By Morgan Hannah, Life & Style Editor
Another deep breath and a couple of steps forward. I’m at the edge of my comfort and the edge of my ship. I grasp at the shards of glass, pulling and twisting them from the window. Outside, the land looks like loose, rippled red sand. Or is it soil? In the distance, large ruby-coloured dunes line the horizon. It reminds me of the Sahara Desert back home.
Home. Earth… I sigh. Turning back, I collect what I can for supplies and rations, including a translator complete with hundreds of languages, both human and alien. Wrapping my provisions tightly in a grey long-sleeved shirt, I tie my bundle to a scrap of ship and wander back over to the observatory window. But I stop in my tracks. Something is moving out there…
Quickly, as if nothing at all, a flash of darkness spills across the broken observatory window. I barely saw it, but I know I saw it. Every muscle in my body is pinched tight. I weigh my options as I fight to override the flight, sensation clinging to me like a weighted blanket.
“He-hello?” I venture forward a couple more steps, the weight of my body crunching down on broken glass and plastic. The thing, whatever it is, doesn’t move. It doesn’t make any sound at all, and for a moment I wonder if I’ve made it up. Perhaps I’m hallucinating from the thinning oxygen. Maybe I should risk taking off my helmet? The thought comes out of nowhere, shocking me. My eyes burn with dryness from staring at the mouth of the ship, at the almost sinister looking red soil blowing in a slight breeze… and at what could be either the greatest discovery of my career, or the greatest mistake I will ever make.