4 The Journey to Proxima Centauri

Mahrosh Abid

I suddenly awoke. My heart was beating rapidly. I looked around, unaware of my surroundings. Everywhere around me was a glow, a light green glow.

I got up. I appeared to be lying on some green sand-like material. “Where am I?” I questioned myself aloud. As I glanced back, something caught my eye. There was a tall, beat-up spaceship. It looked as though it was going to crumble any second. Then, it suddenly hit me. I was one of the three astronauts who had been selected to take the mission to Proxima Centauri b, a planet in a far-away galaxy. After a couple of years of back-breaking work, we were ready to set-off.

After months and months of travelling, we were almost there, but then, something happened. All of a sudden, our alarms starting blaring and the spaceship was twisting and turning. The last thing I remember was trying to contact Earth, but there was no signal. Then, everything went black.

Now here I was…on what I assumed was Proxima Centauri b. This was great! I thought excitedly. Our mission was successful! I ran back towards the spaceship to find my friends, but when I went inside, I was horrified. The inside of the spaceship was nearly destroyed. Everything was smashed to bits.

I ran around the spaceship like a lunatic, calling out my friends. “Ike, Kelly! Where are you guys?” Silence answered my question. My heart began beating rapidly. I quickly made my way to the front of the ship to see if I could contact Earth, but all the screens were smashed to bits.

I screamed. I knew it wasn’t rational, but I couldn’t help myself. How would you feel if you were stranded on an unknown planet, far away from Earth with no way to get back?

I decided to explore the planet to clear my head. I quickly exited the spaceship and set out to explore the “world” of unknown.

I was mesmerized by the planet. I didn’t know how to describe what I was seeing. The pitch-black sky looked almost transparent. I could see far-away planets up close. This was amazing! The ground had green sand which gave off a green glow. There were huge holes in the sand, and green (what I assumed were) mountains, as tall as skyscrapers.

As I ventured, I suddenly noticed track marks on the sand. They looked like something was being dragged. There were two sets. I suddenly felt hope. Maybe, I thought, these marks belonged to my friends. Maybe they were taken away and left this as a sign. In my excitement, I followed the tracks. After what felt like hours, the tracks stopped. My hope faded.

“How will I find my friends now?” I wondered aloud.

“You won’t.” Someone said behind me. I quickly turned around and let out a shriek. There was a creature, five or six feet tall standing behind me. It had two curved horns and three eyes. It looked like a centaur. But then again, it didn’t.

“Shhh!” The creature said suddenly. “Do you want to be taken away like your friends?” I was shocked. This weird creature could speak in fluent English…how was this possible?

“Wh-what are you?” I blurted.

“Sigh. I am a Centauri from the planet, Proxima Centauri. And no, I am not an alien. I am quite different from them,” it said in a bored voice. “Oh, and my name is Zwicky.”

“Oh… wait what? What did you mean, I will not find my friends? Who will take me away?”

“Shh!!! It is not safe to talk here. Come follow me,” she said as she turned and headed in the opposite direction. I paused. Am I really trusting a stranger? I thought as I followed her.

She led me through a weird looking forest with tall silver trees and weird vines that tried to wrap around you if you got too close. There were plants that tried to grab you, and some plants had razor sharp teeth.

Finally, we ended up in a clearing. There was a small … hut in the clearing. I was surprised. “How com-” I began.

“How come the hut looks … normal?” Zwicky interrupted.

“Y-yes!” I stammered, bewildered. “How -” She cut me off again.

“How do I finish your sentences for you?” she said.

“Yes!” I said, feeling slightly annoyed and confused.

“Listen Sadie,” she began. I stared at her. How did she know my name? “I am a mind reader. The only mind reader on Proxima Centauri.”

“A what?”

“A mind-reader. You know, someone who can read minds?”

“I-I know what a mind reader is!” I exclaimed, feeling really dumb at this point. “I’m just … shocked – a mind reader? You must be the only one … in the whole world – the whole universe in fact.”

“I could be.” She murmured, and beckoned to me. I followed Zwicky and made my way to her hut. As I entered, I was astounded! Everything was silvery white with huge windows and decorated curtains. There were beautiful silvery couches with a cozy-looking marble fireplace that was lit with silver fire. At this point I felt like nothing could surprise me anymore. As I sat next to the fire, I expected the fire to be cold, surprisingly it was very warm.

“Ok, but first, let us get you some food and… proper clothes,” she added. “I don’t eat humans. Don’t worry, you’ll be surprised by what we eat.”

“Hmm. Also, I have another question. How did you-” I could never finish my sentence.

“How did I get everything silver, even the fire?” She finished my sentence for me.

“Ok this is just getting plain creepy,” I said.

“I can’t help it!” She shrugged. “I mean, you wouldn’t be able to either if you were the only one on your planet that was able to read minds!”

“Only one in all the universes that was able to read minds,” I corrected her.

“See what I mean? And plus, I so often get to say people’s thoughts to themselves because the Proxima government is looking for me everywhere.”

“Wait, what do you mean the government is looking for you?” I asked.

“Well, Sadie, I suppose I should start from the beginning. Proxima Mo Mister was a good citizen. Nearly everyone on Proxima Centauri knew him for supporting the government and being a good person in general.

“Anyway, about ten years ago his son went over to the dark side. He finally got him back. He was pleading and begging the government to spare his son, but they didn’t listen. Proxima Mo Mister, devastated, locked himself in his hut for days- nearly a month! When we went to go check up on him, he was gone. Completely vanished! We searched and searched everywhere for days, but there was no trace of him. Eventually we all just assumed he was dead.

“We did a funeral for him without a body just to respect him. Because Proxima Mo Mister was such a good citizen, thousands even the Minister turned up at the funeral. Halfway through, when we were about to bury the coffin, suddenly Proxima Mo Mister appeared with a group of followers all heavily armed. He, Proxima Mo Mister, killed the Minister and took over the government and nearly destroyed our planet. Now it’s every Centauri for themselves.” She finished.

My jaw dropped. I quickly closed it. “But what happened to my friends?” I suddenly realized I had forgotten about them.

“Well, I suppose, since we have never seen your kind before, your friends would have been taken away to the government’s top labs to be … how do I put this… experimented on.”

“Experimented on!” I said confused and worried at the same time. “What does that mean?”

“It means you won’t be seeing your friends,” she said. “Listen I know you want to save our planet, save your friends, and possibly get back to Earth, but that’s not going to happen.”

“So – I can’t get back to Earth …” I ended in a dreadful whisper.

To my horror, Zwicky nodded.

To be continued…if you want to find part 2 of the story, please visit: https://hubnewspaper.wordpress.com/



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Getting to Proxima b Copyright © 2021 by Mahrosh Abid is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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