The Titan Mission (tw for death in space, also written by our space movie team, LONG)
Posted May 18th, 2022 by ElizieAngelina
May 25th, 2022
I jolt awake via the ring of my alarm clock. What time is it? 8 am? 7? I look over. The bold lettering reads-
Okay, that's weird. I've almost never woken up at 5:30 am directly-and for me, Rose Scoccimaro, that's a record. Wait-it hits me. I'm going to be exploring Titan today-so far away from Earth. The planet I know. I slowly get up and draw open my curtains. It's like I can faintly see the sun-no. It's still almost completely dark out. I groan. This feels like a movie. Well, since I'm awake, I can't go back to sleep. I open my huge closet in the wall. Where's my spacesuit? I dig underneath layers and layers of hung clothing.
And then finally, I see it. In the fading moonlight, it kind of shines. There's my name-"CM. Rose Scoccimaro." Lightly, I smile. But the real problem is going to have to be actually taking the outfit out. I groan longer, and with a trembling hand, reach for the hanger. I clasp it, and it already feels heavy in my palm. I suck a big breath in and out, and then with all my might, lift the hanger off. I fall to the ground with the suit. Like a baby, I crawl on the floor, trying to put my suit on the bed. But my arms are weak.
I sit there, trying to give my arms a rest. But not my legs. Shakily, I stand up, trying to feel around me. My desk. My laptop. I fall back onto my bed, still knowing that I won't have that sort of comfort once I've hit Titan's surface. Finally, my arms are good enough. I put my back and legs into this-I grasp my suit firmly with both hands, and with a roar, throw the suit onto my bed. Task one done. I smile again, throw off my nightgown, and fold it up. I'll need to wash it once I get back to Earth. It smells, even.
Now I need to look through my closet again for clothes. I'll need them today. I put on my robe very quickly, and tear through my closet. My first article of clothing-my white polo. I put that on my bed as well. I'm feeling overalls today, so I look again. Wait-I don't have any overalls because they're all in the wash. But the second closest thing? Something just simply over my clothes. I find my red, yellow, and blue tank top. Perfect. I look at the cream-colored undershirt under it, and quickly undo the wrinkles.
Best thing to go with this type of outfit? Short jean shorts! I look through my drawers, and find them. I lift the shorts up and put them on my bed. Now, the ending-socks and shoes. Now that's a bit tricky. I'm remembering. Wait, the rose-gold shoes with black schemes! Perfect! And my black socks! I fold them all up and put them in my purse. They'll come in handy later. But what do I wear for now? I guess my tank top and shorts. I quickly put those on. I look at my clock-6:46. I need to get up. Like, really.
I leave my bedroom and go down the hall to my bathroom. I look in the mirror. My light-brown hair is messy, and despite it being short, it kind of...flecks out at the tips. Okay, that's cute. But I'm brushing down the rest. I grab my comb and begin to brush. After five minutes, it looks good, so I walk back to my bedroom. I pick up my purse, and with sleepy hands, grab my hanger. This time, the space suit doesn't feel as heavy. I walk into my living room, and go to my closet. I take a little sweater and decide that's good.
I look at the sky. Dawn is scraping, so that means I need to get into my car and eating breakfast. As fast as I can, I dash to my car, the suit dragging behind me. I get into the back seat, and take the hook. I lift the hanger and place it on, also placing my purse there. I close the back and hurry to the front. I get the car started up in record time, and like one of those yakuza movies, I zoom from zero to hero. The headquarters isn't too far away. But there's a McDonalds' on the way. I'll just get that beforehand.
I go into the McDonald's line. In fact, it isn't a line. I'm the only one there. I hear the woman. "Hello, welcome to McDonald's, how may I take your order?" I reply, "Yeah, I'll take one iced coffee, and one of those medium breakfast burgers. You know, the one with the bacon and cheese?" I hear silence-I'll take it as she's entering. "All right, one iced coffee and what you mentioned?" I reply, "Yes, ma'm." She replies, "Good. Your order will be at the window. You may proceed." I drive forward my car to the window.
After a few minutes, the window opens. "All right ma'm, here's your order. Thanks for stopping here-and I need your credit card." I give her my credit card and she punches in a few numbers. Later, I'm driving to the headquarters after having eaten my McDonalds. I check the time. 6:59 am. Oh JESUS, I'm probably late. I park as fast as I can, get my things, and rush for the station. Most of it is glass-and there I can see the rocket. I'm kind of in a haze-this is my first time going very far from Earth. Especially with Eliza.
And at that moment, Eliza's there.
"Hiiii!" she says. "You excited?" I nod politely. "Yep. Kind of scared, though." Eliza's usually happy face becomes kind of sad. "Don't be! We're going to come back, I promise." I nod and give her a tiny hug. Eliza's always been my go-to-girl. All of a sudden, America walks in. She says, "So, you two, ready to start the mission? But Rose clearly isn't." I sigh. "Give me a break, 'Meri. I'll just go put my suit on in the bathroom, 'mkay?" I stand up and walk into the girl's bathroom, my spacesuit trailing behind me.
I hang my suit over another hook, and slowly take it off. I then get into the suit-which proves to be harder than I originally thought it out to be. I'm actually struggling. And then I hear America. "We don't got much time," she says. "Hurry! Eliza's waiting." I reply frantically, "Coming!" I take the hook with me, and I'm just slouching over. I leave the stall and then the bathroom. "Hey, Rose," America says. "You've got your helmet, right?" My face falls. When America sees my expression, she says, "It's fine. We always have a spare."
America looks though drawers, and pulls out a helmet. "See?" I take the helmet, but don't put it on yet. Eliza is standing near me, smiling. "I've got your purse!" America then looks at the purse. "You can take it, but if you're carrying anything you really need in there, take the purse with you." I nod and throw the purse over my shoulder. Out of the corner of my eye, Lisa comes in. "Hey, you two!" she says. My eyes widen, and Eliza's do too. "Lisa?" she asks. "I didn't think you'd come?" Lisa lightly laughs.
"Yeah, I'm a new assistant general," she says. "No more just being a crewmember." I'm impressed. "This is a major role." At that moment, America says, "All right, pilots Eliza and Rose. You will be coming with me. Lisa, you stay here." Lisa nods, and her short hair bounces. Eliza's jumping, and her curls are bouncing. "Don't jump too much," I warn. "You might look a little silly." I giggle a bit. Eliza joins in. America begins to walk towards a door that leads outside-and possibly even to the rocket. Wait, that's it.
We begin to walk on a platform to the rocket. America, despite wearing a spacesuit as well to prove her rank as General, moves faster than we do. After lots of walking, we finally reach the rocket. We're now high up from the ground. "Remember-you still have gravity here," America says. "Be very careful and get to your shuttle safely." I nod. The shuttles on this rocket are the main pod, the Infirmary, and the Supply Area. But the rooms you get to sleep in are actually on the rocket itself. Interesting.
It doesn't take long to get to our shuttle before long. America has to help us get on the seats, however. The shuttle's pointing up. She then walks back out. "I feel kind of weird," Eliza says, sitting in the chair next to me. "It's okay," I reply. "Don't focus on it too much and it'll help." Eliza smiles at me. "Thanks, Rose." I say, "No problem." Later, America's voice echoes on the mic attached to my spacesuit. "America on the mic," she says. "Can ya hear me?" I say confidently, "Yes, America. Eliza and I are fine and are ready to hear instructions."
After seconds of silence, I hear, "Okay. Eliza and Rose, welcome to shuttle A. There are two rooms connected to this shuttle-your Infirmary and Supply Area. Connected to your seats are bags that you may place your inventory in now. Do not use anything from this shuttle until instructed to do so, if necessary, or if you have the ability to. You may notice you have arm and leg strap buckles on your chair. Put those on now. In a few minutes, the rocket will launch, and when we are close to Titan, your shuttle will launch."
I begin to hook up the arm and leg strap buckles, and Eliza follows. America goes on, "When you are about to leave your shuttle, please put on your helmet at all times." I look at Eliza. Her helmet is in her hands. I say, "Yes, America. I've followed those examples." America replies, "Good. We have things in the Supply Room that will sustain you for 3 days at most. In the Infirmary we have planted beds that you can use and things like stitches and bandages connected in the drawer attatched to the wall."
I reply, "Yes."
America finally says, "Perfect! Now, in a few more minutes, the rocket will be set for launch." And indeed later, America finally says, "We are about to set this rocket for launch. It has been set on auto mode, meaning that it is an automatic mission to Titan. Your shuttle has also been upgraded to fit said details." Eliza and I say, "Yes, America." I hear a few noises and then hear Lisa say, "Can you hear me?" We reply again, "Yes!" Lisa cheers, "Good! Aw, that's good. Now, I'm gonna pass it back to America, m'kay?"
The mic is then passed back to America. "Good, now time for liftoff. Preperations have already been made, and I'm going to kind of count down to lower the anxiety, you know, if you have any." I totally have anxiety aobut this mission. I can already feel McDonalds churning in my stomach. Eliza looks excited-and somehow scared at the same time.
I bite my lip.
Eliza looks at me one last time.
We both close our eyes.
I say, "Bye, Earth."
I hear the jet engines roaring angrily. I barely hear Eliza yell, "Oh boy, oh boy, this is it...!" The rocket ascends-and I start screaming quietly. Eliza opens her eyes, looking at me. It's like a roller coaster.
I close my eyes for what feels like the longest time ever.
I'm tired, but somehow something feels different.
"Rose! Check this out!"
I open my eyes. Eliza's got her arms and legs spread out like a frog, and is bouncing around the shuttles leading to the main shuttle and the infirmary up and down. "Woah," I say. "Nice!" Eliza giggles. Then she reaches for the mic on her space suit. "How long til Titan?" In a glitching voice, America says, "Normally, the trip to Titan would last 7 years. But this is one of the fastest rockets tested to makind-and your shuttle is surely going to make it." I sigh happily. I really don't want to be 37 by the time we're reaching Titan!
After another hour or so, I hear a glitched call from America, "Your shuttle can withstand space now. You are clear for liftoff and will be reaching Titan sometime soon. The rocket will be waiting for your rescue." At that moment, the shuttle sets free and goes forward. Now we're able to sit up normally. "I'll go explore the rooms," Eliza says. "Wait here, Rose." On bouncing feet, she goes into the Supply Area. The rocket seems further off into the distance, and the lights on the shuttle also flicker.
After 5 minutes, we're reaching Titan. "Eliza, come here," I say. "What is it, Rose?" she asks happily. I point to the secure glass off the ship. Eliza nods in understanding. The planet looks dusty, in fact-but I can see the buttons on the control panel quickly rising. Space is cold, but this is a bit warmer than what meets the eye. I hear America's voice-glitched again, saying, "Girls, when either one of you leaves the pod, put on your helmets at all costs. When you're recieving alerts of them coming back, put it on again."
I say, "Uh-huh!" into the mic. "Brace for impact!" Eliza's already in her seat, so she's ready. I am too. The shuttle falls to Titan's surface at an alarming rate-quick, quick, quick. We put our hands over our heads, and then the shuttle lands. It isn't too forceful. "Whoo!" Eliza exclaims. "Okay, I think you're ready." She's right. I have to go on Titan, but since Eliza's younger she has to stay in the shuttle. We put on our helmets. "Ready?" Eliza asks. "Ready as I'll ever be," I reply. We nod at each other, and I walk to the exit.
With the push of a button, the door opens.
I'm sucked onto Titan's surface. I see Eliza slowly waving goodbye to me as I walk away.
I know this mission will succeed.
The hatch flashes closed again. I sigh slowly, crossing my fingers from within the suit. Just when I think I've lost Rose's comfort, I hear on my mic, "Eliza! If you can hear me, say, 'Hey!' Do it!" I suck in a breath. "Hey!" Rose sounds ecstatic. "Oh, good! Now, where do you want me to go?" I slowly say, "Anywhere you want. Just don't go too far from the shuttle, okay?" Rose says again, "All right." The mic then shuts off and I hurry into the supply room. I open the cabinets to find piles of food no longer floating.
Jam-the whole can.
Bacon kept warm-5 slices.
I decide I'll eat the spinach for now. But where do I wet it? Of course-I wet it with that machine over there. The machine produces water. I open a tiny slit in the packet and put the spinach into the machine. Before any of the food falls out, I close the cabinets. I then turn the machine on, and it whirrs to life. After a few minutes, the spinach is ready and done. I begin feasting on the wet spinach, hoping not to accidentally have goofed up and wound up with salmonella. I don't know where to throw the packet away, though.
I hear Rose again. "Eliza, you okay in there?" I reply, "Yeah, Rose. How's Titan?" She replies, shakily, "It's actually...kind of hot. I don't know how they say it's 'icy' when we're actually there." I nod and say, "Should I report this to Captain America?" After a few seconds, Rose responds, "Yeah, but be careful. I don't know if we've completely lost signal." The mic shuts off, and I redirect to America Gallegos-it doesn't really help that my last name is Martinez. I report quickly, "America, Titan is actually very hot."
"Come on, answer!"
After a few seconds, I hear Lisa talking. "Oh, hey, Eliza," she says. "America's not here right now. She left her mic right here, but even still, I'll tell her, okay?" I respond, "All right." The mic then shuts off with a click. I redirect to Rose Scoccimaro again. "Hey, Rose," I say. "I just told Lisa." Rose questions, "Why not America?" I sigh, "Oh, America wasn't there, but Lisa was. She's going to talk to America." Rose replies, "Good. I just wanted to spread the word. Thanks, Eliza. And by the way, want to know how it is right now?"
I say excitedly, "Are you kidding? Of course!" Rose giggles. "All right, but this time, don't tell America. I'll just come out clean to her." I nod in acceptance. Rose says, "I see just probably dust and sand. It feels kind of cold-but it also feels kind of hot. And also, you can eat if you want." I am still a bit hungry. "Sure," I say. "I'll keep that in my notepad." I walk to my notepad and reach for the pen and paper. I begin to write what Rose has described-and maybe grab a little bite. Hm. Maybe bacon will satisfy me.
I walk back to the supply room and grab a strip of bacon. Then I eat it. Yum. But I need to focus on my work. I see the buttons at the front-CAPTURE VIEW? Does that mean I can record what I see on this planet? Nice! I then see a shelf. I reach for a handle, and the shelf pops open. What's that? It's the control manual for this pod! I look at the buttons category. "CAPTURE VIEW means that you can take a recording of what you see. Press CAPTURE VIEW again to stop recording. You will recieve the clip shortly."
I hear the engines whirring. I don't want to leave Rose behind! No! No! Fortunately, that's not what's happening. Instead, a little capsule comes into the ship. I refer to the manual again. "Once you recieve the clip, press it into the other capsule it didn't come into. You'll see a recording of it on the walls of the shuttle." I push the capsule in and it begins to record what we saw outside. Perfect. I decide to put the recording into another empty pocket connected to my chair. "I took a recording from outside," I say to Rose.
"Awesome!" she cheers. "Do you have any sound recordings?" I look around the shuttle. Nothing. "Nothing's there." Rose sighs. "Well, I'm just slowly going back to the ship, okay?" I reply, "Yeah." After a few seconds, she says, "I think I found something!" I reply, "What's the matter? Is it...rocks?" She says, "I think so. I think that's all the proof we need." I say, "Good." The mic shuts off again. I'm honestly bored now. Slowly, I get out of my capsule, revealing my shorts and shirt. I leave my space suit on the ground.
I begin to reach for my pink boots, and white socks. I tie them up. Perfect. I then get into my tan skirt and my white collared shirt. Now I'm in my regular attire!...unfortunately, my spacesuit's actually going to feel worse. That sucks. But since it's on, it won't come off. I put on my spacesuit again. Good, but I'm already beginning to sweat. I hear my mic. "Eliza, I'm going back to the shuttle. Put your helmet on." I slowly put my helmet on, and then I hear Rose softly gasp. "Rose, what's wrong?" I ask.
"I think I see something," Rose says. "What is it?" I calmly (but not so calmly) ask. "It looks like extraterrestrial life," she says. "Maybe an alien?" When I hear the word "alien," my heart starts racing, partly out of excitement, and partly out of a scared mood. "Alien?" I ask. "Yep," Rose says. "I don't think we should try to get around it..." I stay silent in agreement. "I should come back to the shuttle, right?" I say, "Yeah, come back." The mic goes off, and then I see Rose from my obscured vision out the window.
I hear the mic again. "Push the button!"
I press the button, and Rose flies in. "Whoo!" she says. "That's kind of...ehh." I say quickly, "How was it, Rose?" She heaves, "It was good. I'm going to change into my regular clothes, okay?" I nod and close the door. We take off our helmets and Rose goes to the infirmary to change-the only place she can change without anyone looking. After a few minutes, she's wearing a white polo, a red, yellow, and blue tank top with a cream-colored undershort, blue jean shorts, black socks, and rose gold Nikes with black color schemes.
"You look awesome!" I say. Rose nods happily. I'm wearing my white collar polo, my tan skirt, my white socks and pink boots. "And also..." Rose says as she picks up some rocks from Titan's surface and puts on her gloves-"I found these rocks. I need you to examine them." I take my black gloves. "Okay, Rose. I'll take these to the scanner." I begin to walk to the scanner, but notice that my black gloves are kind of...melting. It also feels kind of hot. "Hot, hot, hot!" I exclaim. This time, I sprint to the scanner.
I throw the rocks into the scanner and the glass film closes over it. After the 30-second scan, the sign reads-"DANGER! THIS OBJECT HAS UNSAFE CONTENTS. THEY MOST LIKELY HAVE A DEADLY VIRUS AND CAN KILL WITHIN 24 HOURS IF LEFT UNTREATED." My eyes widen. What's gonna happen to Rose? I sprint to her as fast as I can, leaving the rocks behind. I'm so worried. "Rose!" I exclaim. "The rocks I tested...they have a deadly virus that can kill within 24 hours if untreated. You're lucky you touched them."
Rose looks worried. "Oh no!" I ask, "Can I see your hands?" Rose says, "Sure!" and unfolds her hands. They look bumpy-and maybe a little infected. "Oh," I say, visibly shocked. "That's...not good. You need to go to the infirmary. Now. I don't think we have any shots that match your quota, but I think we can make it back to Earth in time to treat your hand." Rose nods. "Yes, Eliza. I'll go the infirmary immediately." Rose rushes to the infirmary, and that's when I start feeling sick. Maybe worried, maybe...
What am I thinking?
I hurry to the infirmary and lay on a bed. I look at my hand, and it's swelling even more. I feel kind of...sad. "Am I really gonna die in 24 hours?" I ask sadly. On my wrist is a bracelet-one I really like. I sigh. At that moment, the shuttle kind of...jolts. "What's that?" I ask. Eliza stares at me from a while away. "Did you hear that?" she asks. "Yeah, I did," I say. "What is it?" Eliza thinks. "I don't know, maybe just getting windy. We should camp out here...ohh. We can't camp out here because we need to treat you."
I look at my hand again.
And that's when the shuttle starts shaking.
"Oh my god, I think it's an earthquake!" Eliza yells. I slowly get up from the cot, not looking to injure myself more than I already am. Eliza runs to the microphone attached to her spacesuit. "Lisa! Lisa!" she screams. Finally, I hear Lisa's crackled voice. "Eliza! Are you okay? Where's Rose?" Eliza says, "I'm fine, but we've got an earthquake on Titan! Tell Captain America to send positive reinforcements right now!" Lisa says, "Okay! I'll send 'em!" I faintly hear, "Captain America, we need to send positive reinforcements for Eliza and Rose's shuttle!" Eliza begins taking off her pink boots-and putting on some black ones. "Eliza? What are you doing?" Eliza just looks at me, scared.
I hear clicking.
And then I hear-"Okay, Eliza. We can't send positive reinforcements but we can try to retrieve your shuttle and get it back to the rocket. However you'll have to leave Titan's surface before you can do that." Eliza says, "Okay!" She looks at me. "Got a plan?" she asks. "I think I can still type with my non-injured hand," I say. "Maybe we can do this." I get up and run for the control panel. I begin to type in. Beep. Boop. "Hurry, Rose!" she yells. I go faster. Pushing beyond my limits. And then I hear the ship kind of rattling.
Our spacesuits are in the corner.
I close my eyes.
And the ship takes off. "YAY!" I yell, looking at Eliza. "Now, let's go home," I say. "Yeah," Eliza says, a smile plastered across her face. We're now in orbit, and it somehow feels good. I give her a tight hug-we've made it. The rocket may be far from sight but it's all right. I faintly hear, "Rose and Eliza, since you are in space, we will attempt to take control of your shuttle as soon as we can." As we're flying, I see something in the distance. "What's that?" Eliza asks in an airheaded way. I look closer.
It's an asteroid!
I spring up from my seat and scream into my mic, "TAKE CONTROL NOW!" America says, "We can't see you yet." I yell, "TRY TO FIND US!" The mic turns off and I'm on the verge of screaming. "Is it okay, Rose" Eliza asks. "No, it's not!" I yell. I see the shocked look on Eliza's face and say, "Sorry. But there's an asteroid." Her normally goofy shocked face turns into a genuinely shocked face. "W-what did you say?" We look at the asteroid. "WE CAN'T EVADE IT!" We both begin to scream. Oh no.
And then the asteroid strikes.
Eliza's knocked unconcious, and with a little yelp her neck falls limp. I speak into the mic, "Cancel, cancel, cancel! An asteroid has just struck the ship! This is a suicide mission, there's no way for us to return to the rocket!" I don't think or speak. All of a sudden, the hatch flies open. I start screaming, but my breath is taken away. There are no words. Instantly, everything starts being torn apart, the doors, the windows, all the things attached. The chairs fly out, and Eliza with it. She flies off into the distance.
Everything fades away.
It's the end.
From far away, I can hear the shuttle cracking. Shaking.
And then it explodes.
"You okay?" I ask. No response. "Hello? Eliza? Rose?" I ask. I see Lisa's face growing ever pale. My face begins to grow pale. I also hear a beeping. Plastered across my data screen reads, "SHUTTLE A LOST. SIGNAL LOST." And what did Rose say? "Suicide mission?" Oh no. The launch failed. They're gone. I begin to say, "No, no." This can't be the end, right? Light tears stream from Lisa's eyes, confirming the worst. Shakily, I reach for a phone connecting to the one of the people who planned for this trip to happen.
"Cancel, cancel, cancel. Eliza and Rose are dead, and the signal to Shuttle A is lost. It is also likely destroyed.
"Goodbye, sir, this is Captain America Gallegos signing out."
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