ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel
  • »
  • Books, Literature, and Writing»
  • Commercial & Creative Writing

The Water (Part 1 of 3)

Updated on March 25, 2012
Planet Lavoisier (Painting by Carl Martin. Originally developed for the Saul Bass film of a Ray Bradbury short story, Quest.)
Planet Lavoisier (Painting by Carl Martin. Originally developed for the Saul Bass film of a Ray Bradbury short story, Quest.)

by Carl Martin

The planet below is 49.3 light years from Harvard, but it no longer seems so far from home.

This haven changed me—made me feel young again. I suppose a scientist isn't supposed to become sentimental about places they have worked, but a part of me will always remain on this world.

We're about to go back home. While I'm looking forward to seeing Earth again, I no longer feel the unreasonable and urgent need I once had. Space had once remained an uncomfortable challenge, like clothes that did not fit or uneasy bowels on a long trip. I had suffered in silence.

LOG-ID: 3901726548
TYPE: PERSONAL LOG
DATE: 2235:1017-06:32 UTC
ID: AR1075973
MISSION: LAVOISIER-0004
VESSEL: ISS-ANATOLIA

Now I feel at home amongst these islands in the dark of space. These strange suns now seem like old friends.

I suppose you could say that the scientist in me was reborn. I had regained the fresh enthusiasm I once had had as a boy for exploring the unknown. I feel again the thrill of discovery that science had once held for me that somehow had become lost amongst all the learning, the rigor and the politics.

What happened here will be debated for decades. I have no doubt about that. The conclusions at which we arrived certainly will have their critics.

Back in '31, our unmanned probes had been scouting planetary systems for signs of a world like Earth—a habitable world on which humanity could live. To our amazement, a positive report came back from Psi-5 Aurigae after decades of being dismissed as one of the least likely prospects. Perhaps we should not have been surprised. The worlds in this planetary system lay in an orbital plane perpendicular to the line of sight from Earth. We never would have detected planets in this system until visiting it.

The planet had been named Lavoisier in honor of the eighteenth century French scientist who gave the names we use for both hydrogen and oxygen. You see, Lavoisier (the planet) is ninety-three percent ocean, and the waters run deep on this world—an average seventeen kilometers.

Ours was the first expedition to land on this planet's surface. It had been declared safe. Even so, when we get back to Earth in a few weeks, we will undergo several days in quarantine.

Very early in our visit did we realize that this was no ordinary expedition. Suspicions started when our xenobiologist declared that the life here looked like that on Earth. Here, nothing lived on land, but the seas teemed with abundance.

At first, we were amused that our resident expert on extraterrestrial life would make such a statement. We had found life on other worlds, but it had all been exotic stuff, marginalized by harsh conditions, found only in pockets of bare habitability and surrounded by deadly environments. We assumed, at first, that she meant merely that the life here was far less exotic.

Then one afternoon, our geologist pointed out to sea. Dancing in the glare of late-day sun, something appeared intermittently above the ocean surface. He passed around his binoculars so that we could all see for ourselves that dolphins were swimming in these alien seas. Emergency requisition of hovercraft minutes was approved in seconds and several of us went out to see more closely. Delphinus capensis, or an uncanny product of convergent evolution, swam below us, jumping, diving and playing.

Trifid Worlds (Painting by Carl Martin. An Earth-like planet and two moons near the Trifid nebula.)
Trifid Worlds (Painting by Carl Martin. An Earth-like planet and two moons near the Trifid nebula.)

No one wanted to ask the obvious question. The implications were too bizarre and none of us were comfortable opening that box, at least not yet.

In many ways, as I look out my window now at that alien ocean, this world looks so much like home. All of its similarities plus the stark differences thrill my intellect. I turn my attention to three pictures hanging above my desk—three men I have admired all my life: Galileo, Einstein and Hawking. They were not afraid to speculate, but they did so with superior reasoning ability.

I feel comforted by what those three accomplished.

And a part of me feels liberated, like the stodgy, middle-aged accountant who finds himself seduced by the young gypsy girl—finds himself wearing a flower behind his ear, coat and tie thrown to the wind, and himself walking barefoot in the grass. There is something dangerous and compelling about the ideas let loose in my mind.

Continued in Part 2 of 3...

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • lone77star profile image
      Author

      Rod Martin Jr 6 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

      And thank you, Beata Stasak. What those three have done really stretches the mind.

      I hope you get a chance to read the other two parts, now available.

    • lone77star profile image
      Author

      Rod Martin Jr 6 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

      Thanks, John. Heinlein is my favorite SF author and I hope some day I can be as good and prolific as that talent.

      I hope you have a chance to read the following two parts.

      Carl

    • Beata Stasak profile image

      Beata Stasak 6 years ago from Western Australia

      A great read...thinking about those three great minds often myself...they forged new path in our thinking and in our approach to life...are we daring enough to follow?

      You are ready with your harnesses in hand...looking towards that steep cliff of new ways...we are behind you:)

    • aguasilver profile image

      John Harper 6 years ago from Malaga, Spain

      Shades of Bob Heinlein I detect, welcome back Lazarus!

      Nice start, I will follow.

      John

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: "https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr"

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)