Read The Aurora (Aurora Saga, Book 1) Online
Authors: Adrian Fulcher
Tags: #Science Fiction
By Adrian F Fulcher
© 2011 Adrian F Fulcher
All rights reserved. Any unauthorised reprint or use of this material is prohibited. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or any information storage and retrieval system, without prior written permission of the Author,
except for the use of brief quotations in a book review
The ground shook as if an earthquake was happening. The
had impacted the ground at great speed, sending rocks and sand high into the darkness. The massive spaceship pitched back into the air before twisting slowly over onto its back and shuddering to an abrupt stop. Then, there was silence.
, immobile, cooled rapidly, and the smell of burning sand filled the air. The silence was interrupted by the sound of a cylindrical tube extending from the side of the ship towards the ground. A door rotated open and a tall fair-skinned teenager steadied herself before jumping out onto the ground below. She shielded her grazed face from the heat still radiating from the hull and then looked nervously around. Through the darkness, she noticed the distant lights of a caravan just under a half a kilometre away. The noise of a distant engine starting came from that direction.
The eighteen year old woman’s name was Londuo.
I must get away from the ship. How long do I have?
Londuo looked at a small holographic notepad which she was clutching in her left hand.
Three minutes. I need to get moving.
She clambered to her feet and started to make her way up onto the rise of a nearby hill.
‘Oww!’ Londuo cried out in pain. She looked at a deep gash in her left shoulder. Blood was now trickling down her arm. She pressed her right hand onto the cut to try to stem the flow of blood.
Reaching the top of the hill, Londuo paused and looked back at the spaceship, then at some approaching headlights. A station wagon stopped about fifty metres from the
and a young man and woman got hesitantly out of the vehicle.
What are they carrying,
They look like weapons!
She felt a need to hide.
The woman pointed something that illuminated the surrounding area, and then she pointed it at the smouldering ship.
Londuo checked the holographic notepad once more.
Only thirty seconds,
she thought, while she observed the two people moving towards the ship.
What are they doing? They’re getting too close to the Aurora
‘No!’ she cried out.
Her voice was anxious and with a rough accent.
The woman scanned the hill with her light, searching for the voice.
‘No.’ Londuo paused, trying to find the right words. ‘Back... Danger!’ she said, her words barely understandable.
The beam of light suddenly stopped on Londuo. Dazzled, she covered her face.
‘Stay there! Don’t… Don’t move,’ the man ordered, pointing what Londuo thought to be a weapon at her.
He could kill me! I must run. No, I have to try and save them.
So she shouted at them,
‘No… You…’ Londuo was finding it hard to speak any words of English. ‘No... Back... Away…’
But she was interrupted by the spaceship exploding, the hull turning a rainbow of colours before it cracked open. The man, woman and their station wagon were instantly enveloped by the heat-wave that swept out across the ground, before the explosion imploded back into its heart. Londuo looked back at the remains. The twisted shell of the
glowing white-hot, slowly dissolved away. A plume of smoke rose high into the night sky. Fragments rained down on the sand, scorching the surface around it.
Londuo shook her head.
‘Why? Why must more die?’ she said helplessly, in her native language, Qinant.
She stood motionless for over ten minutes, watching what was left of the
. She needed some time to make sense of what just happened. She was grieving for the loss of James, her lover, who just died in the crash. Tears welled up in her eyes.
‘Goodbye, James. I will always love you. Always,’ she said quietly.
Londuo pressed a symbol on the holographic notepad. A three-dimensional colour map of the surrounding area rose from its surface. She was near a place called Hinsdale, in Colorado, USA. The year was 1964.
She turned and looked solemnly across the desolate landscape and then over to the distant lights of the caravan. Lonely and emotionally disorientated, she started the long walk towards it.
James, I wanted so much to be with you. I didn’t want to leave your body on the Aurora, but there was no time. Kalrea made me leave, so she could destroy the ship. Why did it have to end this way? Why?
In a lot of discomfort, Londuo followed the tracks left by the station wagon.
I don’t know what to do. I don’t belong here.
Occasionally she wiped the blood from the hand shielding her shoulder, onto her sleeve.
Londuo nervously approached the caravan. She wandered all the way around it, looking for signs of life before entering. Inside she found a table prepared for a meal and two pieces of uncooked meat on a worktop.
Londuo took a small towel.
Water. I need to find water.
She looked around.
She tuned a switch on at the front of a gas oven. A hissing sound started, and Londuo could smell a strange odour. She turned off the switch.
That’s no good. They must have water somewhere in here.
She looked at a sink which was set into a worktop. In the bottom there were traces of water.
This has to be it.
She looked at a large tap which extended upwards. A drip of water suddenly fell from its end.
Londuo pressed the top. Nothing happened, and then she tried to turn it. Water flowed from the tap.
Looks like water.
She cupped some into her hand and tasted it.
Yes, I’ve found water
. She soaked the towel before pushing it through a tear in her uniform, to try to stop the flow of blood from her injured shoulder.
‘Damn, that hurts.’
In a lot of pain, she sat down in one of the seats and took a few deep breaths.
Staring into space, she felt overwhelmed by the mixed thoughts rushing through her mind. The
had been destroyed, leaving her one hundred and forty-three thousand light years from home, with no way of returning or contacting anybody from her planet. She knew that her only future was to somehow start a new life on Earth.
Londuo rummaged through the contents of the caravan, to find anything useful.
She looked through all the cabinets in the kitchen area.
Most of this must be food,
she thought, shaking a can of beans.
There’s definitely something inside these cylinders.
She picked up a fork.
This must be what they use to eat with, but there are different ones.
She picked up the knife and looked at its sharp edge.
So what’s this for - cutting?
Londuo shook her head before moving on.
In a drawer she found some coins, but not knowing they were money she discarded them. Alongside were some papers.
These look official, some sort of identity papers,
she thought, picking them up and then she looked at one of the pictures.
This must be the poor woman who was killed when the ship exploded. Not a bad likeness. This could be useful
. She placed it on a nearby worktop where she noticed some playing cards.
They look like some sort of token.
She looked through the well-worn pile.
They have symbols on them: different numbers of symbols. That’s a diamond; that looks like a heart; not sure what the others are. Some seem to have pictures of important people; maybe their leaders. They could be a type of currency or smart-card
. She placed them with the identity papers.
This must be the bedroom
, Londuo thought, peering through a doorway. The bed was very roughly made up, sheets just thrown over to make it look tidy.
Maybe I can find some clothes in here?
While sorting through the clothes she suddenly caught sight of her appearance in a mirror. Her tight-fitting black military uniform, with green sleeves and raised vertical ribbing, was smeared with patches of blood. The small towel she had pushed beneath her uniform now showed signs of blood seeping through it.
Londuo found a pair of jeans, a T-shirt and a jacket which fitted and went into the bathroom to change. She immersed her head in the sink to remove the dirt and blood from her face and short brunette hair, before throwing her head backwards and taking a deep breath. She looked in the mirror at a tattoo of the eagle-like claw on her face; its vibrant colours were once again visible. For a moment she felt happy; it reminded her of James.
Londuo washed her wound.
I need to get help
, she thought, concerned at being unable to stem the flow of blood. She did her best to re-dress it, pressing some material deep into the gash before wrapping her shoulder tightly.
She put the items she found, some clothes and towels into a rucksack, then wasted no more time and left the caravan. With no torch and just the holographic map to guide her, she started walking the 14 kilometres to the nearest town.
After two hours, the loss of blood was now starting to affect her vision and progress. She was beginning to feel faint. If she didn’t get help soon she would collapse never to wake again.
Londuo went to look at the holographic map once more, but it had gone.
I must have dropped it
She looked back in the direction she had been walking; she could not remember losing it.
No, I need it
, she thought, scared. She started to walk back, but after a few steps she fell to her knees.
Looking around, she could not even remember where she had been, or which direction she was heading. Panic coursed through her, making her heart beat quickly. She shouted out in Qinant,
‘Help me someone, please help me!’
She knelt there for three minutes, her mind wandering as she stared at the ground. It was not until her face was unexpectedly freshened by a cool breeze that she raised her head. Remembering her military training she focused and got to her feet.
I can’t give up. James would not want me to give up
. She looked around, before starting to walk once more, trying hard to keep a rhythm to drive her forward.
As she crested a ridge, a lone light from a house came into view.
, she thought relieved.
I can see a light.
This gave her a new objective, something to channel all her remaining energy into. In great pain she walked purposefully towards the light, trying hard not to fall.
There are people talking inside
. Londuo was so focused she walked straight into a closed gate, almost falling over the top of it. She fumbled around until it opened; its old hinges gave a screech when she threw it open. She could not go any further. Looking at the front door of the house everything seemed to be spinning. Her vision blackened before she collapsed on the ground.