Day 311 – Jupiter’s Children – Part 10

Word count: 606

“Computer, lock down any communications to the outside world,” Henry instructed the computer.
Everything had to go. He had to search in his own spaces without the fear of being listened into, watched. If his father had had the foresight to lockdown his own diary entries, then the threat must have been there that this house was being watched. His life was being watched; Henry, as he was younger, must have been watched. Was he still being watched?
“Task completed, sir.”
“I need you to search my father’s stored e-mail. Can you do that and print off for me?”
“Performing task now, sir.”
Henry was re-reading the paper journal entry again. He felt the fossil in his hand. What was so unusual about this creature that it could not possibly exist? Or perhaps it was not the creature, but the place. What lurked in that glacier? Henry wanted to travel out there, but he knew that it would be too risky. It was rare for any of the scientists to go off-base to a specific site. Those deployed in the labs stayed in the labs. There were separate teams to arrange dig sites and to collect samples. There was very little scope for transfer between those two teams.
Henry read a few pages before the final entry of the journal.

Odd specimen, Fiona is checking sedimentary levels. It is cold here – very cold. Terraforming has not had any effect on area it seems. Another team are investigating. I miss Henry. It is strange not seeing him every day, but I suppose there is no avoidance. I must do what I must do. I hope I am back in time for Sunday – I promised I would spend the day with him. I guess not though. I’m a hopeless dad. He’ll just remember me for broken promises and never being there.

“No, Dad, no…” Henry reached back two decades to try and reassure his father. He turned the page and read on.

Wonders have never met my eyes before today. We went into the caves today. A ice fall two days ago unblocked a further section to the catacombs and unveiled what has to be the greatest natural discovery of mankind. I feel like Columbus. I feel like Magellan. The caves are… dazzling to the eye. Liquid rocks – not magma – but cool molten rocks moving as if they are made of water. They are held together by some force-field – gravitational we think not. We cannot explain. No one can explain. Our laws of physics are smashed in an instance. We collected samples from the floor – the only part we are able to touch. Fiona is excited, she had seen something. Wish the military would stop being so anal though. Henry had chicken pox. I won’t be home on Sunday now.

Henry was bowled over by what he was reading. This cave system – was it still active, were there still research projects going on? In all the time he had been on Europa, he had never heard of such a place. The glacier was an exterior research base: there were no caves there, were there? Henry turned the page again and was met with the fossil sample as well as the final entry: this cannot exist.

Yellow flashing lights lit up suddenly; a siren sounded and the whole building was ablaze with alarm.
“Computer what is happening?”
“Evacuation. Please leave the building. Evacuation. Please leave the building.”
“Computer what is going on?”
“A meteor trajectory has been calculated to a final point of terrestrial contact at this location.”
“This location? The house?”
“Correct. Evacuation. Please leave the building.”

~ by S.G. Mark on August 13, 2012.

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