A huge fan of sci-fi, I started writing my first sci-fi short story titled 'Azimus' a few years ago and have a good chunk of it done. Found the old files and outline and working on some new plot concepts to tie the story together and finish it up <3
An excerpt from the 1st Chapter (work in progess) is below
'Welcome to Azimus' could barely be read on the badly weathered sign. The dust storms had seen to that. Scary how poorly it had held up to the elements Gil thought with a nervous smirk. But it was humanity's first 'open air outpost' after all, and the planetary probe that discovered Azimus had malfunctioned. It was correct in identifying a breathable atmosphere and that usable water existed in an aquifer three miles under the dusty orange surface. However, it had improperly measured the planet's rotational spin rate leading to an error in wind speed calculations. What had appeared to be light breezes in the data were actually raging dust storms on the planet's surface. Whoops, well I guess that's why I'm here.
Actually when one thought about how quickly warp-drive technology had been developed after Dr. Miguel Alcubierre's design started circulating in the right fields it was a wonder more oversights hadn't occurred. The fact that humans had been surviving thirty-nine light years from earth for seven years was astounding. In all reality the sign was likely a last minute addition, a poorly executed but quaint reminder of life on Earth.
As orange-red dust swirled in small eddies of wind at his feet Gil surveyed his surroundings in the drop-off zone. In fact someone should have been there waiting. Nearby in a large hatched stainless steel container sat the cargo of supplies Gil had hitched a ride out from Earth with; various instruments, food rations, newly improved solar panels, and Gil's own invention the Resobubs. Up in the sky, silhoutted against Azimus' two moons the craft he had rode in was shuttling back to the warp ship. In place of clouds of water vapor there were large dark orange billows of dust carried by wind currents high in the sky. In the end his eyes returned to the scoured surface of the unwelcoming 'welcome' sign.
"Don't worry, the houses aren't quite as bad." Gil jumped in surprise. He was so deep in thought musing on the sign that he had somehow failed to notice his ride arrive. Climbing out of the buggy was a tan and freckled middle-aged woman with salt and pepper hair and a wry grin on her face.
"I hope so.." was all he could manage, then regaining his composure "You must be Dayna, thanks for coming to get me. I'm Gil." When she reached him she tilted her head up and gazed deep into his eyes, shaking his hand with a strength that surprised him.
"Yep, no problem. Welcome to Azimus and thanks for joining us out here.” She quickly released her grip and surveyed the surroundings. “I'll take care of the rest of this.” With that she disattached the small trailer she had been towing full of data samples and specimens and loaded it into the recess where Gil had unloaded the supplies.
“I hope the gravity isn't giving you too much trouble. When we first arrived me 'n Jan were pretty sick for a few days, but most the others had a relatively smooth transition. Well smooth as you can hope with all things considered."
"I'll manage." The truth was the extra gravity (22% to be exact) was already taking a much greater toll on him than he had thought it would. It felt like an invisible net was cast over whole being. Along with the oppressive downward force, a nausea had slowly been building since he had set foot on Asimus. No amount of training modules can get close to the real thing. With adrenaline pumping his limited store of energy he was relieved to be able to collapse into the passenger seat after placing his backpack of personal items in the back of the Solar Rover. Dayna hitched the trailer of supplies to the back of the rover and returned to the driver seat. The cart was in gear and rolling by the time her door clicked closed. No bullshit. I think I'm going to like her.
As they turned and looped onto the rough, dusty path back to the settlement Dayna let out a sigh, "I still can't believe they stuck you on that thing."
"Yeah, I thought it was a joke when they first proposed the plan to me. But I guess here I am."
"Well if your ResoBub works half as good as they say it does you'll be a godsend. You've already seen how destructive the sand and wind can be."
"I'm hoping you're right." The electric vehicle glided silently except for the sound of the tires along the dusty dirt. The hot dense air seemed to push in on Gil's lungs with every breath.
Looking up at the two pale moons in the sky he remembered the dare-he-say prophetic dream he had six years ago. Lucid dreams were nothing new to him, but somehow he could feel it was different. Almost as if he was sharing it with another presence. In his dream he was at his grandparents' ranch in Atascosa Texas, about twenty miles from Austin. It looked how it did in pictures from back in the early thirties when his dad was still a baby, back when they were still growing vast fields of Monsanto corn. But in all those pictures it was day. In the eerie glow of the moonlight the countless rows looked like a menacing army, swaying in the warm night breeze. The rustling husks impatient hands ready for a long forgotten night deity's call to action. Could it be a coincidence that although the terrain had been that of his grandparents farm, the sky had what appeared to be the same two moons that Gil was now staring at? Taking them in he could feel an electric buzz of excitement. He could hardly help wondering about that dream, and what he was really doing lightyears from Earth.
“Home sweet home.” Dayna dryly said as the rover rounded the bottom edge of a large plateau in a sort of horseshoe shape. Within it, nestled like a frail egg in a treetop nest, sat the small settlement they had named Kalakuta. In two columns of seven sat the earthdomes that acted as living units. Next to each of them sat their personal gardens. At the end deepest in the valley sat a large multi-use dome. The small round buildings that had once been painted white were scoured into a splotchy earth-toned camouflage. It looked like a small congregation of militant lady bugs. Getting closer Gil could see the pitiful state of the small gardens that were so crucial to the settlers' survival. Makeshift dust blockers were attached to the small walls that were futily hoping to guard the crops. The tops of potatoes stuck out of the ground of one mound, wilted in the heat and leaning from so many days of heavy wind. Small pyramids of sand crowded at the base of their stalks, attempting to slowly bury the flora in a gritty grave.
Huddled in the shade of the largest camo-dome's awning was a congregation of the other inhabitants waiting to greet him.
“Everyone's been so excited to meet you. The first new flesh and blood person we've seen in five years..”
“Yeah, I can't Imagine what that's like.” Gil tried to sympathize.
“Not yet,” Dayna chuckled “but I figure you're in this for the long haul with the rest of us all the same now.”
I really am, aren't I... The weight of his choice had finally decided to hit. Everything is heavier on Asimus. Before he could marinate in his life choice they eased just past the dome, next to where the camps other rover was parked.
“So we knew you'd be quite exhausted after your travel, but we figured we'd give you a hot meal and introduce ourselves before we get you settled into Eugene's dome. Of course, if you just want to go straight to resting everyone will understand.”
Gil honestly pondered for a second then resolutely decided if they had been kind enough to cook him a meal with their limited resources that he might as well put his best foot forward. After all, it's not like he was going to get a chance to make another good first impression for a long time, possibly ever.
“I'd love a warm meal, but I'm not sure how great of company I'll be. Umph.” an involuntary grunt escaped as he first stepped foot again under the increased gravity. He focused what little energy he had left and started towards the small group waiting as patiently as they could twenty yards away. Encumbered, but determined he trodded towards his welcoming.