A private space program set up a colony in 2220 on a remote natural satellite orbiting a gas giant. The purpose was to learn of its history and seek potential resources, possibly opening the colony to tourists and study points of interest. In 2233, tragedy struck when a corpse was found outside the base, followed by three more found dead within the walls. A rescue mission was sent, sending a warning back to Eos and followed by a scream. In 2241, a space crew was sent to the abandoned outpost to retrieve data and learn the truth. After landing, they split up and found a tech lab with maps and data pertaining to an experiment done by a Dr. Jal…

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Story Credits

“I Encountered Something Deadly on a Deep Space Mission”

Thank you to Shin for submitting this great story!

Video Transcript

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In 2220, a remote outpost on a distant natural satellite orbiting a gas giant was set up

by a private space program.

The colony was about the size of a rural town, possessing habitation units for scientists

and crew, a meeting building to congregate and talk to mission control from, and a landing

pad which served as the outpost space port.

The purpose was to learn of its history and seek potential resources.

Possibly open the colony to future tourist and study the various points of interest across

it.

The program would operate on a rotational basis, every month a new crew would replace

the old to ensure that the base was operational, and that the crews would be able to spend

time back home with their loved ones.

An easy and useful system that went on for a while with no complaints, no issues, and

no emergencies.

But…as one saying goes.

Nothing lasts forever.

And the outpost was certainly no exception.

Thirteen years later, in 2233 and not long after construction of the research facility

was finished, tragedy like a scene straight out of a nightmare struck when a corpse was

found outside the base.

The body torn to pieces and mangled beyond repair; its space suit torn to shreds.

When officials asked what the problem was the answer was anything but ordinary and typical…terror

instilled in the administration.

The distressed space explorers and scientists stationed on the town-sized colony claimed

to be attacked by unknown creatures that they had never seen before.

After the scientists stationed on the outpost began investigating who or what killed their

comrade, another three bodies were found.

Each of them in a similar state to the first, beyond recognizable and their clothes torn

to shreds, the only difference with these three is that they were found dead within

the base’s walls.

And it was here that the occupants of the outpost realized that something ‘unintelligent’

may have been responsible.

But what could have done this?

Eventually a rescue mission was sent towards the colony once their status had gone off

the radar, to retrieve any survivors and gather any remaining data.

The rescue team sent a warning back to Eos, the voice in the recording telling no one

to venture to the moon’s surface.

Followed by a scream.

The sounds of people dying.

Finally…silence.

Sometime later the story leaked out into the media and found its way into Astrean society,

a ghost tale told by friends and family alike to frighten one another.

Though the corporation that ran the program never confirmed nor denied the incident and

carried a very hands-off approach with it.

Fast forward several years later and it’s now 2241.

Time has changed and every now and then, the tale of that ill-fated crew will make its

way into everyone’s stories.

Most people think that what’s on the planet is just a silly story.

But I assure you…it’s anything but fictional.

I know this because I was a member of the space crew sent to the abandoned outpost to

not only retrieve data lost within its walls, but also to learn the truth of what happened.

And what we found was beyond my comprehension and understanding of life in the universe.

Just thinking about those…

things…

still gives me nightmares.

So much so that as a result I was temporarily grounded from deep spaceflight for a time

until I recover, both physically and mentally.

As of me telling this it’s been a year since I got back.

My name is Jun, and I’m an astronaut and pilot for a space program under an Astrean

aerospace conglomerate, a company that made a profit manufacturing everything from spaceships,

suits, and other technologies.

All used in the space industry across Eos for pilots both commercial and freelance.

To be brief about myself, I’m a human born and raised on the alien world of Eos, my birth

parents having died in an accident when I was a year old.

Everyone I know beside me, from my adoptive parents and sisters are all Astrean.

I’m the only human in the family, nevertheless they raised and loved me as one of their own.

As such I’ve been around other humans, never been to Earth, or any of the five other settled

human worlds.

But I won’t bore you with those details.

Instead, I’ll get straight to the point.

How, instead of completing what was supposed to be a simple mission…I found death.


July, 2240 A.D

The ship glided through the light blue tunnel around it, faster than any moving object could

keep up as it continued in a straight line towards its destination.

Our destination.

I could feel the thumps and shakes of the ship’s exterior, the vibrations of the seat

through the legs of my space suit, I held my breath for most of the jump.

There were four of us all together.

Myself the pilot of the craft, our commander Amber, and two flight engineers Shino and

Ivan.

Each of us wore the same matching white and gray one-piece jumpsuits, with the space programs

logo and flag of Eos on our shoulders.

“Coming up on the sight soon.”

I said to the commander.

“Good work.

Ivan, our nav status?”

“Online,” he replied.

“Ready when you are.”

“Jun, count it out for us.”

“Roger.

Exiting jump space in five…four…three…two…one!

The blue tunnel disappeared and, in its place, the blackness of space.

The light from the star millions of miles behind us and under our ship, a moon orbiting

a gas giant.

Its gray and grainy texture in full detail of our cameras, the planet it orbited was

a large intimidating red ball of hydrogen gas.

Judging by the scans on my screen the moon was inside the planets magnetic shield which

appeared to be massive, slightly larger than Eos’s and cosmic rays seeming to bounce

off the invisible wall of gravity around the planet.

“That’s our target.”

Amber stated.

“We’ll head into a parking orbit and switch over to the lander soon after.”

I remember as Amber was issuing the plan, I’d only been half paying attention to what

she was saying, most of my focus was diverted onto the moon below us.

There was something off about it, an inner voice pulling at my gut and telling me that

it wasn’t a place meant for us.

Nothing in the mission brief mentioned anything we should worry about.

But as far as I’ve known I’ve always had a sense of what could go wrong.

Hell, that was one of the reasons I was picked for the mission.

“Jun!”

I snapped back to reality at Amber’s voice.

Unstrapping my seatbelt and floating within the zero gravity of the cockpit.

“Sorry.”

I said.

“You’ve been awfully quiet for most of the trip.”

Ivan commented.

“Don’t tell me that simulation crash is getting to you.”

“Leave him alone Ivan.”

Shino added.

“He’s doing just fine.”

My crew was considerably older than me.

Amber acts as sort of the mom of the team, Ivan, the younger brother, and Shino somewhere

in the middle.

I wasn’t too fond of being the youngest and newest, but they weren’t entirely smothering

to me.

After floating down to the second level of the cockpit we prepared to begin the mission.

The initial plan was to take a small lander from the ship’s cargo bay down to the surface

while the mothership stayed in orbit around the moon.

Once the mission was complete, we would take off from the lander and docked with the mother

ship in orbit, which would be run by an AI while we conducted our duty.

I remember slipping on my space suit and helmet, getting into the airlock that led into the

lander and priming the systems of the spacecraft for separation.

The entire process took only twenty minutes counting the systems checks before we separated

from the ship.

I gripped the controls firmly, slowly piloting the lander down towards a low lunar orbit.

“Alright.

Descent smooth.

Ivan, what’s our altitude?”

“500 feet.

Going down to 450.

Commander I’m picking something up from within the base.”

Ivan’s words caught me off guard as I glanced back at him, my grasp still on the stick as

I gently lowered our altitude.

Eventually getting to ten feet from the surface, the gray powdery dust beginning to kick up

and surround the base of the lander.

At long last we touched down just a few feet away from the outpost.

“Touchdown.

Engine shut down.”

I said.

“Fuel is at ten percent; we should be good.”

“Great touchdown Jun.”

Amber replied.

“Alright, suit up and let’s get to work.

We placed on our EVA suits attached to a nearby wall and activated the life support systems

before depressurizing the cabin, Ivan pulled the door open to reveal the outside.

The crater filled vacuum of the moon.

I was the first to step down from the ladder and began to make way towards the outpost.

A large complex resembling a small city of different buildings and openings situated

in an open crater, the only means of accessibility was a staircase that descended down towards

the entrance.

I stepped through the metallic entrance and pressurized the small space before opening

the door into the outpost.

We arrived at a desolate, dark, and diminished lobby area devoid of any signs of life.

Chairs and papers scattered about the floor, the screen overhead smashed to pieces and

light bulbs broken.

Ivan flipped on a nearby switch to illuminate whatever light was still functioning, the

result was a half dark room with the halls partially lit on their sides.

“This place is huge, so we’ll split up to cover more ground.

Ivan go with Shino to the control room, Look for anything valuable, drives, data packs,

you know the drill.

Jun, with me.”

“Fine by me, try to keep up rookie.”

Ivan replied, causing me to roll my eyes in disgust.

We each nodded in agreement and went our separate ways.

I followed Amber through a corridor lined with pipes and wires along the walls, there

were no windows to show the outside and the deafening silence got to me further.

I couldn’t help but feel that something was wrong with this place given its dreary

appearance.

What could’ve turned a once thriving colony into a ghost town?

As we walked down the long corridor, I heard what sounded like bumps and footsteps coming

from above me.

From within the vents that lined the ceiling.

I looked back at my commander who continued walking while I stopped, looking back up at

the vent my heart skipped a beat, and my voice froze.

There was a face looking down at me through the vent.

A masculine face with cuts and deformed features, grey filled the sockets where its eyes were

supposed to be.

Topping everything off was a set of canine teeth and blood covering its mouth.

“Gah!”

I uttered.

My commander stopped in her tracks turning around to see my action.

I had drawn my pistol and aimed at the vent prepared to fire, but I was too late.

The hideous figure within had vanished before I could pull the trigger.

How?

I had it.

Why didn’t I shoot?

Amber walked over to me and asked what happened.

I lowered my gun and averted her stern gaze trying to find an answer, my thoughts were

all over the place as I struggled to speak.

“There was something in the vents!

Look!”

She glanced up but saw what I could see.

Nothing.

Looking down at me she frowned and told me to get a hold of myself.

Saying that there was nothing there and that the ride must have taken its toll on me.

I knew she was only doing her job but what I saw was real.

We were being hunted by something in this place.

“Look, I know you’re new but understand that this is field work.

Can’t have you losing it on me out here, we were sent to complete a task and I’m

going to make sure we do just that.”

I was angry for her just blowing off my claim.

Scoffing I placed my handgun away and continued down the corridor, Amber tried to stop me,

but I smacked her hand away.

If she didn’t believe me then I would have to just look out for the both of us.

I could tell by the look on her face that she was a bit upset, but regardless we continued.

We arrived at an old tech lab where in contrast to the other rooms it was in perfect condition,

no damage to the walls or any instruments had been done.

This struck me off guard for a second but considering the door to the room was locked

and impenetrable it wasn’t too surprising.

I walked towards one of the computers and was able to switch it on, I was greeted with

the sight of charts.

Maps.

And other bits of data that I tried to decipher.

Scrolling through the pages I skimmed through the information trying to formulate sense

of what I was reading, experiments being done by a Dr. Jal appeared over and over.

Pictures of a corpse being dissected, and blood covered an operating table.

Eventually I found a document containing a log by the doctor himself.

In the text he mentioned something of his team finding a corpse in one of the many craters

of the surface, a creature in a suspended animation that he would bring back to the

base to study.

“Huh, weird.

The program never mentioned this…”

I said to myself.

I could feel Amber step up behind me.

“Find anything?”

“Something about an experiment done by this doctor.

Look.”

I showed her the document.

“Experiments?”

she questioned.

“These pages are the doctors’ notes.

A personal log he kept regarding some experiments done on something him and a team found in

a crater.”

“These documents were written a month ago last year.”

Amber said.

“If that’s the case then what were they trying to do?”

Amber’s sentence was cut off by the blood curling scream of Shino in the distance, from

somewhere deep within the base.

Her scream penetrating the very walls around us and instilling within me a deep fear for

the worst.

We rushed out of the tech lab and down the hall to where the scream was heard.

My heartbeat rose wildly as I didn’t know what to expect when we got there, a part of

me praying that it was just a misunderstanding.

“Shino?!”

I shouted.

“Where are you guys?”

“Get back!

Now!!”

she screamed.

“I said get back!”

We arrived at the sight according to her beacon that led us to the medical bay of the station,

and what we saw was beyond my reckoning.

Ivan was on the ground pushing something away that tried to bite at his face, something

inhuman and non-Astrean that paralyzed any sense of rational thinking within me.

Its legs and arms disproportionately long and its skin a moldy grey, the chest was exposed

revealing its rib cage and the eyes were an intimidating yellow.

A set of canine teeth filled its mouth and blood covered its claws and toes.

It tried to bite at Ivan before I, without thinking, took a nearby chair and smacked

it across the room.

As it got up, I opened fire with the pistol in my hand unloading three rounds into its

chest and head.

The bullets disoriented him for a split second, yet it somehow recovered and pounced towards

me.

I dodged out of the way for Amber to strike at the creature with a kick of her own, we

each unloaded our weapons into the creature several times before it finally died.

It’s body collapsing onto the metallic floor and a pool of blood forming around it.

“What the hell was that?!”

Ivan shouted.

None of us could respond.

I knew we all thought the same thing.

“Was that…one of the previous crew…?”

I muttered.

All of my teammates looked at me confused at my words; it was the only rational thing

I could muster considering the incident.

The document I skimmed through earlier in the tech lab came to mind as I tried to answer

my team.

Before I could speak though, an alarm had gone off.

One that seemed to shake the very walls of the base and warn us of an impending danger

drawing ever so closer.

My suspicions were confirmed, for just as the alarms began the screeches of that creature

pierced my ears, we turned to see it standing within the door frame followed by five others

like it.

“This way!”

I shouted.

I lead my team out of the room and down the nearest corridor, behind us I could hear the

feet of the creatures following us through the dark strobing halls.

Their grunts and echoes becoming closer and closer resembling that of wild animals chasing

their prey.

We reached the end of the hall and barricaded ourselves into a room that happened to be

a galley.

Upon locking the door and calming ourselves Amber issued her statement to everyone.

As she talked, I could faintly hear the creatures passing the door outside.

“Okay listen up, we’re clearly not alone in this place and whatever those things are,

their only objective seems to kill us.

Regardless we need to finish the mission.”

“Those things…they were the crew.”

My team then turned in my direction as I took my helmet off to release a breath of air,

placing my gun back in my holster and Amber asking me what I meant.

I told them about my own theory regarding the creatures in that I believed that they

were the remains of the previous crew sent to Celeste.

I theorized that something must have been exposed to the crew and that whatever it was,

spread like wildfire and found its way to infecting all personnel.

“That document I read mentioned something about an experiment.”

I said.

“I think that those things may be connected to it.”

“You’re saying that this was some type of infection?”

Ivan asked.

“Why the hell haven’t we heard about it before?”

“You know of any sensitive information that companies wouldn’t mind leaking out?”

I replied.

He scoffed and looked away.

“Alright.

Whether or not it’s true we still need a way out so listen up.”

Amber added.

Using her wrist computer she displayed a hologram of the base, zooming in for further detail

of the interior.

“Here we are, our destination is the server room where all the base’s data and information

are stored, and its where we’re headed.

If we can get there, we’ll be able to access the data we need.”

“We can’t seriously be going through with this!”

Ivan said.

“Those things nearly took my damn head off and you want to put the mission first?”

“The data room.

It’s by the cargo bay, isn’t it?”

I asked Amber.

She replied with a nod.

“Cargo bay?”

Shino questioned.

“And why would we need to go…”

“Rovers.

We can grab one and get back to the lander.”

I replied before Amber continued.

“Exactly!

Two birds with one stone.

But there’s a catch.

The servers are located underneath the base.

And based off the map of the facility here there’s only a single elevator that’ll

take us down there, one where we’ll have to fight through those things to get to.

All the other exits and airlocks are probably blocked off by those things so this room as

of now is our only means of escape.”

I nodded in agreement at Ambers plan taking into consideration that, although it was dangerous

path before us, a part of me had to figure out the truth.

There was something about this that didn’t seem right, something itching at the back

of my mind that tole me to investigate.

And getting to that server room just may answer my questions.

We gathered our bearings and departed the room through an air vent, one large enough

for us to fit through.


The corridor was silent for the most part but every few moments I felt as though I could

hear the sounds of claws scratching within the ceilings above us, the alarms had long

been silenced and thanks to the map I had on my wrist we were making progress towards

the elevator.

Celeste was a large base the size of a small colony, with various buildings interconnected

by pressurized tunnels to allow for easy movement.

Each of the now desolate buildings abandoned save for the creatures that hunted us.

“Commander, might I ask your opinion on this?”

Shino said.

“Don’t you think it’s weird that the top wasn’t familiar with this?”

“Perhaps.

Why?”

“I just find it odd how no one knew about these things.

They say this base was closed due to a rescue party never returning but never confirmed

as to why.”

“Well clearly those freaks were the reason.”

Ivan added.

“Hell, if anything we’ll ask questions when we get back.”

As we walked through the dimly lit corridor, I skimmed over the document I obtained earlier

in the tech lab, trying to figure out a rational explanation as to what was happening.

It was only about three pages long and didn’t provide much past explaining that experiments

were happening, aside from that it could barely even be called a full report.

More like a diary entry if we’re being honest.

We arrived at another cross section of the base that led into another large room, judging

by the sign it was a mess hall.

Stacking up at a door I peeked through the glass window to check for signs of hostiles.

“I think we’re good.”

I said.

Ivan opened the door and we stepped inside, weapons aimed high and scanned the room filled

with tables and chairs, nothing.

I walked over to one of the tables when my foot kicked an empty can across the floor

sending a low echo through the room, the next thing I remember was hearing metal breaking

and before I knew it, those things had arrived again.

Emerging through the vents of the room and from behind a few doors ahead of us.

Each of them possessed the same features, exposed rib cages and claws.

Bloody and mangled bodies that trekked towards us as we were noticed and displaying an unthinkable

amount of gore and violence.

Amber gave the order to fire, and so we did.

Bullets flew across the room gunning down the creatures that fell one by one, some of

them continue their chase by crawling across the floor.

One grabbed my leg causing me to stomp it repeatedly before it finally died.

“Jun!”

Amber shouted.

I turned around to see one of them try to pounce onto me, its claws ready to devour

and kill me.

However just as luck would have it Ivan smacked it away with one of the chairs to keep me

from getting attacked.

After finishing it off I could spot Shino on the far end of the room beside a door trying

to open it as she gunned down another creature.

“Everyone, through here!”

she shouted.

“Now!”

Running towards the door that led out of the mess hall I followed Shino through with the

others trailing behind me, another corridor leading us in an unknown direction of the

base.

After some running for what seemed like an eternity, we found a set of stairs that descended

to a lower level of the base.

Jumping down the stairs I spotted an elevator door.

One that I wasn’t familiar with and pressed the button to start the contraption.

The others arrived just as the door opened.

All except for Ivan who was still at the top of the stairs using a large metal bar to keep

the creatures away from us.

Amber shouted at him to hurry, but he declined.

I could see why.

He was injured as I could spot blood dripping from his suit, the creatures claws penetrating

his body and his face was slashed.

Adding to this, he was holding the entire weight of the creatures pushing against the

door with only the bar keeping them from entering, bangs and shrieks from the room we had fled

filled my ears with an almost deafening sound.

I tried to rush to Ivan’s side only to be ordered by him to stay back.

“Go!

Get out of here!”

He screamed towards us as those horrendous parasites slashed away at the door.

“Tell them what we found!”

“We’re not just going to leave you!”

Shino replied.

The door continued to come apart.

Their claws emerging from the crack and sinking into Ivan’s suit.

“There’s no time to argue!

Make sure no one comes back here!”

Another claw severed one of his arms causing a scream to escape his lips.

“Go!”

I was completely silent at the sight of our crewmate making the sacrifice, giving us a

chance to escape by knowingly throwing himself into the line of fire.

It was all so overwhelming to me mentally as I turned to my commander who ordered me

and Shino into the elevator.

I hesitated at first, to the point where she had grabbed me by the collar and pulled me

into the small cart.

The doors closed instantly, and we could only watch as Ivan was devoured alive at the top

of the stairs.

Fighting.

Shooting.

Doing everything he could until he was eventually swarmed by those things on all sides, enveloped

by their grotesque bodies.

Once it was quiet, I collapsed onto the elevator floor to contemplate the grizzly trauma that

had transpired.

Shino began to softly cry.

I placed an arm around her for comfort.

Even though she was older than me I felt it only necessary to try and calm her spine.

“He’s dead…”

Shino commented.

“I don’t understand.

What the hell are those things?!”

Our commander was silent.

Shocked just as we were and likely having thought after thought run through her mind,

I could tell by the look on her face that Amber was just as scared as Shino was.

Yet she continuously tried to push down her fear and keep a brave face, one that would

give hope and probably push a team to continue marching forward.

In her case that team was us.

“Then let’s make sure his death wasn’t in vain.”

Amber replied.

“Hey, keep your head.

If we lose it now then we’re no closer to getting out of here, understand?”

Shino nodded.

Amber turned towards me.

“Jun?”

I hadn’t said much during the entire altercation.

Both shock and terror froze the sound in my throat after witnessing Ivan’s death firsthand,

but I didn’t lose myself like one would normally think.

Nevertheless, the grizzly madness that surrounded me was agonizing and I struggled to hide it

from my team as a cold cloud surrounded my aura.

As if I had witnessed a scene of utter madness, the show of a living intelligent person being

mutilated and devoured stuck with me like a leech.

The elevator cart let out a ring indicating that we were close to the bottom.

As I stood my legs felt like noodles, trying to stay up and keep the fear out of my chest.

I took several breaths before cocking back my pistol and reloading it while at the same

time trying not to drop it.

“Jun.”

Amber said placing her hands on my cheeks.

“Look at me, we’re going to get out of here.

Right?”

“Yeah…. yeah.”

I replied, letting out a deep breath.

“Those things won’t stop till we’re dead.

For Ivan…and everyone else…we have to find out what started all this.”

NOTES:

  • Jun - Regular

  • Shino - Gravelly

  • Amber - slightly higher more feminine

  • Ivan - man voice deep

The elevator came to a slow stop and the door opened to another lower level of the base,

not the one that we had to be at but one that brought us further away from the creatures.

It was an engineering room in disarray and unorganized, cabinets hung open and computer

screens dusted from months of inactivity.

I raised my pistol and walked through the equipment cluttered space.

I could spot empty bags of food and drinks emerging from around a corner, looking at

the source I spotted a skeleton.

Dressed in science clothes and propped up against the wall on the floor, the flesh and

muscles of its host long rotted and stripped away from the bone.

“Crap.”

I said to myself.

I knelt and slowly grabbed the ID badge from its neck.

I gasped for moment upon reading the name.

“No!”

“What?”

Amber asked rushing towards me.

“Jun, what?”

I looked up at her as I showed the name on the ID.

Dr. Ken Jal.…Dr. Jal.

The very author of the document I found in that lab earlier.

The very one who may hold clue as to what was happening.

I deduced that maybe when the outbreak occurred the doctor barricaded himself in this room,

waiting out his days until his supplies were eventually exhausted.

Trapped in an underworld surrounded by demons with no means of escape.

His corpse now nothing but a rotting pile of bones, serving as a reminder of our inevitable

fates if we didn’t escape the facility.

“Let’s comb this room.

Maybe there’s something that’ll help us.”

I said.

We searched the room from top to bottom looking for anything useful, documents, maps, maybe

even a way towards the server room.

We searched for what must have been at least twenty minutes and came up with nothing, frustrated

I hit the wall beside me venting my anger.

We had come all this way just to end up with a dead end, deformed and hungry creatures

hunting us and one of our comrades was now dead.

I walked towards the end of the room to find another door leading out and notified the

rest of my team.

The map on my wrist computer indicated that we were at the second lower level of the base,

the level which held crew quarters and solar radiation shelters.

“This way.”

I said.

“We still have one more level to go.

There should be an elevator on this floor that’ll take us to the server room.”

Amber nodded and took the lead.

I drew my pistol and trailed behind her with Shino behind me in turn, walking down another

corridor that would lead us towards the crew quarters.

During our venture my senses were at their limit, my ears tuned into the silence desperately

straining to hear the sound of claws against metal, footsteps behind us, or hands climbing

through the vents that lined the ceiling.

My pistol was fully loaded.

I had only three mags left but if I made my mark each time then I’d be okay.

We eventually arrived at another door that happened to be an airlock, one that led to

the surface outside which was obscured in darkness from the crater.

Only small amounts of light from the star above was able to reach through and just barley

give us a visible path.

I looked out the window to find that the surface was uneven.

Cracks and openings within the lunar surface revealed bottomless pits that if we weren’t

careful, we could fall in.

On the opposite side I could spot another airlock door.

“Looks like we don’t have a choice.”

I said.

“We’ll just have to take a chance and hop across.”

“Jun, it’s not safe.”

Shino countered.

“Let’s find another route.”

“There is no other route!

If we don’t go now, then Ivan will have died for nothing.”

I stared into Shino’s eyes for a moment.

Her shock and jump at my statement made her realize that there was no changing my mind

on our course of action, while Amber wasn’t too fond of the idea, she knew we had no other

choice.

We pulled down out faceplates and depressurized the airlock to walk out onto the moon’s

surface.

Silence enveloped the space around me as I jumped from point to point avoiding the wide

cracks and subsequent boulders in my way.

Amber trailed beside me with Shino behind the two of us.

We stopped at the center of the crater just a few feet from the airlock to catch our breath,

at that moment more trouble had caught up with us.

My helmet’s detection system began picking up a reading from somewhere around us.

I scanned our surroundings but couldn’t see anything.

Even illuminating the area with my flashlight didn’t help and since we were in a vacuum,

we couldn’t hear anything.

Amber then suddenly let out a yelp causing me to look to my feet.

A tentacle of sorts emerged from one of the cracks beside me and grabbed my leg, dragging

me across the lunar surface and into the hole it came from.

Shino and Amber both pulled on my arm as I reached for my utility knife and stabbed the

appendage, forcing it to let me go.

As I got up more of them surrounded us followed by the appearance of more creatures emerging

from above the crater wall and some from the cracks.

]]] “Quickly!”

Amber said.

“Can they breathe out here?”

I asked.

“No.

But judging by the state their bodies are in they may not need oxygen to survive.”

We leapt across the makeshift platforms that grew more and more apart from each other the

more that tentacle followed us, as well as those creatures.

Since the moons gravity was identical to our planets, I was able to move at a quicker pace

and fire my weapon without the bullet being slowed by gravity.

As we neared the airlock, we made a final jump across another wide gap just barely making

it, the same couldn’t be said for Shino who was hanging onto the ledge.

I ran to help her up…only for the same tentacle to grab her leg and begin pulling on her.

“No!

Help me!”

she screamed.

“Commander!

Jun!”

“Hang on!

I’ve got you!”

Me and Amber continued to fight against the tentacles hold as the rocky terrain beneath

our feet began to crumble and break apart, more creatures began to slowly make their

way towards us crawling across the broken surface gaps.

Surrounding us with the airlock door still shut behind us.

I continued to pull and pull but to no avail.

Whatever monster was underneath the surface wouldn’t let her go.

“Jun, we have to let go!”

Amber said, panicked and trying to get me to loosen my grab.

“No I can get her!”

I shot back.

The creatures around us were getting closer.

Silent, but gnashing their teeth and bladed arms.

“It’s no use!

We don’t go now then we all die!”

I could see the fear in Shino’s eyes as she looked up at me, maybe even a tear or

two fall down her cheek as I continued to pull and pull.

The creature beneath not giving in the slightest.

Shino pleaded with us to not let go, stating over and over she didn’t want to die and

continued to grip my arm.

The tense atmosphere building up little by little as I continued to pull, fighting against

my commander’s decision.

The ground began to violently shake as I tried to pull Shino out, her face now practically

covered in tears as she screamed through her helmet.

“Damnit, I said we’re going now!”

Amber said.

At that moment I could feel her foot kick at my hand causing me to let go of my grip,

as well as my sense of accomplishment.

The grounds crumbled as Amber pulled us to more stable rock, Shino screaming my name

through our comms as she was pulled into the darkness of the pit.

The creatures grew closer than ever to us as we were now near the airlock.

Trapping us like rats in corner.

“No…I had her…

I HAD HER!!”

Amber pulled me into the airlock as the surface was now coming apart, the creatures now practically

at our doorstep as I helped her shut the door and pressurize the room.

Once things had gone silent I took my helmet off and fell to my knees.

Guilt ridden and broken.

Shino’s face still within my mind as she pleaded for me to pull her out, at the same

time a volcano built up within my chest.

My eyes pierced the commanders gaze as she extended a hand towards me.

“Are you okay?

We should-

I smacked away her hand standing up.

“I had her!”

I shouted.

“She depended on me to get her out of there!

Id I just had another second she wouldn’t be dead and the bottom of a hole!!”

Rage completely overtook me.

Sorrow.

Grief.

I continued shouting and arguing why I couldn’t save Shino.

Our comrade who begged me to bring her out of deaths hold, who was now taken by death

themselves.

It was as if watching your closest friend suddenly die in front of you, and not being

able to do anything to prevent the outcome, seeing one’s own judgement of death as the

pendulum begins to descend lower and lower.

Eventually reaching its mark and sucking the life out of anything it touched.

My comments eventually turned into outright insults towards Amber and, with her authority

as commander, a slap came across my face.

Followed by being pushed against the wall behind me.

“How do you think I feel, huh?!”

she countered.

“If I didn’t stop you then we would have all died, and where would that have gotten

us?!

As the commander I made a judgement call and chose to save you!”

I remained silent.

As much as I hated to admit it her words stabber me deeper than any sword could.

“You want to hate me for it then fine!

But you don’t understand how much that feels to be placed on my shoulders!

Knowing I caused her death to ensure at least some of us continued on!”

More silence.

Her grip on me slowly receding as she backed away.

Her pained looked planted itself into my mind as all aggression and violent impulses within

me dissipated, I could only look down at my feet as I tried to respond.

But more than anything I had blamed myself for Shino.

If I hadn’t suggested we go across the surface, listened to her reasoning, then maybe she

wouldn’t be dead.

“Five seconds….

all I needed was five seconds and she’d still be here.”

“I needed those to get us out of there….”

Amber replied.

I didn’t have it in me anymore to fight.

I picked up my helmet and began walking down the corridor towards another elevator cart,

the very one that we needed to get to the server room.

My mind, despite how much anger I still harbored towards my commander, was now set on finding

out the truth of what happened to this base.

Whether or not we completed the mission I didn’t care.

All I cared about was learning the truth.

The elevator ride down was dead silent.

The only sounds coming from the creaks of bumps of the cart descending further into

the depths, taking us down further from the safety of the surface, from our ship still

in orbit.

Amber tried to reach for my hand to talk but my cold attitude and silence dissuaded her

from further attempts.

“Jun…”

I said nothing.

The elevator cart stopped, and the door opened to reveal another hallway, at the end was

another door.

The very one we’ve been trying to reach this entire time.

I walked towards the large steel structure and, using my wrist computer, hacked the keypad

and the rotating locks came to life.

We walked into a scene of pure astonishment; the sight of a quest completed.

Around me were servers, machines that held vast amounts of data from years ago now still

like statues.

Unactive and quiet.

Looking around I tried to find a power switch of sorts in hopes of turning the servers on.

Instead, I found a single computer against the wall beside another door, sitting down

at the desk I could sense that this was it.

I turned on the computer and scrolled through the loads of files down the bar.

Most of them were just daily reports of day-to-day activities of what went on when the base was

still active, others were blueprints of various vehicles used on the lunar surface.

As Amber was able to switch on the servers around us and gather the data we needed I

spent about ten minutes scrolling through the files until I came upon the final one

placed at the bottom of the list.

I opened it.

Desperate to know what I’d find.

It was a document.

One longer than the previous one I read, one that judging by how lengthy it was, it was

what I was looking for.

I started from the top and read word for word what the doctor had left behind.

What I read had me in such disbelief that it seems as though the universe was an even

more dangerous place to live within.


Dr. Jal, Final Entry Log, 2234

It is the end of the lunar program here…on this desolate…and dangerous moon.

The end of all our lives and work, our flesh to be torn by the beasts we awakened.

Our souls to be liberated from our bodies.

And this…is my final words to you.

You.

Whomever find these words.

During our time at the research facility, we encountered something strange and native

to this rock.

A pod of alien origin situated at the depths of a crater south of our outpost.

A chrysalis that upon its discovery I led a team of researchers towards the crater to

study it further, we would take it back and discover that inside were spores.

Spores containing some type of biological specimen that we had never seen before, life

that had cells as we did and exhibited traits similar to photosynthesis.

It was an astounding find that would have garnered the attraction of all had we been

able to study it further.

Hopes that I now could only dream of happening.

It was our fifth day with the specimen when things took a turn for the worst, a sickening

memory that is ingrained into my mind.

Like a stubborn thorn you just can’t pluck out.

I had gone down towards the lab where we kept the specimen to study it further, except when

me and my team arrived Instead behind the glass was a creature the size of an Eos arthropod,

an exoskeleton lined its back and arms, its legs long and hairy and a tail with a spike

at the end.

We stared at it for several moments before it suddenly used its tail to break the glass

that kept it.

Jumping from its prison the scientist in the room ran in a panic, one of the was pierced

instantly.

Another was stabbed through the heart.

I grabbed the personal pistol at my hip and fired three rounds into the creature killing

it.

I thought it was done.

Dead.

But my troubles had only just begun.

The two other scientist it had killed, through some kind of re-animation, rose from the pools

of their own blood and became disfigured.

Deformed.

Their bodies reshaping themselves and their rib cages exposed, their skeletons partially

muscled and sharp blades replaced their arms.

I ran out of the room and towards the upper floors, locking them in the labs below and

initiating a full lockdown of the facility.

Even after revealing my work to the rest of the base and locking down the lower level

it did little to help.

Eventually they found a way towards us using the vents and unleashed their terror across

the rest of the base.

More and more of us were infected by the hour so much that sections of the base had to be

sealed off to keep the healthy ones safe.

A day or two later we contacted Eos for help, revealing our situation.

They sent a rescue crew to us.

It did little to ease our troubles.

Before we knew it the infection had already spread too much, the rescue crew finding themselves

in our position, and all contact with Eos was lost.

Hour after hour more and more were infected and transformed into those creatures.

Our friends.

Family.

All of us.

Eventually I was among the two-remaining lives left in the facility, my colleague Hana joining

me in the server room for a brief period before she too…would turn.

I remember the fear in her eyes as she learned of her condition, the pain her body must have

felt as it was contorted into a heinous thing that resembled the worst kind of night terror.

And I remember the bullets from my gun putting her down.

Now I’m all that’s left.

I write this in the server room for anyone who may someday find this.

We did our duty as scientists, engineers, pilots, and people.

We upheld our loyalty to our species and company in expanding our knowledge of the universe.

Many of us had fought and died bravely in the line, so please…don’t let us be forgotten.

And whomever finds this reading, the facility that houses these creatures…must be destroyed.

Well that’s it.

I’ve given everything I’ve been able to give.

I’m going to sneak back to the engineering room and wade it out for as long as I can.

Even though I know I won’t make it back I refuse to end up like the others.

Please…keep them from our home.

This is Dr. Ken Jal…signing off.


I slumped back in my seat letting out a sigh.

My mind was calm and felt as if a thousand years of mental agony was washed away, a wave

of ocean poured down my shoulders as the truth made itself known to me.

Amber and I met eyes as we both came upon the realization of what had to be done next.

Upon stating that she retrieved the data we were sent to get I replied with only one thought.

“We have to destroy this place…”

A hint of surprise in her eye.

Then a nod.

“Yeah.”

I fiddled through the computer as an alarm suddenly rang out above us, the A.I voice

indicating that multiple unregistered lifeforms were detected throughout the facility.

There had to be more of them and if we didn’t move quickly, they would eventually find the

server room.

“The top brass did say that this place has a self-destruct mode, right?”

“Yeah.

We’ll burn this place to the ground.”

Without thinking and my nerves calmed I scoured the database and found the self-destruct feature

of the facility, setting the timer for fifteen minutes and then used my wrist computer to

hack into the nearby hangar.

Amber had finished downloading the data onto the hard drive and we began to make our way

towards the hangar, exiting through the corridor and walking down another abandoned hallway.

The self-destruct timer counting down every second we moved, the sounds of the creatures

growing closer and closer.

We arrived at another hallway with rooms on either side which was also flooded with those

things, one of them rushed me only to be gunned down by my pistol.

Amber and I stood back-to-back for a few moments as we made our way to the door, shooting and

killing more and more of them as they seemingly kept coming.

“We’re almost there!”

I said.

“Jun, we have to- Ack!”

I turned back to see Amber cry out in pain as she fell to the ground gripping her arm

and side, the sight of her blood seeping through her hand caused my heart to beat faster as

I rushed over to her side.

Kicking away the creature towering over her.

“Come on, stay with me…!

We’re almost there.”

I struggled to pull her up as her arm went over my shoulder.

More creatures trailing behind us.

The air around me was as tense as ever as the door ahead of me…the door to safety…felt

so far away.

It was as if time slowed and sound became muffled, an unbearable feeling that took all

my best efforts to suppress.

“Jun…I’m so sorry about Shino.”

Amber said.

“I understand if you still…hate me for it.

It’s fine…I accept it…”

“Stop talking!

You’re exhausting yourself!”

I fired back.

Amber eyes had opened and closed several times as if she were trying to stay awake, her consciousness

trapped between the worlds of living and dead.

If I didn’t hurry, then she wouldn’t get out of here alive.

My wrist computer alerted me that we had eight minutes left to get out.

“Jun…I won’t make it.

Get to the lander…”

“Shut it!

We’re leaving!

Both of us!”

I didn’t care anymore.

I had already lost two comrades and I wasn’t going back alone.

Amber continued to hallucinate and speak nonsense until I placed her up next to the door for

a moment.

Then, grabbing a nearby blades saw from a crate beside me I rushed towards the creatures

closing in on us and began hacking them down one by one.

Using every ounce of my strength to drive the demons away, blood sprayed into the air

all around and screeches filled the small space.

The tremors from each strike traveled up my arms causing me to feel almost sick, but I

managed to stay on my feet.

Eventually my actions ceased once I realize I had killed more than enough of them in order

to get away, and upon discarding the blade and pick my commander up again.

Rushing through the door we arrived at long last to the hangar, inside was one of the

lunar rovers that fortunately was enclosed and still functional.

After placing Amber on a stretcher inside I used a material to temporarily patch the

hole in her suit to maintain pressure.

The hangar doors opened to reveal the surface outside, a beam of light shining through the

tunnel as I floored the pedal and sped out of the facility with the pressurized vehicle.

“Hang on!”

Once outside we were met with a familiar sight that encircled the facility behind me, a swarm

of tentacles emerging from beneath the rocky and powdery surface.

These however were longer and much more abundant that the ones that killed Shino.

I steered the rover steadily as I looked into the rear-view camera on the dashboard, one

of the tentacles had began gaining on me.

Luckily, I managed to outrun it thanks to a cluster of boulders I drove through, the

rover bumping and creaking as it sped across the rocky surface.

The lunar dust picking up around the vehicle as I neared the lander.

To my utmost shock and surprise Amber now stood behind me.

“What are you doing?

Lie back down, you’re still bleeding.”

She coughed sitting in the passenger’s seat.

“Don’t worry about it.

And thank you…for everything.”

I nodded, feeling a little better despite our current predicament.

We arrived at the lander with only two minutes to spare until the facility would be engulfed

in debris.

I placed on our helmets and depressurized the cabin to depart towards our ship, leaping

onto the surface I still had to help Amber who’s wound I couldn’t treat until we

got back into orbit.

We trekked across the surface for a few feet, and I could see more of those creatures in

the distance.

Most likely making their way towards us.

“Come on, go!”

I said, pushing Amber up into the ship.

I climbed up the ladder as one of the tentacles made its presence known near our lander, before

closing the hatch I unloaded the rest of my pistol ammunition into it.

The silenced bullets each hit the appendage in a different spot drawing it away.

Closing the door, I strapped Amber into her seat and pressurized the cabin.

Assuring her that we’d made it.

“You okay?”

I asked.

“Yeah.”

She smiled.

“Jun…you were amazing.”

I could only smile slightly and nod.

Activating the controls, we launched into orbit with only a minute to spare.

As the final countdown commenced, I looked out of the window beside me, back down at

the surface I could see the host of the tentacles.

A large and massive creature emerging from beneath the surface, its anatomy in a similar

fashion to the creatures but on a large scale.

Those intimidating yellow eyes watching as our lander ascended higher and higher as the

timer on my wrist had finally reached zero.

The next moment I remember witnessing the blinding light obscuring my view of the surface,

the light engulfing the facility and the creatures within it.

The research base was now destroyed.

Obliterated by the bomb and launching debris into the space above it.

The explosion was quiet but deadly and without oxygen to carry the flames they were quickly

snuffed out, the colossal sized monster that continued to watch us escape the moon’s

surface was swallowed whole by the blinding light.

Our lander shook briefly, before coming to a calm and serene parking orbit around the

moon.

“Oh crap…we…we made it.”

I said to myself.

“Hey…Amber.”

She looked over to me.

“Yeah.”

“We made it.”

We eventually caught up with the mother ship and transferred over to the cockpit after

removing my blood covered space suit and treating Ambers wound, I assumed control from the onboard

A.I and activated the engines.

Breaking out of orbit and away from the moon and gas giant.

Once further into the void I set a course for Eos and primed the warp drive, but not

before taking a final look at the now desolate moon behind us.

It was impossible to know for sure if all those things were finally gone.

But I was happy that we were alive and headed back home after such a crucible.

It’s now been a year since the mission, since the public learned of the events, since

the company had addressed the incident and had taken stricter measures to ensure that

a similar event wouldn’t occur again.

As I mentioned before I’ve been temporarily grounded from further deep spaceflights to

recover from the mission, the same went with Amber who’s been performing communication

duties for a while.

We remain on good terms despite our altercation at the facility.

As of now I only conduct low orbit missions and fly regular aircraft…but I know that

sooner or later I’ll have to go back.

My life has returned to a steady peace after experiencing an unimaginable trauma, but still,

I can’t shake that feeling.

That feeling that there could be more of those alien parasites out there possibly in our

planetary system, and so I write this in a personal log to whomever may read it.

As I feel it is my duty to share what I know so no one has to experience my hell.

The mission which was supposed to be a routine checkup and gathering task, turned into the

biggest nightmare in my entire life.

And if those things can multiply into the numerous amounts, they were able to, and become

as large as that monster on the surface…. would they be able to infect entire worlds?

I don’t even know.

So, I leave you with this.

When exploring the universe…always expect the unexpected.

Thank you to Shin for submitting this terrifying story.

Stay tuned for more creepy stories, I hope you have a good night!