Of Dark Matter And Ascension - Thomas Fèanis - ebook

Of Dark Matter And Ascension ebook

Thomas Fèanis

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Of Dark Matter And Ascension is a sci-fi novel that deals with an issue every person can relate to: crisis. When the world comes down on you, how do you react? What will you do? And will you be able to save yourself and the world around you? This is a story of personal tragedy on board the Mothership - a tale of loss, of grief and of overcoming your own demons. Follow the journey of One, the crew and the Mothership.

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Liczba stron: 144

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Table of Contents

One: Hypersleep Nightmares

Two: How To Fall Without Gravity

Three: Of Dark Matter

Four: Shapeshifter

Five: Thanatos

Six: Lightbearer

Seven: Supernova Sunbathing

Eight: Ascension

Nine: Rareform

Ten: Let This Storm Carry Us Home

Afterword

FOREWORD

BY THOMAS FÈANIS

Anyone would say that their story is a very personal one, and in doing so I’m aware of being cliche.

The concept for this book in not mine, it is Jörg’s concept. This novel is the result of two people who decided to turn a concept into something that can be shared with everyone. Along the way it became something very personal for both of us.

Writing this story was challenging, not only because I have never written a novel before, but also because the topic itself is dear to me. It reflects a part of my own life, that now is embedded in the wonderful concept Jörg gave me. I wanted to do it justice.

Reliving my own past for this book, but more importantly the process of writing this book, is something that I am very thankful for and I feel honored to have been given the chance to do this.

My own hardships, as well as the hardships of this book’s character, are a reflection of things each of us experience during the course of our lives in one way or another.

I wish you a lot of joy reading this book, and maybe it turns into your own story, just as it did for me.

ONE

HYPERSLEEP NIGHTMARES

Darkness - Silence.

Silence? No, not silence.

Slowly, a dull sound of destruction rises from the darkness and as the sounds around him grow louder and louder, his eyes opened to the sight of absolute chaos.

His cryocell stood open, but no one seemed to have opened it. He wasn’t supposed to be awake yet, or was he? His head hurt with unnatural intensity, making it hard to think clear. He felt pain lashing throughout the left side of his torso, blackening his vision again for a brief moment. As he carefully touched the source of the pain, he noticed he was wounded. His fingertips where red – blood red.

Panic started to build up inside of him. Where was he? A thought struck him like lightening, being more horrifying than the wound and the lacking knowledge of his surroundings. Not only did he not know where he was, he did not know who he was. He was easy prey for the fear that had been sneaking up inside him, waiting for its moment. He panicked, his heartbeat increasing, thoughts racing through his head.

Who am I? Where am I? I need to get out. Concentrate – focus. You can do this. You can fucking do this! Get up, get out of this cell. MOVE!

In spite of his body aching from the numerous cuts and bruises he managed to leave his cell, only to be greeted by another horror.

Shit. Holy... shit.

The sight of bodies floating through the cryocell hold nearly made him fail to see that his own feet weren’t touching the floor either.

Are they dead? No, not dead, just sleeping. For now.

At least that was what he allowed himself to think. Regardless of the state these floating bodies were in, he was the only one awake. The only one here. The only one. One. His name was One.

A rumbling, crashing sound rolled over him, like thunder shaking everything in the room. The cryocell hold was dimly lit by a handful of emergency lights, hindering him from seeing much beyond the bodies floating nearby. After his eyes adjusted, he saw cryocells with opened doors and others hanging loose in their mountings.

The thunderous sound returned and made One cover his ears. The cryocell hold shook more violently this time. Everything was spinning and for a moment One feared to lose consciousness, until he discovered an exit at the other side of the hold. A sign above the door read ‘Crew Quarters’. Right next to it, another pointing in a different direction read ‘Observatory’.

Crew Quarters? Observatory?

None of it made sense. From the corner of his eye he caught a glimpse of the flickering letters of yet another sign, ‘Bridge & Command Centre’ – that’s when it all came back to him. A ship. He was on board of a ship. Not just any ship – the ship. The Mothership.

Another wave of noise hit the room, spinning and disorienting One, and leaving him helplessly drifting among the bodies of his fellow Crew members. His reality crumbled again as he desperately tried to hold on to something. Frantically, he tried to move towards the doors, or at least the floor, so the next wave wouldn’t send him off floating among the bodies that may or may not be the corpses of the men and women who were considered The Crew. Reality faded as his mind tried to understand the situation he found himself in – his body drifting, arms and legs moving but not really getting him anywhere.

This is the end. That is how I die. Waking up just to be stuck in a room full of corpses. A weightless grave. My weightless grave.

He closed his eyes and gave in to the desperation that was waiting for him. This was the end. A brief journey this has been. So full of hope, so full of ideas and dreams. It meant nothing in this cold and dark place where not even the light wanted to grace anyone with its presents. One took a deep breath.

At least the life support system seems to be working. Good – I won’t die because I am running out of air.

He hadn’t even considered the chance of reaching a side of the room anymore, so it took him by surprise when he suddenly hit something, sending waves of pain throughout his already broken body. He had reached the bottom of the room.

Chairs and tables fixed to the floor, customary in interstellar ships, gave him the chance to move across the room in zero gravity.

Maybe this isn’t over. Maybe I can escape this hell.

He needed to escape this grave.

Slowly One moved through the cryocell hold, using chairs and tables to get through the weightless cold see of hopelessness. One word ringing in his head, pushing him to move forward.

Escape.

TWO

HOW TO FALL WITHOUT GRAVITY

Escape. Again and again it echoed in his head. Escape. He grabbed another chair and pulled himself towards the table standing next to it. Above him the bodies were still floating, like a grotesque flock of birds, silently watching him advance across the room. The cryocell hold was still lit by flickering red emergency light. One could hear the roar of yet another explosion in another part of the ship. There had been a lot of them. Too many of them. The ship would not last much longer. But he couldn’t worry about that right now – he had bigger problems at hand.

Getting out of the cryocell hold was all that mattered right now. Whatever had happened to the ship and its Crew, it wouldn’t matter much if he joined the flock of silent bodies above him. Another thunderous sound wave past and shook the walls. One quickly pulled himself towards the next chair and held onto it until the shaking stopped. He felt exhausted, and every wave drained his energy reserves. He couldn’t keep this up much longer. He grabbed another chair, continuing his way towards the exit.

The flock above watched him quietly. It felt like an eternity. Although he had noticed the room’s size when he got out of his cryocell, it felt twice as big now that he had to slowly make his way across it to escape the hold. Another wave, another moment of terror – the fear of being catapulted back into the air. He desperately clung himself to one of the white chairs that filled the bottom of the room. He had tried to use one of the grey round tables in the hope that they would give him a better grip, but without success. He had learned very quickly that his only chance was to pull himself from one set of chairs to another.

The flickering lights above at the end of the room came closer and closer. He felt hope rising up inside him.

I did it. I made it. Only a little more and I’m out of here!

One focused all the remaining energy in his body to make it to the next set of chairs which surrounded one of the big round tables, marked with the red symbol of the Mothership.

Nearly there.

And then there were no more chairs. He had reached the last table and gazed upon a big space of empty hold that might as well have been the Grand Canyon he remembered from his time back on earth.

There was nothing to hold onto, which meant that another thunderous wave would surely be the end of his brief little journey. Fear filled his mind again. What was he supposed to do? He could never cover that distance fast enough. It was more than ten meters towards the doors.

If it wasn’t for the lack of gravity, I could easily make that. What a fucking joke.

His wound started to hurt again. The aching had stopped as long as he had been focusing on the task before him but now that he was floating again, just barely holding onto the chair underneath him, he felt the pain rushing back into his body.

Fuck. What do I do? I need to get out of here!

He had only one chance. He knew it, but it scared him to death. He would have to make one last big pull towards the exit and hope that no shockwave would hit the room while he floated. There was no other option – no other way to do this.

I have to try. It’s either this or die here, doing nothing. No, I will not let it end like this – not like this.

He focused one last time, gathering everything he had left in him and made one final big pull. He flew through the weightlessness, unable to do anything but to hope that his luck hadn’t run out today.

It had not.

After what seemed at least a year he reached the exit door. He opened it and pulled himself through. He had made it.

I have done it. Holy shit, I have done it. I am still alive. I escaped! Now I can...

Now he could what? He had been so focused on getting out of the hold that he had not even thought about what came next. He stared at the big corridor in front of him. Which door had he even reached? Was it the one to the living quarters or the one to the observatory?

One didn’t get much time to dwell on those thoughts when the power suddenly went out and darkness greeted him. If panic hadn’t been already at his heels, now it definitely would be. He tried to get a sense of his surroundings – tried to see what was up and what was down, what’s left and what’s right. He couldn’t. He saw nothing. And he panicked.

The air seemed to leave his lungs quicker than he could breathe in and suddenly the big corridor was nothing more than a tiny cube of blackness that he had been locked in. He tried to scream but no sound came out of his mouth, except for a miserable gurgle. It doesn’t matter anyway, it was not like there was anyone to hear it. Or was there? Maybe there had been other survivors, some members of the Crew that were awake too?

Don’t be stupid. The fucking power went out. There is no one. You are going to die. You made it out of the hold just to die in an empty corridor.

He gave up. There was nothing left he could do. Apathy started to fill his body and mind. Giving up was all that’s left, right? Maybe he should just wait for the end to come. It mattered little what effort he had made. In the end he would just end up in another room of the ship. A room once filled with people, filled with excitement, with hope. Now nothing more than a dark grave. He thought about his loved ones, his friends, and his family. He could not remember a single face. The cryosleep must have some side effects. Who knew?

What a sad way to go. I can’t even remember the faces of my friends. It’s like I have been alone on this ship forever.

As the lights came back and the corridor was filled with the red emergency light once more, One didn’t even move at first. He had his eyes closed. Why even try?

...because this is not how you’re going to die! You hear me! Get your ass moving!

His brain was not ready for the sudden rush of adrenaline that hit his body like a freight train, but he started to move nevertheless. He had to move. Maybe there was someone else? Maybe he could stay alive just a little longer.

Suddenly something in the wall next to him exploded. Pain flashed through his body, his sight faded and he was hurled through the air against the wall on the opposite side of the corridor. As he slowly regained control over his body, he tried to move. A conductor had exploded, probably due an overload of energy, or the damage the ship had taken. He needed to move before another one of those explosions knocked him out for good.

Another explosion – this time a few meters ahead of him. It blew a hole in the corridor wall and hot steam was flowing out of it. What was causing those pipes to explode? Why now? There hadn’t been anything like it back in the cryocell hold.

He tried to get closer to the wall so he could see what kind of pipe had exploded. It was impossible to figure out through the steam still flowing out of the hole. He couldn’t really see anything besides some sparks, which indicated that the electronics of the ship were slowly starting to overload or that the damage was spreading throughout the conduits across the ship.

It can’t be long before the life support system will shut down. Then we are really fucked.

The ship would do anything to keep the life support system running as long as possible. Even if it means shutting down entire areas to preserve the more important ones.

Areas like the one I am in – shit.

As if the ship had heard his thoughts, the door at the end of the corridor began to close itself. One tried to move as fast as he could. The red lights flickered and there was another explosion behind him. The door was slowly closing and One was nowhere near it. The corridor was longer than he had estimated and there was no chance of him reaching that door. With a sharp hiss the door closed and the emergency seal came down, making it impossible to open it.

Although he had expected as much, the sight of door behind him being shut as well gave him another taste of bitter desperation.

Great! I can’t move forward, I can’t go back. I am fucking stuck.

There wasn’t much time to dwell on that. He knew as much. With the doors shut down, he would need to get out of there somehow before he’d run out of air.

Frantically he turned around, trying to figure out a way to escape. That’s when he noticed the small hatch on the right wall of the corridor. It must be one of the hatches to the repair tunnels lead throughout the whole ship. There was his chance to escape.

Ok, fine. Let’s do this.

He quickly reached the hatch that was embedded in the grey corridor wall. It was shut tight, just like the doors. He was completely locked in. One didn’t even bother to get angry. At this point his resolve was broken. He was desperate.

Of course you are sealed, you fucking asshole hatch!

He closed his eyes and took a deep breath, realizing how thin the air was becoming. It was pure luck that saved One from losing his eyesight when the wall in front of him exploded. With his eyes still closed, the shockwave of the explosion took him by surprise. He was hurled around like a leaf in autumn and when he hit the floor, forcing out the remaining air in his lungs. Ringing for air and trying to remain conscious, he tried to gain control over his body again. When he opened his eyes, he couldn’t do anything else but laugh. A desperate, nearly insane laugh.