The sound of the computer”s alarm woke him. Cyrus jumped with a start. He rubbed his eyes and resumed command of the vessel. He switched on the Captain”s Log.
“I am now here, in the Elysian atmosphere.” Cyrus paused as he looked out the massive viewing window. The pilot was the only one on the ship with such a view, and he was grateful for it. As the ship plunged further into the atmosphere, however, he wished he could not see anything at all.
“Asteroids!” he cried, frantically pushing buttons on the control panel. “There are hundreds of them, crashing all around me. I can”t see where they are coming from!”
Unlike other planets, Elysia II was unique for having its own special casing around it. Although called the Elysian atmosphere, it was more like empty space covered in a thick fog. Cyrus had never expected to find anything inside of it, though.
“This must have been what Samus was talking about when she spoke of asteroids.”
Cyrus considered turning around, but then realized that there was a strong possibility his mother was stuck in the atmosphere. Or if she had managed to get through, then she was on Elysia II. Of course, she would have contacted him, but he would not hold it to her if he found her there, alive and well.
The radar showed that there was little more to the atmosphere before he reached Elysia II, but there were more than enough asteroids to crush his ship. He performed some quick maneuvers, most of them jerky, but sufficient to get him out of the atmosphere
“Ok, I am out of the asteroids and the atmosphere. Things are starting to get a bit clearer now…” His voice trailed as he registered what he was seeing.
In the space where there should have been the planet Elysia II, there only stood piles and piles of floating rock and clumps of earth. Something had happened here, some massive explosion, which had caused the entire planet to explode!
“I don”t really know what it is I am looking at here, but it appears that either Elysia II faced some internal crisis which caused it to implode, or it was attacked.” Cyrus looked around, but there were no ships in the area. It was possible that hidden inside the floating pieces of rock could be his mother”s ship, but he wasn”t sure. It would take hours to search for her…unless…
Cyrus searched the buttons on the control panel until he found the one he needed: heat seeking missiles. He didn”t actually have to fire the missiles to find a target. If he could just set them up, he would be able to scan the area for any heat. Even if his mother was dead…no, he couldn”t think about it. She was not dead, she could not be dead, and Cyrus was going to find her.
It had been a full hour of searching. No luck. Cyrus flipped on the Captain”s Log.
“I haven”t found anything. Not even a fragment of her ship.” He leaned back and rubbed his eyes. “I haven”t even found anything. Were there even people living on Elysia II? I wonder what happened there, and if I”ll ever be able to find out.” He shut off the log and closed his eyes.
When things used to get difficult, his mother would rub him on the shoulders and tell him to relax.
“Stress is not going to help,” she would say. “I would know. I spend half of my time visiting strange planets filled with creatures out to destroy me. Then I come here and I find the hardest job waiting for me. Raising you.”
She would always laugh whenever she said that, but Cyrus never could. He knew how hard it was on her that she had to raise a child on her own, and continue to take missions from various corporations. He felt he had been a good son. Surely, the two of them had their difficult moments, but they had gotten along well with each other.
Cyrus couldn”t help but harbor bad feelings for his father. Whenever he said a bad word about the man, however, Samus was quick to chastise him.
“You didn”t know your father like I did, Cy.” Her whole face would light up then, and she even sat straighter in her chair. “He was the kindest, most soft spoken man I have ever met. Anthony cared deeply for me, and he devoted himself to you once you were born.”
“Well then, if he cared so much, why isn”t he still here?” Cyrus would shout angrily. Samus would cross her arms then. It happened like this every time. Then, she would shake her head and continue to chastise him.
“Now, you take that back young man. No man can hold back the hand of death. Not even a man as incredible as your father. I have told you this dozens of times. It was an accident. He fell into the quarry where he was digging.”
“That”s why I don”t want to live on land,” Cyrus would mumble.
“I needed to get back into work, Cyrus, you know that. That was why we had to leave.”
Cyrus wished he could see her now. He wished they could go through the whole argument about his father, if it meant he could be with her again. He wasn”t used to not knowing where she was. Even when she went on missions and got stranded, her ship always sent out a tracking beam that let him know where she was, even if only an estimate. He didn”t like thinking that the only person he knew, the only person he loved, might be dead.
It was well into the next day already, at least, by earth time, and he wanted to land somewhere. He needed to speak with someone about Elysia II, to find out what had happened there.
He pulled up an old chart onto the screen. Although more than 3 years old, it accurately depicted the general location of various ports and known planets. Even though new ones sprang up every year or so, you were good to go if you stayed within a five year distance.
The closest port he could see was QZ295. It was almost as large as a planet, but it was noticeably smaller. Made entirely out of metal, it was one of the few ports that needed to supply its anti-gravity equipment. Cyrus was uncomfortable enough on land, but the ports were closer to a ship than anything else.
“Computer, chart a course to QZ295.”
The ship slowly turned south and began to move forward. It traveled through the Elysian atmosphere – this time, there were no asteroids, and made it safely through the other side. Suddenly, Cyrus gasped.
He switched the Captain”s Log on.
“I have just exited the Elysian atmosphere, heading to QZ295. There are massive asteroids coming from the west. There are heading straight for QZ295. I have decided against landing at the port. The asteroids will reach them in a few moments…”
Cyrus shook his head. There was nothing he could do. Even if he got to the planet on time, there was no way he could evacuate everyone before the asteroids smashed the port to pieces.
If I could somehow follow the asteroids…
Cyrus switched the log back on.
“I have an idea. If I can follow the direction of the asteroids, I will be able to determine the source point. If it is a planet that has just exploded, I can find a way to…”
Cyrus wasn”t sure what he could do. He just felt like he needed to do something. There was no way he would find his mother in Elysia II, but he wasn”t sure where else to look for her. If she had gotten out, she would have gone straight to QZ295. But that was as good as destroyed now, which meant there probably was no hope for her. He wished it weren”t so.
His best bet was to find what was causing these massive asteroids to travel at such a speed and in such great quantities to destroy whole planets.