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Anna Bogarne - Lost Astronaut (sci-fi story)



The heavy boots of the spacesuit leave deep footprints in the sand. Lack of oxygen puts pressure on the lungs. The heart flutters loudly in the chest. Breathing heavily, the astronaut can hardly move his legs on the loose soil of a deserted planet. He curses the abnormal pressure by the standards of the Earth, which prevents him from going faster. The oxygen tanks would barely last a day, and he had to get to the ship in time. The man chooses a direction intuitively, suppressing the approaching panic by willpower. 

A gas giant hangs indifferently near the horizon, sparkling in the rays of the local luminary like a lollypop. To him, by cosmic standards - a stone's throw. There are myriads of stars overhead, but the astronaut has no time to admire the stunning sight. 

The pull crushes bones and tendons, the trained body can barely hold on. It darkens the eyes, makes the head dizzy, a sticky stream flows out of the nose. The man is exhausted, his legs give way, and he falls to his knees. Earthy sand might soften the blow, but local sand turns out to be as hard as granite. A sharp pain shoots to the hip, and the astronaut groans dully, rubbing the bruised area. 

Suddenly a strange vibration engulfs the body. It moves, rolling in waves, and eventually covers his head. Skin tingles from the inside. The phenomenon distracts from the pain, and the astronaut forgets about it for a while. A lingering cutting sound is heard. The man squints, grasps his helmet with his hands - instinctively trying to cover his ears. The longer he resists, the more disgusting the sound becomes. Unable to endure, the astronaut screams. 

And there is silence. It seems to have a shape, you can touch it. He does not understand how such a strong sound could break through the protective fabric and plastic of the spacesuit. A man stretches out his gloved hand in front of him and suddenly notices a haze nearby - matte, red, sparkling. The sound immediately returns, but now it is lingering, growing and more like ... a melody? 
Forces are running out. The astronaut tries to get up for a long time, but his legs almost do not hold. Falling. He tries again and finally succeeds. He strides heavily towards the haze of light. The light, too, approaches, becomes denser, and suddenly - shoots towards, swirling and enveloping the heavy spacesuit. Even through protection, the astronaut feels touches, as if the tentacles of an unknown creature are trying to identify the guest. 

In the distance, the outlines of a structure appear, but salty sweat and dark spots before the eyes do not allow one to see it. One step forward, one more, one more ... The melody becomes more aggressive, the notes ring. The man is not looking for explanations, logic loses its meaning here. He just walks forward. With each step, the haze recedes, dissipates, and through it, a structure of cyclopean proportions appears 

A massive carved arch of extraordinary beauty rises into the sky and is lost in the sky. Four mighty columns hold, like Atlas, a metal pointed crown, the spears of which are directed towards the stars. And in the very center of the entire composition from under the hood, a giant is looking at the lost astronaut. He sits motionless, legs crossed, but his robes flicker and sway slightly, as if alive, sparkling with emerald light. In the hands of the titan, a luminous silvery ball rotates incessantly. 

The interior decoration resembles earthly Gothic temples, but only a little. Literally, every small detail, every part of the structure bears the echoes of an ancient civilization. Curiosity takes over, and the astronaut decides to step into the corridor. Above the head - endless heights. Somewhere where sight is not able to reach, a person distinguishes sharp peaks on the ceiling, similar to stalactites. A huge stone block hangs over the entrance. It seemed to be targeting a tiny guest. 

In the back of the corridor, another faint glow dances along the walls. The astronaut feels that this is the source of the strange, bewitching melody. Having overcome the corridor, he finds himself in a giant hall. In the middle rises an unknown structure, like the altar of an earthly temple. A giant crystal on a plinth emits an unusual purple light. Thanks to it, complex textures and intricate symbols appear and disappear on the walls and the immense domed ceiling. At times they are superimposed on a scattering of stars - and the overall picture becomes completely incomprehensible but incredibly harmonious. The astronaut understands that all this was not created by people and not for human perception. 

Near the crystal, the melody in the head becomes clearer, rattles. Suddenly, the man is overwhelmed by unreasonable fear, cold sweat covers the body, and he wants to run away. After all, no one knows whether the spacesuit will be able to protect against unknown radiation. A fleeting thought jumps over that the object should be investigated by an expedition of professionals. It slips ... and leaves, because intuition tells him to move on. 

Suddenly everything changes. Many lightning bolts blind the inner gaze, forcing you to close your eyes for a moment. As if out of nowhere vague images and visions appear, which gradually add up to a clear picture. 

A flat platform sways in the void. Three gigantic creatures hover above her in robes crimson like blood. The heads of the unknown are hidden by hoods, like those of priests or monks. Outwardly, the giants look like earthlings, only their skin shimmers with the same light as the crystal. Adepts hold energy spheres in their hands. The flashes surrounding the platform form an ideal circle, woven as if from a myriad of multi-colored sparks. And high above the heads of the creatures hangs a golden structure of stunning beauty, with a spire extending upwards. 

Suddenly, the astronaut realizes: it is the source of the ringing melody, thanks to which he was here. But the insights do not end, in an unknown way he seemed to be connected to the source of information. Now the man knows for sure: the adepts hold the worlds in their hands. The mind freezes and completely obeys the flow of data. 

The being in the center is clearly the most powerful of them all. The power of his intellect, wisdom, and endless knowledge cannot be described in words. Like a Cosmic Deity, it preserves and guides entire worlds, and perhaps galaxies and universes. Adepts on the sides look no less impressive. Yet the astronaut feels that they are different. The personality of each is unique and incomprehensible, but the mission, apparently, is common - to protect the worlds entrusted to them. And now something more is happening than contact with the ancient mind, about which earthlings dreamed so much. By absolute coincidence, a lone astronaut collided with something unimaginably ancient and powerful - the foundation of the entire universe, the center of the forces of the universe. 

Suddenly, the vision disappears, leaving only a vivid, lasting impression. Consciousness is gradually returning to normal. The gaze involuntarily stops at the alien altar. Looking closely, a person notices a deep crack, as if an old seismic shock damaged the stone base, and since then the Crystal has not been working at full capacity, with interruptions. 

And on the matte black floor, a small shard sparkles with unknown energy. The astronaut decides to take the risk, takes out a special container for collecting samples, and carefully places the artifact in it. All hope is that the suit's protection will protect him from the disastrous radiation. By all means, he must get to the ship and tell about the find. 

The only question is, will he have enough strength? The man looks around the hall of incredible proportions with a tired gaze for the last time and leaves the Star Temple.


Cover Art: Artrama, Ahankara Art
Mastering: Fiery Dawn, One Day Mastering Studio, 4CN-Studios
Sci-Fi story: Anna Bogarne
released December 16, 2020
All rights reserved by Human Civilization. GS Cosmic Industries, 2303