Tirena was the first to awaken from cryo-sleep, she was captain of the Ark, a vessel containing the last hope for the human race. She was responsible for the lives of two thousand people. The burden was heavy, but she was confident in her task. They were on their way to Trappist-1, a small system located six hundred years from earth. She shuddered and convulsed as the inserted electrodes awakened her stagnant muscles. Tirena flexed her aching arms to rub the heavy sleep from her eyes.

“Computer, are we on course?” Her voice cracked with strain, her vocal cords had not been used in six centuries after all. Despite this, the Arks artificial intelligence responded accordingly.

“Welcome back Captain, we are exactly one month from our destination.”

“Very well, what is the status on the remaining cryo pods?”

“All cryo pods are functioning as programmed, they will activate tomorrow.”

“Thanks, computer. Now, to try and get myself out of this damn thing.”

“Do you require assistance?”

Two androids stood at either side of her cryo pod, offering hands to help her out. Tirena ignored them, straining with every sinew within her, she struggled onto her feet. She fought through the pain with one goal in mind. Coffee.

The bittersweet taste of the thick black liquid soothed Tarina’s coarse throat. It wasn’t the best she’d had, but it did the job. For the first time since she had awoken, she could feel her heart steadily thudding in her chest. With steaming mug in one hand, she worked the shutter control console expertly with her other hand. With a flew clanks as the seals disengaged, the shutter slowly opened. Stars sparkled like diamonds in the dark void. Greens, blues and purples danced around the three rock like planets in sight. Trappist, the systems sun, blazed like a ball of fire, its tongue-like flares licking at the surrounding darkness. And there in the distance, was her destination, Trappist 1D, humanities last hope. Awe filled Tirena like nothing ever had before, she was the first human to see this with her own two eyes.

“I wish you could see this.” She said out loud, catching her breath. Tirena found herself gripping a photo in her breast pocket, so tightly that her knuckles turned white. Pulling the picture out of her pocket revealed two smiling faces, a man and a young boy. With a final caress of their faces, she returned the photo back to its place. They were once her husband and son until the world turned to chaos.

This new planet was to signal a reform for the human race. A new beginning, a new system. A place where advancement was not limited or held back by greed. A place where we can live. Not just live, but thrive. Tirena’s cargo was precious, it was a colony chosen for the rebirth of humanity.

“Warning! Warning! Warning!” A repeating and piercing voice broke Tarina from her thoughts, forcing her to cover her newly functioning ears. A flashing light painted the room from red to black.

“Computer, turn the damn warning protocol off!” She demanded, unaware of her volume over the noise, she was probably screaming.

“Acknowledged.” The artificial voice replied, and all returned to as it was.

“Report, reason for warning protocol?” She was calm, just as her training dictated.

“Foreign object obstructing path. Too large for automated manoeuvre. How should I proceed?”

“Forward imagers to console five. Now!” Bounding to her desk across the room, she watched the console screen flicker into focus. The image revealed sent a wave of panic through her, for the first time since she left earth. In the Arks path was a colossal sphere. Its surface was as obsidian black as space itself. It shimmered and glowed with a bilious green aura. It stood still, silent, unmoving. Indecipherable text scrolled down the screen as the onboard artificial intelligence tried to identify the object in the Arks collision course. It could not. The object was alien in every sense of the word. Terina shook herself from her trance. She had to act fast.

“Computer. Full power to front shields. If it’s not going to move, we’ll move through it” She said with an increasing doubt in her voice.

A deafening sound of static suddenly filled Tirena’s ears, making her collapse to her knees. She screamed from the pain and gripped her head tightly. As suddenly as the noise started, it stopped. Tirena let out a long sigh of relief.

“Computer. What the..”

“You.” An unknown voice boomed over the intercom, interrupting Tirena’s question.

“Are.” The voice continued, it’s deep tone sending shivers down her spine.

“Who are you?!” She demanded, her usual unbreaking calm diminishing.

“Not.” It carried on relentless. Tirena paced.

“Welcome.”

*****

Thank you for reading! 🙂

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