borrandoperfil Borrando Perfil

In the distant future, an intrepid group of space explorers are the first astronauts to travel outside of the solar system. They land on a mysterious planet by chance, just to discover an ancient civilization deep within the uncharted territory. Pushed by their curiosity, they go deep into the land to make a discovery that will change mankind's vision of the universe forever.


Science fiction Futuriste Tout public.

#thelostcivilization
4
6.8mille VUES
Terminé
temps de lecture
AA Partager

*

STARLIGHT PIONEER STAR EXPLORER 112 SHIP LOG. DAY 1176. APRIL 2, 2367 ANNO DOMINI. COLONEL ALICIA SCOTT, in command.


The crew is exhausted. Today, Doctor Emily Kim, our brilliant and meticulous astrophysicist, had to take anxiolytics, Aneurol 500mg. It is evident that we are spiraling towards a strange planet. The circles are wide, almost imperceptible, but we are being drawn in, like a paper airplane losing the propulsion of the child who launched it into the air. The ship's force is not powerful enough to reach escape velocity.

While Dr. Kim sleeps, our technician Li Chen, an expert in life support systems and ship maintenance, attempts to solve the differential equations that can predict the speed of descent as we approach the point of no return. The planet appears to have great mass but is surrounded by a binary system of distant stars that causes the descent to be gradual. Chen is not afraid. He is tired, like everyone, but not afraid. He says the planet is similar to Earth, although "our muscles will ache as we get closer." He always has a unique perspective, and his sense of humor alleviates tension in difficult times. Thank goodness.

"How do the winds move? How do lovers weep at love that never returns? How does time move on the rivers of life, when you are happy?"

"Fast," I replied.

"Exactly. That's how we're falling, even if it's not noticeable," Chen clarified.

Captain Yuri Ivanov is a retired cosmonaut and works as an external consultant for the mission. He possesses profound knowledge of space and a unique understanding of imaginary technology. We've been imagining technology for centuries. These missions seek technology that we can imagine but cannot create. Ivanov is Russian. He's not my friend. We don't particularly like each other. Nonetheless, his expertise makes him an indispensable member of the crew. I believe he conspires with some other members to undermine me. Simply scheming. He can't bypass the chain of command because I have the power to annihilate him with a click. But he conspires. With whom? Logically, with engineer Elena Volkov, who is his compatriot. Elena is a brilliant mind, entirely solution-oriented, although she can be a bit reserved and mistrustful at times. She prefers to work alone. I hope that her characteristic mistrust keeps her away from Ivanov's schemes."

On the planet, which we've baptized as Celesterra, everything is so green it resembles paradise. The gravity is greater than Earth's, making us feel sluggish, moving like arthritic individuals on a rainy day. Breathing isn't normal either. There's oxygen, evident from the vegetation, but in excess. So much so, it's dizzying. Additionally, the atmosphere is composed, according to on-board chemist Dr. Berthold Kram's analysis, of some gaseous metals that may be toxic. He mentioned we could survive a few hours without the suits, so we've ventured out with them. Unfortunately, Dr. Kim remains asleep.

What we've seen, duly documented with photos and recordings, is something we could never have dreamt of. The mist on this planet is soft yet constant, with unique electromagnetic properties that make it glow with iridescent colors when illuminated by the light of its two suns. Their radiance intersects, creating effects unknown to us. There are colors we've never seen. This unique feature creates a visually stunning landscape. Although we don't inhale directly, the mist contains traces of an unknown chemical substance with mild hallucinogenic effects. Since setting foot on solid ground, we've been unable to stop laughing, joking around as if being in a good mood were inevitable. It's pleasurable, of course, but adds a strange layer of confusion and mystery as we delve into the questions this new place raises.

"The mist acts as a natural energy field that protects the planet from cosmic radiation," Engineer Volkov stated, momentarily abandoning her usual reserved and individualistic demeanor. "I wonder if it could have evolved, or if it's purely technological."

Some creatures, resembling insects, can move through the mist almost invisibly. They're harmless. Light, striking the misty mass, turns these tiny beings into tiny fireflies. They emit a dull sound, like brushing a boot with a brush, but much softer. Later, on the Starlight, I thought that sound was more like an electric appliance plugged in without a ground connection. Before boarding the ship, Li Chen made an observation, amidst laughter. If his demeanor is typically jovial, the indirect effect of the fog has turned Li into a comedian on a Greenwich Village stage on a bustling night.

"Boss," he said. He always calls me boss instead of colonel, as he should. "I'm sure the density of this fog layer varies with the seasons. Do you see the two suns? As they move, it's inevitable that there will be periods of the year when the fog dissipates completely."

Suddenly, Li burst into laughter, as if he were a consumer of narcotics. I haven't tried marijuana since college, but his laughter reminded me of that silly feeling that escapes and stops in spasms that shorten.

"Silent and ethereal, its presence unfolds, a white whisper that plays in the landscape," he said.

"The fog. The solution to your riddle is the fog," Captain Ivanov responded with disdain. "This fog induces good humor, but if you keep up with your riddles, you'll ruin the trip."

"My apologies, Captain. I haven't had this much fun since I was on a roller coaster as a kid. By the way, you're Russian, like the coaster in spanish."

"Shut up, Li," I ordered, and after a couple more laughs, he shut up.


LOGBOOK OF THE STARLIGHT PIONEER SHIP, STELLAR EXPLORER 112. DAY 1177. APRIL 3, 2367 AD. COLONEL ALICIA SCOTT, in command.


Back on board, we've eaten our rehydrated rations and started crunching numbers. Dr. Emily Kim has awakened and seen the videos and photos we've taken. She's feeling better now, seeing that we've set foot on Celesterra without major mishaps.

We still can't escape the planet's gravitational field. According to Dr. Kim, we'll have to wait a few days for the left star, which we've named Hyperion, to move. Pilot Lieutenant Kuus has raised the ship about six kilometers above the surface, and we've flown over the spherical mass, using the ship's telescopes and cameras. We can't believe it. There are ruins. Ruins! They're formed by impressive, yet decaying, structures that reach towards the sky, displaying monumental architecture. The level of skill these constructions demand surpasses anything seen by human beings. Their engineering knowledge outshines ours in a shameful proportion. It appears to be an ancient civilization, as there's no trace of life beyond the vegetation and insects. The walls of the buildings aren't distinguishable from such a distance, but anthropologist Perkins is certain they're adorned with reliefs and carvings depicting scenes of daily life, mythology, and the technological achievements of that ancient society.

"We've been able to solve the orbits, boss," Chen told me, after hours of work with astrophysicist Emily Kim. "The presence of two stars in the system creates unique climatic and seasonal patterns. Changes in orbit and stellar radiation create a strange system of very short and very long seasons, as well as variations in sunlight intensity and temperature. Look at the simulation. There are areas on the planet where it will never get dark, and others where, despite having two suns, they're always in semi-darkness. The pair of stars create a ternary system. On Earth, we have two seasons simultaneously, one in each hemisphere. Here, there are three. Look at the angles."

I was astonished by how quickly the life support expert could deduce such things. Perhaps our civilization isn't so shameful, at least in terms of numbers.

"We'll set foot again tomorrow," I ordered.

"Not so fast, boss. I have numerical evidence that any civilization that has survived here, and it's evident that it has because we've seen the monumental remains, has evolved to adapt to these extreme conditions. Here, life is lived through migration or hibernation because seasonal changes would end all life within minutes. And I'm sure there have been physiological adaptations to withstand radiation and temperature fluctuations. This paradise can be very harsh."

"We'll set foot again tomorrow," I repeated.


LOGBOOK OF THE STARLIGHT PIONEER SHIP, STELLAR EXPLORER 112. DAY 1178. APRIL 4, 2367 AD. COLONEL ALICIA SCOTT, in command.


Today, we've ventured into the monumental ruins we spotted yesterday from the ship. Amidst the grandeur of the constructions, we found artifacts and technological devices beyond our comprehension. They far surpass our scientific capacity.

"Some artifacts emit buzzing and very faint lights. They're barely noticeable due to the double sun, boss, but they seem to be active in some way."

"Collect some and bring them aboard."

The next discovery was even more impressive. Not because it was obvious, but because it deeply excited all members of the expedition: there are signs of writing. Deciphering it will be impossible, but anthropologist Perkins could easily determine, at least, how many different sounds the native language of the planet had or has, and which of them are vowels or consonants.

"I'll know by its frequency, Colonel Scott. Vowels are approximately four times more frequent than consonants. Logically, without knowing the phonetic and guttural system of the speakers, I can't know what those sounds are. I can't assume they're like ours. And of course, I'll never be able to read a single word."

But that's not true. The third finding has completed the cycle. We found a commemorative milestone translated into three languages: two are completely unknown, both semantically and graphically. The third one is in classical Greek. It can't be! A stone written in a dead language from our planet!

"Take the stone and bring it aboard. With this sort of Rosetta stone, can you decipher some signs and words of the native language, Perkins?"

"Don't doubt it, Colonel. What I'll never know is how it sounds if I don't hear a native speaker of these languages talk. The symbols and characters are complex and stylized, indicating a developed form of writing."

Later, back on the ship, we deduced that the newly discovered civilization had a glorious past. There's evidence of a prosperous society with a high standard of living. We've photographed monuments to heroes and leaders. The ancient natives seem to have been something like luminous beings, in the same sense as the insects seen everywhere. The creatures must have emitted their own light, which should be visible from outer space when the suns turn their backs on the part of the planet where we're stranded. That's how they're depicted on the walls of their temples. When night falls completely, we've been able to witness a breathtaking display of colors and light patterns.

"I'd swear it's bioluminescence. There are living beings that emit those lights."

"I know, Perkins. I've seen fireflies."

"No, Colonel. I'm talking about beings weighing over a hundred kilograms."

Before going to rest, I had to deactivate Captain Ivanov. He proposed relieving me of command using the procedure regulated by Interstellar Ship Law 14-34-423. When, after an hour of debate, Li Chen considered voting in favor of Ivanov—for reasons unknown to me—I proceeded with Ivanov's deactivation. One button, the NLL, the Nebula Lockdown Lever, petrifies the mutineer. Then, I ordered him to be launched into space. He spiraled down towards the planet.


LOGBOOK OF THE STARLIGHT PIONEER SHIP, STELLAR EXPLORER 112. DAY 1179. APRIL 8, 2367 AD. COLONEL ALICIA SCOTT, in command.


We've stayed off the planet for a few days because I need the tensions on board to calm down. I've been relentless with any hint of mutiny. The tombstone translated into classical Greek says:


We wait, we wait, and we will wait eternally. We've seen who you are, we know you're somewhere, and you'll return. The light that illuminates us comes from you. You are the energy.


When we returned to the surface, approaching the area where we saw more luminescence at night, the sight was horrendous. We found Ivanov crucified. On either side, two crosses with two Ivanov clones. All three are dead. Ivanov has a wound in his chest. A plaque marks his cross with the letters INRI, Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews.

We fled as fast as we could and reached the ship in minutes. No one was chasing us. No one was threatening us. There was no danger, but we fled. During the day, the beings inhabiting this land must be in the depths of the oceans. Undoubtedly, the insects we see everywhere are surveillance drones.

What is clear is that they were waiting for our God. Or perhaps we welcomed theirs 2367 years ago. Maybe one day we'll know. The three satellites of the system appear in full moon phase, like in a macabre Holy Week.

The Starlight Pioneer 112 ship is setting course back to Earth. We hope to be back in less than two years.

14 Mars 2024 09:31 1 Rapport Incorporer Suivre l’histoire
3
La fin

A propos de l’auteur

Commentez quelque chose

Publier!
G6 Ghost 6
Hi, I think your story would work better in a chapter bases format. Also consider reading up on some of the space terms you used in the story to make sure they are used accurately. The story follows the idea of a Log entry but this falls away as you establishing and introducing characters. A good idea would be maybe to add a Log #001 entry where this happens and then the next Log your original first Paragraph reflects a jump to the future. You do not reveal how the ship is saved from the gravity of the planet or how the gravity of the stars near the planet effect it. In space terms two stars can exist in the sale system but 3 will lead to chaos and a system that lives in chaos, Google the 3 body problem. You have a solid story foundation here and the detail that you have added is pretty good it just needs a bit of refinement.
May 10, 2024, 04:49
~