Saturn as seen from Titan, painting by Chesley Bonestell

Saturn as seen from Titan, painting by Chesley Bonestell
Favorite astronomical painting

Sunday, June 6, 2010

fourth segment of Unscheduled Stroll on Triton

I'm giving you the fourth segment of my short SF story on Sunday night since I'll be super busy tomorrow all day.

He willed the radio’s power to increase to one hundred milliwatts. Before he turned his mental power to switch on the radio, another warning scrolled before his eyes. It read, “Danger! Increasing radio power one hundred fold will shorten suit environmental functioning to 22.5 minutes.”
“Hey. That’s a good trade off. Halving my suit’s time for a hundred fold chance of being heard,” he expressed.
He was glad that mind power overrode safety interlocks. He stood still and centered the virtual cross hairs in his helmet visor on the gleaming steel spike of the cruiser in the distance. Switch-on, he willed. The warning letters dimmed when the radio sent its thirty second burst. After the end of the transmission, a countdown of suit failure began. Cramer didn’t want to know so he willed it off and then began his loping run.
He glimpsed the severed disk of Neptune, a blue blister sitting on Triton’s horizon. Any other time Cramer would have admired that view, the mother planet with the Great Dark Spot. That far plane of Triton’s surface seemingly leading to and touching Neptune displayed the strange mosaic of channels to the practiced eye. The old Voyager flyby in 1989 had first spotted them. The regular icy features defied explanation then and even now could not be understood.
Cramer thought of the mission he and Mona shared on Titan. The people of Sirius had chosen Saturn’s largest moon to build their city under a methane lake. After exploring the old city in its bubble at the bottom of the lake, Cramer had fallen from the rover as he and Mona rode back to the ship. Lost in the ammonia snow, he’d almost perished before Mona and Lila pulled him into the safety and warmth of the ship. His suit had started its precipitous temperature drop on that occasion.

There you have the four installment of my short SF story. Tune in next week for the next segment. Thank you Miss Mae, Laurie and Anne for commenting on my blog as I continue feeding you segments of this short story. Larry


Laurean Brooks said...

Larry, this is awesome! Will Cramer make it out alive?

Have you studied astronomy since you were a child? Your knowledge of other worlds amazes me.

Larry Hammersley said...

HI Laurie: Yes I've studied astronomy, not at a university but reading since I can barely remember. I took lots of different magazines, Science News, Astronomy, to name a few. I'll post today, Monday another segment.

Miss Mae said...

Yes, that was a short segment, Larry. Why don't you start at the beginning, or have you posted that somewhere?