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The grav signals are gone. They were pointing to something
in this vicinity, but nothing of interest is here.
This can't be it. I'm missing something...

The nearby planet is emitting a pearly orange glow.
Could the signal have originated from it?
Highly unlikely, but I'll need to get closer for accurate
surface readings. No sense in idling here.

As I approach the planet's surface, its true beauty is revealed.
My readings indicate nothing worth mentioning, but the view
is breathtaking. The star's amber light reflecting off the
swaying crimson waves. The mountains piercing through
clouds of mist, sparkling with pristine snow. I... need to visit.

No! That's insane. There is a zero percent chance
that the grav readings originated from a source so small.
Not only is it dangerous, but it's also a massive waste of time.

Still, I can't stop staring. Blood rushes through my body.
An unbearable craving dominates all logic.
I need to get down there! I'll be in and out in no time.

“Landing success,” announces the AI.

I raise my eyes to take in the wondrous scenery, only to be
greeted by pale rock and charcoal ash.
There is no ocean. No mist. My head is so fuzzy.

What was I thinking coming down here?!
It seems that this planet has suffered a fate similar to Aryxia.
Could this be Aryxia? Have I completely lost my mind?

The hollow moaning of wind begs for attention.
Distant thunder sends fair warning as the clouds begin to darken.

“All power to engine! Set thrusters to
upward velocity at full throttle! Go, go!”

The storm marches angrily towards me. It violently consumes
all in its path, growing more vicious with each meal. Lightning is called
to ignite the surface. The unstable ground fractures with each strike,
sending chunks of terrain into the cataclysmic gale. A fierce
thunder follows, reverberating throughout the cumulonimbus.

Turbulence grabs the Explorer and tugs it in all directions.
The world around me spins uncontrollably.

“Resume target destination to Illia-ZY, path 758... !”

Wind turns from howl to eerie wail.
The hull has been breached. Dust pours into my lungs.
I'm not going to make it. There's so much pressure. I can't... I can't...


from Quaternion, released February 17, 2016
Music and Story: Type-I
Album Artist: Martina Stipan
Story Editor: Max Al-Shawbkeh



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