January 17-22

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Post by Adley☮ on Sun Jan 17, 2016 11:26 pm

Describe an alien landscape

focus: descriptiveness

Challenge by Natarsha and Adley

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January 17-22 Empty Re: January 17-22

Post by Melody on Fri Jan 22, 2016 5:31 pm

Warning: unedited. This story is based off "Planet Nine" (http://www.cnn.com/2016/01/20/us/possible-ninth-planet/)

A cold wind tore at Thresh's flight suit, and contentiously tossed small pebbles from the rocky terrain against his body. The sky overhead was a dark grey. It reminded him of the colour his mother's ashes had been in the urn, before they were scattered over the Pacific ocean.

The temperature outside his protective layers of clothing was about -60°C, he guessed. The planet's atmosphere was thin, and what precious little light it received from the sun never stayed long. Some parts, near the equator, could reach up to 20°C, but that was rare.

This was the place he would die.

The space ship Atlas X7 had been scheduled to arrive on the barren planet, dubbed “Planet Nine” when it was officially added to the solar system in 2022, with a crew of five, but things had gone horribly wrong. On the one hundredth and fortieth day of the flight, Commander Roberts began coughing uncontrollably. Each crew member had been meticulously monitored by doctors for weeks before the launch, but something had managed to slip by them. At first them assumed it was a bad cold.

On the second day, he started coughing up blood. Martin, Davidson, and Smith began getting sick shortly after. The coughed until their lungs could no longer support it; Thresh could still hear the sound of them dying. Roberts first, then the others shortly after. But Thresh, for some reason, never had so much as a scratch in his throat.

Exactly two hundred days after leaving earth, Atlas X7 landed. They were too far out to return. The project had cost over twenty billion dollars and fifteen years, there was no way the government was going to give up the title of being the first country to send a man that far in space.

The spaceship was badly damaged from the landing. It was designed to be manned by at least two people, but now it only had one. Trying to put the looming circumstances of his fate out of his mind, Thresh went to work on gathering samples.

The radio had been knocked out when the ship landed, but on the last transmission, NASA said they would send an unmanned ship to salvage the Atlas X7 and collect the samples. And the bodies.

The wind did not die down as he worked, and if anything, only increased its swirling motions. The atmosphere was composed primarily of carbon dioxide, and was several times thinner than earth's.

The horizon was a ruddy orange, like a sunset that had been painted with dirty brushes. Or an old car that had been abandoned and left to rust. It stood out in stark contrast with the grey-blue surface of the planet. The suit would keep Thresh warm for the night—he would not return to the ship. The idea of seeing the bodies again make his stomach lurch.

He kicked a dusty stone among the red swirling dust, sending it flying upwards far higher than if it had been effected by earth's gravity. There was enough food and water for the turn flight stored in the Atlas X7—thanks to modern technology—which meant he would eventually be forced to return to it. He might last a week, if he was lucky. The suit could hold up only so long against the unfeeling elements, and even if he could bring himself to seek shelter in the ship, it would not be able to keep its temperature up long enough. Over twelve tons of metal and instruments, by earth measurement, lay in the bottom of an ancient crater. Planet Nine was roughly ten times more massive than earth. Moving the ship to a warmer location near the equator was not an option.

As the night slowly reared its black head, Neptune rose as a giant moon. It was calming, somehow. Reminded him of home. Planet Nine had only been seen by human eyes twice, both via the photos of unmanned spacecraft. Neptune, however, was familiar.

The wind died down to a soft whisper. Most of the Atlas X7 had been covered in bluish dust—only the very top stuck out. Thresh suddenly realized he would not be able to get inside, even if he wanted to. He set the soil samples on the edge of the creator; he no longer cared what happened to them.

He sat down with his back to the ship, and an uncanny calmness came over him. Perhaps this is not such a bad place to die, he thought.  

Last edited by Melody on Fri Feb 05, 2016 6:36 pm; edited 1 time in total

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January 17-22 Empty Re: January 17-22

Post by Adley☮ on Fri Feb 05, 2016 6:07 pm

As our ship broke the cloud layer I could see the planet. Long winding inlets protruded into the mountainous landscape giving the surface a shattered appearance. The ocean was crowded in many areas by jagged islands; likewise the land was filled with narrow lakes. The planet was dark green, with hints of blue, purple and red, obviously lush with plant lifeforms, lush and wet.
The ship was equipped for an ocean landing, bringing us to rest in front of a small village. The inhabitants of the planet could only live along the thin strip of space between water and mountain. It was sick how these aliens were being exploited, unknowingly giving their excess production to a single corporation. Perhaps by surveying, exploring and mapping the planet I can create enough attention to put a stop to the injustice. Either that or my work will only make the exploitation worse, Dr. Livingston all over again. Nonetheless, I have more urgent matters to worry over, like not being discovered by any employees while I chart this place.
A small microbial taint appears to inhabit the plants, boosting their capabilities. There are different breeds of the taint, which boost aspects of the plant such as seed efficiency, stalk toughness and nutrient management. The taint types do not tolerate each other, causing plants of different taints to silently strangle each other. In some areas the taints are intermixed, causing battles and general destruction among the plants. In other areas the taint is all one species, creating a form of plant society. The societies are incredibly interesting: primitive but complex.
In a purple taint plant kingdom, plants are free to oppress their neighbors, creating mother plants all over the place. The mother plant steals excess energy from its nearby “slave” plants allowing it to grow powerful and large. The mother plant also uses the different qualities of its slaves to fight of disease and plants of other taint.
In a blue taint plant kingdom the taint relays information all over the kingdom, managing excess resources and pouring them into plants that lack anything. One area of the rainforest kingdom is high in nitrogen; the excess nitrogen is exported from the area and given to plants lacking nitrogen.
In a red taint kingdom, only specific species of plants are allowed to exist. Some species are strangled; others are kept only to gather resources for the dominant species. Unlike a blue taint kingdom where everything is managed by a network, the red taint kingdom is managed by a single plant. This single emperor plant is often worshiped by the native aliens as it has an intelligence of its own.
The planet is shattered by islands and inlets, inhabited by an oppressed alien race and fought over in a silent war between plants of different taint.

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January 17-22 Empty In Three Thousand Years

Post by Titanhawk 881 (JT) on Fri Feb 05, 2016 6:45 pm

'Kay guys, here it is!

In Three Thousand Years

A sallow dust greeted my feet as I stepped out of the spacecraft. The engines died down, and then all was silent, nothing but the sound of my feet crunching the dirt on this planet. They called it PCS281, but my people called it Earth. We always have. This was, in fact, my former home, before I was taken by those creatures that are called the Brigghal, or Cleansers, who destroyed our planet, our home. All that is left is this. This foul, sulphurous air, the numerous geysers erupting sky high into the atmosphere, raining fire, dust, and despair. Some of those can be seen shooting right now, their white-hot plumes reaching for the atmosphere – what’s left of it – before falling back down, reclaimed by gravity. I look around me now, and I wish I hadn’t. To my left, a monstrous Rubicon of a gorge, cut into the earth, belches out heavy metal particles, picked up by my filter sensors. To my right, well... nothing. A vast void, completely flattened by the Brigghal super weapons, has no reminisce of life. Even above nothing can be seen aside from the occasional spark as a grain of dust re-enters the atmosphere, vanishing as rapidly as they had risen. I sigh. All the tales that our parents told of our ancestors, all of the freedom and beauty of Earth’s nature, seem to have... well, vanished. I can’t see how anyone can live here, let alone thrive here. This is not what it’s supposed to be, I tell myself. Our world has been demolished. Annihilated. Completely obliterated. When the Brigghal came, the story goes, they found a lush and living environment to the north of the world, and a dusty, sickening, and overcrowded biome to the south. The north was full of beauty and life: animals, plants, everything except people, had migrated to the north. A few of the rich had moved to the north, but twelve thousand was a thimbleful compared to the nineteen billion who had been forced to the south. They had then built a wall of Torbex, an almost impenetrable material that was fifteen thousand times stronger than graphene and engineered to endure the toughest conditions in space travel as well as the toughest conditions known on any planet, Earth included. That was, the toughest conditions known by my ancestors. Scientists had determined that the universe was a bunch of galaxies connected by wormholes, otherwise known as black holes, in a lattice formation that resembled a web. Sometimes, these wormholes snapped and vanished into oblivion, leaving no route to that specific galaxy except to detour through other wormholes. The Brigghal had spread through the universe snuffing out all life, which was why our ancestors often saw evidence of life but no life itself. They had come for Earth through a wormhole that connected to the Milky Way, specifically for Earth because the other eight planets had been destroyed in an earlier crusade, some forty millennia ago. Earth was still in its early days, in an era known as the 1st epoch, or the days of Sumeria and Mesopotamia. Thankfully, another, stronger alien race had thwarted the Brigghal. But now that race was gone, and the Brigghal terrorized the universe freely, travelling the vast distances with a warp drive that allowed them to jump between points in space in a split second. Their superior technology overwhelmed Earth’s defences easily, even at the stage it was in during the 3050’s, and they enslaved our nations before annihilating our planet before our glossy eyes. Glossy, like mine were right now. I almost opened my helmet before I remembered why the helmet was there in the first place. Right, I thought to myself. Let’s get moving. I need to see that wall! The truth was, I came here for more than just to see the home of my ancestors. Legend said that the Torbex wall held secrets to revive humanity, and though I was skeptical on that, I was willing to try anything. The wall was in front of me, but for the first time, I noticed it. Not only its sheer size, reaching all the way past the atmosphere, but also the fact that it was invisible. I looked for a control panel, opened its Torbex flip, and pressed a green button that said 28636.
And plunged into darkness.
Titanhawk 881 (JT)
Titanhawk 881 (JT)

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