Solaris

A Sci-Fi Short Story written by Emma Scoble

Solaris

by Emma Scoble

 

Emma Scoble is a young author from Ontario, Canada. She can be found watching anything sci-fi and deleting two words for every word she types.

Cybele II Audio Log Recording, Day 4, Hour 14:38

SAMPSON

Control, this is Kenneth Sampson, performing post-flight audio checks. Commander Cromwell and crew Finlay, Janus, Lupins, and Sampson have disembarked from Cybele II to the docking hangar aboard Solaris Station.

FINLAY

Commander, reports of a class B storm heading towards the station.

CROMWELL

Keep me updated. Alright, we’re going to start from the reactor bay and sweep back around. I’m going to try and get some power on in here. Finlay, with me. Everyone else, spread out. I want every module searched. Keep communication channels open at all times, and keep your visors on, people.

Cybele II Audio Log Recording, Day 4, Hour 14:59

SAMPSON

We’re currently entering the habitation module. Personal effects of Cybele are visible within living quarters.

JANUS

Looks like they were just here. Hang on, what’s that?

SAMPSON

Control, there’s a panel removed from the wall of the common area, it looks like someone’s tried to access the wiring… oh, my god.

JANUS

Control, this is chief medical officer Omar Janus. By the habitation module escape pod, there are traces of blood. I’ve collected a sample for further testing-

SAMPSON

The pod’s been jettisoned. Get Cromwell down here. *Thud*

Ow!

JANUS

Are you alright?

SAMPSON

Help me up, would you? What was that?

SAMPSON

I think that’s the storm Finlay mentioned. Turbulence is probably the worst we’ll get this far out, but comms will be down for next few minutes.

JANUS

Fine. We’ll go to them.

Cybele II Audio Log Recording, Day 4, Hour 15:03

SAMPSON

What happened?

LUPINS

Sampson, are you recording?

SAMPSON

We’re rolling.

FINLAY

I don’t know, we came into the reactor bay and found the body-

JANUS

Commander Taro.

FINLAY

Taro, yeah, and, and we tried to get in contact with you guys but the solar storm had knocked out comms for a few minutes, and that’s when the turbulence came, and I, I fell over, and so did Commander Cromwell. We both got up, and we were fine, but he had a rip in his sleeve, so I went to get some tape to patch it, but as soon as I got back, he was…

SAMPSON

It’s okay, Aurora. Breathe.

FINLAY

He was just lying there. I tried to shock him, but…

JANUS

You did everything you could.

LUPINS

Control, this is Commander Danica Lupins. Former Commander Marvin Cromwell is deceased, cause of death unknown. We have also found the body of Cybele Commander James Taro, cause of death unknown. I’m taking control of the mission. Janus, see if you can set up in the medical bay, find out what happened.

SAMPSON

There’s something you should know. We found traces of blood in the habitation module, and their escape pod was jettisoned.

LUPINS

The pod in docking is gone, too. Okay, here’s what we’re going to do. Janus, medical bay. Finlay? Finlay, hello?

FINLAY

Sorry, yes?

LUPINS

Finlay, why don’t you grab some MRE from the shuttle. I’m going to check out the habitation module. Sampson, show me where you found the blood.

Cybele II Audio Log Recording, Day 4, Hour 15:32

LUPINS

It looks like someone was desperate to get out of here.

SAMPSON

Couldn’t they have used the shuttle?

LUPINS

No, the Cybele shuttle left after docking. It’s weird though, no destination was programmed.

SAMPSON

Hey, check this out. Crew logs.

LUPINS

Can you get it to play?

SAMPSON

Give me a second.

Cybele Video Log, Chase A., Day 8, Hour 08:16

CHASE

This is the video log of pilot Avery Chase, Cybele Mission Day 4. I’m scheduled for a spacewalk in *pause* three days from now. My first, actually. I’m currently isolating in my quarters. *sneezes* And we’re out of cough medicine. Great. For now, there’s not much I can do other than wait *exhales.* I guess I’ll just talk to you for now.

Cybele Video Log, Chase A., Day 10, Hour 08:24

CHASE

I’m getting an updated medical scan in a few minutes. If I’m approved, *pause* well, then I’ll be able to go out. I’m currently studying the potential energy in solar flares, and there’s one coming in about 18 hours. It’s supposed to be spectacular. Oh, here comes Commander Taro now.

Cybele Video Log, Chase A., Day 11, Hour 02:40

CHASE

Sorry I haven’t updated in a while, I was cleared yesterday, and it’s been a whirlwind since then. Oh, it’s nearly time. Wish me luck!

Cybele Video Log, Chase A., Day 11, Hour 04:14

TARO

This is Commander Taro. *Pause* Pilot Avery Chase died at 0400 hours this morning, after performing her first spacewalk. *Pause* She collapsed about ten minutes after returning. She is currently being examined for cause of death.

Cybele II Audio Recording, Day 4, Hour 15:40

LUPINS

Did you get that?

SAMPSON

I’ve been recording the whole time. Do you think Cromwell’s death could be related? The timelines match up.

LUPINS

I don’t know yet. Send that to Janus, and in the meantime, see if you can find the other crew logs. Janus, come in. We’re sending a video file I think you should take a look at.

JANUS

Roger that.

SAMPSON

None of the data’s been used on the other two cameras. We could check the Commander’s log. He might have more information on the cause of Chase’s death.

LUPINS

The Commander’s quarters are near the docking bay.

Cybele II Audio Recording, Day 4, Hour 15:45

SAMPSON

There’s the camcorder.

LUPINS

Grab the chip. We should get back to Janus and Finlay. *Pause* What’s that around the corner?

SAMPSON

Looks like a food packet. *Pause* Oh, my god.

LUPINS

Janus, come in. Sampson, recording on. *Pause* Engineer Aurora Finlay is deceased. Looks like she was on her way back. Did anyone hear from her when she went for lunch?

JANUS

Don’t touch the food. You both need to get down to the medical bay, now.

Cybele II Audio Recording, Day 4, Hour 15:48

LUPINS

Janus, whatever you’re going to say, tell us on the way. We’re getting off this station, now.

JANUS

I’m not so sure that’s a good idea.

LUPINS

Well, I’m not losing another member of this crew. From now on, no one leaves my sight. We’re all going to hold hands if that’s what it takes. *Pause* Janus, open the door.

JANUS

I’m afraid not all of us are going.

LUPINS

What are you talking about? Open the door.

JANUS

I can’t.

LUPINS

Of course you can.

JANUS

These readings from Commander Cromwell, they align with the sample I collected from the pod.

LUPINS

Janus, cut to the chase.

JANUS

I would put Finlay’s time of death at around 15:10. Ten minutes after she attempted to resuscitate Cromwell.

SAMPSON

Not to be insensitive, but so?

JANUS

During the solar wave we experienced, Commander Cromwell fell and ripped a tiny portion of his suit. I suspect he may have come in contact with Taro. And now I’ve been in here, testing blood samples without proper equipment, because the whole station’s offline and the bloody bio-suits won’t power up. *Pause* If my timer’s correct, I suspect I have about five minutes left.

SAMPSON

Omar, what are you talking about?

JANUS

What was Chase’s primary mission?

LUPINS

She was collecting data on solar storms.

JANUS

She would have been exposed to radiation.

LUPINS

That level of radiation isn’t lethal. She would’ve had lead lining, magnetospheric shields. Even if she was harmed in the storm, radiation sickness takes days to develop symptoms, Chase was killed almost instantly.

JANUS

We also know this blood has traces of both radiation and a

virus.

SAMPSON

Yeah, she had a cold. Surely it didn’t weaken her that much.

JANUS

Ah, but this isn’t her blood.

LUPINS

Whose blood is it?

JANUS

This matches the record DNA of Commander Taro.

LUPINS

What are you saying?

JANUS

In an enclosed environment, it’s near impossible to avoid contact with anyone.

SAMPSON

So, the escape pods?

JANUS

Commander Taro did what needed to be done. If the blood is any indication, I suspect in the struggle he tore his suit and eventually went the same way. *Beeping* Time’s up. I feel fine, actually.

LUPINS

*Pause* Chief Medical Officer, Omar Janus, deceased. *Pause* Sampson, fall back to the shuttle. We’re leaving now.

Cybele Video Log, Taro J., Day 12, Hour 23:19

TARO

*Breathing heavily* This is Commander Taro. An infected crew member attempted to escape to Earth, and in the commotion, my suit was torn open. They are since deceased, and rerouted to *sigh* some moon, somewhere. As for me, well, I’ve got about two minutes. I’m going to see if I can make it to the reactor bay window. I think there’s an eclipse happening tonight. *Pause* The solar storm knocked out power, so I don’t even know if this message is going to make it. If this does reach Control, I beg you, don’t send anyone. I repeat, there are no life forms on Solaris.

*end of recording*

 

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