An Attempted Rescue

by Luca Aiello, age 13
An Attempted Rescue Luca Aiello is a science fiction short story writer. He writes flash fiction short stories, mainly about space travel and planets.

“The rocket stood there on the purple soil, black steam spiraling out from the top. It was night on the planet.”

The rocket stood there on the purple soil, black steam spiraling out from the top. It was night on the planet. It was always night there. Hundreds of stars hovered in the dark sky. They shined in Captain Powell’s eyes. Captain Powell and his men stepped out onto the mysterious territory.

“Where have we landed, Navigator Edwards?” Powell asked.

“Some planet,” said Edwards, looking around. “I think it’s uncharted.”

“Did we go to another solar system?” Powell said, confused.

“No, same one, it’s just we’re so far away from the Sun,” Edwards stated.

The planet looked isolated, with neglected mountains and a silent, purple lake that looked like grape soda. The only thing you could hear was the soft wind that would whisper to you and your very own echoes.

“I see something!” a crew member cried.

He was standing on a hill. He had a circular, large glass dome around his head. He also wore a big, white suit and boots. One of his legs was bruised and beaten. It was bleeding. What once was a pink, plump man was now pale and withered. However, his face was colored with excitement. He limped from the hill to them.

“Oh, thank you so much!” he cried. He then looked towards the shadows in the area. He called them. “Crew, people have come to rescue us!”

Four other men stepped out of the shadows, all in the same condition as the man.

“Who are you, and why are you here?” Powell questioned.

“I,” he explained, “am Douglas Williams of Earth, and this is my crew. We were supposed to land on Mars, but we crashed here back in 2050. We’ve been stranded here for years, and you have come to rescue us!”

Even time is different here, thought Powell. 2050 was a long time ago. These men are supposed to be dead. Maybe the planet freezes time for these people. Powell had a lot of questions.

“Well,” Edwards began, “our rocket crashed here, but we still have some fuel to take you back home! Tomorrow, it’ll be ready.”

“Thank you, thank you!” Williams turned to his crew. “We’re going home!”

They all cheered and clapped and laughed and joked. They felt alive for the first time in years. Now, they will finally be seeing their families and friends who thought they were dead.

“Is anyone else here?” Powell said.

Williams shot a frightened glance at his crew.

“Nope! No one here at all! Just us, ha, ha!”

“Okay.” Powell looked around the area.

 

***

 

Edwards went hiking through the planet, searching for new rocks and minerals while everyone was asleep. He went to a cave, and that’s when something happened. He felt someone touch his hand and say.

“Hello.”

He quickly turned around and was ready to fight, only to find a weak, injured astronaut.

“You must be new here,” the astronaut chuckled. “What planet did you try to go on. I’m Samuel Brooks and — ”

“We’re leaving tomorrow,” interjected Edwards, “and you should know, you’re part of Williams’ crew who we’re bringing with us.”

Brooks turned red. “You bring Williams with you as you escape?!”

“Yeah, I — ”

“Don’t bring him. He’s an idiot, and he’ll do you no good!”

“But — ”

“He’s insane,” Brooks blurted out.

Edwards quickly turned his opinion. “Really?”

“Yes, isolation made him start to become aggressive with my crew. Bring my expedition, we tried to go to Jupiter in 2080, but we failed,” Brooks stated.

“Okay, meet us tomorrow morning at our rocket, I’ll tell the captain. We can only have one other crew on the trip, so it’ll be you.”

“Wonderful.”

 

***

 

The day finally came, the day to go back home. Brooks saw the rocket, and he and his men started to walk along the silver ramp.

“Hey!” a voice shouted. It was Williams, and he was angry. “Get off, Brooks. This rocket isn’t for you!”

“Yes, it is, we deserve it more!” Brooks said.

Williams tackled Brooks. “That escape is ours.” He gritted his teeth.

The men on Brooks’ and Williams’ teams started to fight each other.

But word spread around quickly. Waves of failed crews and expeditions of Venus, Mars, and Jupiter came and saw the rocket. They hit, kicked, scratched, and bit each other for it.

Edwards, Powell, and the workers were in the rocket.

“Which one should we pick?”

“I don’t know!”

A man entered the crowd. He held a grenade.

“Hey, Williams! Hey, Brooks!” He threw it.

It spun in the air, but accidentally headed towards the rocket.

“Don’t,” Powell cried.

Boom.

Powell, Edwards, their workers, and the rocket were gone. Their dead bodies were in the rubble. The planet’s residents stood there, stunned. They didn’t speak for five minutes.

They had trouble sleeping that night.

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