Lillith of Velor

Survivor

by MAC

Rev.0.1

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Aug. 7

I write these words in the hope that someone, someday may find them and remember who I was.

My name is Captain Timothy L. Morris. Iím from Belvidere, Illinois. Thatís on Earth. I donít remember a whole hell of a lot about Belvidere. Seems like a thousand years ago. I worked at the Chrysler plant summers when I was a kid. But the rest of it - school, my street, the folks - all gone now. Itís probably best that I just forget about it all anyway.

I moved to Austin, Texas for a while. Great college town. The change in the weather threw me for a loop for about 10 minutes, then I became a local real fast. God, I loved Austin. Thatís where I met Cathy.

Cathy. Iíll never forget her. She could give you the most intense coy looks! Totally destroyed any sense of being in control, thatís for sure! She had wonderful auburn hair that was so full and thick that it fell forward to frame her face like a tunnel. She had a crooked mouth that showed her bright teeth like a sneer when she smiled. God, I thought that was sexy! But those blue eyes of hers left me speechless! Blue? They were so light in color, sort of a robinís egg blue or cyan color. And as clear and full of intelligence as any Iíve seen. She was a beauty, thatís for sure! Like everyone else in town, weíd spend our summers at the lake. I hated the water, but she loved it and that kept me out there running the boat for her or skiing behind with her running the boat. And the nights. The nights by the fire when weíd find new ways to give each other so much pleasure. She had a wonderful imagination and hands that.....

 

Aug. 8

Had to stop talking about Cathy. Right now it doesnít help to remember anything else about her except that sheís buried down on her folks place by Galveston. She died on some industrial moon project. Something to do with her pressure suit. A seal that had been made with the wrong material or pressed wrong or something, failed. The rapid decompression took her by surprise, I guess. Took us all by surprise.

They brought her home to her folks, not to me. We werenít married, just living together. Doesnít count, I guess. Her folks were good about it though. Her dad was retired Air Force, so he put up with my NASA bullshit pretty well. Weíre all civilians in the Administration now. Not like when he was active. But we still fly and thatís good enough for him. And I loved his daughter and that was fine with him too. I liked that old man.

 

Aug. 10

The weather yesterday was miserable! The wind blew like hell all day long. Lost half of everything.

Thought I saw something move out in the rocks, but canít be sure. Probably just fatigue setting in. Iíll keep my eyes on those rocks, though. Just to make sure.

I donít have much in the way of weapons. I have my Colt, but thatís about it. And even it doesnít have much of a charge. I only hope that if thereís life on this planet, that I can communicate with it. Not looking for a fight.

 

Aug. 11

Iíve been reading through what I put down here so far and suddenly noticed that I havenít said a word about the project! What an idiot!

When Cathy died, I asked for transfer to the Deep Space program. No problem since nobody wanted to spend years in one of NASAís coffins. But right then, I did.

My flight was the Cirrus shot. Training went on for 12 weeks while they hustled to get the spacecraft readied. They had the craft docked at the International Space Station for months while they tried to find a pilot. When I showed up, they scrambled like hell. Probably worried that Iíd change my mind. No problem there.

Anyway, the shot went off without a hitch except, a year and a half out I got into big assed trouble! I guess it was one of those fucking wormholes. Iíll never understand why it took scientists so long to even detect the presence of those things! Theyíre everywhere! No way to avoid them! No definite event horizon either. Just a subtle, gradually increasing intensity until youíre trapped. Hawkings was right. I can only imagine the faces of the guys back at Houston when they saw me disappear without a peep. Just gone. And I slept through the whole thing in stasis.

SHIT! Movement in rocks!

 

Aug. 12

Theyíve got the biggest fucking spiders that Iíve ever seen around here! One of them just showed up yesterday. He came toward me, but I drove him off with my boot. That bootís real handy right now since my right leg is shattered from the ankle all the way up to my hip. Got enough drugs to keep me mellow, but when they run out life will not be much better than hell.

Itís a struggle to get around. I spend most of my days sitting against this boulder, writing in this journal. Canít call anyone. Canít go anywhere. I have no idea where I am. Well, this is what I wanted. Fuck it all.

 

Aug. 13

Foodís running low. Waterís almost out. Those fucking spiders are keeping their distance. Most of them just sit out there and watch me. I talk to them, curse at them, but I donít want them coming near me! Theyíre probably waiting for me to die so they can have at me! The bastards! Thatís me - Meals-On-Wheels!

My leg is turning color. I think itís gangrenous. I had plenty of medical supplies on board, but most of it was lost in the crash. Screw it anyway. What the hell do I want to live longer for? So I can stare back at these fucking spiders?!

 

Aug. 15

Waterís gone. Clouds roll through the sky, but none of them gives me rain. The spiders seem to have lost interest. Most of them have left. I saw them running off through the desert. A few are still here and just sit out there staring.

God, what I wouldnít give for some water.

 

Aug. 16

Not very hungry. Trouble with food tins anyway. I donít remember how I crashed here. I was in stasis the whole time. Just the violent awakening in the wreckage. Falling free when I struggled out of the chamber. My leg a bloody mess. Gathered up what I could find. Dragged myself over here. No water. No nothing.

 

Aug. 17

Can barely write today. Canít eat. Spiders all gone now. So hot. So dusty. So far from home. Cathyís here. She says itís time.

*******

 

Lillith slowly closed the tattered book. Its weathered cover felt brittle as she ran her hand lightly over its surface. She looked down upon the skeletal remains of him half buried in the shifting dust. The fragments of his leg still lined neatly in a row.

"Youíve been found, Captain."

It took the Tetrites weeks to get word to her. He could not have chosen a more remote location to crash. The Tetrites who found him were only traveling through on an expedition. No one lived here. Try as they might to help, he did not seem to want it. They finally set off on foot to get the help of the Protector. Travel is slow over so great a distance.

Looking quickly through the pile of material nearby, she picked out a shovel with which to dig. With great care, she buried him where he had died. When she had finished, she stood silently, her lips moving slightly in prayer to Skietra. She hoped that her gods would pass along the prayer to his. Finally, her head rose up as her right hand snapped to her forehead in a proper military salute. Cradled under her left arm was the journal. As her salute slowly came down, she spoke to him alone.

"Iíll see that they get your journal, Captain. They wonít forget you."

As Lillith flew off, a large, flat stone remained to mark the spot. On it, chiseled with an invulnerable fingernail, was the inscription.

Captain Timothy L. Morris

Earth Deep Space Probe Pilot

? - 2023

 

So far from home