By Morgan Hannah, Life & Style Editor
“Captain, we are now orbiting the planet Xexon. There’s a strong gravitational pull, so thrusters are at max to stabilize the ship. Scanning for signs of life…” Ensign Peters slowly swivels to face me, and he shakes his head, “I’m sorry Captain, there are no signs.” I turn to face the ship’s engineer and he says “Lieutenant, is there a way we can suit up the ship to withstand the planet’s pull? I’d like to go down there.”
Lieutenant Jorbes balks at me, “Captain, with all due respect, I strongly advise against going down there. The gravitational pull of the planet is just too strong—it’ll crush the hull. And even if it doesn’t, we will most certainly crash land.”
“We’ve come very far, Lieutenant, we’ve got to find a way to get to the surface and do a more thorough search! At the very least, we may be able to find her… her body.” I swallow down hard at the stinging forming behind my eyes. I’ve got to get out of here.
“Lieutenant, work out a way, as we’re landing this ship at eighteen hundred hours.”
“Yes ma’am.” I excuse myself from the bridge promptly and make my way to my ready room. As soon as the doors close behind me, sobs overcome me. Grief mixed with repose. Finally, I might put an end to the searching, the wondering, the endless empty reports sent back home. Today, I will end the suffering.
Captain’s log star date 2317: after quite some time, we have finally located the planet responsible for pulling so many of our starships down to the surface. Most recently, my sister—Lieutenant Malory Kasskion—went missing about a month ago… I trail off, my reflection against the black nothingness of space looks back at me from the window. That’s when I see it, Planet Xexon. The massive orb of orange and red sand and rocks is alarmingly large. Dark mountain ranges are the only thing cutting through swirls of dark red clouds. From space, the planet looks to be nothing more than an alien dessert—yet at the ground it’s a murderer.
Lieutenant Kasskion can’t be dead. I have got to find her! It’s just a thought, but it’s one I need to keep in mind. I am the Captain, after all, and a ship is only as strong as its weakest member…
Continuation of this exciting adventure next week!