A Story by ObsidianSea

Rough Draft


by Matthew Kimble


21 June 2213


My first official transmission! My name is Daniel Bryant, and I am the chief microbiologist aboard the Uriah. To my family and friends that still remain back home, I bid you hello after such a long time. The computer says we’ve been in stasis for 27 years, 7 months, 12 days, and 9 hours.


To Mom and Dad: I miss you both a lot, and I wish there was a way to speak or communicate, but the antennas were damaged during our flight out here. We can send, but not receive. I’ll hopefully be back within the next few decades(haha).


To Emmy: I miss you little bug! Though by the time you receive this message, you won’t be such a little bug anymore. You’re 32 years old now, and I imagine you’ve got a few bugs of your own running around. I wish I could be there right now, sis.


The ship pretty much flew itself, and we awoke in time to see Aris fill the window of the observation deck. We’re getting ready to enter the atmosphere here in a moment. Back soon.


Back. We’ve landed. It certainly is dusty here. It’s a lot like Mars. Going to sign off for a little while, there’s a lot of work to be done.


24 June 2213


Andrea and I got all the sampling gear into the rovers this morning. Aris’ night and day are a little skewed. We get 18 hours of each here, which is messing with all of us a little bit.


I wish I could see everything going on back home, everyone wishes that they could. Jacob is taking it hard. The computer logged a transmission shortly before we left the heliopause that his daughter had been hospitalized for a life threatening injury. We had to restrain him and convince him it was fine, that all of this happened almost 3 decades ago. We can only send data and messages home.


We step out tomorrow. Jim will lead the way, followed by myself, Andrea, and Jacob. I can’t sleep.


25 June 2213


Yep, it’s definitely like Mars. Hot, rocky, and endless.

Except Mars doesn’t orbit a red giant and have three moons.

We got the first of the core samples today, and took hundreds of pounds of rocks back to base.


When we got back, we were greeted with a nice surprise. Jacob found a message from Earth deep in the archives. The antennas were damaged around 19 years into the flight. We received a message about 16 years and 5 months after we left. The sister ship of the Uriah, the Jerusalem, had finished its construction. Its projected launch date put the Jerusalem about 3/4th’s of the way to Aris. She appeared to have faster engines than the Uriah, putting her speed capabilities at 88 percent of the speed of light versus our 36 percent. We would have our sister ship in orbit in no less than 6 months.


30 June 2213


We found Jacob in his bed this morning. He had slashed his wrists with a surgical scalpel. No note. His eyes said everything.


It wasn’t just him. All of us were dying on the inside, not knowing what was happening to our friends and family back home.


We sent a transmission to Houston notifying them of Second Lieutenant Jacob Hartsvedt’s death. It’ll be around seven years before they get it.


1 July 2213


We buried Jacob today.


We took him to the highest point in the area, a tall cliff hundreds of feet high that overlooked the base.

In honor of him, we named the cliff Hartsvedt Peak. Our first topographical classification on the planet.


Going to a funeral in a pressure suit wasn’t something I ever thought I’d do.

Jim said a few kind words as we buried our mission commander.


We’d all gone through training together. Six years of blood, sweat, and tears.


One of the moons we hadn’t named yet began to eclipse the sun as Jim finished his eulogy. I knelt by the grave and put my hand on the helmet and small plaque.


Here lies 2LT Jacob Kieran Hartsvedt,

b. 27 January 2179. Opal Falls, Indiana.

United States of America, planet Earth

d. 30 June 2213. Hartsvedt Peak, planet Aris.

2LT Miller served his fellow crew with honor and valor

for the entirety of his service. You will be remembered, Jacob.

We rode back to the base in silence.


16 July 2213


We have begun seismic and tectonic mapping of Aris.


We’ve also finished our mapping of Aris’ terrain, thanks to our mini-satellite in orbit.

We’ve outlined 11 separate continents, and named the two seas that exist on the opposite side of the planet.


1.     Bythritas- the region where the Uriah landed. We’ve elected to name our current location New Jerusalem. Bythritas is a desert. No life here.

2.     Eulana- a region to the East where a large impact occurred at some point in Aris’ history. A large crater and several small, active volcanoes are all that we can see.

3.     Agrita- Our satellite picked up trace amounts of carbon dioxide from this area. The atmosphere of Aris is mostly comprised of nitrogen and oxygen(though in poisonous levels to humans). We will investigate further soon.

4.     Cypuria- A region forming the coastline to a sea of unknown composition.

5.     Alyria- The mountains far to the north. Seismically active area.

6.     Arium- Another relatively flat region much like Bythritas that’s far to the south.

7.     Celartica- The region that includes the northern ice cap and the ocean surrounding it. Satellite has confirmed via microlensing that the liquid has a high chance of being h2o.

8.     Rusartica- The region that includes the southern ice cap and the frozen, dusty tundra that surrounds it.

9.     Virym- The volcanic region on the opposite side of the planet, to the north of Rusartica.

10.  Sinai- The massive mountain and canyon range to the southwest. The tallest peak is nearly five miles into the air.

11.  Zimur- The region surrounding the larger sea on the opposite side of Aris.




1.     The Black Sea- A befitting name for the small ocean near Cypuria. The material it’s made of doesn’t reflect light very well, giving it a dark appearance.

2.     The Cerulean Sea- An apt name for the ocean that surrounds Celartica. Its hue may be attributed to organisms in the water. We will need to collect samples to be sure.


The satellite finished its scan for energy signatures and geometric patterns this morning. The search for intelligent life has proven unfruitful, save for some unusual results on higher slopes of Sinai. I’m hoping we find something of value in the oceans.

21 July 2213


I’m trying out the voice to text function on the computer today. Gonna take it with me when we go exploring in the mountains.


Testing, testing. I guess this thing works. We’re en route to the Alyria region to drill a little bit. Jim’s driving the crawler, and the GPS shows us arriving in a couple of hours.


There’s snow here! It’s more on the icy side and it’s orangish-red, but it’s snow. This is good news. If the planet stabilizes, oceans are possible.

I took several samples of the slush and stored them away in the Crawler while Andrea and Jim set up the drill.


The drill hit something solid at 30 feet.

Jim! What do we have?

Damn, the whole bit’s cracked. 

© 2012 ObsidianSea

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wow, i loved this. I'm a big sci-fi fan, and this is going on my favorites list. I really like the setting of this story and the normal way the protagonist starts to log his journey. and I like the fact that you incorporated the physics aspects into the story, like the exact dates and when the other ship would arrive. I also love the characters, how easily it could be determined that jacob was losing his mind before he killed himself. I would love to read more of this.. great job.

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Added on April 11, 2012
Last Updated on April 11, 2012



Birmingham, AL

I'm a dreamer. 20. Male. Drummer. And a pretty crummy writer. Just peruse what i got and find whatever it is you're looking for. I have a particular taste for writing things about alternate.. more..

Ion. Ion.

A Poem by ObsidianSea

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