The Extinction Protocol – Part 2

Personal log Commander Scott Edwards
Olympus Colony Mars
Sol 687

It’s been two weeks since the news landed that there was a plan, a sliver of hope for our survival and the continuation of the human race. I might in fact be overoptimistic. A sliver implies some chance, to me there’s too much in the way. Or there’s something I don’t know about, there’s always that. I didn’t know about this whole damn operation two weeks ago.

The problem I think is how mentally prepared and able are the people to do this, some are just hanging on by a thread as it is. There’s been no further details of the plan yet. The mission craft is only days away from entering Mars orbit. Maybe we will know more then.

So I won’t…

“Edwards you’re needed in control” Collins voice came over the intercom.

“What is it?

“It’s Jett there’s a problem.” Collins replied grimly.

“What kind of – Oh I’m coming.”

“Finish this later.” Edwards clicked off the log recorder.

Edwards marched onto the control centre “What’s going on Collins?”

“It’s Jett, he’s sealed off the North section, he’s gone crazy and said he’s going to blow it up! There are twelve others trapped in there.”

“What the hell?!? Is he on the intercom?”

“Yes, Although he doesn’t seem to be in the talking mood.”

Picking up the intercom Edwards put it to his ear “Jett, what’s going on?” Edwards waited for a response. “Any idea why he’s doing this?”

“None.” Replied Collins. “He keep rambling on about we don’t know what’s coming and everything is bullshit.”

He’s been like that since the mission was announced, but I didn’t think he was going to do this.” Moments passed with nothing happening. The intercom crackled into life. “Scott? Is that you?”

“Hi Jett, yes it’s me, what’s going on?”

“You have no idea what’s coming Scott! No idea!”

“What do you mean? We have a chance, we have a hope and I need you to help me with it!”

“Oh no, no I’m not going to help. This whole thing is bullshit! We won’t succeed and even if we did what then? What will you all do? This whole thing is messed up and I’m going to stop it.”

“Why would you do that Jett?”

“Because of what’s coming Scott!” Jett shouted, his voice explosive over the intercom.

“What’s coming Jett? What do you know that I don’t?” For a moment Edwards waited. “Jett? Jett?” Edwards was now shouting “Je-“

A huge rumble and the whole base seemed to heave, pushed to the floor by the shock wave that tore through the base. Edwards eyes opened, his ears ringing. He called out but his voice was muffled. A moment later he realised he was still breathing, the base shell hadn’t breached. But there had been a massive explosion.

Edwards picked himself up and looked across at Collins, blood ran from his ears, Collins was struggling to find his level as well. Looking round Callie and Neila we having the same problem. Probably everyone on the base was. The spike in air pressure had thrown them all back and messed with thier whole bodies.

Edwards looked straight at Collins “Can you hear me?” Even his own voice hurt his ears. He scanned the control panel. The North section flashed red, showing shell breach. Looking over at the screens he could see it wasn’t just breached, most of the North section had been destroyed.

The ground outside the base was littered with smashed equipment and debris. But what was that? Several bodies, not quite dead but not far off. Edwards ran calling out as he held his ears tightly, wincing at the pain.

“Rav, Neiks meet you at airlock 2!” The two men met Edwards at the airlock. Edwards started pulling on a suit and pointed.

“We need to help them, we need to get them in!”

“They’re dead Scott! Leave them!” Rav insisted.

“No I saw, I saw they were twitching!” Edwards protested aggressively, pushing the two men aside as he reached for the gloves.

“Forget it Scott!” Neiks shouted “Forget it! It would take us five minutes to reach them and then at least five minutes to get them back. There’s only three suits here and they would be dead before we got them on. They’re dead now!” Neiks pushed Edwards back and to the floor. For an instant Edwards anger flared up, but it passed as soon as it came and he sat, head in his hands.

Cassi ran in “There’s people out there!”

“They’re gone Cassi, they won’t make it. I’m sorry” Rav explained.

The tears were already flowing down Cassi’s face. One by one people came and went in silence she wouldn’t leave, she just looked out to the ruined section. Edwards too was frozen, his head killing him, his ears killing him. After what seemed and age Cassi crawled over to Edwards and held him.

“Dani was on there wasn’t she?” Cassi nodded “I’m sorry Cassi” neither moved as night fell. The whole base was silent, no one sure what they lost hurt more, friends or hope.

Two days had passed, Edwards still coming to terms with the senseless loss. If Jett wanted to go, that alone was tragic, but why take the twelve others with him?
Collins Walked in after being summoned. Handing him a tablet Edwards took it “Damage and loss report as requested. I’m afraid we lost fourteen in all Jensen and Riall both crashed during the night.”

“Jesus Collins. What was all this about? Jett was a good man and under pressure too.” Edwards shook his head and turned away. For a moment Collins thought about answering but quickly purged the thought, he turned to quietly leave.

“What do you think about this Collins? Honestly.”

“The mission?” Edwards nodded. “What choice do we have?”

“That’s what I think too.” Edwards turned but then came back to him. “Oh Collins, I sent the update to the mission craft, they’ll be here in days.”

“Any reply from them?”

“Not yet, I’m not sure what the detailed plan was an how this changes it. All we can do is see what they say.”

“Well it won’t be good whatever it is, the mission might not be possible now.”

“We need to find a way to make it possible, we have no other choice.”

Collins left and Edwards was alone again, looking back towards another setting sun, back to where Earth was and possible redemption was coming from.

©Simon Farnell 2019

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The Extinction Protocol – Part 1

Personal log Commander Scott Edwards
Olympus Colony Mars
Sol 673

I’ve sat here, totally silent for the last hour. Probably the first hour that I’ve had to think in months. I’ve heard about people having these times of their lives that they look back on and it seems like a bad dream and they wonder what the fuck happened and why it was it happened to them or that isn’t life really shit.

Well looking back now I’m having that feeling and then some.

I’m still coming to terms with the fact that I’m one of about forty five human beings that make up the human race, forty one of them are here and there four more apparently. Two on the Earth – Mars conveyor and two more on a ship that I’ve only just found out about and it’s apparently on it way. We could fit the whole human race into a medium sized room – just. There were four more bringing us to nearly fifty but they just snapped, went for a walk and never came back.

I’ll never forget that day for as long as live, how could I? I looked up and watched as around 8 billion people died on Earth, in a way that the universe beautifully understated as a bright light that shone for several hours on Mars and was the brightest star in the sky for a while. Among those 8 billion I count the three people I loved most in the world and one dog. It was strange, it was peaceful and just so tragic at the same time. It didn’t matter what we were or could do, the universe let us know it could snuff us out – just like that.

For these last months I’ve had to come to realise that no matter what we do here on Mars we are not able to make ourselves self sufficient and at some point within the next five years are all likely to either starve, suffocate or, well that’s about it really. I have been coming to terms with my own mortality, my own insignificance in the universe. Yet now there is more, it seems my great pay masters who are now dust had simultaneously pulled the wool over my eyes and everyone else’s. This is something I know I cannot share, how can I? The human race needs to move and adapt, like it or not. They can’t do that if they’re looking back, they need to look forward.

What is coming seems to me to be a total shot in the dark. Not suicide, the odds of success seem too big to even think about.

So I won’t.

“What the hell?” Neila threw back at Edwards “Is this for real?”

“Yes” Stone replied calmly and bluntly “It’s real.”

“So. Just so I have this straight in my mind.” Jett interrupted “In three weeks this spacecraft is going to enter orbit of Mars.”

“Yes.” Scott agreed.

“You and a few others are going to jump on this, leave us behind some kind of interstellar gateway thing. Then you’re fucking off to a new star, setting up a cosy place to live and deploying the second part of this gateway and use the Earth – Mars conveyor to take us through this gateway.”

“That’s about it.” Edwards agreed. The room was silent, but only for a moment.

“Bullshit!” Jett spat. “Even if this works we’re trusting you not to leave us behind.”

“I know this is going to be hard, I know we’re all going to have to take trust to a whole other level and if we fail you may never know.” Edwards explained calmly. “But this is a second chance for the human race, it’s beyond a long shot. It’s a chance in a million. But here on Mars, we have no chance, sooner or later we’re dead. I’m taking that chance, I hope you guys will too!”

“How long will this take?” Cassi asked

“If we’re lucky, ten years. If not could be much longer!”

“Those left on Mars won’t survive that long, even our best estimates suggest we have three years tops!” Cassi argued. “Also where has this plan and this ship suddenly appeared from?”

Cassi was young but Edwards knew there was no fooling her. “I don’t know. This plan is as news to me as it is to you. I have no details yet but the plan is that everyone on Mars will survive the time it takes us to get to our final destination.”

“You didn’t know about it before?” Jett argued.

“No. I wouldn’t do that to you.”

“Where is the final destination?” Cassi asked

“I don’t know that either yet, but considering that we don’t have the capability to travel at the speed of light I can only imagine it’s one of the stars in our very local vicinity.” Edwards finished and awaited any further questions. Everyone was silent, the enormity of what was ahead could only overwhelm them all.

Finally Edwards again broke the silence. “In the three weeks before the ship arrives there is a list of training assignments and roles changes you need to familiarise yourselves with. I’m hoping more details and objectives will be made available before that happens, in the meantime we will have daily gatherings at the same time.”

“Also let’s make sure that we do everything to make sure that everyone in this room get to fulfill their roles. Please keep watch on your buddies.”

With that Edwards motioned for everyone to continue. For the rest of the day everyone was quiet, Edwards was sure he was getting the evil eye from a few people. He was fairly sure he could work out what they were thinking, he would think the same. Being in on it all along, or maybe it was just his own insecurity or paranoia?

Putting the thoughts out of his head he lay on his bed as he watched the sun setting on Mars, quietly, restlessly he watched and wondered what was coming and even if it was worth the effort. Phobos sot across the sky as he was watching, like a flash of hope as the sun hit a point on the small moon it winked at him.

While Scott Edwards took the wink as hope, there was no chance they would get to where they were going on hope alone and there was along way to go.

©Simon Farnell 2019

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Fields of Paper Flowers

This is my entry for January’s Blog Battle – the theme or word for this month is Heart.

“Here it is!” Brian revealed all glowing with pride. “The artificial flower!”

I looked on it with a mix of distain and yet a little awe at the intricate and beautiful creation. “So what?” 

“What do you mean so what?” Brian flapped enthusiastically.

“We have flowers, we plant seeds or bury bulbs and the plants grow. They look pretty and they attract bees which pollinate everything else and helps everything grow! It’s wonderfully simple and there’s no need to change it!”

“This flow” Brian continued “Is a little piece of miniature genius. Not only does it look pretty but it extracts more carbon from the air than a typical flower, it never loses its petals, it generates electricity from sunlight and it won’t ever die!”

“That’s pretty impressive I have to say, but it won’t attract bees to cross pollinate and it’s going to cost a lot more than a seed I’m guessing!”

“You’re such a nay sayer Steve. I’ve got big plans for my flower, I want to make so many and plant them wherever I can and show the world how my flowers can help the world!”

With that Brian left, what started as an intellectual discussion has turned into a catapult for Brian. To prove me wrong.

That was five years ago. After that Brian had packed up and for a couple of years I heard no more about him or his flowers. It wasn’t until I was walking in the park one February morning that I noticed something, familiar somehow and yet pretty and intricate. After a few minutes of staring at it I realised that this was one of Brian’s flowers. Bu there wasn’t just one, clumps of ten or twenty all over the place in different spots. 

Somehow Brian was planting his flowers. 

Over the weeks and months that followed I noticed them in more and more places, people could by them and suddenly this obscure object, so easily grown was now being labelled as the flower to save the world, solving so many of our problems.

Brian however was nowhere to be found, he obviously wanted to vanish. But fate it’s card…

It started with the first reports of disquiet, bees disappearing. Concerns about pollinisation, scientist claiming that this artificial intruder to our flower beds was not as it was claimed, far from being the answer to our problems, it created many more.

Finally answered by the company that made them, Obsidian inc. A huge multinational company had bought Brians idea and was turning it onto money, cheap and quick cash being made on the premise that it’s buyer’s would be saving the world.

Then I got it, THAT email. Brian finally had broken silence and wanted to meet me. At his offices in the city ‘for lunch’ as he called it. When I turned up, lunch was the last thing on the minds of those wanting to meet me.

“Come in and sit down.” A older man at the head of the long table gestured to me. Brian sat to my left, the table was full of men in suits, younger at my end, older at the end. The phrase, pale, stale and male came to mind.

The older man at the end spoke again, the company logo and motto behind him, prominent and bleak. “We invited you her today Mr Wright, to discuss the prominent slurring of our current product strategy and to come to some kind of understanding.”
“I’m not sure I follow you you.” I answered blankly. “Any assessment I give of a new initiative is based on empirical results and…”

“Yes we know but we feel you’re missing the point here.” The old man continued. “There’s an opportunity here and we think you should be a part of it!”
The man managed a smile, not much of one, I could see where this was going now.
“You’re trying to buy me? For what?”

“For the good of Obsidian inc of course.”

“But I thought that Obsidian ‘Created products that helped the world’ not pollute it even more and destroy the eco-system. I shot back , I was getting angry now.

“Where did you get that idea from?” The man smirked.

“It’s on the wall behind you.” I looked as the man turned, as he did every other head turned too. I looked at Brian, he was still as if struck with fear.

“Regardless of that, we want to increase our product offering to simulate larger plants, and trees. We think this is a good thing, I promise it will be very rewarding for you.” The man was turning on the charm offensive now. I stood up.
“We cannot eat, breathe or drink money. You are all stupid if you think that. I will have no part of this.”

I turned and walked out of the door.

That was five years ago. It’s now that I stand here in the park where it first started. The piles of artificial flowers and plants are lined up at the side of the path. The bees are all but extinct, nothing grows and starvation is now common. The air is thick with pollution and still the great Obsidian sits on it’s piles of money.

Mankind used to think that aliens or asteroids would wipe out life on Earth. It’s safe to say that the collective madness that occurs around accumulating money is far more dangerous.

Let’s hope it is not yet too late.

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The Eternal Librarian

This is my entry for December’s Blog Battle – the theme or word for this month is Heart.

“I have exciting news for you Emily.” Libby told Emily in her usual flat robotic but clearly feminine tone.

“What is that?” Emily asked excitedly. At sixteen years old Emily was often told she was too old to hang out around a library all the time, especially with an ancient robot librarian.

“I’ve been told I’m going to be retired soon so that improvements can be made to the library.”

Emily’s face fell “So… so, you’re going?”

Libby pulled the the wheel round and the huge shelf moved, closing the gap. “Yes. I will be replaced by a more efficient librarian that will be able to give you a better service. This must please you.”

“No!” Emily said sternly, not sure whether to be angry or cry… or both. “I don’t care if the new librarian is more efficient, I want you to be here!”

“I do not understand. My reason to exist is to the serve this library as efficiently as I can, when a mechanoid is available that will do this job better that must surely be a good thing. I don’t understand humans.”

“How I feel is not logical, I have come here for many years and I know you. I feel you are my friend. You have been here for so long even my grandmother knew you when she was young!”

“This is true Emily, I have known, your mother, grandmother and great…” Libby paused, a computerised buzzing sound came from here and for a moment was still. Then the episode passed and she continued. “grandmother. I have been in operation for 40,264 days, twelve hours and seven minutes. I have had two complete chassis replacements in my operational lifespan.  So the robot you see before you now is not the robot that stood in front of your great grandmother. Every part of me has been replaced.”

“But you are the same robot Libby!” Emily protested. “Every part of you might have changed but your heart and your soul and memories are the same!”

Libby thought about this for a moment, a buzzing noise came from within her, something seemed to not compute. A man in a suit came strolling by, Emily knew him to be the Library officiator. 

“But I do not have a soul!”

“That’s right!” The officiator told Libby. “No soul and no longer any use here. I bet you can’t wait to be retired!”

Libby looked up at the officiator “I do not know. It is not something I have experienced.”

“Oh it’ll be quieter than even in here and those joints won’t be aching any more!” With that the officiator walked off, patting Emily on the head.

“What does he know?” Emily scorned at him behind his back. She looked backup again at Libby “Our bodies are renewed every seven years, that means there is nothing left of the body I was born with or the one I celebrated my seventh birthday. You can I are more alike than you think!”

“This is very trrruue Emily!” The robot stuttered “But I’m not sure how this will help. I am due to be retired and that is that as you humans say” Libby sorted through a section of books, sorting and placing back into order before moving along to the next shelf. “It seems that my job is done and I have served my human masters well I hope.”

Emily looked up sad and not sure what to do or say next. 

“I sense you are experiencing emotional sadness, if it helps I have something for you.” Libby told her secretly. “Come with me.”

Emily followed Libby into a part of the library which was only meant for the librarian, there were spare parts and robot stuff all over the place. Then on the wall there were pictures, Libby had been drawing! Could robots do that? Closing the door behind Emily Libby pointed at a picture drawn simply in pencil and paper of Libby and emily together, drawn in near perfection. 

“You drew that?” 

“Yes.” Libby stated.

“How? This is something from your memory?”

“I am not sure. It feels like memory although I do not recall the time and place of the occasion.”

The picture was of Emily and Libby together in a face shot as if a selfie had been taken of them both. But Emily knew this hadn’t happened.

“You imagined this!”

“I cannot have imagined this, I have no -“

“But you must have! Don’t you see? I told you! We’re more like than you think, you have a soul, you have heart, you have imagination!”

Emily did not know how this had happened, why or maybe even who had done this to Libby. But she did know one thing. Libby had to be saved, the first conscious, maybe even self aware robotic life form could not be left to die. 

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The Extinction Protocol

This short piece has been written for the November 2018 Blog Battle.  To find out more click the link:

The word for the month is EDUCATE.

SOL670 Olympus Colony:

“Colony Log Commander James O’Neill: NASA are sending me a priority message on the secure comms channel in about five minutes. I’m not sure what to expect from this, one thing I learned in the air force was to be worried when something unusual and out of character happened, this it right up there with out of character. All I can do is see what they have to say.”

Sat back in his chair in his habitation module waiting, O’Neill’s mind churned. Then the notification lamp lit up on his computer. The lines of the text only message came through line by line.

Message from NASA: 04-10-2056                                                                                Authorization code:20350524185245
From Senior administrator RE: Extinction Protocol.

  • Asteroid KE567342 on direct collision with Earth, estimated impact 19 days from now somewhere in the vicinity of the African continent.
  • Projection of loss of life on Earth: Total.
  • Projection of Earth status after impact: uninhabitable by human or any known Earth lifeforms.
  • While able Earth will be sending all available resource to Mars to keep human habitation possible. We expect the Martian colonies to be able to be sustainable for three more years when this has been delivered. Some additional personnel will be sent to support Martian colony activities and ensure as much as possible the safe delivery of two population bombs.

Summary of actions to be carried out by NASA controlled Martian colonies:

  1. Ensure temporary sterilisation of all colonists.
  2. Educate all colonists on the situation and how Mars could still be sustainable after supplies have expired.
  3. Recommend restricted and controlled release of this information in order to maintain discipline and morale.
  4. Further information will be coming soon.

End of message.

Not quite able to take it all in, O’Neill stared in stunned silence at the message. Emotions ran through him for a moment like a fire, he had family, friends places he had seen and wanted to see all of which would be no more. In anger he threw to the computer and everything on the desk across the room. It felt like a million regrets passed though his mind. Finally after what seemed to him like an age reason came back to him.  Everyone on Mars was going to outlive the rest of the Human race back home. Did that mean they were in a better place? He wasn’t so sure.

Thinking for a moment he had to deliver this in a way that was going to distract everyone. Pressing a console button cleared his throat. “Initiate emergency colony survival protocol, I repeat initiate the emergency survival protocol.” A voice at the end acknowledged the order, the lights dimmed and a claxon sounded. He knew in moments all personnel would be up and attending stations.

He pressed another button “Dr Cheung, all station inhabitants are to be administered a NRS capsule effective immediately.”

“Understood” a voice replied.

O’Neill listened to the commotion and waited for all to be present in the hub, finally he stood up. Now he had to tell them.

It went well O’Neill thought. About as well as can be expected, while they all waited the good doctor administered the twenty seven colonists at the station their NRS capsules. Embedded in the body these slowly released chemicals that ensured reproduction was impossible and helped to control chemical imbalances leading to hunger and anxieties. They were a bit like the pill, a weight loss tablet and a sedative all rolled into one. They lasted up to twelve weeks. In that time the situation would be better known.

“Do we know exactly what they’re sending?” Emily asked.

“Not yet” 
O’Neill shook his head. “I hope to learn more in the next few days.” But what I do know is that we are now almost solely responsible for our own survival. We have an estimated three years before all supplies are exhausted, in that time we need have educated ourselves to create food, water and prolong the life of resources and materials. If we do this in time the the solar panels will need to be replaced or equipment maintained.”

O’Neill’s look was grim “We have to be able to create Earth technologies here, somehow. In three days I need to have a list to give to control of any and all information we might need. I don’t know but if we get in early enough we might even be able to ask for materials to be sent. This is possible but considering the time frame doubtful”

“Break into your teams and get thinking. Three days people, we need a short and a long term plan.” With that he turned and walked out of the control hub, a door slid open and inside was humming and droning of machinery.

“James!” a voice shouted from behind him.

O’Neill spun round “Melissa! Dammit don’t do that – you scared the sh-“

“What’s happening with the other stations?” She shouted.

“What do you mean?”

“Have they been told?!?”

“I haven’t but I imagine each base’s commander will have been told. Why?”

Melissa pulled him into a quieter area and shut the door. “Each of the other stations have a lot of resource that everyone is going to need. Utopia station even has a launcher that can get back to Endeavour when is passes by in three months.”

“Getting to Endeavour is no good, the only place it can go to is Earth. What’s your point?”

“My point is that what if the other colonies decide that the others are expendable in light of the fact that Earth will be gone? If they start raiding other bases they could prolong their survival time.”

O’Neill thought for a moment “I see where you’re at. But these are all educated and rational people, we should be able to trust everyone here to work together… Right?”

Melissa looked at him “So why do you suddenly look doubtful?”

O’Neill didn’t answer, thoughts of the colonies turning against each other had been the last thing on his mind, yet now the seed was planted was a real possibility. That’s what worried him most, if this was brought to common attention, could it sow the seed or if others were already thinking about it. 

Finally he spoke up “Because now I have them and how we deal with this will decide on whether we all survive or  just as much as everything else we have to deal with.”

“What do we do?”

“Tread very, very carefully. Find Ben and bring him to my hab module. But without being weird or suspicious.” Just then his wrist com beeped through a notification. 

“What’s that?”

“More from Earth. Hopefully something more solid about what’s coming this way. Go and get Ben.”

Melissa nodded, just before she opened the door O’Neill stopped her.

“I mean it when I say don’t arouse suspicion, if we start something with this we won’t need any asteroid to kill us. We’ll do it all by ourselves.”

Melissa nodded and disappeared, O’Neill suddenly felt cold, following after Melissa he wasn’t sure if was the fuel cells or where this all might end chilled his bones.

To be continued?

©Simon Farnell 2018

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The Celestial Temple

This short piece has been written for the October 2018 Blog Battle. If you need to find out more please click: Blog Battle – October 2018

The word for this month is CAVE. 





Like a dream I could see the cave, carved into the side of a mountain, looking into it I saw the incredible. The universe within it,  layed out for me to see. That was the dream anyway, now somehow as I looked up I could see that this was the mountain and this was not a dream.

Except… where was the cave?


That was the last thing I remembered. before I found myself looking into the long darkness of the cave. Somehow I was inside, I wasn’t sure how. I had no idea why but this place was familiar, not like a dream within a dream. I stood looking into a vast darkness, dimly lit by a light I couldn’t see the origin of. Coming from nowhere the illumination showed the end of the cave, at the end was a sheer drop, a vast shaft. I wasn’t close enough yet to see down the shaft. In the middle was a platform, impossibly it seemed to be suspended, weightless and floating in the void. Connected only by a small walkway.

Slowly, carefully I stepped onto the walkway. In the dull silence there was a dull metallic thud as my foot met the metal surface. Slowly, carefully I took another step, then another. With each step this place seemed more and more familiar, as if it this was a place I should know. I was over, now standing on the platform, the strange console in front of me. It wasn’t lifeless, readouts displayed and indicators flashed on and off.

“I thought you would never come Galiea.”

Spinning around in total shock to face the voice from behind me, heart racing, body shaking in total fear I faced a man, in the shadow and his black outfit I couldn’t see him well. But he somehow was there. “W-what did you call me?” I stammered.

“Galiea. I was starting to wonder if you would ever come. Welcome back.”

“What do you mean? Where is this? Why are you calling me this… Galiea? My name is Steve Curran!”

“Relax, I’m not going to harm you. You are Galiea, the star master for this!” The man spread his arms out at the darkness as if proud of this place. “You don’t remember do you? Over five hundred years ago this great vessel was hidden here, hidden in space and time from the Anderran race. Five of us were dispersed into humankind, to live out human lives until the time came.”

“The time for what?” I asked, afraid of the answer even as the question escaped my lips.

“The time that the Anderran’s caught up with us. They must never have this vessel and they will tear this planet apart to get it. They know we’re here!”

“What?!?” I couldn’t get me head round this “What are you talking about?”

“This will help!”

He put his hand to my head, a flash of light, an electric pain and I fell to my knees. The pain gave way to clarity, realisation… remembrance.

“How are you now Galiea?”

At that moment as I looked down at the floor I realised why I knew this place. Like waking from a bad dream it all came flooding back to me. This – the celestial temple, created by the alliance of the seven races of Pleiades. Fleeing to hide it from the Anderran’s. I heard his words, slowly I answered. “Foggy, it’s been a long time but… Oh God, they’ve found us?” I got back to my feet, looking the man clearly in the eyes, recognising him immediately. He nodded grimly. “Where are they? Are they close?”

“Close enough, but I’m not sure. That’s why I need my star master.”

I stepped forward, waved my hand across a panel, the solar system lit up in front of me, the sun, the planets in their perfect unending orbits. Between Jupiter and Mars a red cross hair zoomed, highlighting the danger. I spread my arms and instantly zoomed in closer to the searching marauders.

“There’s all twelve of them!”

“Yes, we didn’t lose a single one did we?”

I just turned and looked at my commander, despite the passing of time he hadn’t aged… But then, neither had I.

“What can we do? Even if the other arrive, there’s only five of us and – well all of them! They will be here in days and I don’t know how we can stop them. If they capture the celestial temple they will hold the key to reaching any star system almost instantly. They will seek to conquer the entire galaxy and they will start with Earth.”

“That my friend is where we will have to find our help, right here.”

“Earth? They’re not ready for this?”

“Perhaps not, but they will need to be!”

Nodding in grim agreement, I thought about the impending doom facing us all, human or not. “How will we explain this to their leaders? We can’t just walk up to them and tell them this. We don’t have time or time to convince them.

“They will come here Galiea, they will come becasue it’s in their nature.”

Moving my hands over one of the panels, a graphic shone inf front of me. Familiar and yet hidden for so long this ship, was going to reveal itself to the world. This insignificant cave was about to be flooded with the light hidden from it so long ago.

I swiped the display, turning green a noise so subtle and yet so powerful wound down like a stalling jet, slowly this expanse filled with light from the sun. The mask that had enveloped this might vessel for so long vanished. Even out here in these mountains the sight would be so vast that we knew others would see this and would right now be alerting the authorities.

“Now what?” I asked.

“Now we wait.”

At this time we had to have faith and hope that the right people would come, before the marauders did. But whatever happened next, one thing we knew for sure. They were coming.

*Image found on Pinterest. Ownership remains with the creator.

©Simon Farnell 2018


Planet Simon



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Moon Warp

This short piece has been written for the August 2018 Blog Battle. If you need to find out more please click: Blog Battle – August 2018

The word for this month is MOON. 



Moon Warp


Moon Warp


“This is a standard mission they said. Three weeks out and then back, no excitement and no danger. They said.”

Pausing to gather her thoughts, she looked out at the barren Moonscape through the round window, wondering if his words would ever reach Earth. But he had to work out what to say.

“They also said there was no life on the Moon, sent to assess a lifeless lavatube for a possible human settlement the job seemed plain and simple, but there’s more here than anyone on Earth could have imagined and I don’t know what it means.”

Her thoughts wandered again and his gaze drifted to the landscape out of the window again. To where it began, where it all happened…


“Have you got the ground resonator Jules?” Harry asked her. “There’s something weird going on in the tunnel wall just over here.”

“What makes you think that?” Jules asked inquisitively. “This is a lava tube on the Moon remember, we don’t really understand everything about them.”

“Yes, but I think the tunnel wall should be thicker here.” Harry was being quite specific, pointing at a seemingly indifferent section of the tunnel wall. “Just get it over here will you?”

“Seb, help me with it could you please?” Jules and Seb wrestled the long heavy instrument to where Harry was standing. Moving in the suits was awkward, even in the low gravity, the ground resonator was unmanageable on Earth but two people could just about handle it on the Moon.

“There!” Jules puffed, her breath condensing on her helmet’s visor.

“Nice of you to help Harry. Just because you’re in command…” Seb showed his irritation but was cut off.

“Shut up will you.” Harry handled the resonator. A red laser swept across the walls of the tunnel. Harry stared at the tablet, analysing the results. “See!” he pointed. “But how is that even possible?”

Jules looked over his shoulder at the result, Harry pulled the tablet to himself to hide it “Stop peeking will you?”

“What is wrong with you today Harry?” Jules retorted. Offended at Harry’s obnoxious attitude.

“The wall has no depth here!” Harry carried on. He turned and focused the resonator at the area of interest. When he did the wall shimmered and seemed to dissolve into a translucent haze. Beyond the wall seemed to be images, things that couldn’t quite be made out.

“What is that?” Seb finally asked as the three of them stared.

“I don’t know…” Jules continued.

It took a few moments, then Harry moved forward. Ignoring the protests from the two colleagues Harry’s hand vanished through the wall. With a step he moved forward as was gone.

“Harry what the hell are you doing?” Jules called after him.

“We should call into command Jules.” Seb suggested.

“And leave him here?” Jules retorted sharply. “Lets just get on with it shall we?” The two of them stood together and walked through a wall of what seemed like shimmering water. On the other side Harry was there, but also a sight that stunned them both.

“Wow, oh my God Seb are they…”

“Pyramids.” Harry interrupted

What lay before them was a field of sand, blown in wispy sand devils around them, with what looked like ancient pyramids around them. Except there was something different, these weren’t ancient. These looked new. Jules looked around her and saw not only the giant structures towering over her but a stone arch around her, with hieroglyphs etched into the walls with the translucent shimmering behind her.

Then she froze, Harry was walking forward towards three figures walking slowly towards them, he removed his helmet – it seemed there was breathable air here too as well as bright daylight, but how was this possible?

“What do we do?” Seb asked.

“I have no idea, but I don’t like this at all.” Jules answered back. She started taking pictures with her helmet cam, of the figures, the hieroglyphs, the archway. She had a feeling she was going to need proof of what was going on. Then she jumped in startled surprise.

“What are you doing?” Harry barked from right behind her.

“Gathering data Harry, you know that’s our job here!” Jules barked back, trying not to show her fear.

“No you don’t!” Harry raised some metallic object and swung to towards her, stumbling forward Seb stopped it, his visor smashed.

“Stop this now Harry!” Seb yelled. “What the hell is going on?”

Jules pulled at Seb, another blow from Harry knocked them back through the archway and out the other side, knocking the resonator over.

“Seb are you ok? Seb?” Jules hadn’t seen Seb’s visor smash, as she looked down she saw him suffocating, his eyes bulging in front of her. Pulling him up she realised the only way he was going to survive was to send him back. Pushing him to the wall he hit the rockface and fell. Pulling up the resonator she directed the beam to the rockface, but it was no good, the resonator was broken. By the time she got back to Seb all trace of life had gone.

In dumb silence she sat there for what seemed an age.


Jules attached the pictures and data into the log message and then continued.

“Harry locked out the launch vehicles controls so I can’t work the damn thing and get home. If you guys got your finger out you could rescue me in six months, more likely eight. I have supplies to last me three weeks if I ration. The math is simple there, I’m not even sure you could re-supply me before I starve. But let me know.”

Jules stared out the window again, the Earth was just appearing over the horizon.

“Maybe the only possible way I have to survive is try and go back. Maybe.”

Jules clicked the save and sent the log message. All she could do now was wait. Wait for what? Rescue? Harry? Death?

©Simon Farnell 2018


Planet Simon



Also find Planet Simon on Twitter

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Find some of my pictures on Instagram

Also look me up on: Pinterest      Mix    Wattpad

Sci-Fi and Fantasy Short Stories

Over the last couple of years I’ve written a number of short and not so short stories and trying to give them the visibility they deserve is a bit hard when they’re hidden behind a menu system on my blog page. So I’ve put as many of them as I can find on this post and I’m going to pin it on my page.

Many of them aren’t finished, but you know – Rome wasn’t built in a day and all that.



The Titan Mystery

The Titan Mystery is my longest running story, set in the far future the commander and crew of the star ship Tycho become trapped in time and space while investigating a gigantic spacecraft that seems to be from distant future.

The only way for them to find a way to get free is to board the Titan and see what they can find out. What they discover is beyond they wildest dreams and nightmares.


The Titan Mystery

The Titan Mystery – Part 2

The Titan Mystery – Part 3

The Titan Mystery – Part 4

The Titan Mystery – Part 5

The Titan Mystery – Part 6

The Titan Mystery – Part 7

The Titan Mystery – Part 8

The Titan Mystery – Part 9

The Titan Mystery – Part 10

The Titan Mystery – Part 11

The Titan Mystery – Part 12

The Titan Mystery – Part 13

The Titan Mystery – Part 14

The Titan Mystery – Part 15

The Titan Mystery – Part 16

The Titan Mystery – The Conclusion



Scorched Planet

Featured Image -- 2972

While on a less than routine mission to recover the data from a monitoring station David Hicks watches as a spacecraft passes over him and lands in the distance. Rather than being rescued by his partner he disobeys orders to find out more. He was prepared for aliens and maybe death, but not what’s inside that spacecraft.

The Scorched Planet

Scorched Planet Part 2

Scorched Planet Part 3

Scorched Planet Part 4


Dark Horizons


Dr Henry Jeffries runs the New Horizons mission to Pluto, the mission is going well until a government official arrives with armed soldiers and a few other strange looking visitors. The mission is secretly hijacked and Dr Jeffries and his team are forced to stay and help until the flyby is complete. But why is this happening?

Dark Horizons (Chapter 1 – Obol Discovered)

Dark Horizons (Chapter 2 – Interference)

Dark Horizons Part 3 – Encounters

Dark Horizons Part 4 – Aftermath


On the Brink of Midnight

planet city 2

Midnight fails to fall on Sela’s home world and the consequences are going to be catastrophic for his whole race if he can’t find out why this is happening. With time short, Tira his partner and his brain as his only tools Sela finds out that their world is under attack with little to fight back with.

On the brink of Midnight #Blogbattle #Scifi

On the Brink of Midnight #Blogbattle #Scifi

On the Brink of Midnight #Blog Battle #Scifi

On the Brink of Midnight #BlogBattle # Scifi



The Adventures of Minecraft Steve

Planet Simon -Minecraft

Minecraft Steve is having a load of adventures with creepers, zombie pigmen and rogue crafters. It’s hard to know what’s going on sometimes.

Minecraft Steve and the Lost City – Part 1

Minecraft Steve and the Lost City – Part 2

Minecraft Steve and the Lost City – Part 3

Minecraft Steve and the Lost City – Part 4

Minecraft Steve and the Lost City – Part 5


Eternal Darkness


This short piece is part of a concept and I’m excited about where it may lead. Chronos is entering orbit of a supermassive black hole, it’s mission it to take humanity further into the future than it would ever survive. Perhaps until the end of time.

Eternal Darkness


There’s loads more and I need to work and promote all of them, and this is something I hope to do more of so keep watching!

Simon 🙂



Esther’s Monday Motivation Challenge – Stop what you’re doing now!

Despite the rise of life to prevent me writing I feel i still need to take part in Esther Monday motivation challenge. This week the challenge is to include
Stop what you’re doing now! he yelled
In to a story of between 50 & 100 words. This is what I came up with:

It was only one damn component and Oliver couldn’t solder it down. Brian had given him this task to test him and Oliver was struggling. Gently gripping it in his tweezers his hand seemed to shake so much he couldn’t hold it in place.Taking the soldering iron he was just going to solder the part when Brian make him jump.

“Stop what you’re doing now” he yelled.

With Oliver’s heart beating hard he asked “why?”

“That circuit is live and will kill you I told you circuit C3 not E3!”

Oliver felt himself calming, Brian had done him a favour – he had saved him.

Simon 😀

The Wallet – Esther Monday Motivation

I’m going to try and stay in the word limit for this week’s Esther Newton – Monday Motivation. Thanks as always to Esther for running this, she’s very encouraging.

This week the theme is: If she didn’t stop doing that soon, he was going to kill her.

The Wallet

In life there are moments  you want the Earth to swallow you up. This was happening to my mate Dean.

He wanted to pay for lunch to impress the boss, it was review time and he wanted a raise. So he thought he would pay for lunch. Good move eh? This wasn’t the first time Tania had taken money from him to pay for her shopping without telling him. The guys were staring… they knew something was wrong.

If she didn’t stop doing that soon, he was going to kill her I thought to myself.



Simon  🙂


The Titan Mystery – Part 14

The trip back through the hyperloop to the station nearest to Tranquility seemed to McKinley to have taken and age. The door opened to the capsule and they all started to dismount, the mechanoids first then Blake and his Marines following with everyone else after.

“You and you team keep a look out, I have a feeling we can expect some resistance to our escape!” McKinley instructed Blake. The spacecraft which up until now had been all but silent now seemed to be started it’s death groans. There were groans in the ships structure, lights were dimming and flashing randomly. McKinley knew they had to get off and fast, time was short. Then a thought flashed into his mind.


“Yes sir”

“Endevin and the sentinels, will they be able to escape? What about everyone else being carried?”

“I’m afraid that anything left on board Titan when the core detonates will be destroyed along with the spacecraft?” came Dave’s emotionless reply.

McKinley motioned for Dave and everyone else to follow. “Is there nothing we can do?” McKinley was striding towards the service duct they used to reach the hyperloop station.

“Only if we’re able to initiate the transition sequence” Dave suggested.

“What’s that?” McKinley asked?

“It’s where the core’s temporal focus reaches…”

“Ok, sorry I asked Dave!” McKinley interrupted “I don’t need to know, can you tell me how we can do something to save at least some of these people and the sentinels?”

“I can sir!”

“But first, I want to know how to get to our landing bay without having to go down there!” McKinley pointed down the dark passage.

“Certainly, which one is your craft at sir?”

McKinley looked round for Jearo, meeting her gaze as everyone waited she squeezed round to help.

“Yes sir?” she asked

“Where’s tranquility? Can you show Dave please?”

Jearo pulled out the computer, and brought up the map, she held it to Dave. He paused for a second.

“This way sir!” the mechanoid strode forward through a bulkhead door and led them to a part of the craft they hadn’t seen before. A massive observation window showed them through the huge space in the centre of the craft, through to see the core platform and the hyperloop tunnels leading to it. Despite the urgency it was impossible not to gaze. The core operating platform couldn’t be seen with the intense brightness of the uncontained reaction now trying to break through.

“I estimate we have less than 60 minutes to escape to a safe distance sir!” Dave announced.

“Come on people!” McKinley shouted, “we’re out of time!” as he turned he found himself bumping straight into a familiar face.

“Seanna!” McKinley was obviously pleased to see his fist officer, trying to keep the focus on escaping he took her by the arm and led her away after Dave, the rest of the crew following with Blake and his men leading the way.

“What the hell did you do to me?” Seanna asked still a little groggy. But definitely alive and more or less herself.

” I rescued you!” McKinley answered.

“That was a hell of a rescue!” she complained “could you have made it feel a bit less like my brains were mashed?”

McKinley smiled, she was back. “I’ll tell you about it later, but now we have to get off of this ship!”

“Have you been breaking things again?” Seanna asked with some irony. McKinley didn’t reply, he didn’t know how to. It seemed that even if they got off alive, there were still many more that wouldn’t survive.

“Landing platform seven is through here!” Dave announced. Bulkhead doors perhaps 20 metres high and 50 metres wide slid apart in what seemed an effortless mechanism, only to stop a few seconds later. They groaned and shuddered as if malfunctioning, but there was more than enough space to get through.

“Come on!” McKinley motioned, there were still several hundred metres to Tranquility that needed to be crossed, but the end seemed in sight.

“Collins is ready and so is the Tycho!” Jearo announced

“How long until we can leave?” McKinley asked.

“Collins says fifteen minutes!” Jearo replied.

“Tell him to make it ten or we’re dead!” McKinley barked back. Jearo nodded knowing best not to argue. Seanna was now half running alongside McKinley and the rest of them. They reached about half way and could see tranquility when from nowhere blue plasma fire erupted from each side, two bulkhead doors were opened with a number of creatures entering into the landing platform.

A grilled service gulley would give cover, they all pulled up the grills and dived into it. Looking back McKinley saw two slumped bodies on the Deck, he looked around.

“It’s Orianne and Lennard.” Blake shouted in McKinley ear, the noise of plasma fire drowning out out everything else. McKinley looked back solemnly.

“Two more dead!” he thought, there wasn’t much that could be done now, but the burden of lives was something he never wanted.

“Let’s sort this now!” Seanna shouted, picking up McKinley’s rifle and readying to counter attack. Peeking up McKinley saw them surrounding their position, not even the mechanoids could help here, there were so many.

“I have a solution sir!” Dave announced.

“What to get us out of here?” McKinley asked ” You better make it quick!”

“No, to try and save the life forms we leave.”

“Hang on Dave!” McKinley screamed, he was holding Seanna and the others back as they were ready to jump out “It’s suicide! Just…”

On top of the hail of fire a deafening salvo of more fire kept their heads down, looking up with one eye McKinley saw the salvo flying above his head and back down the landing platform. The there was silence, except for the dying motors of engine thrusters. McKinley looked up, smoke filled the area but in a few moments cleared.

“Collins you old git! Well done!” McKinley lifted himself out of the gulley, turning he helped out Blake and Seanna. The mechanoids needed no help and almost leapt out.

“You keep trying to get yourself killed Seanna!” McKinley told Seanna

“You keep trying to stop me!” Seanna smiled back “One day you might succeed!”

McKinley smiled to himself, Seanna didn’t know. He then looked back at his not so fortunate crew members on the deck. He knelt beside them and closed their eyes, Seanna watched as he muttered something under his breath. Blake walked up with black cloths, each of them were covered solemnly and wrapped to be taken back. A mechanoid too each of them to Tranquility.

“Thanks Dave” McKinley acknowledged the help.

“Would you like to hear the plan?” Dave asked

“Plan?” McKinley replied “Oh yes let’s hear it, but I don’t imagine we have much time. So this had better be quick!” McKinley listened to what was the most succinct report from Dave that he had heard.

“We must activate the core release!” Dave suggested.

“How do we do this?” McKinley asked.

“I must do this from outside the spacecraft, once it is done then the core will  detonate  under the pressure of it’s own reaction after an undetermined time.”

McKinley looked at Dave “How long or short can this undetermined time be?”

“It could be a few minutes, or a few seconds.” Dave replied coldly.

“Do we have much choice?” McKinley asked Dave, realising that this quirky mechanoid that had served him so well and was almost a friend, was almost certainly suggesting his own destruction.

“There are no other options sir!”

“Will you just sit on the outside of Tranquility?” McKinley asked him.

“Yes, I will keep in contact with the pilot and  guide them. You must hurry, time is running out!”

“Thank you Dave.” McKinley told Dave. He merely looked at McKinley for a few seconds as if he didn’t understand, the blue halo of his eyes showing no emotion. Dave Turned and climbed on top of Tranquility.

“Sir, we have to go!” Seanna shouted at McKinley “What’s Dave up to?”

“Just get on board and prep for launch Seanna!” McKinley told her, I’ll explain when we’re clear!” The hatches to tranquility shut tight, Dave watched the lights of Titan flickering wildly. Looking ahead the mechanoid held on to a bulkhead and waited for the launch.


Copyright 2016 Simon Farnell