“What have you done, Mark?” John’s voice was filled with anxiety.
“He was one like you”
Mark grew impatient instantly.
“John, I had to worry about my safe return. Jonathan was already dead. There was no point in bringing his dead body back to the ship. Furthermore, we don’t have the necessary infrastructure to preserve a dead body on board. What do you think? Can we do space science in a graveyard?” Mark shrieked.
He saw John showing his frustration as he kicked on the floor. The ship – a big structure made of a combination of numerous metals like Aluminium, Kevlar – stood in space miles away from the planet Shelter, absorbed his kick and responded with no sign. On the monitor that received healthy signals from the surface of Shelter, the base camp that had Jonathan’s body was clearly seen. A Hab that swallowed millions and millions of money stood there in the surface of the planet with Jonathan’s corpse.
“Just download his medic data from his suit John and think about phrasing a meaningful sentence to frame this menace to Earth.” Mark added before he slipped away from John’s view of sight.
John downloaded Jonathan’s medic data from his suit. The data was clean. Infact it could never have been cleaner. There was no sign of forced death in the data. But the data clearly indicated that Jonathan was not breathing. The cardiac metrics part didn’t look good.
In the next several hours, they both were engaged in testing the samples taken from Shelter’s surface. Preliminary examination showed no new findings.
Shelter – a rocky surfaced planet was next in the list to explore chances for human inhabitation. Located in the region of goldilock zone around the Star S7, Shelter harnessed fresh oxygen and carbon-di-oxide in a proper mix and therefore had a very prominent layer of atmosphere. A solid rock layer appearing promising to offer a strong base. The rest are accurate Physics, Chemistry and Biology known to the human race.The planet seemed in its initial stages of developing organics. Ice on the surface gave enough hopes for water in the near future.
No wonder it became a victim to human encroachment.
Nature didn’t miss a chance of spreading its beautiful wings on Shelter.
Mark jerked a bit hearing John shouting out his name loud.
“What?” he attended John instantly.
“I am reading your report”
“If this piece of cosmic rock is yet to pick on organics, How is it that my radar picks up heat signature from the surface?”
“Heat signature! ” Mark looked at the monitor. A red spot appeared amidst brown shades. It seemed to kind of move.
“Mark, I hope you didn’t park your shuttle on the top of a Volcano. The spot where your shuttle is, has been in our radar for more than a year now. There is no heat source. So What else it could be?” John said while mark was still staring at the monitor.
“If Jonathan is alive on Shelter, why is he not responding to our calls or messages? He knows the Hab in and out” Mark asked.
“But that man seems to be alive. Walking. Breathing.”
“Possible. Quite possible”
“What happened there Mark? A dead thing cannot emit heat. It is also not responding too. This whole thing contradicts to what you have written in this report. Now I doubt, the thing that took place between you and Jonathan, was a murder”
John pushed Mark’s report on the top towards Mark’s side.
“You think I lied?”
“I don’t know Mark. You have to tell me”
“I have told you the truth John. Jonathan is dead”
“I can’t telecast your report to Earth Mark. There are two other satellites that are staring at the same spot we are staring at. Jonathan’s body is walking on the surface of Shelter” John said.
Marked kept staring at the monitor that showed that red spot.
“What are our options?” Mark asked.
“We can’t affort another descent. It is costly interms of fuel. Furthermore we need approvals for that from the Base”
“That leaves us to?”
“Guesses. If we are able to figure out what that thing is ” John pointed his index finger at the red spot on the monitor.
“from here, that would be a blessing?”
“That is the base. There can not be a thing that can emit heat by itself. When I returned, I turned the hab’s power supply down”
“But this thing is moving”
John magnified on the monitor and Jonathan was seen walking on the surface of Shelter.
“That thing is definitely Jonathan. But why is he not trying to contact us?” John asked.
“To do that he has to put on the power supply” Mark responded.
“We can do that remotely from here” He added further.
“That serves no purpose Mark. He is not doing it. Why? Thats the question”
“Perhaps he lost his memory, John.”
“So he is just a piece of flesh and blood! Is that it?” John asked.
“Could be. I am just guessing” Mark said.
“How long has it been since you returned to the ship, Mark?”
“Two sol days”
“If he is alive, how is he able to be alive without food for two sol days?” John said.
“Which means, that thing doesn’t need food. But moves and don’t remember a thing all at the same time” He added further while Mark listened.
“That is evidence number one.” Mark said at a end of a little pause.
“Jonathan’s death. If he was alive, he could not be doing this”
“So you are saying that a human body could move while being dead?” John asked.
“No. My question is, If a human body could move while being dead, what state of life could that be in?” Mark asked.