• Published 23rd Aug 2013
  • 2,883 Views, 57 Comments

The Last Small Step for Man - nice joe

When a lone astronaut finds nightmare moon on the lunar surface, his entire universe is sent into a tail spin

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Bird in a Cage

The Last Small Step for Man

Bird in a Cage

“All right Adam, how does that look.”

“Perfect Captain, I can see you much better now.” Seeing as how I was going to need his help anyway, I set up a few cameras and sensors around the crash site so Adam can keep a better eye on me.

It had been at least three days since I made the discovery that my path to answers was stopped dead in its tracks by some unknown barrier. But I was not idle in those couple of days.

In that time period I had established power back to many of the ships systems. Including my text based A.I. who just got a front row seat to me running tests on the mysterious force keeping me from venturing outside the crash site. I fixed up a small base of operations just outside the large open cargo bay door; complete with some basic equipment from the ship Adam can use to assess our environment, some tables with essentials like bottles of water, food packs, and my medical supplies, all under a big canopy.

Unfortunately, during this time I had been unsuccessful at recalling what caused the crash in the first place. Got a few flash backs here and there, but always the same thing, so I didn’t really learn anything that I didn’t already know. We tried fixing the computers recording system but even with Adams help, it was proving to be actually quite hard, and without those logs Adam was unable to tell me anything. So I pushed it closer to the bottom of my already huge to-do list.

However, I did learn how the massive barrier worked. Well when I say that I mean that I understood what it did, but as far as how it did it, was something else entirely.

It seemed to run on a form of kinetic energy dispersion. I smack it with a shovel and the force of the impact gets spread through out the surface until the initial force has lost all of its original impact strength. But with Adam back in action we were able to come up with a few theories as to how to cancel out the shields properties and break it.

I didn’t want to bring one of the few monitors still working outside, so my companion was communicating with me through a small screen worn on my wrist.

I stopped wearing my space suit wile trapped here, but my encounter with the wooden dogs was enough to convince me to suit back up when I got out. It might not have been practical in a forest but I couldn’t help but think that there were worst things out there then those dogs, so I’d need the protection the suit came with.

“Okay, the EMP from the shock grenade should be able to cause an overload on the barrier’s dispersal properties.”

“Captain you tried that already, it didn’t work due to insufficient power output, remember?”

“Yes, I remember all one hundred times you told me that yesterday. But last night, while you where calibrating that long rang scanner, I tinkered with it.”

“Captain I’m reading a significant power increase on that grenade. Anything in the blast radius of that will be completely fried, artificial or organic.” He wasn’t wrong.

I cranked up the power so high, if I got hit by this it wouldn’t just assault my nervous system, it would short out every neuron in my head, leaving me completely brain dead. For some reason, the thought reminded me of my injury. I rubbed the wound on my leg, it still hurt but I was dealing with it much better. Still had a bit of a limp, but I soldiered on.

“I did the math Adam, the south end of the crash site is plenty far enough to keep the ship out of range, and with the timer set to the longest time, I’ll have a good thirty seconds to make it back here before it goes off and cooks everything in my head.” I said while making my way to the entrance zone of the crash on the south end.

“Very well Captain, but if it should fail, will you try the Ion Drive?”

“I won’t have a choice. Engaging the Ion Drive might just cancel out the shield, simply by applying so much force that it does not have the surface area to spread all of it out, but since it’s a little unstable right now I’d prefer to keep that as a last resort. I know that I’m running out of options, but that’s just a bit too risky. And let me tell you, this cabin fever is driving me up the wall. I’m not getting any answers standing in a crater, whatever is out there is obviously not like the earth we remember, and I intend on finding out why.”

“Aye, Captain.”

With out too long of a walk I reached the far end of the crash site and came into view of one of the markers I set up so I could find the edge of the barrier quicker (it’s just a stick with a peace of cloth tied around it). Anxious to get it done I took off the safety and twist the metal cap until I heard the click, then the erratic beeping started, signaling that the grenade was armed and the clock was ticking.

I hurled it at the barrier and took off running as fast as I could, completely ignoring the pain making its way through my leg. I didn’t look back so I didn’t know how close it landed, but I heard the barrier react to the grenade hitting it so I figured:

“Close enough!” I yelled as I made it to the camp. I quickly grabbed a pair of binoculars, knelt down to catch my breath, give my leg a rest, and watched the area where the Grenade ticked away. At this point my leg was killing me, but the combination of adrenaline and the painkillers I took made me not care.

5 seconds after I grabbed the binoculars I was ready to see some fire works

10 seconds later and I was starting to get suspicious. It should have gone off long before.

“Guess I was moving pretty quick.” I reassured myself

20 seconds

30 seconds

At 40 seconds the bomb was already over the timers’ limit, so I thought it may have shorted out.

“You’ve got to be kidding me.” I groaned as I stood up. I glanced down at Adam on my wrist hoping he knew what was going on.

“It happens to everyone Captain.”

I was about to call him some “colorful metaphors”. But at that precise moment a quick but bright flash of light erupted from the grenades position. I looked down through the binoculars to see if there was any visual effect on the barrier. As I looked I saw a shock wave composed of every color of the spectrum travel up through the barrier, soaring over my head. As it passed over I noticed it had a mesh like quality. But I soon lost site of it as it fell behind the ship on the north side of the crash site, and out of view.

It was quiet as I passed a quick glance to the closest camera, as if Adam could return the look I gave him. Without a word I ran to the closest marker on the west side. Stopping just outside of shields position (marked by another stick), I slowly extend my arm and for the first time in days I felt the slight tug of a smile on my face as my hand passed the marker completely free. My arm fell limp against my body.

“Back in business.”

It was looking to be about 10:00am, and I was ready to move out. I quickly walked back to the camp site.

“We’re out Adam, launch the Raven and find me some heat signatures, but don’t fly beyond the crash site.”

“Aye aye Captain, launching Raven now.” I listened to the Ravens small plasma jet engines ignite and lift off wile I put on my suit.

The Raven is just a small drone Adam can use for on site assessment. But we often used its mounted turret to help blast denser materials out of rock faces during construction of the Key. It saved us explosives and he was a good shot (plus it was pretty cool).

With my suit on, Adam in the sky, and a pack of essentials like water and painkillers, I was confident I was ready to get moving. Armed with my side arm and rifle I was also confident in my abilities to defend myself.

“What’s it looking like out there Adam?”

“From this distance I can see, either a clearing in the forest or it’s where the forest ends, I’m not entirely sure.”

“It’s a start, how far and in what direction?”

“Head West for 2.4 miles, you should come to the edge of the forest.”

“Pick a spot and send a NAV point to my GPS.”

“Negative Captain, for some reason I am unable to connect to your suits systems right now, would you like me to provide over watch with the Raven?”

“No, I’d prefer the Raven to remain here and out of sight. Use it to keep in eye on the camp, but stay below the tree line. As for the suit system malfunction, we’ll sort that issue out later.”

“And if you get lost?”

“Don’t worry, Big Daddies position is marked on my GPS, if I get lost, I’ll just come back.”

With that I started walking out of the crash site and into the forest, into the unknown. I didn’t really know much about forests aside from what I read in books. And this place was no park. It was massive, dark, dense, and teeming with life. I really can’t recall a time when some animal or bug wasn’t making some noise off in the distance.

But there was something else about this forest that unsettled me as much as Nightmare Moon did. This place was evil, or at least it felt like it. I could feel it right through my helmet, the feeling that this place hated me. Weird right? I wasn’t sure if it was the tight spaces, or the fact that there was no light shining through the tree tops, but it made me feel very uneasy. At this time the sun was high in sky, but the fact that I didn’t really have much light, it made my think: I’m not welcome here.

2.4 miles later I spotted a light beyond the trees, and soon was graced with the sun once again. Getting out of that forest felt like coming up for air after being dragged deep beneath the sea.

It was defiantly the end of the forest and not just a clearing. I came into a simple grass field with nothing really interesting to see. That is, until I started looking around. I spotted a little dirt road, not to far from where I was standing.

Looking down its length, I noticed a few things about it. On one side, it seemed to stretch endlessly, but the other led to a house, however I couldn’t see much further than that. This is when I realized that, in my excitement, I left the binoculars back at the ship so I decided to head for the only civilization I could see.

With that I started down the small dirt road toward the house.

Even though it was still pretty far away, I was able to make out a few details of the place like a garden, and what looked like a small stream cutting through the property. The more I looked at it the more I started thinking that it was more of a cottage. Though I had no idea who or what lived there, they were going to meet an astronaut.

Author's Note:

Sorry about taking ages to update. Shout out to my friend NVogt07 for giving me a hand with the grammar. Just like always, tell me what you think in the comments, and don't forget to spot the occasional mistake.

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Comments ( 5 )

For Celestia's sake, update more!:raritydespair:

When you were talking about the connection issue in the dude's suit you spelled 'sight', 'site'

4131078 ... God damnit. I guess I'll just have to cry in the corner for all time for my blatant failure as an editor. No It's only one that I missed so far I can handle this, but anywho thanks for pointing it out. Here's a mustache helpful citizen :moustache:

Michael Okuda, Star Trek technical adviser's answer to the question:

'How do the Heisenberg compensators actually work?'

They work just fine, thank you.

(beware tropes link ;) ) http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/HandWave


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