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I was so incredibly nervous as I stepped into the Klepper 1. The inside of my space suit was practically dripping with sweat, as I’m sure the rest of the crew’s were too. It was perfectly understandable though because we were about to undergo a mission of a lifetime. We were the very first crew of astronauts, engineers, and scientists to travel in the newly designed space shuttle, Klepper 1. The Klepper 1 was like no other shuttle before it. It was the very first shuttle that could launch into outer space all in one step. No rocket boosters or gigantic disposable egg. There was no way of knowing how the mission would go; we were the experiment.
Once we were buckled in and waiting for take off, I looked over to my left and saw Dr. Sarah VonClaire, who had this intense look of fear and excitement on her face, she said to me, “I have been waiting for this day all my life…” and with a gigantic smile she exclaimed, “I can’t believe that we might finally have proof of life other than on earth!” Of course this did not surprise me. I would expect that from a woman who devotes her entire life to the study of extra terrestrial life. But I do have to admit that I am anxious to see if the activity that our probes are capturing really is alien life on the moon. I mean, it’s entirely possible. We haven’t set foot on the moon since the Apollo 17 mission in 1972, which was 61 years ago. Therefore, the crew and I have no idea what we are getting ourselves into.
I heard the four powerful chemical engines of the Klepper 1 begin to warm up and prepare for take off. And then I heard the immense boom of the ignition. As I was thrust into my seat, all I could do was pray to god that the rockets would last long enough to break through the Earth’s atmosphere and into orbit. I must have been clenching my seat or something because Jeffery, the head engineer of the Klepper1 project placed his hand on my shoulder and yelled, “Don’t worry, I built this ship. It’s the best…if we don’t make it then no ship will” then he went on to ask, “just out of curiosity, what is your favorite planet?”
At the time I thought it was an odd question, but I decided to play along and gave him an answer, “ummm…. Saturn, I love its rings!”
And he agreed saying, “Oh yeah…that’s a good one,” and continued, “ok…close your eyes and visualize Saturn in your head.”
So I followed his instructions and when I opened my eyes and looked out the window, I saw nothing but blackness with bright twinkling lights scattered throughout it. We had made it to the Earth’s orbit. I then realized what Jeff had done. He saw that I was scared during take off and purposely distracted me by getting me think about Saturn.
I simply gave him a blushed smile and said, “thank-you, I don’t think I could have gotten through that if u hadn’t distracted me.” He responded with a cocky smile.
Before we began our navigation to the moon’s orbit, we had to check the shuttle and make sure there was nothing wrong.
“Celest, how are the engines and the remaining fuel?” The captain asked me.
“Well captain, from my calculations we have about fifty-six percent of our
original fuel storage left and all four engines seem to be operational.” I replied.
The Captain then turned to Jeff, “How do all of the mechanics look?”
And of course, Jeff, arrogant as he was, responded with, “Well Captain…seeing as how I pretty much built this machine myself…. everything is holding up nicely.”
The captain rolled his eyes, said, “ok” and turned to check with his co-pilot Commander Levy. Commander Levy pushed a few buttons and gave the Captain the go ahead. Captain then sat down in the pilot’s chair and whispered, “Hear we go!” The shuttle thrusted into space and we all watched in amazement as the stars streamed by the windows.
At that point the excitement was almost unbearable. Not only were we going to discover if live existed on the moon, we were testing out Jonathan Klepper’s new shuttle design. This design was to revolutionize the space program since the Klepper was supposed to have such a short turnover period, which would allow for more frequent exploration. So we were all very proud and excited as well as a little scared to be a part of this mission.
Since the shuttle had a built in satellite tracking system and a pre-set course, which was all automatic, there really was nothing for us to do until we reached the moon’s orbit. So we spent the next thirty-six or so hours floating around inside the shuttle, which was the most amazing feel I had ever experienced. Every once in a while John Klepper would check in from ground control make sure things were running smoothly and his design was working, other than that we were pretty much left to ourselves up there.
Everything was going as planned, and we were finally getting close to the Moon’s orbit.
“Oh my god…guys come look at this…this is…. I can’t…I mean…this is amazing!”
We rush over to see what Sarah was getting so worked up about. And when we looked out the window, my jaw dropped. I could not believe my eyes; it was amazing. Never in my life had I seen such a sight. We all just stared out the window for several moments trying to comprehend such a phenomenon. Before our very eyes there was the moon. But it wasn’t moon that we remembered from the Apollo missions. Because as we looked down onto the surface, we saw what looked like a large encampment. There were figures moving around on the surface, which we could not see very clearly, but we all new that they weren’t anything from Earth. None of us knew what to say; finally one of us managed to speak, “This is amazing, wait until we get this back to ground control.” It was Commander Levy.
Once we finally got our senses back, we realized that we had been pulled into the Moon’s orbit, and so it was time to report back to ground control.
The Captain picked up the satellite radio and began calling back to earth. “Ground control, this is the Klepper 1 reporting in with some amazing information. I repeat: this is the Klepper 1 reporting. Do you copy ground control?”
After a few seconds of static we finally received a response. “This is ground control, we copy Klepper 1. What is your current status?”
“Um…well?…we are now orbiting the moon and we are seeing a whole lot of activity down there.”
“What kind of activity?” John asked from ground control.
The Captain tried to describe what we thought was going on down there as well as he could. He told them, “Well sir, it appears to us that there is some type of alien camp set up on the moon surface. There are seven small structures, which I cannot begin to describe, in some sort of organized, spread out pattern, and there are several beings all over, which we really cannot see.”
We could hear a roar of questioning people in the background when John finally responded back to us. “Do they seem to be responding to your presence?”
The Captain asked us if we had noticed changes. We looked out the window once more to see that the activity had not changed, and shook our heads no.
“We seem to have no effect on them sir.” The captain told ground control.
We could tell that ground control was trying to figure out what to do, because it took them a long time to give us our orders. Finally we got our orders, “ok, what we want you to do is take quick pictures and then head for home as soon as possible. We don’t know anything about these beings, and we don’t want any problems.”
We all looked at each other, and for the first time I think we all shared a feeling of doubt as to whether or not we should’ve been there. But there was nothing we could do. As the Captain was accepting the orders from ground control, there was a violent jolt, and numerous alarms on the control panels sounded.
“What the hell was that?” Captain rushed over to the cockpit and began to franticly assess the situation, pushing several buttons.
“Oh Jesus, I think we’ve been hit!” Screamed Sarah, who was looking out the window.
Commander Levy and Jeff rushed over to where she was standing to look out the window. “Oh shit!”
“What is it Jeff” Demanded the Captain.
“The entire right side of the shuttle looks like its been chewed up!”
There was so much noise and chaos in the shuttle that I had no idea what was happening. All I remember was the Captain’s unsettled voice. He was screaming, “I can’t control it…. we’re gonna have to make an emergency landing!”
Once I regained consciousness, I began to look around my heart nearly stopped when I finally realized that I was no longer in the space shuttle. I had no idea where I was, and nothing looked familiar to me. I began to panic. But then I noticed something, or someone, familiar. It was Jeff’s body lying on a table a few feet away from me. I rushed over to him to see if he was even alive.
“Jeff! Jeff! Come on Jeff...wake up!” I screamed and violently shook him until he gradually woke up.
Once he finally realized what was happening, he began asking me questions. “What happened? Where are we? And where is the rest of the crew?”
“I don’t know Jeff. The last thing I remember is being on the shuttle after something hit us.
“Yeah, same here.”
We were so confused. Jeff and I began to look around in hopes of finding something that would answer our questions. Unfortunately we found nothing that would tell us what had happened, where we were, or what had happened to the others.
As we were snooping around, we were startled by a beautiful echoing voice.
“You are awake.”
It sounded as if it belonged to a goddess from the heavens. When we turned around we both froze with fear and awe. Before us was an amazing creature, standing about six feet tall. I could not take my eyes off of it. It had the largest, most beautiful eyes I’d ever seen. They were pale blue with gorgeous long lashes. The eyes were the only things on the creature’s face except two slits, which appeared to be its nose. The skin was a milky white that seemed to shimmer all the colors of the rainbow, sort of like an opal. Its body was very slender, but at the same time had the softest curves. Once again I heard the voice.
“Do not be afraid. I am Xaniphlia. I am here to answer your questions…Please sit down and relax yourselves.”
Her voice was so soft and soothing that it immediately eased our nerves. It was almost like she was inside of our heads.
“As you can see, I do not have a mouth to communicate with as you do. So I must speak with you telepathically. I can also read your thoughts. But do not worry, I will not harm you in any way.”
She immediately began to answer of the questions inside our heads.
“I am from one of the galaxies out side of your own call Zenphindia. Some of my people have come to your galaxy to explore your world and all of the living things in it, including humans. We are very interested in other systems and are very intrigued by yours. Unfortunately your ship crashed down on the moons surface, and you two were the only ones that we could help. I am afraid your friends are dead.”
I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. I wanted to know what was going to happen to me.
“If you wish to go back to your home, Earth, we will take you there. But we wish for you to stay with us, so that we could learn from each other and take what we learn back to our own people.” She looked at us for a moment and said, “I will give you some time to think it over if you like.” And she left the room for us to make our decision.
I looked at Jeff who had a look of overwhelming on his face and I did not blame him, because I felt the same way. It was all so much to take in. However, once we began to put everything together, we both agreed that these beings were not aggressive, instead they were peaceful and curious just as most humans were. And after some time we agreed that it would be beneficial to us if we stayed and learned more about the aliens and their ways.
When Xaniphlia returned, we told her that we would like to stay, at least for a little while.
“It pleases me and my people that you have decided to stay. We have much to learn from each other.”
It was obvious that she was happy because there was a twinkle in her eyes, which had changed from pale blue to a soft pink.
We had stayed on the moon with the aliens for more than three months. They taught us many new technological things and introduced us to some new materials that would help us build more sufficient space ships. And we taught them about our own human emotions and how we relate to each other. I must say it was the most amazing, and enlightening three months of my life. That is until Earth sent people to find us and investigate what happened.
When we crashed onto the moon, ground control had no idea what had happened, and we had never thought to contact Earth to tell them what had happened. The last thing they knew was that we had seen the aliens and then we were hit. Therefore, they believed that it was the aliens that had hit us. Out of fear and for the sake of protection, all of the space centers on Earth united to create a small space fleet, which they planned to investigate what had happened. Once they reached the moon and saw our shuttle scattered across the surface, they immediately thought it was the alien’s doing. So they attacked, before we could explain what really happened.
There were few survivors, myself being one of them. Till this day, I still have not forgiven my people for what they did to the Zenphindians.
© 2003 by the author
All rights reserved