Salvation or the End

Kázmér Kaposvári

Our story begins in the twenty-first century: to be exact, in 2044, where we humans have extended our discovery of horizon to the sky. We have built efficient ships capable of bringing people to other planets.

The only planet we have ventured to so far is Planet Mars, as this seemed to be the best one to conquer because of its similarities to Earth. Because of the vast environment, we have only built homes, habitats, and domes underground. This process took an immense amount of money, resources, and energy. Mostly scientists are living there so far and are constantly battling the problems of the unpredictable red planet, such as the sandstorms that can block light, thus preventing it from reaching the solar panels. For this, small nuclear energy generators are used, but they are not for all eternity, as the storm can even stay on the whole planet for months and, very rarely, years.

A new ship was about to land on one of the landing pads: a small team of scientists was to arrive from a nearly six-month journey in space from Earth. This small team included Jackie, Bill, and Robert. During the long trip, they discussed all the problems and difficulties of space travel: loss of muscle mass, their lack of personal belongings from home, homesickness, the awful solution for toilet usage. They also agreed that the journey they were taking was really the future, but here it took such a long time for everything to happen. Even on the Mars base they could only send short messages and videos back to Earth, and depending on the current orbit of Mars and Earth, it could take hours to get a response from the home planet. This small team of three were technicians whose job was mainly to repair electronics. A few weeks later, a disaster struck the Mars base. The dome where the fruits and vegetables were planted and harvested in quite a great number, had an attack by an unknown disease, and most of the greenery died out. The base had only fifty people at that point, yet a mass destruction of plants like this would have an influence on the overall food supply. The reserved food was estimated to be enough for three weeks, and then slowly all that remained would be consumed until it was all gone.

The morale of the society was disturbed deeply, though everyone knew that the moment they set foot on the ship on Earth, there was no guarantee that they would ever return in one piece. Jackie and his friends were here for only a few weeks, and they already felt the death that was just waiting for them. They also knew that the main problem here was: the time of transportation. Unfortunately, they could not wait for another ship with supplies, as it was many months away. Everyone was trying their best to fix the crisis, but as the days went by, the nights got more difficult to sleep through.

One night the three friends were fixing the long-range transponder system, and they suddenly received a strange transmission from an unknown location from space. It seemed this came from the uncharted regions in the universe. This message they accidently received was more like an instruction for a technology yet to be discovered. With the help of Artificial Intelligence, they were able at least to translate and understand what it was about. Jackie immediately realised that this was the key to the problem. The plans they were seeing were for a strange gate: more exactly, two individual gates connected by a strange phenomenon they did not understand. These gates were able to transport matter from one place to the other in no time. They shared the news with the rest of the base, but as expected, not everyone was pleased by this great plan. Some thought this alien tech was here for a reason and maybe to destroy us. As no one had a better idea and time was running out, they started to build it. Luckily, there were many resources for building, as Jackie’s team, when they arrived, brought some supplies. The plans were also sent to Earth, and the construction has begun.

In a few days after the exhausting hard hours were behind them, it was ready; the only step was just to insert the code provided in the plans for connection. The moment of the new era of space travel stood before them, and they were only a press of a button away from unleashing the great changes of the future, as they all knew what this discovery would do. After activation, just as if through a window, they could see their fellow friends on the other side of the gate. It worked like a simple gate, and they could easily hop from Mars to Earth and vice versa. Jackie and his team received a Nobel prize for their discovery for saving the people on the base, but they were never allowed to speak of the signal they received, nor of anything regarding that matter.

The three friends were rich, but they also wondered what they had brought upon humanity: a bright future, or the end of their civilization by another one.