geir.org home page  

artwork index page

future history index page

stories index page

other projects index page

personal information index page

links index page

  fantasy art scifi art future history art universal expeditions art misc art archived art


Europa Landing

They wouldn't let an armed ship down on the surface, so they came up in a shuttle to get us.   The damn thing must have been a hundred years old!  I doubt the main drive could even manage a tenth of a gee without firing the plasma afterburners.   

Something had died in the air reclamator.   I refused the offer of a drink of water and strapped in for the landing.  From my seat, I had a partial view of the fading control screen in front of the pilot.   A good third of the status lights glowed amber, three were red.   One whole side panel was dark; life support, the pasted label proclaimed.  I checked my suit and mask, just in case. 

On final approach, the plasma burners kicked in, as I'd guessed.  Even so, we weren't pushing more than a Martian gee.  My radiation sensor started to blink, just a shade of yellow creeping into the green.  I wasn't sure whether that came from Jupiter's magnetic tsunami or from the reactor beneath my feet.  Either way, the shielding was failing. 

I peered over the pilot's shoulder to watch a viewscreen of Europa's surface.   A fifty meter dome stood near a lonely observation tower.  The scene grew closer, centering on the specks of civilization in the white and brown desolation.  The dome pealed back in two layers, petals receding to expose a deep landing tunnel.  It was about that time I realized the pilot was taking us in on manual.  I tightened my belts.

-- Lt. Commander Walker Tsume, IMN, 30 July 2519
 

All pages and images 1999 - 2007 by Geir Lanesskog, All Rights Reserved
Usage Policy