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Lost Home: chapter 1
We had done this hundreds of times in simulations, perfected it and every possible error. Finally our time had come. We were landing. There was thick fog that covered the area we were landing in. It was smooth until we went into the fog, we measured it to be ten miles thick. We switched the monitor to display sonar imaging, which was so distorted by the fog it was almost as useful as the camera. After a little bit we started feeling the slightest...turbulence, that's what it felt like anyway. It progressively got worse but only slightly until we were less than 100 feet from landing when something crashed into the side of our ship and we went out of control. Spiraling sideways and being flung around every time we hit something else. Parts of walls and stuff in the cabinets were flying around. Something hit my helmet. Everything went quiet and my vision blurred and everything spun. The computers went out when we crashed into the ground nose first.
The ship was in ruins and I’m pretty sure we were upside-down. I couldn’t hear anything. I felt something grab my safety harness and cut it. Whatever just cut me loose didn’t let me fall but eased me down. Seeing the outline of our crew helmet eased my fears. Whoever it was, they went to help the rest. I get up, fall to my knees, and the ship spins and settles. I stand again and start helping others up. Soon enough we’re all up getting checked out by the medic and trying to fix or salvage what we can, including my helmet radio. Soon enough we had my radio fixed, I could hear my crew again. With the computer down we had to make repairs off of our memory, which sounds a lot harder than it was. We got some of the systems running like the heating and cooling. We got some sensors connected and the atmospheric sensor immediately started wailing and a screen displayed a warning cut into pieces like a puzzle. It read “WARNING: puncture in ship analyzing atmosphere composition” then switched to “SAFE” with the composition of the air listed below.
“Guys, there’s a hole in the ship,”I say “But the sensors say it’s safe.”
“Oh thank god, it’s so hot in this damn suit.” Richard, our mechanic, says.
“ Wait, are you sure it’s safe?” Teresa, our captain and medic, stops him.
“ There’s no toxins and the air is 62% oxygen.” I answer.
“Let me get the radiation sensors up before we go taking our suits off.” Avery,our technician, says through a tangle of wires. “And are we not gonna talk about whatever hit us.” We all just look at each other. Even through the dark visors there’s a sense of dread and worry.
“Let’s fix what we can first.” Teresa orders, if I didn’t know better I’d say she was scared.
“Any way I can help?” I ask Avery, ducking under a chair.
“Aren’t you comms? Why not try to get that working?”
“Antenna is either under the ship or broke off while we were going down.” I reply.
“Hey Sharp, lets see what we’re dealing with outside.” Teresa calls to me.
“You know I hate that name, Cap.” I joke, walking with her to the door.
“Get us some rifles.” I can feel her glaring at me. “Let’s see if this works.”
Opening the rack I grab two rifles. She grabs the lever that operates the door. Prying it up, normally it’d be down, the door started opening upwards and the stairs were being folded out. Creaking up slowly and then stopping after opening a couple feet. She looks back at me and reaches out for a rifle and the hydraulic presses explode and the door slams shut.
“I guess we find a way to prop the door open” Teresa suggests. So we forced the door open and after taking a seat off we set it underneath to keep it open.
Venturing out into the fog, staying in sight of each other, it clears just enough for us to see the shape of something big and tall, too tall to see the top, but growing into the ground. Suddenly, I remember something from our exploration class. “Fire beats fog.” I mumble.
“What?” Teresa asks.
“Use your flamethrower.” I answer “Fire beats fog.”
“He's right, the heat will make it condense into a liquid” Richard's voice comes through the radio. We stand back to back and spray away. Soon there's a clearing in the fog and we can clearly see the biggest tree we've ever seen. This is what we were born to do and this is the planet we were taught to find. The planet we destroyed and abandoned, Earth.