Staring the Abyss

from The Far Star Mission (audiobook) by Apotheus

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Chapter 9
Staring the Abyss

The planet had several problems that needed to be fixed. Equipped with their ancestors' knowledge, the settlers knew how to turn the planet they were standing on into a habitable one. This was the most reliable source of information they had, since they have never been on a planet before, and therefore could not examine it with the precision and tools their ancestors had. Even so, every generation had plenty of time to be educated on these matters.

Each day brought a new and different struggle for the settlers. It was time to bring out all the machinery that the spaceship held for so long. First, they established their base of operations near the spaceship’s landsite. Among many things, they had to set up their vehicles, monitoring equipment used to monitor thousands of sensors on the planet’s surface, communications equipment and biology labs where they held microbial and plant life samples. The specimens were brought from their home planet and they conducted experiments on them. The planet contained all the necessary chemicals for making the atmosphere breathable. A meticulous process was required to transform those chemicals, and that was precisely where the difficulty of the operation was. Introducing plants would be the first big milestone of the operation. But that never happened.

What they once perceived as beautiful golden clouds were in fact deadly gases and dust expelled from recent volcanic activities. The dust was still spreading over the entire planet and settling on the surface. The settlers didn’t have the necessary resources to fight against such a menace. They studied carefully the dynamics of this dust, how it moved and its composition. In their knowledge base, there was no prescribed process to overcome this. From the 185 total members, many have died from multiple causes. Some from the fierce natural disasters. Others never came back from special field operations and so were declared as deceased for unknown causes. In the end, all members would face the same fate since they would eventually run out of resources.

Unlike previous crisis they faced, this one was particularly devastating. Not because of the number of casualties since they were now a small group of settlers. The reason was because they were alive and couldn’t do anything. The feeling of impotence and uselessness was what was driving them mad and keeping them out of focus. Gradually they lost the determination and incitement, precisely when they needed them the most. It was like they were on the right place at the wrong time. A few years later, the toxic dust would settle and the planet would have enough time to absorb that negative impact. Many settlers were already giving up and cherishing their last moments together. They now believed in the success of another fallback operation that was planned since the early “gifted” ancestors. A special procedure to be used exclusively in the case of an extreme emergency.

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from The Far Star Mission (audiobook), released March 26, 2020

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Apotheus Paços De Ferreira, Portugal

Apotheus is a Portuguese Melodic Metal act from Portugal.

Founded in 2008, the group currently consists of Miguel Andrade (vocals/rythm guitar), Luís "Gold Monkey" (lead guitar), Daniel Rocha (bass) and Albano “von Hammer” (drums). ... more

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