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Thursday, July 18, 2024

The Galactic Traveler

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The Space transport vehicle is now approaching the planet Xenon, distant from our Earth as far as 30 Decas (a Deca equals 10 light years). I traveled by the “21Longway” wormhole to reach here; it was calmer than the “57Pathfinder”, mostly used for traveling to Arion. It was part of our training program to journey all planets in Adam’s Empire.

It’s not that we don’t have the technology to go beyond the empire; it’s just that human control has its limits in the domain of time. We have discovered dozens of planets in the outskirts of the empire that cover many nearby galaxies, lurking nearby just some Decas farther. Some of these neighbors lack the essential aspects we require to establish habitable colonies. Xenon is one such planet. It was named after the Xenon gas because no space telescope had been able to analyze the atmosphere and surface of this planet. That made its properties somewhat synonymous with the Xenon gas, “Invisible,” to be precise.

I am now entering the atmosphere. It was bleak, greyish with a pale blue sight that was due to the “sunset” time. As I completed the entry into the atmosphere, the sight became bleaker. The atmospheric sensors were showing high levels of Nitrogen! Yes! And oxygen was present, too! Xenon had an atmosphere similar to Earth. It was denser in some respects. Perhaps a dense foggy day would be very close to these conditions, that too in visual metrics.

The space transport vehicle’s sensors showed fluctuating readings of some other elements in the Earth-like air. I searched for a plan for the vehicle to settle down. Two small mountains had a clear surface between them. I landed my vehicle on it. Although the sensors showed signs of a breathable atmosphere, I put my helmet on because I didn’t want to risk myself in this alien oxygen. The gravity was slightly more than Earth. 10% stronger, to be exact. I had to put in an effort to get to the door of my vehicle. Perhaps the journey of 30 Decas had its toll on me! I glanced at my watch; it was 45 ticks past 6 UMT (Universal Meridian time). I looked out and up towards the sky of Xenon. It seemed I had about 25 ticks before dark.

As I set foot on the surface, I felt the stronger gravity. I am pulling and dragging each step forward, such as weights tied to my ankles, and heavy bags of more than 5 kgs are placed on my shoulders to dampen my movement. I put my atmosphere sensor out. It showed stable readings of Nitrogen, Oxygen, Carbon, and methane. I started taking the soil sample. The upper soil is dark greyish-blue in color. As I brushed it and collected some in my sampler, the underneath became visible. It was dark blue.

I filled half of my sampler and stood up. It was getting darker. I had walked about 5 or 6 yards from my vehicle. I was approximately at the centre of the two small mountains. I looked around and took photographs. Then I took out my binoculars and looked towards one of the mountains. I zoomed in 50 % vis. The mountain seemed of the same greyish-blue color. A slight breeze was blowing across the valley.

I looked at the mountain’s surface up towards its flat peak. I saw a shadow, no, it was a figure! Wearing a long black robe! I zoomed in 80 %; yes, it was human-like! Having a proper human body! Hurriedly, I zoomed in 100 %. yes, it was very much like a human, facing toward me, but its face was hidden in the hood of the robe. I was astonished! Startled to the very soul, my eyes froze at the figure as it moved its hand and tightened its hood as if it felt cold in the Xenon breeze! Was it an alien?

But we never found any such being on our journeys throughout the empire. Was it another captain? That sounded probable, but why is he wearing a black robe? My mind couldn’t find an explanation neither could it contemplate my next move. I kept staring at the figure through my binoculars as the darkness began to deepen. The robed figure kept facing me and seemed to turn its head as if looking around. Then suddenly it started to run down the mountain! I had difficulty walking on this surface, and that “robe thing” was running on it! Now, increasing my astonishment with fear, it was running towards me!


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