Have you ever heard about the story of the comet that brought desolation to a certain place? Rumor has it that a mysterious power kept the destructive power of the comet localized to a single place. Weird thing is, the impact crater was not hot at all. It was cold, extremely cold.
The mysterious power, in the shape of a dome, kept the temperature of the impact crater extremely low. Instruments made for deep-space travel have shown that the temperatures reached -270°C, extremely close to absolute zero. This means that inside the dome is a vacuum; the atmosphere froze inside, and crumbled to millions of pieces.
“This would be worth it, a journey to the most bizarre place on Earth, what could go wrong?”
There was a flight to the impact crater, which is located near the North Pole. I took the flight, and surprisingly only 3 people were on board as passengers—including me. I thought this would be a unique attraction, at least outside of the dome.
After a few hours of flight, I finally arrived at the impact crater. The dome was transparent and it had a yellow sheen on it. The impact crater was around 250 km in diameter. I can’t fathom how large the crater was.
“Stay away from the dome!”
One of the security guards told me to stay away.
“Yeah yeah, I know. I was just looking into the crater. Looks fascinating.”
“Step back. We don’t want to risk you getting inside the dome.”
“Look, don’t worry. I’m not that clumsy.”
“I’ve had my fair share of dealing with young, rebellious people today, don’t make it harder for me.”
What’s this guy on about? Seriously.
“Okay jeez, chill. Fine.”
I took a step back from the dome. But suddenly…
“Hey! What the—” The security guard yelled at me, but was stopped by the sight of me getting pulled inside by ‘something’ from inside the dome.
Or is it the dome itself?
“He won’t survive.”
“There’s no use in assembling a SAR team. Even with specialized equipment, the crater is simply too large.”
I heard the security guards talking about efforts for my rescue, or lack thereof. Weird, I’m being pulled away by an unseen force.
Wait, how am I still alive?
I’m starting to lose consciousness.
What… is going on?[…]
I woke up at the center of the crater, inside… something. I keep thinking, how in the living hell am I still alive inside this dome?!
“You have finally woken up.”
I heard the voice of a woman. I have so many questions inside my head. How is she here? What is this place? How is there a building here? Who is she? Where exactly am I?
“You must be confused. My name is Astra. I will answer your questions.”
I took a few seconds to collect myself.
“How am I still alive?”
“Your survival instincts have created an insulating layer around you. A barrier between your world, and mine.”
She seemed to know about my powers or something, but I didn’t even realize I made one myself. That explains why I was still alive during my fall.
“Who are you?”
“I am Astra.”
“No, I mean, who are you?”
She went silent for a moment.
“I came from another planet. A planet where eternal ice envelops the land.”
Then I realized,
“Wait wait, how do you know our language?”
“I’ve studied humans for long enough to understand how your species works.”
I asked another question,
“Where are we?”
“You’re inside my ship. I crash landed, as the core malfunctioned.”
“Why are you here?”
She went silent.
This is nuts. I’m guessing that it wasn’t a comet and the ship that crashed, but it’s only this ship that crashed. And it made a huge dome that envelops the entire crater for some reason. She needs to explain a lot of things.
“The land is no longer habitable”
“The material used for the core of my ship, which is called Neutrium, is what decimated the land. It is usually stable, but when it’s unstable, it causes an explosive chain reaction. Our efforts to use Neutrium to it’s fullest extent is what caused our downfall.”
“And… you’re the only survivor?”
“That I don’t know. We were lucky to have made interstellar travel possible.”
“Alright, I’ll get straight to the point. Why do you have a large ass dome covering the entire crater?”
“Come. I’ll show you.”
I followed her to what seems to be the core room. Surprisingly spacious, I expected the core room to be like in the movies, y’know, huge reactor cores and such. It turns out…
“This is the entire core? A small yellow sphere?”
“Yes. What you see outside is the core ‘protecting’ itself.”
“But how did it create near absolute zero environment outside?”
“Simply put, the core can be used to manipulate kinetic energy, which is why it can be used for interstellar travel. It can only do so much, though, as it can only reach speeds up to 99% the speed of light. It somehow halted the movement of the gasses around the ship, which I assume to be the side effect of the malfunction.”
“Neat. So, what should we do?”
“We wait. It’s stabilizing itself. We should not interfere with it.”
Honestly, everything about this ship looks cool. Straight out of sci-fi. The core with its absurd abilities, the interior also looks great.[…]
“The core is stable.”
“Great, that took a while, so can I get out now?”
“Yes. You can.”
I almost forgot one thing,
“Wait… uh, why did you pull me in?”
She stood there, opened her palms, and revealed dust-like substance that resembles a constellation.
“The stars aligned, and told me to bring you in as a lucky charm.”
“I’m a what? You risked my life because of that?!”
“I did not. I trust the stars that you’ll be brought here unharmed.”
I wanted to go back quickly, so I didn’t bother to argue.[…]
“Look! Look! The boy is fine!”
The security guards of the site saw me climbing back up to the rim of the crater. They must’ve thought that I was dead.
“Don’t worry, I’m fine.”
T’was a great vacation.
Next Chapter: [Chapter 4]