by N.A Miller
On a routine exploration of moons near Titan they discover the remains of Olympus in space
|The Olympus of Yesteryear|
N.A Miller -- 2013
The infinity is space, a world filled with serene light, uncountable stars in the deep darkness and with dying and forming stars, abounds with many life forms. Yes, space is alive. The entire universe, our galaxy, and even the many solar systems are filled with many such life forms. They are filled with many that love, aspire and fight in war, and there are others that are peace loving. Many forms of life are in the universe, and they live scattered throughout its cold vastness.
The speck that makes up our Earth is one such place, a place where wars have come, and have gone, leaving their mark. A solar system named "SOL" resides in a mere corner of the infinity of space, and so does the huge galaxy known as the Milky Way where the SOL system resides. It is one of seventy such systems located here in the mere tip of this galaxy and in this solar system that nine planets orbit the single life-giving star. Living on the third one, an insignificant body called Earth is an advanced civilization known as humankind.
Far from Earth on the moon known as Hyperion, orbiting Saturn, a lone ancient Greek temple stands. It is half obliterated from the many impacts of meteor hits, and half demolished from the rocky debris that speeds through the space around Saturn, but nevertheless is the only thing that stands on the exact center of the plateau on the moon’s surface after its destruction long ago. It is where the famed temple of Greek Gods is located, where gods, such as Zeus, Hera, Aphrodite, Apollo, Poseidon and multitudes of others like them, ruled and lived several millennia ago. It was once a way station for their mighty starships that once streaked through the heavens, traveling into the stars, coming from a far off galaxy which was lost to a super-nova that had destroyed their home world.
As for Hyperion, it was once a large moon that was not unlike its sister moon, Titan, and two others long ago that orbited Saturn. Saturn only had originally four moons and it was during ancient times that Hyperion was destroyed into rubble by the squabbles among the immortals. Hyperion was knocked out of its aligned orbit because of the Immortals fighting, squabbling amongst themselves, and causing it to collide with two of the four original moons of Saturn. The explosion, they caused, would cause the moon to shatter into a million pieces, shifting Saturn only slightly, as the pieces orbited Saturn to make up the rings of Saturn. The rest of the larger fragments of the moons remained in orbit, making up smaller sized asteroid sized moons that orbit Saturn, and the several chunks left over made up the larger moons such as Tethys, Dione, Rhea and Iapetus. Titan was the only moon to remain intact, spared the calamity of destruction as it remained close in to Saturn orbit.
As for the immortal’s station and waypoint in this part of SOL, it had been destroyed, causing them to flee to Earth and to take root on Olympus on Earth. There, they would arrive by their great ships, and build their home on the stormy top of Olympus. There the immortals would look down upon the indigenous life forms on Earth with curiosity, as they divided up the Earth and its features to govern it among themselves. They would live among the humans on Earth as gods, to be worshiped, and together help the humans who live on Earth. They did this while Hyperion, the temple they once occupied, spun and tumbled alone through the stars of space, devoid of life, as it orbited the planet known as Saturn.
Until now… as a lone Starship from Earth, a huge Science Cruiser belonging to the Earth Federation of the twenty-second century, arrives to this place. It comes now, several millennia, after the immortal vessels once streaked and traveled through the stars of space, to Saturn. Man had come from Earth as they traveled forth into the stars in spaceships, exploring the galaxy and the universe as the Immortals once did, three millennium ago. Sitting on the bridge of this large ship, known as the U.S.S. Calcutta – EDCSV322, the crew monitors their approach to the Saturn.
Captain Sarah Parks sat in the Command Chair, staring at the view screen, surrounded by her brave crew on the bridge of the ship. She has been in command of this ship for over ten years now, dispatched to many worlds far off into the many galaxies and solar systems in the universe. This would be a first, however, that they would be exploring SOL, and reexamining Saturn, her moons and the other outer planets of this system. A probe had made a startling discovery out here in the solar system known as SOL, and one that would change the history of all previous science exploration by man who sent probes from Earth into deep space during the twentieth, twenty-first and early twenty-second centuries.
“It will be a very big first,” Captain Parks thought, and she turned her chair toward the Helm position as the ship slowly slid through the stars of space. Saturn slowly grew in the view screen as the ship approached the sixth planet. They had arrived for their mission, assigned by Earth Headquarters to Saturn for research.
“Helm, slow the ship to warp, point five,” The Captain ordered, and at the Helm position, another young woman, named Catherine Stevens sat at the position and her hands danced across the console quickly, making the ship lurch as it slowed.
“Warp point five, Aye, Captain,” She repeated. Captain Parks turned her chair toward the science station where her Science Officer/First Officer, named Nikki Parsons, sat at her console working on the approach of their vessel to their destination.
“Commander Parsons, we need a pre-approach scan please,” She said, and the Science Officer looked up to nod, rising to move to the sensor module viewer to place her face into it. The sensors hummed as they operated and they scanned the space around them.
“Scanning the planet Saturn, it is the sixth planet of SOL. No change from previous recorded surface scans, it is gas planet. Surface Pressure is over one thousand bars. Temperature at one bar: negative one hundred thirty-nine degrees Centigrade. Temperature at zero point: negative one hundred eighty-nine degrees Centigrade. Density at 1 bar: zero point one nine kg/m cubed. Wind speeds are up to four hundred m/s (less than thirty degrees latitude), Up to one hundred m/s (more than thirty degrees latitude, Scale height: fifty-nine point five km, Mean molecular weight: two point zero seven g/mole” She announced, pausing as the readout continued on the screen.
“Atmospheric composition, Major is mostly molecular Hydrogen (H2) – ninety-six percent; Helium (He) – three point two five percent.
Minor (ppm): Methane (CH4) – forty-five hundred (two thousand); Ammonia (NH3) – one hundred twenty-five (seventy-five); Hydrogen Deuteride (HD) – one hundred and ten (fifty-eight); Ethane (C2H6) - seven (one and a half)
Aerosols: Ammonia ice, water ice, ammonia hydrosulfide.”
She paused again as the readout continued on the screen.
“The Semi major Axis is nine point five, three AU, while Eccentricity is zero point five, three nine degrees. Inclination is two point four, eight six degrees. Argument of Perifocus is three hundred thirty-eight point nine degrees. Longitude of Ascending Node: one hundred and thirteen point seven degrees. The Mean Motion: zero point zero, three, three, four nine degrees per day. Its Orbital Period is twenty-nine point four two three years. Mass is ninety-five point one, five nine ME
Equatorial Radius (one bar) is nine point four, four, nine two Re, Rotational Inclination is twenty-six point seven three degrees and its Rotational Period is ten point seven nine hours.”
“The planet has sixty two moons, but there are only six significant ones that have any mass. Titan is the largest moon that is close into the Saturn, while Tethys, Dione, Rhea, Hyperion and Iapetus are the other moons with significant mass.”
“It ssssthounds like a garden sthhpot…” Mythsss said with a hiss, making everyone on the bridge chuckle quietly.
“Speaking of garden spots… Command Parsons, it’s time to review our orders,” Captain Parks said, and she turned to the First Officer who was on her feet in a heartbeat. Sarah Parks walked a few steps from her chair to the Communications Console where she stood beside the reptilian communicator.
First Officer Parsons stood up and she too walked toward the Communications Station where a young Reptilian Officer named Mythss T’hsss remained seated at her console. Mythsss turned her head when she looked up at the Captain and First Officer who now stood over her.
“Mythss, please run the encoded orders this ship received yesterday,” the Captain told her, and the youthful reptilian woman nodded her narrow head as she touched the buttons on her console. A moment later, a disk appeared from the reader which the First Officer took from it. She placed it in the reader nearby.
Stardate 2624.2 U.S.S. Calcutta EDCSV-3112
The Calcutta is hereby ordered to proceed to Saturn for research of the minor moons of Saturn, Hyperion, Tethys, Dione, Rhea and Iapetus. This is in lieu of recent discovery of Greek ruins on Hyperion from probe by mining company from Titan. Discovery is top priority top secret. Proceed immediately from Earth Station to Saturn Sector at best speed possible.
“So that’s it eh,” Command Parsons said formally, and the Captain nodded.
“Helm, are we still on course?” the Captain asked.
“Yes, Captain. We will arrival in Saturn’s orbit in fifteen minutes.” the helms woman said, touching the controls on her console. Nikki Parsons, the Science Officer walked quickly back to her station.
“Sensors have scanned most of the moons, Captain,” Commander Parsons reported, “They have all interesting features, like for Titan being close to Earth-like in many ways, but we confirmed the ruins on Hyperion.”
“Oh yes, Hyperion…” Captain Parks asked, turning the command chair toward her. The rest of the crew had looked up and were staring curiously at her.
“Yes, Captain.” Commander Parsons replied, “We found that structure on Hyperion, Captain.”
“So there were Greek ruins on Hyperion after all?” the Captain asked, “It what command said it was?”
“It wasn’t what I personally thought it was. It is a Greek Temple though,” the Science Officer announced. There was a low chuckle on the bridge, followed by a low murmur by the other bridge crew.
“It really was a Greek Temple…” the Captain asked, and the Science Officer nodded affirmatively.
“It was confirmed with multiple scans Captain,” Parsons replied, as she clicked switches on her console.
“How on Earth can there be a temple on a moon of Saturn that was not detected until now?” the Captain thought and here she shook her head. “And how the hell did it get there?”
“Navigator, plot intercept and parallel course with Hyperion. How long will it take to intercept the moon?” the Captain ordered.
The Navigator, Lieutenant Donna Williams sat at the console, her hands working the console beside the Helms woman. She turned her head to the Captain who sat in the command chair. “Course plotted.”
The ship lurched as it turned in space, avoiding the asteroids that made up the rings of Saturn and it slowly approached Hyperion from behind.
“We are in orbital range of Hyperion, Captain.” Donna reported, “ETA is thirty-one minutes until we intercept.”
“Are there any other moons in range for Saturn?” the Captain asked. The Science Officer shook her head slightly.
“Helm, match our orbital speed with the moon when we catch up with it.” Captain Parks ordered, and the Helms woman nodded.
“Raise the shields, just as a precaution against any encounters with any other debris in this area.” the Captain ordered, glancing at the Weapons Defense Console where a humanoid sat manning it. The humanoid, known as Katelyn Tollio hit the switch and the display of the ship showed the shields as they were deployed about the ship.
“Shields are up, Captain.” The humanoid woman reported, making the Captain nod slightly.
“Thank you Katelyn. Helm, increase to half speed to catch up with Hyperion.” Captain Parks said quickly.
“ETA is twenty-three minutes.” Nikki said, standing with her face in the science console viewer, the sensors humming in the background.
“Very well…” Captain Parks replied formally, “Keep us steady, and watch for any over sized debris and the other moons.”
Outside the ship, the Calcutta banked slightly left, then right as it increased speed, matching orbital speed of the moon known as Hyperion that was on the far side of Saturn, their assignment by Headquarters. The crew merely maneuvered the ship, dodging the free floating small debris that was commonly found this close to the rings of Saturn.
“Captain, the Hyperion is ahead, distance six thousand kilometers.” Commander Parsons, the First Officer/Science Officer reported. She made the Captain turn her chair away from the empty bulkhead where she had been staring.
“Helm, magnification factor twelve and continue matching speed with the moon.” Captain Parks ordered, and the Helm complied as the medium sized moon was magnified on the view screen. The ship lurched as it slightly, increasing speed faster to catch up with Hyperion.
“We have a lot of debris here, Captain.” the Science/First Officer reported, “Recommend shields, remain up.”
“Let’s see what we got, Nik.” Captain Parks said as she turned to the science station to a smiling First Officer. She hit a switch and the scanners hummed as the surface was scanned and it was relayed to a monitor above the console.
For the first time the surface showed that it was a rocky moon, with many pot-marks of meteor hits with remains of mountains and gullies, and several cracks that expanded from the edge of the moon where it was severed when the moon exploded into pieces during its cataclysmic collision. The moon itself was about fifty meters in diameter, with a flat side with a mountain range and what appeared to be a valley. As the scanners hummed, that the view screen showed, on the plateau in the center of the moon surface stood a Greek temple, with granite columns. It is half obliterated from damage from the explosion, meteors, and debris damage floating as the moon floated freely near the ring E of Saturn. One side of the temple had a top to the non-existent roof on one end, potted with cracks and damage from hits from rocks striking it as it floated through space.
“Holy shit…!” Captain Parks exclaimed, “HQ wasn’t kidding about the find. Do you have an approximate age?”
“Negative, Captain.” Commander Parsons replied, “We can’t get a true age, unless we send a landing party to the moon to examine the ruins. Also to age them properly, that would be hazardous, due to the debris field that this moon is subjected to.”
“What is our distance to Hyperion?”
“We are approximately fifty-five hundred kilometers,” the Helms woman reported, “ETA another seventeen minutes. We had to slow down and take another approach to safely come close to the moon.”
“Turn to Orbital course, one three nine and when we are within range of moon’s surface, lock us in that parallel orbit.” the Captain ordered. The Helms woman and Navigator nodded slightly.
“Mythsss… Encode and send to Earth Defense Headquarters… We have arrived at destination at Stardate 3478.3. We are starting research of ruins at discovery point.” Sarah ordered, and Mythsss half turned to smile a toothy grin.
“Yetssssh Capthhhain… Enthhcoding your messthage…” She replied with a hissing voice, turning to her console to touch the buttons there.
“Once we lock in parallel orbit with Hyperion, we can start our study of the Temple that the probe from the mining company from Titan found there.” the Captain announced, glancing at the the young woman at the helm who half turned to shake her head.
“I give us fifteen more minutes, Skipper.” the young woman said, “We are at speed but we are not quite in range yet.”
The Captain turned to the humanoid, Katelyn who sat at her station. The young humanoid looked up from the console.
“Shields are steady, and our weapons are activated,” She reported.
Nikki looked up from her station and rose from her chair to walk up beside the command chair where the Captain sat agitated in her chair. She gruffly turned her head at the young woman with a questioning look.
“Just relax, Sarah.” She whispered to her, “We’ll get you there. You need not keep micro-managing us. We know our jobs.”
Sarah raised her eyebrows in surprise at the First Officer, her subordinate, who was to serve under her aboard her ship. The young woman’s words hovered in the air for a moment before Sarah nodded her head slightly, a smile appearing on her face.
“Sorry, I am just a little uneasy, with the orders. You know. They were not exactly specific, and open for debate on our course of action. I don’t want to get this wrong.” Captain Parks said, “This would be the first mission in this section of SOL after three hundred years.”
“I know, Just relax.” Nikki said, “We’ll be in range soon and when we get there we still have to go through preliminary scans before we make our next move. You haven’t made a wrong move yet. Just let us do our jobs.”
Sarah chuckled and nodded when the the Helm and Navigator both turned to face the command console where they had been speaking in low tones.
“We have caught up and locked distance and speed with Hyperion, Captain.” Lieutenant Stevens reported, making the Captain smile and glance at the First Officer. Her gaze said it all, 'See I told you.' It said, and she nodded.
“Very well,” She replied, nodding to Nikki, “You may start your preliminary scans for operations per our orders.”
“Thanks, Sarah.” Nikki murmured, as she left her side and returned to her station.
Little did they know, as the ship hovered near the moon and above the temple, moving along with speed as it orbited Saturn, the Calcutta does not do so unobserved. A face from the galactic winds of space watches the Earth ship as it orbits with the small moon of Saturn.
A moment later on the bridge of the Calcutta: Mythsss sits manning her Communications Station and managed to look over when a beep sounded from the console indicating an incoming message. A message was being beamed to their ship and the reptilian woman gasped when she saw it. It was not from Earth or anywhere, it was in fact being beamed from Hyperion itself which had no detectable life on the planet’s surface.
“Captain, we have an incoming message.” Mythsss said, hitting the switch on her console.
“Is it from Headquarters, Mythsss?” Sarah asked, and the reptilian woman turned to shake her massive head negatively.
“From the Hyperion Moon, Captain,” She replied suspiciously, and turned to meet the startled looks of everyone on the bridge.
“That’s not possible Mythsss.” Commander Parsons spoke up, quite perturbed, and yet the reptilian woman held a look of indifference.
“Well ithsss whathss I havethhhh,” The reptilian Communication Officer replied, “Only one message, incoming.”
“What is the message?” Captain Parks asked, turning her chair, and Mythss met the serious look of the Commanding Officer, seated in the center seat on the bridge. She managed a thin grimace.
“It says, welcome home my children,” the Communications Officer said solemnly.
A face appeared on the bridge, making the bridge crew gasp as they stared at the youthful face, the blond hair and blue eyes. The rest of his figure materialized on the bridge, as-if it were being beamed there to their transporter. He has a muscular body, and he is dressed in a golden armor. They did not know it, but it is the immortal Apollo and one of the legends that once lived on Hyperion with the other Gods long ago. They have come home to a legendary planet after three Millennia and to a home from long ago they never knew about. One they would never know until now, and greeted by a stranger they did not know.