samantha back over the edge.

Once again, the three of them were standing back on the cliff. Sandra walked over to receive their metal hero.

“Thanks, Sam,” Alec said, starting off the short conversation between the two.

“No problem. In fact, I should be thanking you, not the other way around,” Sam replied.

“For what?” he asked, although he already knew the answer.

“You know very well what,” Samantha said, causing a slight blush to appear on Alec’s cheeks

“Let’s move,” Sandra ordered once the metal stake was back in her hand. “At this rate, we’ll be lucky to find team one in no less than a week, if they’re even able to be found.”

“Don’t talk like that. We’ll find them,” Samantha stated.

“First, we’ll need to be better prepared,” Alec said. Afterwards, equipment from the ship was added to their bulging backpacks before they were back on their way towards the trees. For now the sky was clear of stormy weather, but this peace would only be temporary.

“Hey, maybe we can make it to the trees this time!” Samantha optimistically exclaimed as they walked.

“Or maybe we can get sucked up in another tornado,” Sandra stated under her breath.

As if on cue, dark clouds began to form in the sky once again. Luckily, the group made it to the dry land that contained the few trees. Beyond the trees, the team could tell that they were at the top of a hill overlooking more ice just beyond the dirt. A small creek ran to the right of this dirt, not noticed earlier on the mission due to the situation they had been thrown in immediately after arriving. It flowed faster than any creek should’ve, a dangerous speed like that of a massive river. It was a wonder that none of them had noticed it before.

“I don’t understand this place. If a planet could be bipolar, this would definitely be one of those planets,” Alec quipped. “I mean, most of it’s ice, but then there’s this tree, not to mention the thirty second weather.”

“What’s this?” Samantha suddenly said, walking over to one of the trees at the end of the hill. She bent down and picked up an empty canteen.

“Team one’s?” Alec wondered aloud, walking over to the area and taking the canteen Samantha offered him.

“Yep. That means they must be close by,” Sandra joined the others, hope seeming to enter her blue eyes at last, but her voice remained untouched by emotion.

After this statement, the sound of a cracking branch was heard coming from the tree beside Samantha. This wouldn’t be unusual except for the fact that it came from beneath the tree.

“What was that?” Sandra asked, concerned. “Sam, did you-?”

“-Wait. Listen…” Samantha cut off Sandra’s sentence, signaling Alec and Sandra to remain quiet as she knelt closer to the ground.

“What is it?” Alec asked in a hushed voice as he, too, came closer to the ground. Sandra quickly sprinted over to hear what the others were talking about.

“Ray, wake up,” an unknown female voice told another stranger from beneath the tree the threesome was listening at. “I think there’s someone’s here to help.”

Rustling could be heard from beneath the ground.

“Hello?” a booming voice could be heard. The rescue team could only assume that this was the voice of Ray. Sandra, as the leader, decided to step up and answer this voice.

“Is someone down there?”

“Yes! We’re stuck” the male voice called.

“Are you team one? How did you get down there?” Sandra pushed on.

“Don’t stand next to the trees too long! There’s quick sand!” a female voice warned.

Sandra, Alec, and Samantha instantly took a step away from the trees in response.

“Are all of you okay?” Samantha asked the ground.

“We could be better,” a different male voice responded, sounding younger and like he just woke up. “But we’re all here.”

“Okay, do you see any other exit to go through? I don’t think you’ll be coming back up the way you went,” Sandra guided.

“The only one leads to the creek. We’ll get pushed off the cliff by the current,” the girl voice chipped in once again.

A sudden idea popped in Alec’s head.

“No you won’t,” he said. He then told everyone what the plan was after finding out exactly which part of the creek the exit from underground led to.

The first one to test out this plan was the girl in team one. Her name turned out to be Nichole.

“Ready?” Ray and the other male member, David, asked.

Her voice shaky, Nichole answered with, “As ready as I’ll ever be.”

“Okay, everything is ready up here. Go,” Sandra demanded.

A rope hung across the river, two metal rods holding it into the ground from either side. This rope would stop the person in the water from going any farther. From there, team two would help the person out of the water. Alec waited a little farther down the creek in case anything went wrong.

Nichole was able to successfully get out of the creek using this plan. Ray, who went after her, was also brought to safety. David was the last one to test out this plan. At this time the weather was increasingly getting worse, the clouds running towards the survivors with a newfound fierceness.

“Okay David, we’re ready for you,” everyone reassured him.

Soon, his body was racing across the creek. His body hit the rope with so much force the metal rod on one side of the creek snapped out of the ground, leaving David grasping for the loose end of the rope.

Alec was immediately at David’s side, yanking him out of the water right before the other metal rod was tugged out of the ground with the current. Both of the stakes were lost to this force.

Panting, Dave gave Alec a raspy, “Thanks,” as he rolled on his back from the laying position he was in. That’s when the storm clouds right above them stole their attention. Sitting up, David watched as another twister began to form on the ice next to the land opposite from the ship.

“Guys, look!” the men exclaimed, pointing towards the new disaster before them.

“What do we grab onto this time?” Samantha worriedly asked Sandra. Even if there was something to hold on to, there wasn’t any time left. Everyone knew this, though no one said this out loud.

The twister quickly made its way towards them. Everyone said their goodbyes. Right before striking the patch of land with everyone on it, the twister pulled up from the ground, jumping over the land and reforming on the ice behind them, heading directly towards the ship.

“Did you just see that?!” Nichole asked anyone who would listen.

“Yeah…” several others responded, disbelief evident in their voices.

The twister headed towards the ship at full speed, blowing against it for several minutes longer. Somehow the ship managed to hold on to the ground. Once the twister was gone, the two teams dashed to the ship, hoping to avoid another catastrophe.

The door slammed, engines revved, and equipment was tossed wherever there was room.

“Go, go!” Dave told Ray, the pilot at the moment. In response, the ship was lifted off the ground and headed towards the sky that was clear for now.
Time went on. Eventually, the two teams landed on their home planet. Reports were made after the teams rested up. When the teams were finally gathered in the same meeting room, one of the commanders of the mission walked up to them.
“So, according to your reports, we shouldn’t allow humans to live on Destiny?” he asked, in a somewhat joking manner.
The response from the teams was a laugh, but behind this laugh hid the true answer: No way.

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