The crew watched in silence as the Dusty Desert – a transport ship used to fly cargo from one location to another on the Moon’s surface – broke away from the Odyssey, rotated a hundred and sixty degrees until it’s noise was pointed at the edge of an earth that was just starting to glow in the early morning light, and fired its main thrusters.
From the bridge of the Dusty Desert the crew of the Odyssey could hear Captain Morris bark orders at his crew in his deep, raspy voice, as the sound of the radar pinged through the speakers.
“Small, intermittent contacts, sir.” A young voice could be heard saying, with an edge of barely controlled fear lurking in between every word and deep breath.
“Port, five degree,” the voice of the captain said, unwavering.
“Getting larger contacts, captain,” the voice of the radar operator said as the pings of the radar grew louder, and pinged closer together.
“Where?” The captain said, annoyed that the crewmen hadn’t told him.
“Uh, starboard, ten degrees, sir”
“Increase thrusters up to seventy percent full thrust, helm, steady as she goes.”
“Aye, captain,” the helm answered.
The crew of the Odyssey sat quietly, listening to the continued radar pings thundering through the speakers. Every once in a while a member of the crew would look out the starboard window of the Odyssey, where the Dusty Desert had receded from view and was just another dimming point of light.
“Descending into low earth orbit, captain.” The helm’s men announced
“Contacts holding steady.”
“Tak us down.”
As the captain of the Odyssey sat in her chair and looked out at the faces of her crew members, she shouldn’t help but wonder if her facial expressions looked just as worried as theirs did? Hawthorne sat there, biting his upper lip, causing it to bleed. Smyth just looked forward, not blinking, while next to Smyth, a young cadet named Willey vigilly looked out the starboard window while tapping the arm of his chair.
“Contacts increasing,” the radar operator announced again, as the Dusty Desert was pulled in by the earth’s gravity, the earths crescent shape began to swell.
The captain of the Odyssey took one look out the window when she heard the radar pings pinging closer together and then back to the concerned faces of her crew. Just as she was to give the command to turn the ship around to head back towards their Mare Imbrium lunar base, she saw a large flash in the starboard window, while at the same time the radio signal went dead.
“Jesus,” one of the crew members mumbled under their breath.
“Helm,” the captain said as she looked out the window towards the explosion that was had now faded to a distant cloud of expanding debris, “take us home.”
This is part of a larger story that I am hoping to get started soon writing and compiling ideas. The name Kesslers Syndrome comes from a NASA scientist who hypothesized that low earth orbit could someday become so crowded with debris that travel into space could become impossible. This got me to thinking about how this idea, while playing a small part of a bigger plot of a story, could have dramatic effects on the fate of the world. We’ll see how things go. Like I said, I have some ideas of plot and history, but nothing in the form of a full working story or characters.