Wednesday, October 19, 2016

If I Wish Upon a Constellation - WEP October Challenge

If I Wish Upon a Constellation,  will more stars make the wish come true?

What was that old Terran saying? Star light, Star bright, first star I see tonight, I wish I may, I wish I might, have this wish I wish tonight. . . .


Omega Nebulae *

As I look up into the darkness above me, I see multitudes of glittering stars, and a few constellations I know. Some regions of the starry sky have order and others do not, they seem splattered on the darkness in chaos. The swirling clouds of nebuli glow with colours for which we have no names, as stars are born from the etherial dust. A flash of distant brightness as a star goes nova, and a comet streaks by, its tail streaming. This is a performance, a light show of the night sky.



Eagle Nebulae Pillars *


All around me I see the dust and little rocks which make up the surface of this asteroid which is our colony's home. This fine dust gets into everything. Likely it's in our bodies, too. The surface is barren and unwelcoming. But below the surface, we manage with what we have. It's not a bad life, but it is a hard life. 



Telescope Image*
On Terra, so the teachers tell us, the ancients studied the stars, gave them names and sent probes to explore them.. All this, which they told us was unfounded however, until a recent discovery.

While working my shift turn at the main library, I found a forgotten copy of an antiquated manuscript on constellations which detailed groupings of stars in the various quadrants as seen from old Terra. It had fallen between two storage shelves. Now, I had that manuscript, hidden in my satchel, loaned to me under strict secrecy by a sympathetic librarian in our colony.  I had to return it in a few days. All artifacts had to be submitted to the colony panel.

As I leaned back on the rock, I caught a movement out of the side of my eye. All my sensors went on high alert. What was that? And, why is it hiding?

Something doesn't feel quite right. Maybe I'm sensing something. Prickly hair on my neck, and a twitchy eye.  A bad sign. No one could know about the manuscript pages I brought up to compare to our stars. . .could they?

I look around but see nothing. Only one person knows I'm on the surface and that person is out at one of the camps.  
I have to do something. . .

I reached for the laser pistol clamped on the side of the suit. I turned. Nothing. All seemed as it should. I did a quick 360 degrees turn, using my visual infrared feature of the helmet to scan for heat signatures. There, something giving off a very small heat signature  behind that outcropping. 


Then it was gone. No heat signature reading. No movement. I looked away, for just a moment. When I looked back, they were gone. I wasted no time in getting up, keeping the pistol in my gloved hand and securing the exterior door after leaving the airlock.

Another incident. 


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Please leave a comment to let me know you were here and tell me how you feel about the unexplored frontier in space? 

Thanks for dropping by and taking the time to read my post. Please remember to visit the others on the participation list found on Denise's blog.

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Write, Edit, Publish



FLASH FICTION, POETRY, NON-FICTION, PLAYSCRIPTS, ARTWORK OR PHOTOGRAPHY.  It's your choice of medium, and genre, but the word count should be about 1000 maximum. Check out more details at the WEP site, and there you will find the entrants participating in this challenge!  

Join us in these challenges, and practice your short fiction!WEP Hosts: Denise and Yolanda

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References:

* = From various telescope images.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/88_modern_constellations 

http://www.go-astronomy.com/constellations.htm images of constellations


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Galactic_quadrant Galactic quadrant


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orion_(constellation) Orion constellation

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CONSTELLATION DEFINED:
a group of stars forming a recognizable pattern that is traditionally named after its apparent form or identified with a mythological figure. Modern astronomers divide the sky into eighty-eight constellations with defined boundaries. OR a group or cluster of related things.

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46 comments:

  1. Most interesting and vivid take on constellations. I enjoyed your description and the tension. Intrigued to know what, how, and why these simple things should have been forgotten.

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    1. Glad to see you're in the challenge, FAE! Thanks for reading my entry. I ran out of time, writing this in the wee hours, or it would have been longer. There is more to this story - it's a side story of a novel.

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  2. Ooh! I'm wondering what made that heat signature. Wonderful set up of conflict!

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    1. I have several options on the 'what'. . .it may come around again, you never know.

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    2. I sure hope so. It was a fun read!

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  3. You did a wonderful job of using the pictures from space to weave your very descriptive tale. Very intriguing and now I need to know what life form was almost discovered. Well done! A touch of Twilight Zone to give it the Halloween touch.
    Thanks so much for joining the WEP Halloween/Constellations Challenge with this tantalizing entry!

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    1. I love telescope pix, Yolanda! Wish I could see them from an observatory telescope. I did try to bring in a little of the 'unknown' element into the flash fiction.Thanks for reading and commenting!

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  4. This story makes you want to know more. Why were the people living on the asteroid? How did they get there? Sounds like they were originally from Earth. Mysterious book about constellations and mysterious visitor.

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    1. It's a side story from a novel I'm writing, Deborah. An exploration group from a future solar system finds this colony on the asteroid. . .

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  5. Space is amazing to me. We would be really arrogant to think that we are the only intelligent life out there. But what really makes my brain melt is trying to imagine what existed before the Big Bang. Where did it bang from?

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    1. Space seems amazing to us, because we don't understand so much about it. The Big Bang may have been a reaction to pressures from the surrounding matter. You're asking a deep space question, JoJo.

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  6. I wonder: what happened there? Who was it spying on the hero? Or what was it?

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    1. Good question. I left this hanging for two reasons. I want to expand on this flash, and I have two options for carrying it further. I couldn't decide which so for now, it ends on the unknown factor.

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  7. Echoing everyone else. More please.
    I loved this.

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    1. Thanks EC, I'd like to expand on this as it tries to explain what life might be like on a large asteroid. Another WEP challenge perhaps. . .

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  8. Hi DG. This is awesome. Those photos are beyond beautiful and i love how you've weaved them through your tale. I love how you created tension in the narrative,too. I'd really like this to be extended. (Maybe he/she could go on holiday for the December challenge?) We want more!

    As always, thanks for supporting the WEP challenge. Your loyalty is appreciated!

    Denise :-)

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    1. Ha - I wish those were my constellation images, but alas, they were from our space telescopes. Thanks for the suggestion for the December prompt and your kind words!

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  9. Very intriguing flash! Wonder what was giving off the heat signature? And why have they left Terra and set up home on the asteroid? so many directions this could go in, myriad possibilities... a change of tense in a couple of paras - 'something doesn't feel right...' I wondered if that was a conscious choice to make the reader feel the immediacy of it?

    Always a pleasure to visit your blog, DG.
    Best, always.
    Nila.

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    1. That paragraph was bothering me, Nila, so I'll fix that. I was writing at 3am in the morning, so brain was tired. That's my excuse. I wasn't conscious of going for the immediacy effect, so it was a slip of the tense.

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  10. Hi DG - definitely could turn this into a short story or for that matter a long one ... wonderful thought process ...

    I'd love to know what is going to happen and how life and planet earth move along, as too the heavenly stars ...

    They are fascinating ... and a wonderful story line ... cheers Hilary

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    1. It's a slice of life on an asteroid. This colony was unable to find a planetary home when they left Terra centuries before). I'd like to expand it, so thanks for the suggestion.

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  11. You left us dangling! I loved the images and the mystery.

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    1. Yes I did. On purpose too. But I will amend that if another prompt on WEP fits the scifi flash.

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  12. In the beginning it read as if you had found a manuscript in the library, and then... Well written but I'd like to know more. What is lurking on the surface?
    Nancy

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    1. The manuscript is or may be the reason for the lurking of something. . .perhaps a lost colonist turned rogue. . .or a new species.

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  13. Hmm wonder what could have been out there, maybe just catching a view or getting ready for an attack, testing it's foe.

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    1. At this point, it's 'just casing the joint' wondering what this human is doing out here just sitting and staring outward. . .

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  14. Ooh, nice. I am intrigued. I've always wondered what it would be like for future generations that have colonized other planets to find old earth technology or writings. Cults are founded on obscure findings.

    Well done DG.

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    1. You'd like my scifi novels, then, dolorah as I tackle that question of future generations and future constellations.

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  15. Love the images! You've set up some great intrigue here.

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    1. Images compliments of our space telescopes.. . this is why I love the science shows which talk about the universe, or Strip the Cosmos, etc. Life is full of intrigue if we just notice it.

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  16. This is really cool! I love that this captures how the vastness of space can be beautiful, but also terrifying. Whatever it was, I don't think a laser pistol would have done much...

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    1. This laser pistol has modifications for use on an asteroid, and has unique capabilities due to its development by a group using former blueprints fro the ancestors.

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    2. light is light space or not. With
      nothing in space to stop the light it it might be a lot hotter.

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    3. Nebulae pillars
      Tower high
      As asteroid collide
      Over us dust fly’s

      A book that tells
      Of starry things
      We thought gone
      Must have took wrings

      Yet shadows of things
      On the surface above
      Wound that book enough
      To shed your blood

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    4. Thanks for coming by again, I appreciate it and the way you summed it up poetically.

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  17. Some awesome world building there with the space colony and the protagonist's musings on constellations.

    And the mysterious intruder just puts that little Halloween bow on it.

    Loved it!

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    1. Thanks, Arpan! There will likely always be a mystery lurker just waiting to cause havoc or be accepted, no matter where we go 'that no man has gone before'.

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  18. Star gazing is one of my favorite pastimes and I have a whole directory of images from the Hubble. Just this morning I watched a couple episodes of COSMOS while trying to get myself organized (i.e. drank coffee and was lazy.)

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    1. I like COSMOS too, Kathleen, and we watch a few other science shows too. I need to get away from the city to see many stars, but I can always find Orion. We have a telescope, but hubs hasn't been able to set it up for a while due to his injury.

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  19. This is an amazing piece. I used to be obsessed with space, so I really enjoyed reading this.

    www.ficklemillennial.wordpress.com

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    1. Thanks for dropping by, Gina. I continue to be obsessed with space. . .

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  20. As a sci-fi buff, I love this :) those photo are epic

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    1. You should check the hubble telescope images if you'd like to see some other constellations. I'm glad you liked the Constellations story, encouraging words are always welcome.

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  21. Replies
    1. Great - eerie was the reaction I wanted, Sandra. No one likes to be spied upon, especially when the watcher is unknown.

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