A man is alone on the moon Europa in a one-man submarine, fighting for freedom.
|"Computer, commence log.” The smooth metal was cool under his fingers.
“Log commencing.” The recording light blinked on.
"Date: August 28th of the year 2211. Captain Jeffrey R. Michaels reporting. My first week on Europa has been a wondrous and inspiring experience. I have seen things that I would previously have thought unimaginable. Creatures of such luminescent beauty and magnificence never to be forgotten, the floating bubble of light that is Haven, and the vast, humbling ocean that surrounds this unassuming rock in space.
"My ship, Oceanus, is proving to be quite unproblematic, which is surprising considering the conditions. I am exploring the unknown depths of an alien moon, with a submarine designed and built on Earth, and transported here by a colony ship. This never fails to amaze and astound me.
"Despite all its wonders, I find myself enjoying them alone. This was, of course, a prerequisite to my journey here, as a result of the full crew rosters of the CS Dolphin and CS Richards. Nonetheless, I fear the biggest danger to my own Confederate vessel may, in time, be my mental health. I already miss the camaraderie and bustle of my former ship, the CS Atlas.
"My mission is clear: defend and protect the city-colonies of the Confederacy of Sovereign States from all aggressors, especially those from the Theocratic Union and Unified Workers’ State. I have yet to set eyes on these enemy vessels. I must hope my voyage continues thus. End log.”
Jeffrey sighed as he leaned back in his comfortable leather chair. The ocean flowed past the large viewing window as the lights illuminated the surrounding waters and its denizens.
Europa was surprisingly full of life. It had long been suspected that there was liquid water under the icy surface, not because of the sun, but of the hot core of the moon. When the first mission brought word of water, and an abundance of life, a flurry of activity began, as interest in Europa grew.
Scientists had been looking for life in the universe for decades, and here it was, in the very same solar system. The philosophical, political, and social impacts had been enormous. After the near catastrophic global financial meltdown, the world was a volatile place, and the new discovery only fueled the burning tension.
Three major ideologies survived, and indeed thrived on the disaster. The communist movement returned with a vengeance, and the newly formed Unified Worker’s State and its citizens were convinced that although communism had failed in the past, they had improved it to the point of perfection. They were sure that capitalism had caused all the evil in the world, and must be abolished, for the good of mankind.
Others were convinced that the path to success lie in following the words of God, that humanity had strayed and must revert to old customs in order to survive. They believed it was their duty to spread their various religions, with the use of force if necessary. To this end, they created the Theocratic Union, to achieve their goals with a unified military. To them, belief was up to the individual, it was, however, crucial that the laws of God be obeyed.
Dismayed, the remaining countries desperately adhered to the rules of reason and self-determination. As a result of the aggressive expansion of the Theocratic Union, and later the Unified Workers’ State, they came together to form the Confederation of Sovereign States, in which sovereignty is guaranteed, yet in which military might is amplified many times over.
The discovery of Europa was seen by the Theocratic Union as a sign from God, indicating that humanity was on the right track. The Confederation was excited by the possibility of new knowledge and resources to be gained on the moon, which ignited a commercial explosion of research and activity. The Unified Workers’ State saw it as an opportunity to prove that their system did indeed work, and was capable of surpassing all others.
Thus began the race for Europa.
Now, 25 years later, mankind was finally implementing the ideas sparked all those years ago. The first colonial cities appeared, and the weapons to defend them. It was assumed that the other, “immoral” powers would stop at nothing to gain the upper hand. They were right.
Jeffrey’s thoughts jumped back to the present at the painful warning tone, signifying a large entity near-by.
He craned his neck in anticipation, straining to see through the murky wall, ever ready to perform evasive maneuvers at the slightest sign of danger. He saw the shadow of an enormous creature, many times the size of an Earth whale, approaching. His hand quivered as the adrenaline rushed through his veins. His heart pounded rapidly in his chest. He knew he would be at the mercy of this colossus.
“Computer, activate forward video.” He said, in a trance.
The golden, silver-streaked being slowed, and hovered before him. The Oceanus quivered uncertainly from the turbulence of the creature’s movements. Jeffrey held his breath. An inquisitive eye appeared, with green, bioluminescent rings circling them. It was the most beautiful thing he had ever seen.
The eye disappeared for a moment as it gently nudged the submarine, before returning to gauge the reaction. Jeffrey flashed the lights on and off. He felt no fear.
The sensors indicated a very low-pitched frequency being emitted. It seems… almost intelligent…
It inspected Jeffrey and his ship once more before continuing on its journey into the unknown deep.
What magnificent world was this, that he, one of billions, was privileged enough to experience? It was an interesting time indeed. The time of a new beginning, with perhaps the highest stakes humanity had to offer hanging in the balance: the mind, and the sum of human achievement. A brief smile graced his face.
With a firm jaw, and a sharp mind, Jeffrey traveled forth, to fearlessly greet the uncharted future.
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