PROLOGUE The Martian Discovery
PART I THE MARTIAN DISCOVERY
CHAPTER 1 The Antarctica Encounter
CHAPTER 2 The Attack
CHAPTER 3 The Crash Site
CHAPTER 4 The Haunted Hill
CHAPTER 5 The First Death
CHAPTER 6 Anders
CHAPTER 7 The Rescue
CHAPTER 8 The Lost Library
CHAPTER 9 The Lost Treasure
CHAPTER 10 The Investigation
CHAPTER 11 The Deaths
CHAPTER 12 The Satellite
CHAPTER 13 The New Mission
CHAPTER 14 The South Pole
CHAPTER 15 The Treasure Hunt
CHAPTER 16 The Missing Shuttle
CHAPTER 17 The Second Occurrence
CHAPTER 18 The Second Hill
CHAPTER 19 The Light in the Night
CHAPTER 20 The Alien Sphere
CHAPTER 21 The Scientists
CHAPTER 22 The Cavity
CHAPTER 23 The Awakening
CHAPTER 24 The Artifact
CHAPTER 25 The Strange Black Object
CHAPTER 26 The Gateway
PROLOGUE The Voyager
PART I ICE STATION X1
CHAPTER 1 The Alien Encounter
CHAPTER 2 The Secret Military Operation
CHAPTER 3 The Gun Battle
CHAPTER 4 The Secret Ice Station
CHAPTER 5 The Extraordinary Encounter
CHAPTER 6 The Hauntings
CHAPTER 7 The Scientists
CHAPTER 8 The Hidden Structure
CHAPTER 9 The Second Encounter
CHAPTER 10 The Russian Scientists
CHAPTER 11 The Secret Military Chamber
CHAPTER 12 The Visitation
CHAPTER 13 The Renegades
CHAPTER 14 The Blizzard
CHAPTER 15 The Secret Base
CHAPTER 16 The Alien Voyager
CHAPTER 17 The Investigation
CHAPTER 18 The Helicopters
CHAPTER 19 The Russian Ice Station
CHAPTER 20 The Battle
CHAPTER 21 The Search
CHAPTER 22 The Conclusion
CHAPTER 23 The Alien Sphere
CHAPTER 24 The Final Solution
CHAPTER 25 The Voyager from Beyond Reality
The Martian Discovery
Loud explosions and blinding flashes from the crash haunted Anders as he watched the remains of his rocket vehicle burn out and vanish into the dark desolate Martian night.
The vehicle had come down to the surface of Mars too fast and the two astronauts had hardly been able to land manually in the darkness, and they had just escaped as the vehicle had started exploding, and sat at different places against piles of rocks, watching its fuel burn away furiously, and he wondered how long their oxygen would last.
He felt painful bruises covering his entire body and checked his oxygen supply again, and checked for any escaping air in his spacesuit, while watching Robertson, the scientist, repair a hole in his with a small repair kit from his suit.
He realized that they had to find another way of landing on Mars, and that it was far too dangerous! Although it had been their fault in carrying out the unscheduled ludicrous landing, in search of wealth! They had gambled and had lost!
Robertson claimed incredible diamonds of immense value were on the surface, in the unexplored region of the south pole, and they had made a great mistake in landing in the dark, as it had been their only real opportunity to carry it out without being caught, and they would not know of them being out there as they had not used any communications to the space stations and Martian ground bases, and there were no satellites overhead!
Mars was not like what he had imagined it and it now felt like he was on a world in another solar system buried away in the deep depths of the universe as he stared out into the depths of space, in the dark night sky, and at what seemed to look like the furthest stars of the universe, and he watched them wondering what horrors existed there, realizing what they had encountered there, which had also made them crash!
There were billion of light years of stars out there and he gasped just thinking what could be on the nearest stars, and they had just had an encounter on Earth’s nearest world.
The world about him seemed a flat stretch of ground full of nothing but space dust and piles of rocks, with no real atmosphere, resembling areas on Earth’s moon in the dark, and some large asteroids had clearly hit areas nearby.
He wondered if their crash remained undetected and unregistered by them if their skeletons would be found lying there by future astronauts, and he considered if such an occurrence could really happen, over a long time, and if he could end up in a museum back on the Earth, or if his ghost would be trapped there forever on the desolate lonely planet!
The last burning region of the rocket was a sphere of light floating like a ghost in the darkness, and he realized that something had been there, right there on Mars, and he had telepathically felt its presence!
A silent roar vibrated through the ground and he expected a sudden explosion, and he thought of it as a tremor from some fault line, and a blur of light swirled in the blackness from an area of the space vehicle and he realized it was the last of the fuel dwindling away.
Memories of its strange sounds and lights sent sensations through his body and he realized how close to death he had been!
The world seemed unique but there were trillions like it through the unexplored galaxy.
He recollected a full vision of what could have attacked them and he felt his blood explode through his veins, and he realized how little oxygen he had as he was starting to feel like fainting!
A dull yellow and red radiance gleamed from the remains of the rocket and illuminated his shadow casting a crimson shadow like a hideous devilish figure, with peculiar features, and he thought of it as what had attacked the vehicle.
He glared unmoving at the silhouette in shock, studying it, almost hoping it would come alive and answer what it was.
The blackness was so deep and vivid as the light and flames vanished completely, and the thing there felt so real, and alive, he felt deep horror – and he thought of it as they had first discovered it up in space – and he was surprised that he started to see something in the blackness, and he realized that he just wanted to die, and its glowing shape floated towards him, and he watched Robertson react to it.
For an instant it altered formation and he wondered what the hell it was! Where the hell had it come from? What was it doing there in such a desolate place?
It lunged over Robertson first, like the grim reaper, taking his soul, and he watched him go lifeless, fall over, and collapse, and it moved to him, with its black shadow shape shifting over the ground, and he felt its vibrations go through the rock, and he sensed its powers, and he clung to jagged black rocks and its swirling mist shifted over him, and shifting outlines magically formed about him, and he realized how painful death would be from slow oxygen starvation, and he welcomed death, and as he did he realized it was Christmas and that the star he was gazing at was really the Earth.
THE MARTIAN DISCOVERY
The Antarctica Encounter
Something startled Commander Cronenberg and he struggled to grasp what and focused on the deformed sun, as it went below the Martian horizon at the side of the shuttle, and he gasped as he watched the golden landscape below grow dark!
They had to land! Soon! Surely they should not take the risk continuing to fly to their destination at night! The shuttles were new and recently completed and they were trying it out for the first time, and testing it for the first time over Mars!
Something staggered him about the mission and he sensed something was going to occur, and had seen it approaching, edging its way towards him, which he knew he could not avoid! He had to go through with it! He believed he could survive if he did everything he could and avoided any deadly mistakes!
It was Mars! It was the new dangers there! It was exploring where nobody had been, and the great deadly environment and hidden dangers! The region they were in was the least explored!
They were approaching the south pole, the legendary Martian Antarctica, and he now sensed there was something strange there! Something he had not encountered before! Something that could only exist in such a place, in such a place, and in the depths of space, which might not be able exist on the Earth, and it gave him chilling and peculiar sensations, but he could not grasp what!
As the shuttle accelerated on he increasingly felt a presence of something, somewhere, in the chilling darkness of the alien world around them, and it started to become visible that the five other members of the crew of the shuttle.
At a distance the shuttle resembled a highly advanced early twenty-first century space shuttle, but far larger, and was designed for the exploration of worlds, especially Mars, and future explorations in the solar system.
Most of the crew, including him, were also scientists and explorers, wanting to see the universe and discover new things, and were testing and improving the space vehicle, like the other twenty space shuttles being tested on Mars, and were from Base One, the largest structure in space and on Mars and the headquarters of all the operations, bases, and space stations on or over Mars.
The commander of the base and Martian operations was Base Commander Clarke, an associate of Commander Carl Cronenberg.
All the information from the shuttles was being gathered and transmitted to the base, and studied mainly by the shuttle builders and scientists.
The other five members of the shuttle crew were Orwell the shuttle science officer, medic, and biologist/exobiologist, Stanley the shuttle pilot, and an expert shuttle pilot and navigator, and Lyndon the co-pilot, navigator, expert on most of the Martian world, landscape and locations, and expert on shuttles, like most of them, and Deputy Commander Tom Campbell head flight engineer, and an astrophysicist/planetary geologist, and Rosenberg a flight engineer, and an astrophysicist/planetary geologist, and all basically checking the performance of the shuttle and findings the new detection equipment aboard gathered, especially in the unexplored regions they were entering.
Cronenberg knew that they were finally properly exploring Mars, and they were properly filming and mapping the landscape, and entering regions never properly explored.
He had recollections of seeing the shuttle for the first time, and its abilities, and ability to fly in the almost empty Martian atmosphere, and he knew they were a breakthrough that could lead to immense discoveries and the proper exploration of the smaller but vast world.
Their explorations of the whole world had been little so far – with only probes and satellite explorations – and he grasped the chance to be a part of it, but the dangers had not been apparent until he had started their mission.
After hours of intense training, medical examinations, and every form of screening, the astronauts were finally carrying out the first mission, and future missions.
“This technology is a scientific breakthrough!” Orwell announced to Cronenberg, as he sat monitoring newly installed equipment, over at his side, which was to survey the ground, and had a clear image even in the darkened landscape.
“It’d be a mistake not to use it to its full potential for science!” he replied.
“They’ve been redoing scanning and carrying out tests for months, back on the Earth, and seem to have progressed the technology far further than we thought. The views and information received is far greater …”
Cronenberg wondered if it was good enough to detect what was there, and realized whatever it was he had sensed there might be reacting to it and he considered having it turned off.
He was starting to suspect that some of them had discovered signs of something of unknown origins somewhere, and were either not sure and leaving it until they had enough evidence or they did not want to confront what was there, and, of course, it could be both.
Finally Rosenberg muttered to him, “There’s some form of powerful magnetic influence – or something of that nature – around here somewhere!”
Cronenberg swiftly checked it to see what it was and moved away, and considered what it was, and if it belonged to Mars.
From a side window he watched shades of light play with his vision in animated motions, as the shuttle rushed on, and he watched the crew at work, constantly examining the new technology, getting use to using it.
The Antarctic had a great potential with the ice and its other features and he wondered if any of it had been there for millions of years like the Antarctic on the Earth! If Mars had seas or large lakes there could have been amphibious or even prehistoric creatures that could be buried frozen away there!
For a few seconds he watched blankly as crew members gave reactions about something unbelievable, and he reacted when he spotted the equipment showing strange reactions that he could not comprehend, and he considered if it was because things were too vague, with insignificant reactions, which could be off anything, but he was sure something nearby was creating a disturbance or being detected for some reason.
The problem was they had not fully checked everything with the equipment, and its reactions to everything, even though it had been tested back on the Earth, and they were sure that something was ahead! The equipment was more powerful and sensitive at detection than ever before, and had even been modified before the trip, for detection at distances, which they had to work at there, which would speed up future searches of the vast terrain.
The shuttle rushed on across the immense desolate landscape and the equipment gave increased strange reactions and accounts, and they checked for equipment problems, and they gradually perceived that there was definitely something ahead that had similarities to something artificial with immense proportions
Cronenberg never got who was the most baffled by the situation, and if they were in danger, and how they should proceed to deal with what they had! No danger to them had arisen and nothing showed they would crash but they sensed something!
They had gradually realized something was emerging, with them studying the slightest reactions created by it, while still trying to prove the new equipment had nothing wrong with it.
Nothing seemed to be visible ahead and where the disturbances had been found to be generated.
Was it a coincidence that the equipment was malfunctioning at the same time? He knew there could easily be still hidden flaws in the technology! It was valuable and might still need to be advanced further, in its new state!
He checked Deputy Commander Campbell’s map, which he claimed was the most accurate up-to-date map available, and Rosenberg helped, but they found little ahead, and the facts showed little existed there, and the region had not been explored by anything other than satellites.
Their records showed nothing had been recorded of such a disturbance, even though he was sure there had been mentioned past events discovered on the Earth, but they were too vague and too proven to be false for him to be believe.
It was then that he realized that all the communications from and to the outside world had gone and the pilots reported it to him when he asked, and he expected them to offer help or at the least their scientific theories, and they just looked confused.
They just left pilots on their own to handle all the problems themselves, with the shuttle’s flight! They were better off without them being in the way.
It was incomprehensible and crazy, and would surely be recorded as such a discovery! Investigations proved that nothing could be there!
Would they even survive to see what was there? The equipment and plane had increasing signs of being dangerous, at an alarming rate, as they advanced forwards, and they surely would have to land, and their constant attempts to turn back had failed.
Something was either wrong with the shuttle equipment or something was taking them forward, and its power was increasing as they went forward, and the pilots seemed to lose more and more control, and he kept on believing it was the new equipment, and even considered if they had deliberately invented the situation to test their ability in handling such a scenario and were also trying to test the shuttle, or someone needed the information.
Shudders and fluctuations ripped through the plane and him and the others as what seemed like strange unknown energy surges swept through the region, threatening to rip it to shreds and scatter it and them across Mars, and he imagined his remains being recovered days later half buried away in sand.
The rest of the crew also started to realize it and that they might not even see what was there, but he decided to insist in ignoring it! He gasped when he realized that they should have turned back as soon as there had been evidence something was occurring, and even because it was getting dark! Surely there was a way to change the course of the shuttle, and the new shuttle and equipment had only confused them! Perhaps it was a built in programming that had been somehow activated, which had not been known by them, and had perhaps been on an earlier version of the programming or was used for some other reason.
He considered what it could be and what would happen and how to combat the occurrence! Whatever it was it had control of controlling the shuttle!
He decided to ignore the dangers and to examine everything that was occurring to try to explain things, and fit things together and get a proper picture of what might happen, and if they could do anything. In the past he, and surely the others, had pulled themselves out of dangerous and tricky situations, and he thought that they could do it once again, even if there was a slight chance.
He examined the strange alterations, with erratic characterizations, in the equipment and realized there had been a change, and they all started examining how it was now affecting the shuttle and its performance, and he checked the pilots and saw that they had seen something in the increasing darkness ahead and wondered what the shuttle was going over, and was surprised at how fast it was getting dark and he managed to adjust his eyes and followed one of the pilot’s eyes to a location ahead.
He joined in examining there in detail. It was incredible! There was nothing visibly there but he knew there was something! He had seen nothing like it! At that distance it seemed normal though, and he was left confused as he was sure something was going to happen there, and he and the pilots started preparing for something to occur, and he decided to ignore the dangers and to handle everything he could as best as he could as it appeared.
The area was not properly charted and there was nothing shown there, and the satellite photos showed nothing but another area of Mars, and he suddenly wondered what was there and where the hell it had come from!
Areas surrounding the region had a volcanic appearance, and it was definitely old.
Campbell discussed it with Stanley the pilot and tried to get anything he could from the pilot.
“We should get someone to check out what’s there as soon as our communications return!” Stanley replied. “It seems to be where the disturbances are from!”
“That looks empty?” Orwell announced, looking into the front window with high powered binoculars, hardly able to see in the blackness there.
Campbell took the binoculars and searched where he was looking, and stood confused, and replied, “What happens now? How the hell could anything be there?”
“I think we’re going down …” Stanley shouted, and the shuttle started going downwards.
“I’ve recovered control of it!” he gasped, after a few minutes of struggling to control it.
“We’ll have to land!” Lyndon announced, checking everything about him, preparing himself.
Cronenberg gasped at the situation and rushed into his shuttle commander’s seat, one of their impact protection seats, designed for him, and the shuttle started reacting crazily and viciously shuddered, as if caught in some force, and they started descending swiftly and he realized like most of the crew that the worst outcome could become real, and he saw them reacting and preparing themselves for their worst fears.
He copied positioning himself in his seat and prepared for what was ahead, and considered using something for violent impacts.
As it hurtled downwards he spotted the last shreds of sunshine illuminating the sky on an area of the horizon, and he spotted the startled faces of the two pilots recalling emergency procedures, and others swiftly securing equipment or themselves.
He wished he had a better view at a main window of what was happening! He imagined it bursting into flames with the powerful fuel and the entrance being blocked.
The last shades of weak light pulsated, in various motions, through the front pilots window, and he considered what could happen! Would it ruin everything if the shuttle was destroyed and they survived?
Yet they had revealed something, and with incredible powers, powerful enough to take down a powerful large shuttle, with such high technology, and he wondered if they could discover what it was and save the day! If they survived to see what was there!
All they could do was wait for the outcome, and try to do everything they could, and he realized he was actually part of a real drama and occurrence, perhaps for the first time in his life!
He started realizing how professionally skilled and proficient the crew actually were, and how far they had gone out of their way to get them and carry out the Mars operation, and he realized why they had chosen him, and had realized the dangers!
Everything on the shuttle appeared in order, and it was only being influenced by something clearly below, somewhere, and he wondered if it was a natural phenomenon, and if it could be a danger to flights over that region. He was sure it was forcing them to land – or was it their imagination, and some force like gravity, and he wondered if there were disturbances like it on the Earth.
He saw that they were having a hard time controlling the speed of their descent!
How could anything take control of such a powerful shuttle, and at such a distance? What form of technology was behind it? Could they use it in warfare? Was it a form of military technology? Could they figure out a way to block and stop it?
Surely there had to be a way to obstruct it or just weaken it?
One of the crew called out, “It’s not increasing in power!”
He realized that some of them were holding back information about it, and he considered if he should try and get it!
The pilots tested and did what they could perceive and he realized that it was a more interesting trip than he had even imagined! Nothing anywhere seemed enough to understand it, and he was sure none of them had anything to properly explain it!
There had to be something irregular, visible, and solid behind it, and he wondered if he could get it if he had long enough and the right means!
“We’ve still lost all contact with the base!” Campbell confirmed loudly, as he examined his equipment.
He noticed as it got lower to the ground the crew started avoiding looking at each other, with occasional horrified glares, realizing they that they were going to land soon and they might not be any longer in control of their fate!
“I don’t get this!” one of the pilots uttered, as he looked up startled. “It is as though something kicked in there and has started landing it, and I cannot discover why and why it is going to a different destination than we were set to land!”
“Is there anything visible there?” Cronenberg asked curiously.
“Nothing visible! It seems to be carrying out some form of alternative plan – to land us!”
The shuttle shifted down low, but still at a regulated pace, almost as though it were being overwhelmed by something.
Occasionally the crew started monitoring what was happening about them as it happened, and Cronenberg realized that they liked to handle things rather than ignore them, and they were not fully confident of surviving!
Even the most professional pilots on the Earth would have a hard time finding a landing site below, and they were allowing it to land them there.
The shudders from turbulent energy surges made them jerk forwards and backwards, making them all go silent and stop silent conversations, and they started putting on their spacesuit helmets.
At times he felt as if he were drifting down to a hideous death!
It plummeted and suddenly administrated what was an almost perfect landing, but smashed hard into something, and his eyes bulged brightly, and he barely believed the destructive forces lashing out at the shuttle.
When he realized that they had avoided dieing, when it stopped, flames bursting out, and an alarm blared out, and a sudden explosion smashed it with tremendous force!
Then as he caught sight of something in the obscurity out in the distance, through a window, he heard them all trying to escape and realized that the shuttle had acquired serious structural damage and fuel was leaking out and had ignited.