Living all alone is never easy to do. It's even harder if you're on another planet.
A SpaceShuttle shook up and down and from side to side. It even spun sideways in both directions once per side. Suddenly, the shaking stopped, and the SpaceShuttle leveled out. But it continues its journey through Space. Its destination appeared to be a small planet that was getting closer to it.
Within that SpaceShuttle, Havvon sat behind the controls of it. Havvon used his lower single eye to look at his six fingered hands as they flew around the controls in front of a large Viewing Monitor. He looked up at that monitor with that eye. Havvon never stopped tapping those controls.
On both sides of the main monitor that showed a planet getting closer were two smaller ones. One showed an adult Zarrian female and four younger Zarrians. Havvon kept the two eyes above the single one on that monitor.
Havvon tapped that monitor. “Franna, why haven’t you protected the Young Ones and yourself.”
Franna finished protecting Stacce. Then looked up at Havvon. “I only got Bollim and Kiffic protected before the shaking started. When it stopped, I got Stacce Protected. I’m about to do Rarria and myself.”
Tapping a button on the inside of his chair a thin sheet of metal slid over Havvon's body. Havvon now looked like a boxed robot with three small slits on his face. He looked over and saw his family was also protected.
The SpaceShuttle rose slightly so it could enter Drash at an angle. It bounced off the surface, smashed through some trees, skimmed over water, and skidded around several large rocks before it stopped. About a mile or so it stopped I started digging into the planet surface until the surface was higher than the SpaceShuttle.
Only the front two-thirds of that SpaceShuttle remained intact. The other one-third was scattered across the surface. Franna and the four Young Ones were barely in the two-thirds. About two inches of their chairs were hanging over the opened area. All five had their heads cocked to the side. And they remained that way for about an hour.
Stacce was the first to straighten up just as her chair started to slip back over the edge. Protection slid off her, and she barely had time to dive out of her chair before it slid off the edge. She skidded to a stop after a few feet. When she looked back, she saw the other four chairs starting to slide off too.
Still very groggy and weak Stacce got up and shakily ran to the side of the wall by where the chairs were. Stacce hit a button on that wall. The backs of those chairs were sliced open and slid down out of sight with only about an inch of chair remaining. It was then that Stacce heard something. “What that?”
“Is everyone okay? Will someone answer me? I want to know if everyone is okay,” said Havvon in a faint voice. Havvon kept repeating those questions or comments, and several others.
Stacce lowered her head and shook it sadly. “Oh, no. He’s dead too.”
“Who said that?” Havvon asked in a hoarse voice. “I thought I heard someone. Please, tell me I do not hear things that aren’t there.”
“I’m here. It’s me, Stacce. I need your help. It looks like I’m the only one down here still alive.”
Stacce heard a faint sigh. “I wish I could help. But I need help too. I’m trapped under the controls and monitors of our SpaceShuttle.”
“I know you are only ten. But you are going to have to deal with what’s going on down there. You also need to help me too.”
“I’m barely ten. I can’t handle this by myself.” Havvon didn’t respond.
Just then Stacce heard a moan. Stacce ran back to Kiffic. Kiffic straightened his head. Then almost instantly it fell to its side again. Stacce pushed a button on the side of his chair. And the Protection slid away. She laced her fingers with his. Then she formed them into a fist and squeezed.
Stacce started crying. “I was right. He’s dead.”
After Kiffic Stacce went over to Bollim and Rarria and did what she did with Kiffic. When she got to Franna Stacce stepped back. Her jaw dropped, and her three eyes bugged out. Franna's head was straight. There was a little bit of hair on her metal shoulders. And some light blue liquid flat against the invisible wall behind her head.
Suddenly, Franna's head flopped forward. Stacce’s jaw dropped even more. And her two eyes below the single one bugged out further too. “Oh, no. I just killed Franna.”
Stacce ran down a slightly cluttered corridor. When she reached the end of it, she pushed a button on the wall. But nothing happened. So, Stacce punched it with her fist. Once again, nothing happened. “I guess I’m not strong enough to open the opening by myself.”
Looking around her, Stacce picked up a piece of metal, and she used it against a floor to ceiling seam. The metal admittedly started to crumble. But that didn’t stop Stacce. Luckily, the metal fell completely apart just as the opening creaked open a couple of inches. Stacce peered through the opening. There wasn’t much light in there. But there was a little.
“Where’s the Box?” Stacce sighed. Then she stepped beside the button she punched and tapped the wall several times. The wall disappeared to reveal a square hole with metal about five inches apart sticking out of it. Stacce started climbing that hole.
About fifteen minutes later Stacce stepped through a sliding double opening. Stacce suddenly stopped. Her jaw dropped, and her eyes bugged out. Havvon wasn’t there to be seen. But Stacce did see a lot of light blue liquid coming from under what was left the Control Room. “Everyone else is dead. I’m the only one left on Drash still alive.”
About one-fourth of her SpaceShuttle now hanged over a large hole. It suddenly slipped forward a little. Within that SpaceShuttle Stacce straightened up into a seated position. Stacce got out of her Sleeper and walked over to a large monitor on the wall on the other side of her Sleeping Room. She tapped the screen, and it instantly showed her SpaceShuttle.
“I have had at least one quake almost every day for the last forty days since I been here.” Stacce turned off that monitor my tapping it again.
“Then ten days ago it got worse. That’s when a giant hole opened almost right below us. We have been getting closer to it ever since then.”
Stacce walked over to a wall and tapped it once. The wall disappeared to reveal five metal bars that had clothing on them. “I don’t think I’m going to be able to live here much longer.”
After grabbing a small cube off one of the bars, Stacce squeezed it in her hand. Then she dropped it. It had grown into a large metal box before it hit the floor. Stacce then started putting clothing into that box. The box floated about a foot off the floor. Once that box got full Stacce filled three more of them before she left that room. Only the last one she just finished filling didn’t have clothing in it. It was her Personal Care items from a small feminine table next to her monitor.
Stacce left that room with the four boxes floating behind her. Her next stop was a supply room where she filled three more boxes. Medical filled one box. The other two looked like junk. Then Stacce went to the Eating Area where she filled three more boxes with food cubes. About fifteen minutes later she was walking down a clean corridor with ten boxes behind her.
Dangling her legs over the edge of a large opening in a mountain, Stacce looked down at her SpaceShuttle as it slowly tipped over the edge of its hole and quickly fell into it. “I really am all along on this planet now.”
“I thought that it would only take a few days before I lost the family SpaceShuttle, if not hours. Maybe a week or two at the most. But it has been almost two hundred days since I was left alone here on Drash.”
Stacce looked up into Space. “I don’t know how many days there are in a year here. We never learned that in Learning. At least I haven’t yet. So, I’m going by our year on Zarria. I have been alone almost four months. That left me about ten months before my next Day of Birth. I sure hope I get rescued by then.”
After getting up, Stacce walked into the hole in the mountain to a large opening that looked more like a Living Area/Sleeping Chamber than the inside of a mountain. “At least I don’t have to worry about food or water. There is lots of water on this planet. And I have plenty of Food Cubes to last me for a hundred years thanks to me being alone now.”
The inside of the mountain started pulsating with a red light. Stacce sat up in her Sleeper. She quickly got out of it and ran to her Personal Care Desk and tapped the Data Monitor. On that monitor, that same red light was pulsating in Space. “Someone has finally gotten close enough to my SpaceScanner to set off.”
“I put that SpaceScanner in orbit about five years ago. And it took me almost two years to figure out a way to build it and put it up there.” Stacce didn’t look any older than she did when she first got there as she sat down in her desk chair. She tapped a key on the control panel in front of her. The red pulsating stopped.
Stacce started tapping buttons on her control panel. The SpaceScanner began slowly showing Space all around it. “Where is it?”
“There it is,” Stacce said a few minutes later. “Oh, no. It’s sailing away from me.”
A square opened on top cube disappeared under the light green water inside the mountain. A few seconds later Stacce pulled it up. Stacce glanced into it and saw it was now full of water. She placed it with three other cubes. “Everyday, it’s the same. I come down here to get some water for that day. And the rest of the day I’m either sleeping or eating.”
Stacce started walking away from that water hole. The four water cubes floating behind her. “It’s been over two years since that one, and the only spaceship sailed away. It looks like I’m going to be living here the rest of my life all by myself.”
“You’re not by yourself.” Havvon and Franna suddenly appeared next to Stacce.
“You have never been alone all these years,” said Franna. “We have always been here with you.”
Stacce sighed. “I know you have. You aren’t here, really. Physically, you are. But it’s only your bodies that are here. I’m still all alone. And I always will be.”
“It’s going to be okay. You’re a Zarrian. You will Rise Up to all this. And we will be here to help you do it.”
“I know you will be, Franna. But some days it’s hard for me to do. Some days it seems impossible to go on. I just want to give up.”
Stacce sighed. “I can do it. I’m sure of that. But sometimes I don’t think that I can. This is one of those days.”
Inside the mountain suddenly started pulsating red again. A loud sound made Stacce look up at her mountain opening. Stacce ran up to the edge of that opening and looked up into Space. Only a short distance away a small spaceship was about to land. “That looks like it’s a Zarrian spaceship.”
Word Count = 1,976