False Dawn

Written by Sean Flynn |
Published on:

Log 103


Current location, four-thirty-two parsecs from Galaxy 764.

Fifteen sleep cycles since photon receptors have ceased, severing all communications with Pluto customs bay.

Ship remains in stasis until fault with communications satellite repaired.

Tensions high.

Disobedience at breakfast. Xi, the technician apprentice, angry over photon disruption. Had to be subdued by captain Oswald and myself.


Log 104


Xi took Eva hostage in airlock. All attempts at negotiations broke down. Xi was going to blow us up with one tonne white phosphorous. Ahled initiated jettison when Xi threatened to “bring us all down to Ring-B”. I watched them get sucked out.

Phosphorous fuel lost.


Log 105

Three sleep cycles have passed.

We are nearing F22, an uninhabited planet of immense gravity. Ship is entering free-orbit to preserve energy and make observations.

The crew held court over Ahled’s unauthorised decision.

Ahled was criticised for undue haste.

His defence was the protection and longevity of this cargo and its business members.

Court decision: send Ahled to nearby planet in a drone to investigate for phosphorous deposits.

Ahled reacted with anger and agitation. By his calculations, each sleep cycle on the ship would result in time dilation of six months on the planet.

Court decision was final. He leaves later this cycle.


Log 106


Transmission from Ahled.

“First month on planet F22. Landscape is structurally mesmerising. Zodiacal dust streaks the sky. Scanner reads soil high zinc content. Will continue search elsewhere.”


Log 107


“Nearly one year on F22.

“Strange occurrence today. I discovered unusual white field. Scanner reads partial phosphorous content. In field was a purple rod in shape of totem pole. Will return to drone for further analysis.

“Meanwhile, I have fashioned a prayer mat out of delicate plant-like fibres found in the soil. This morning I will pray for Allah. Must wait for ecliptic plane to readjust. The zodiacal dust is producing false dawn which is heresy.

“I await sunrise on F22.”


Log 108


Locationing system offline.

No transmission from Ahled despite incessant attempts.

Ship’s power has been rerouted to living space. No progress on repairing photon receptors. Need phosphorous for welders.

It is presumed that Ahled died in first year on F22.


Log 109

Twelve sleep cycles have passed. To our surprise, Ahled transmitted a message:

“No words can describe my astonishment at the events which have transpired on planet T’wil-Fardu. As I advanced through the white field seven long years ago, I discovered a land bridge that cut over a crevasse of deadly ice. I advanced, with the help of the rover, only to find the top crust of the planet unstable. I plummeted through the fragile earth. Darkness enveloped me. When I came to, I discovered I was deep in the hollow of a cavern, with the rover overturned a few metres off, completely useless.

“But something else gathered around the peripheral of my goggles. It seemed to me fantastical at the time, but what I was seeing was the face of a boy. Wide-eyed, limbs slightly elongated, covered in what I can hardly describe as skin. More like hard tongues of flesh.

“Ostensibly, he knelt on a prayer mat not dissimilar to my own. Thus arranged, he was bowing to me, up and down, as if I were the Mecca of T’wil-Fardu. I merely dusted myself off, and turned on the loudspeaker to ask him innumerable questions. The questions may as well have fallen on deaf ears. He let out all manner of ululations as if he were in rapture.

“That’s when others like him came into the cavern, draped in white and red cloaks. Ritually, they ripped leaves off their clothing – for so flimsily was it constructed – and wrapped them around purple staffs. Next, they shone their brilliant eyes upon the clothed staff until smoke began to issue out. Much to my agitation, licks of flames shot out soon after. The scanner beeped uncontrollably. Their clothes registered as strong phosphorous compounds. That was the source of the flames.

“I had no voice of which to speak to these people. We sat for hours in the cavern trying to communicate. They proved fast-paced learners. Some of them began to formulate sentences, naming themselves, their planet, and me. To them, essentially, I was a god.

“But as we harked on, I noticed how their youth seeped away. Within a day, the boy who had awoken me with prayers had fallen frail, old, and wrinkled. These were mayfly people, who lived and cultivated life for their successors within a day.

“I imparted what I could to these primitive people. Day after day, I re-imparted my knowledge to the new-borns. At first I thought they would learn nothing of my endeavours. But soon, as I equipped them with tools, mothers taught their kin, and any production that was started on in one life was taken up by their apprentice’s the following evening.

“They emerged from the caves and built thatch cottages. They began farming, and exploring, and electing rulers. Churches were built in my honour. So it came to pass that I was their god and instructor for these last number of years. But as their civilisation advanced, they questioned the need for my presence. They believed they could get along without me.

“I had wondered if this was inevitable. My hubristic wish to be a god had gotten the better of me. I was too lavished with riches to implore their faith. Soon, with the aid of new healthcare provisions, they outgrew their lifespans. A young boy threw a rock at me and I bled from my crown. They saw I was no immortal being. They renounced me, and the false dawn I ushered in.

“So I decide now to leave.

“The most pious of them have come to wish me good luck on my journey, and gifted me many riches,  such as their phosphorous.

“I am returning now, having completed my mission.

“My faith has been tried, for out here, where does one point to Mecca?”

End transmission.

Copyright © TravelDailyLife.com

Author: Sean Flynn
I’m driven to explore the unfamiliar, pursue my journalistic and financial goals. As a freelancer I enjoy meeting new people and having new experiences. I love to learn, and my university subjects set a base to support my passion for journalism and storytelling through an academic medium. I’m willing to take on any task and see it through with confidence.


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Card image cap Juanita Smith - Nice sci-fi

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