A Scintilla of Hope

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 The book house which was always a hope plunged into the earth. All the little, coloured houses with blooming flowers were abandoned. Only sheds remained of the derelict lighthouse behind the canals. People called them the “war machines” emerging from ground turning everything into grey dust,governments blamed each other. No one would have believed that there existed an intelligence far greater and something beyond human life. Human beings are so vain and blinded by their ego, they never thought that intelligent life might have developed somewhere.

Captain Renee was desolated at the loss of her team. They worked in ESC- extraterrestrial space centre before all of this happened. She was so happy to lead the team, they were more of her friends than team mates. But now this happened and they were all gone. She was too shocked to understand the effect of all this. She felt a sense of purpose in desolation and it changed something inside her. She signed up for the government’s expedition,she was going to examine the extra-terrestrial planet X30 as it was called. The members of last expedition eventually drifted off, few vanished and few were stuck there. Her preparation went on for long, Megaton 360, the spaceship only capable of withstanding the conditions was being sent. She was ready and onboard, and for the first time she was not scared because she had nothing to lose. She was not allowed to take a cell, no computers, except for those strange black boxes and complex measuring instruments hanging from her belt. The cameras required a makeshift darkroom. The absence of all the devices , cell phones in particular made the real world seem very far away , but she had always preferred to live without them.The ship launched into the space successfully, unfurled its sail in the orbit. The ship was propelled by sun light , it was one of a kind. It gained momentum and accelerated forward. But suddenly giant dark lanes of dust criss-crossed the giant galaxy Centaurus A, resulting in hydrogen gas compression and triggering a firestorm. The lights were off suddenly and ship was lost in the deep space. The engine was cut out and zero gravity returned, small shift indicated the ship moved pointing its tails towards sun.She gazed out and saw the stars. “Keep your eyes on those beautiful stars and your feet on the ground”, her father used to say. Now everything was just a memory, that burned like a fire that night. She dreamed about her home, the sea blue wallpaper inside, the smell of cinnamon tea,the fragrance of jasmines in the garden, her childhood, bedtime stories,mother, sister. Now everything seemed like they did not even exist. Suddenly a shock from the outside, put an end to the whole. The sun sunk with a sob and darkness waded her home, her truth. She cried out loud but even her tears were frozen like the time. She wished Max, her fiancée were here, she loved him. She missed him so much, missed his silly jokes, quirky smile.But now even expectations were too expensive, for they always exact a heavy price of painful memories.A big sound from the cargo bay awakened her. Silence had fallen on the ship for so many days and this sound all of a sudden she thought. She waited to open the heavy door until there was no sound at all. Then she went into the makeshift barricade and stumbled forward into the cargo bay. There was darkness everywhere, she felt a rod like thing beneath her foot and picked it up. She saw a flicker of light in the corner and she followed it. She saw two people standing on the observation deck, she could see the fatigue in their eyes and blood smeared on their faces. They introduced themselves as Nero and Kim, the survivors of the first expedition. They came in secretly to join and help her. They explained how their team members were killed and they were not allowed to go again but they did have the answer for all of this, she felt a wave of nausea and unbalance listening to their stories. “We need to search more and gather information” she said. “ We agree” they said. She looked out and saw a tiny spec: earth. “Was it our negligence?” she thought. “We have to hit them hard, let’s do this together” she said. They agreed to this. They finally made it to the planet and captain started examining the red coloured vegetation in the landscape and also searched if they could save anyone but there was not a single life there, they continued their search for any clue that could help the planet. Suddenly there was an explosion damaging the side of the spaceship. But she was determined to end this horror for her family,team mates and everyone who suffered enough. She fired a shot towards the creature but as the shot missed,the creature reversed its direction towards them and ran right into kim’s sword. Everyone took the opportunity and started fighting with all the might. They were on a look out in case more of the creatures attacked but they were none so they relaxed a little bit. Everyone was tired but they had a rush of victory pumping in them. They were determined that this is first step towards restoration. Nero fixed the right side wing of the ship and they were returning home. “ I really hope ESC would be able to find something from these samples” Nero said. “Ya me too, I don’t want to see anyone else dying” said Kim. She thought only if my team were here, they would be so happy to see that there’s a hope. They would happily fight for saving others, they were so courageous and mighty. Sometimes she wondered if she was a good friend,a good person at all. She missed them so badly , but this only made her determination so strong, now she wanted to honor them, honor their deaths and the only way is justice.  She saw the brightness of the red, and yellow signal lights hanging in a framework against the sky,  it seemed so safe and tranquil and finally tears flowed. They submitted the evidence to the government. Human offensives started against the creatures and hope was their weapon.

Author: Jandhyala Manasa

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