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Rape of Ganymede: I hold this secret here, beyond the turbid sphere...
Posted by Randoclese, Jan 27, 2010. 1643 views. ID = 3139

Rape of Ganymede

Posted by Randoclese, Jan 27, 2010. 1643 views. ID = 3139
This post was written in 96 minutes.
This post has been awarded 12 stars by 3 readers.

I was awakened four times enroute for routine systems checks, and have been on active duty status for the last 100 days. This mission phase marks the conclusion of orbital insertion, drone deployment, and dropping of the 1 megaton thermonuclear lance onto the crusted, icy surface of Ganymede, near the feature called Osiris Crater. The device smashed nearly half a kilometer into the grey ice, after streaking through the thin ionosphere, and has been tunneling downward, melting it's way deep into the moon an averge of 14 kilometers each day.

As it progressed, I kept in contact with the array of satellites I deployed before and during orbit, collecting data and observations from Ganymede and her Jovian sisters, Io and Europa. From their vantage points, a towering plume of steam rose from the entry wound in Ganymede's icy armor. It crystallized instantly, glimmering against the blackness of space and fell as a trailing snow.

I've relayed the data we amassed each time I've emerged from behind the shadow of Jupiter and established a line of site with the Earth-based receivers, every 7.15 days. Since the last ping confirming my previous transmission, I've collected data indicating that the ice probe had suddenly accelerated. It's velocity suggested it had broken through the icy rind and was now in free fall, through a deep and lightless liquid ocean. I ordered the device to release its single drone, which now swam slowly, buoyant, in the vast briny darkness.

The water chemistry data came in first, as scheduled, followed by sonar pings probing the dimness for any solid features it could find, but the data was at once unexpected. I ran several systems checks that failed to show any failures or signal distortion. The observations show clearly several hundred to many thousands of randomly moving objects, ranging in size from a few millimeters to over 5oo meters. They approach, or pass by the probe singly, in groups, and sometimes in vast swarms. They change direction at random, calculated to the tenth decimal place. There are no pressure or temperature driven currents detectable to explain their motion. Several times, the probe was diverted from its course. I can only surmise it had been bumped. I took the initiative to develop an unplanned experiment, blinking the sonar and thermal sensors off, then on again, without warning. Some of the objects passing nearby seemed to have reacted to it. I've been busy cataloging the data, arranging and compressing it for transmission at the first opportunity. Four more days will pass while I cruise behind the dark side of the swirling gas giant and contact can be re-established.

As a quasi-artificial gel-pak intelligence, once a part of, and still exhibiting many of the attributes, of the human brain, I am curious enough to find these observations intriguing. If the analysts 8 million miles closer to Sol reach the same conclusions as I, their long mission will have been a success beyond their wildest expectations. Never before in their history have they had any evidence of life within their own solar system. Particularly not the lush and diverse ecology existing on this ice covered moon, powered and fed by forces other than their familiar sun.

I alone in the universe am keeper of this revelation, as I drift mute . If I direct my sensors, I can see Io, slowly passing across the roiling gases and angry red eye storm of Jupiter beyond. I wonder what it will mean to them, to finally know. I am eager, anticipating my next message and the result it will have. But they must wait to find out, while massive Jupiter passes beneath me. Until then I'll keep my secret in silence, gliding among the Medicean Stars.

Copyright 2010 Randoclese. All rights reserved. has been granted non-exclusive rights to display this work. For permission to reprint this item, please contact the author.

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