The Lark's Last Voyage Ch. 1

Feb 1, 2011, 10:32 PM |


So I'm going back to some sci-fi stuff.  I have no clue how long this will end up being, but probably about 10 chapters.  Please read, comment and critique.  Thanks :)


*The following is a series of recordings dictated by Stephan Cantella on the events that lead to the destruction of the interstellar exploration ship Lark.  The tapes were found in the an empty escape pod.*

Recording One

We only have a few hours of safety right now.  At least, I hope.  But I figure this will be the best way to keep sane right now.  Most of us are dead.  Out of the one-hundred and twelve people on this ship, only five humans and still alive, that I know of. 

Well, let’s get this shit started.  I’m Stephan Cantella, owner of Planetary Protection.  I know I don’t need to state this, but I will anyways.  Every ship that travels out of Earth’s solar system must have security force after those violent encounters with hostiles a few years back.  Anyways, we were hired by the Lark to be security for their scientists on a planet a few galaxies over. 

My company was pretty veteran compared to most security teams out there, but that doesn’t mean we saw a lot of combat against other species.  For the most part, we have only visited primitive planets with no dominant, highly intellectual life forms, or ruins of past civilizations.  The worst we faced on one of these jobs was having to take down a pack of some sort of reptilian wolves.  Not very hard when we have some of the best fire power in the solar system.

I know that you don’t need to know about our merry little band of survivors, but I’m going to tell you, so deal with it.  There’s Robert Ashe, the only remaining part of PP besides me.  There’s Sophia Rowland, one of the Lark’s many “Planet Explorers”, Dan Elizondo, the head engineer, and Doctor Ashley Lewis.  She still insists on being called doctor.  Just her way of dealing with hell I suppose.  It’s not like the title will stop her from her head being ripped off her shoulders though.

Well why don’t I get to the start of out fun adventure?

The planet we were going to escort the scientists to was called XE9N0.  From satellite images, all that appeared to be on the planet were ruins and wildlife.  The atmosphere was similar enough to Earth so that we didn’t have to wear any of the ridiculous safety suits.  I mean seriously, who the hell decides to have the regulation atmosphere protection suits a tie-dye of hot pink and neon yellow?  Morons.

When we landed on the planet, my team did a quick recon of the immediate area to make sure there was nothing dangerous for the “planet explorers”.  I’m sorry, but I still can’t believe that title they give themselves.  It just seems so…egotistical, maybe?  That they are the trailblazers for the rest of intelligent life and that without them, planetary exploration couldn’t happen.  But I digress.  After we cleared the area, the scientists came down with their equipment.  Just the normal scientific instruments, I suppose.  Bags, journals, measuring apparatus and a lot of different, powerful cameras and video recorders. 

The ruins that we were going to were about three quarters of a mile away.  We couldn’t get any closer due to magnetic interference coming from the area.  That was, as I was told, the reason for investigating.  The journey there was uneventful; it was a decent day, however.  It was warm, a little humid, with a nice breeze once in a while.  The suns were shining and the light green sky showed a few clouds and the abundant amount of flora in the area was breathtaking.  There were so many colors, shapes and sizes that don’t exist anywhere else.  Same with the fauna.  That’s why I loved this job, I could see all these new kinds of animals and see how evolution happened elsewhere in the universe.  If I make it out of this, though, you can be damn sure that I’ll be fine going to the zoos on Earth, even if we only had a few species left.

The ruins were actually quite miraculous, even for just another hired muscle.  The first thing I noticed was the remnants of a circular wall.  It was some type of light pink stone and got to be over fifteen feet tall and three feet wide.  It was a small place, and almost seemed like it should be some sort of monastery.  The stones that made up all of the buildings were what looked like some mix of obsidian and white marble.  The buildings were triangular, mostly. Almost looking like fatter Washington Monuments.  However, In the middle of the ruins was a large hexagonal building three times the size of any other building.  If I had to guess, it was probably thirty, or thirty-five feet tall.  There weren’t any noticeable paths in the area, just an orange grass and what looked like weeds and flowers. 

At the ruins, five parties were formed, each with one of my men guarding them.  There were five groups.  Thinking back, I believe that Sophia was with me.  My party went to the large hexagonal, for lack of a better word, temple.  I call it that, because walking in, it reminded me of the churches back on Earth.  High, vaulted ceilings, white-gray pews surrounding the center from all sides.  There were no window until near the top of the structure and the walls were covered with a form of writing I didn’t recognize.  Surprise, surprise, I know.  But it did remind me of hieroglyphics in a way, because there were a lot of pictures with the script.  At the epicenter of the church was a gigantic jet black altar.  And sitting on it, was a statue of an egg.  It was a blue-green color, kinda like a dark teal.  The scientists went straight to the altar to take photographs and video of it.  I saw them put it into a large padded jar and carefully placed on the ground outside.  I just sat and watched the single opening of the building while the “explorers” did their jobs, collecting and recording and categorizing. 

After the first sun had set and the second was already halfway past the horizon, all of the groups joined back together at the temple and we started to head back to the lift.  The return trip was just as uneventful for me, but the scientists were murmuring to each other like children back in middle school.  I guess they found a lot of interesting stuff.

That was the last peaceful night most of them would see.

I hear scratching outside.  The little shits found us.  So I’m signing off for now.  I’ll make sure that I make another recording when I’m not worried about seeing my own intestines. 

Alright people, wake up! The assholes are here!  Grab your guns.