The Titan Mystery
The explorer ship Tycho was approaching it’s destination. A seemingly abandoned spacecraft picked up three weeks ago from a passing mining ship. There had been no response to the messages they had sent to the abandoned ship, it was now very close and Commander McKinley was considering what to do next. Tycho was now slowing so that the ship could be scanned from a safe distance. The communications officer turned to him, his name was James Tymon and he had been working for three days straight to get something from this ship. It seemed he had finally succeeded.
“Commander, the scout probe has been able to interrogate the object’s computer.” McKinley looked at him, hoping that this information would give him some information to make the next step clearer. McKinley stepped closer to him.
“Go on” he instructed.
“The abandoned ship is called the Titan, it’s returning from a colonisation mission to SG151205.” Tymon said.
“We’ve never had a mission out that far yet, let alone a colonisation mission” McKinley replied, now even more confused. “Are you sure about your data?”
“As sure as I can be Commander” Tymon replied “There’s more, according to it’s ships computer it thinks it’s the year 2774.”
At this McKinley felt strange, he needed time to process this, it was the year 2305. All the command crew had heard this and turned to look at Tymon, everyone is disbelief. McKinley was brought round by his operations officer Neila Weng.
“This thing is huge commander!” She blurted out.
“How big are we talking about?” McKinley asked. He knew the report was of a large spacecraft, but was was large?
“It’s around 50 kilometres in length” Weng replied “I’m now able to show it to you.”
“Show me.” McKinley instructed. With that the screens around the control centre were filled with the view of the Leviathan spacecraft.
“Just to make it relevant I’m putting a scale representation of the Tycho alongside.” With that a white shadow of the Tycho was shown alongside. Once again everyone went silent, there was nothing to say and everything to take in. The Titan was the largest spacecraft ever recorded. What’s more it seemed to have been made by humans, with technology that was far in advanced of what was available now. The concepts McKinley was trying to take in were blowing his mind away, McKinley was now left pondering again.
“Neila, take us around the Titan at a distance of 250 kilometres. Scan the craft for signs of life and see how much construction detail we can get from it too.”
“Yes commander” Neila replied.
The Tycho advanced toward the mysterious Titan at a slow pace, circling the giant spacecraft completely while the crew worked the instruments and let the computers gather and store all the data. McKinley was thoughtful while all this was going on. None of the SOP’s covered this kind of situation, does he board the Titan? He hated calling into command as they were all bureaucrats and almost none of them had ever been out here and deal with this stuff. But McKinley could see no choice.
“We’ve carried out a complete sensor sweep Commander McKinley” Neila reported, initial scans show no significant life forms on board, however not all the data has yet been complied.”
“What about the constructions scans?” McKinley asked.
“We’re waiting for the computer to analyse the data, it shouldn’t be too long” Neila replied.
“Tymon, could you please mark our position in the ships log, please note vessel status and time. I need to talk to command in my office, can you put them through for me?” As McKinley turned towards his office Tymon stopped him.
“Commander McKinley, command isn’t there and the date on the log is wrong.”
“What?” McKinley asked in disbelief.
“The beacon for command just isn’t there and the astronomical computer thinks the date is 2774”
“But that computer takes astronomical data to work out the date, it can’t be wrong!” McKinley protested.
“I know commander… it’s like…” Tymon trailed off his thinking taking him to a place that he didn’t want to go.
“Like what?” McKinley demanded.
“Like we’re in the year 2774” Tymon turned to his station and brought up the astronomical data the Tycho was receiving, planet positions, star charts and the like. He turned back to McKinley “It’s as I thought commander, the local planetary positions, star formations coupled with…”
“Don’t give me that crap” McKinley burst out “what’s going on?”
“Astonromically we’re in the year 2774. But I don’t know how. The best explanation is that the Titan has something to do with it” Tymon concluded
“Make a course away from the Titan, engines ahead full” McKinley ordered. At that point the the Tycho turned away from the Titan, pulling away fast the Titan was soon out of close sensor range. A few minutes later a sensor alert was heard.
“What’s that?” asked McKinley
“We’re coming up on another object, it’s pretty big!”
“Can you identify it?” McKinley asked.
“Not yet…” Neila replied “Hold on, you won’t believe this Commander”
“Try me, Neila today has been full of disbeliefs!” McKinley was now sounding irritated, he had a feeling he wasn’t going to like this.
“Let me show you” Neila then showed the object approaching fast on the main screen. At first it couldn’t be made out then, impossibly the Titan was clearly ahead of them.
“What? You’re kidding!” McKinley shouted out “How has this happened?”
“I don’t know Commander” Neila replied “Inertial guidance has showed us making a course away from the Titan, we didn’t move off that course or turn. Yet there it is!”
McKinley fell silent, thoughtful and concerned at the same time. What had he done? What is this force that seems to bend time and space and how the hell were they going to get away from it… if they could.
To be continued?
This story is part of Rachael Ritchey’s blog battle, the category is Science Fiction and the theme is:
- 1000 words max
- fictional tale (or true if you really want)
- PG (no more than PG-13) Content – let’s keep this family friendly!
- Your story must contain the word(s) from the theme and/or be centered around the theme in a way that shows it is clearly related
- Go for the entertainment value!
- State the Genre of your story at the top of your post.
- Post your story on Tuesday, by 11:59 PM PST
- Use the hashtag #BlogBattle when tweeting your story, put a link back to your #BlogBattle Short Story in the comments section of this page, and/or include a link to this page in your own blog post (it creates a “ping-back” which will alert me and our friends to your #BlogBattle post)
- Have fun!
Read all the short stories and vote! Winners are announced the Monday following. 🙂