Fiction Fragment Friday
I was looking through old flash fictions I had written and remembered how much I like the log entry format for them. It allows for a different kind of storytelling. In this case I wanted to see if I could work in a reason why the story was being told in that format and I believe I accomplished it.
Alvera Prime Surface Day 1
Catastrophic system failure during entry to the planet’s atmosphere led to an emergency landing far from what had been scouted by advanced probes. The ship still has power, but structural integrity has been lost. It is not going to fly again let alone reach space. I’m still assessing what can be salvaged from the ship and taking inventory of my supplies. The emergency beacon is active though so if I hold out long enough a rescue team can find me even though I’m not sure where on the planet I am. I just hope there is a team sent to come looking.
Alvera Prime Surface Day 2
I have survived my first night on the surface. The forest was filled with the sound of animals hunting each other. None were brave enough to approach my crash site thankfully, but I fear they are curious about me. I need to make a decision on shelter today. Either I try to fortify what is left of my ship, or I can attempt to build from scratch. Since I want to be rescued, I’m leaning towards staying on the ship. There really isn’t much room though and if I have to start gathering resources, I need somewhere to put them. I only have enough food and water for a few weeks.
Alvera Prime Surface Day 3
It is storming outside and with no life support functioning the ship is getting very cold. I’ve been so focused on moving forward that I haven’t taken a moment to stop and really think about the situation I’m in until now. I’m wrapped up in a blanked on my bunk as I make this log and there is standing water on my floor. The whole ship is shaking from the wind and what few systems were still functional are going off-line as the water seeps into the electronics. For the first time the fear is getting to me and I’m having a hard time holding onto any hope of rescue. I have no idea why I’m putting this into my log. None of it can be used in my mission report if I ever actually get to write one.
Alvera Prime Surface Day 4
Today I will be focusing on exploration. My mission was supposed to be one of exploration to begin with so while I’m looking for useful resources I’m going to be cataloging flora and fauna. I don’t have the tools anymore to safely analyze them, but I can try and gather DNA samples. Without the analysis tool I’m going to have to rely on training and sampling to determine if anything I can find is edible. I’m going to be gathering wood to start a camp fire as well. I need the heat and when my precooked food rations are out I’ll need to be able to cook what I find. I have a few ideas on how to get a fire started, but I’ve never actually tried to start one before.
Alvera Prime Surface Day 5
Behold me with awe as I am the great and powerful bringer of fire. That’s right I am writing this log sitting next to my campfire. I have cataloged thirty-eight plant varieties and seven animals. It is amazing how close to Earth animals some of these creatures look while others are like nothing I have ever seen. There is a green slime-like creature that scoots across the ground digesting anything that it absorbs. While it is slow, I consider it extremely dangerous because I have yet to find anything it is not willing to absorb. I saw it capture a small mammal and reduce it to bones in under a minute. I have been unable to find any way of getting a sample of this creature’s DNA.
Alvera Prime Surface Day 6
My stomach feels like it is the battlefield of a vicious war. I can’t even tell what I ate that caused this. The scientific approach would have been to test one potential food source in small quantities a day and wait to see the results. I didn’t approach it scientifically though so I’m not sure which of the berries, leaves, or meat did this to me. It’s possible that it all did, and everything here will be toxic, but I suspect it was the berries. Today it hurts to even move, but I need to keep patching the holes on the ship in case there is another storm.
Alvera Prime Surface Day 9
I am finally recovering from trying to eat the local food. I wasn’t sure if I was going to survive for a while there. My first aid kit was destroyed in the crash so I didn’t have any medication to counter the food poisoning. I didn’t even have medical scanners functioning to tell me just how bad off I was. My campfire went out while I was sick and to make it worse it is storming out again. The wood is all going to be wet, and it was hard enough to start a fire the first time. Please let there be a rescue party on the way.
Alvera Prime Surface Day 10
I woke up this morning still feeling miserable, but with the first glimmer of hope I’ve had since day five. The only systems of note still working on the ship are the communication systems. I finally remembered that I have probes in orbit and I can still access them. For the last hour I’ve been mapping a hundred miles around my position from orbit. I know where I am now and have multiple areas of interest to explore. I will also know if any ship enters the system. The best news though is that they are equipped with quantum communication systems that are still on-line. They only communicate telemetry data back, but with all of them focusing on the area around my ship anyone who checks the data will know that I crashed.
Alvera Prime Surface Day 11
Today I found ruins. This planet was once inhabited by intelligent life. I can’t put to words how exciting this is. Only the third planet to show evidence of intelligent life and I was the one to find it. This is where I admit to breaking protocol. I didn’t upload this information to the probes. I’m keeping all data I gather stored locally on my tablet. I’m afraid that if this information gets out while I’m still stranded here someone else will take credit for the find before I can lay claim to it. This is pretty I know, but this kind of discovery will make my career. It will make me famous.
Alvera Prime Surface Day 12
I realized that if I don’t survive to get rescued then my discovery will be lost. With that in mind I have set up a delayed communication of what data I can send through the probes. If I don’t do anything it will send the data in a year. This way if I don’t make it at least some of what I have found won’t be lost to humanity.
Alvera Prime Surface Day 13
A new communications probe has entered the system. It has delivered a recall message for me. Apparently, tensions are high back on Earth, and it looks like war might break out any day. There is concern that if survey ships don’t make it back before the war starts then returning might be dangerous. I was able to relay a request for recovery back through the probe. If my own quantum relay had not been damaged in the crash, I could have done this on day one. I’m sure they will arrive any day now to rescue me.
Alvera Prime Surface Day 14
War has broken out on Earth and new launches are not being allowed. Rescue is not coming, and this realization is crushing. For now, I am on my own. I have decided that it is time to share what I have found. I can only hope that perhaps the magnitude of my discovery will be enough for the scientists of the world to pressure the politicians and allow an expedition to come examine the ruins. An expedition that could rescue me. That is why I’m sending this log and setting it to broadcast to social media so my part in its discovery cannot be buried. Please those of you out there reading this I don’t want to die here.