September 3, 2022 by Patrick Starks
I never thought I would see the day when Saturn lost its rings. It wasn’t like anything I had ever seen before. It was as if time was reversing itself. Life changed so dramatically after that, and that day I had lost everything, but still, somewhere deep inside I had not lost hope.
After Saturn had lost its ring the gravity of the entire galaxy had shifted in ways unimaginable, sending my ship far away from home, yet other things towards it. The last person I was in contact with was two years ago and I haven’t heard from them since. When I spoke with them, they said mostly everything on the earth had been wiped away by meteorites. Merely a repeat of the dinosaur age. It had all made me think about my wife who was six months pregnant. I prayed that she was alright, but as I gazed at nothing but the darkness that surrounded me I was beginning to doubt if those prayers had been heard as it would seem beyond the clouds there was no heaven at all, just the stars and the silence that came with them.
I was beginning to lose faith on how long I would remain alive myself. My ship was completely out of fuel. I was running low of supplies. I only had a few waters, toothpaste and three cans of beans, which I was by now extremely tired of eating, but sooner or later there would be a sign that would give me hope again that things would turn around for the better.
To the left of me the calling signal would flash. It had been so long that I had seen it come on that it’s bright red flashes nearly blinded me, but that was a given seeing how I had been in the dark for so long.
I then rushed over to the phone.
“Hello, is anyone there? This is Station 457. Come in.”
There was nothing but static on the other end, but still, I could hear a faint and muffled voice.
“Hello, can anyone hear me? Please come in. This is Station 457.”
The Static was still the same, but as I had moved to another part of the ship, the voice behind it would become clearer.
“Hello, is anyone there? This is Station 754.”
“Yes, I can hear you. This is Station 457.”
“What is your status Station 457? Where are you located?”
“I… I don’t know… I’ve been floating in space for a decade now. I don’t see any planets except for Saturn still.”
There was now an awkward silence. It was as if the person on the other line knew something I didn’t.
“Station 457… Are you sure that you don’t see anything else?”
“No, just Saturn, but forget about that. Are you on earth? Are there still survivors?”
Again, there was silence.
“Station 457, are you the only one on your ship?”
“Yes, why does that even matter? You didn’t answer my question.”
There was a long gasp on the other end of the call.
“I hate to inform you of this, but planet earth is no more. You see, with the little survivors that we had, we had to evacuate, but as we did, we found that we weren’t the only ones who evacuated their planet.”
I then took the phone from my lips. I didn’t want the person on the other end to hear my sobs. My wife… My unborn child… What reason was there for me to go on anymore? I shouldn’t have even been on the ship in the first place. I was just an engineer, not an Astronaut. All I had to do was one test drive to make sure that the ship was ready, and what terrible luck I had to be on it when life as we know it was ending.
“Station 457, are you still there?”
“Yes… I am, and please, call me Stanford. In short, you can just call me Stan.”
“Okay, Stan it is. Well, Stan we are going to try and find a way to you. By the way our signals are connected, we can’t be too far away from each other.”
“I agree. I think I might have something that can help you find where I am. My ship is out of fuel. So, there is no way I can come to you, but I at least still have electricity to turn on the beacon. Do you still have a radar?”
“Nevermind… Forget about it. It’s nothing. We will power on our radar and wait for your signal.”
I then ran to the other end of the ship where I hadn’t been to in weeks. It had always given me the creeps. I don’t know what it was, but it always felt like something was there. Something that didn’t belong.
As I walked down the hall some of the lights flickered on off as if I was being warned of something, but unfortunately, I didn’t know any kind of morse code. Again, I was just an engineer.
Nevertheless, I had reached the panel of the beacon. Without hesitation I started it up and got back on the phone with Station 754.
“Station 754, do you see the beacon now?”
“Yes, we see it. You’re not far from us. Hang tight, we are on the way.”
I then waited. It took nearly two days before I could get the slightest glimpse of Station 754. Although, seeing what I was saw, I regretted turning on my beacon.
Whatever it was in the distance, I could see that it was much larger than my ship. In fact, it didn’t look to be a ship at all. Bright lights of blues and purples coiled all around it, and the ship itself looked to be shaped like a ring, which was odd seeing what happened to Saturn’s.
“Station 754, is that you?” I asked.
Not a word was said. The ship had only continued to float towards me at a considerably good pace. Before I could do anything about it, the front door to Station 754 would open, swallowing my ship as if it was a tic tac of some sort. It was quite clear that I had already been surrounded by black skies, but something about the darkness I was now facing gave me chills I had never felt before.
“Welcome to Station 754,” said a strange and raspy voice.
It didn’t sound like any of the two people I had spoken to before, which were soft and gentle. No, this voice sounded like an old man that had had far too many cigarettes in their day.
“Who’s there? What is this?”
A thousand bodies of laughter echoed around me.
“This is not what you think it is Stan. This is not a rescue. You see, we are not like you, but so much more. Some of your kind would call us God’s but to be honest I see myself to be much more than that.”
“What are you talking about? I don’t want any trouble I just want to get back home.”
The person in the darkness sighed as if they were taking a deep breath to meditate, but nothing peaceful was to come out of their mouths next.
“We are here for your ship, and as for your planet, it is no more. There is no one left. We have taken all and destroyed all that rested on it. It is just you and us but let me not be rude. Allow me to introduce myself, I am the God known as Saturn.”
“What are you talking about? Saturn is a planet.”
More chuckles echoed the room.
“Stan… Surely you must know that Saturn is more than just a planet… Saturn is me.”
Into the light a foot would step out from the darkness and into the blue and purple lights that flickered. Little by little the rest of its body would be revealed leaving me starstruck by what I was seeing.
It was as if I was looking at the reincarnation of Goliath himself. No, Hercules. No… Something far greater than the two. What I was witnessing right before my very eyes was truly the god himself Saturn. I just never thought he or any god existed until now.
“Speechless are we,” said Saturn with a sharp grin.
His Hair looked like fire. His skin was like looking at the center of a snickers bar, which was a mixture of all variations of browns. Jis eyes were like staring at the stars themselves, but no matter how glorifying Saturn looked to be, all I could still see was the monster that took my home from me. A monster that I deserved answers from.
“Why did you do it?”
“Why did I do what?” asked Saturn, with not the slightest bit of shame to what he had done.
“Why did you destroy my home! You took everything from me!”
Saturn’s starry eyes then widened for he had not seen such anger from anyone. For the most part everyone within his circle was too afraid to show him such an attitude as I was giving, but sooner or later I would see why.
Saturn’s widened eyes then shifted to a sight of power and authority.
“Everything taken from you? And what about what you and your kind all did to my dear sister Gai?” said Saturn, angrily.
“What are you talking about it?”
It was then another God had come forward, but this time with a much softer voice.
“You know what he is talking about you rodent of a man. The wars, the killing of all those beautiful creatures that were there long before your kind arrived. The destruction of nature itself. It was because of these careless actions our sister Gai died!”
Like lighting the angered voice would coil around me like a snake in the grass. I mediately I could feel myself losing what little life I had left. The tighter they had squeezed the more my bones had popped, only to raise my head up to the painful reality that I was looking at.
Right before my very eyes was the most beautiful woman I had ever seen. Her eyes were as green as a four-leaf clover. Although, the feeling I had gotten from them was somewhat a dreamy sensation, as if time had been frozen only for me and her to move within it. Then again, I couldn’t move a muscle, and the closer the woman had gotten to me the more the dozens of snakes in her hair would snap at me, hoping that I would get an ounce of their venom as it would seem they were angry with me as well.
“Calm yourself Medusa. Let the man go. He only knows what he has been taught, but we will retrain his mind.”
The woman known as Medusa had hesitated to let go but seeing how Saturn was running the show, I would eventually feel my bones loosen. However, by now I was on my hands and knees gasping for air, and as I did Saturn would make a request.
“We will need you to go to another planet Stan,” said Saturn, sternly.
I wanted to tell all the Gods around me they could go screw themselves, but I was still too tired to even say so much as a word. Plus, they probably already had screwed each other plenty of times from all the stories that had been told. So, the insult wouldn’t have mattered much.
Saturn then asked me again for the request, but this time in a more demanding tone.
“This is not a negotiation Stan. You will be going to this planet, but don’t worry you will not be going alone.”
“Yes, you will be safe and sound as long as you follow my lead,” said another strange voice from the dark, but this time it wasn’t raspy like Saturn but rather boyish than manly.
A strong finger had tapped me on the back of my shoulder. So strong, in fact, I thought it would have dislocated it. However, when I turned around who I was looking at didn’t look to be strong at all.
Their skin was as pale as a stick of chalk for a chalkboard. Their chin was thin and narrow like the end of a surfboard and their ears would be pointy in the same way. To add to everything odd about this God, unlike all the others he was not handsome, nor was he ugly. It was as if his facial features changed every second. It was something like watching a chameleon try to blend in with its environment, except there really wasn’t any environment to blend in to.
“No tricks Loki. You are to take Stan to the other world and create a new life. One much better than the one he knew before.”
Loki stood confused.
“And how exactly would we do that?” asked Loki. “I am God, but surely you know I don’t do miracles. We need a woman, someone who can breed more life into the new planet.”
“Can you not do so yourself Loki? There have been many times we have seen you turn yourself into a woman.”
Loki tapped his foot aggravatingly.
“Yes, but I did not transform myself for those reasons. Surely there must be a woman you have, possibly one your captives.”
Saturn now bared the look of annoyance. It was as if Loki knew something that he shouldn’t have known, but of course this was always Loki.
“Yes… we do have a woman. In fact, she has had a child before, but I worry if she is too old now to conceive. Then again, she is the youngest out of all the captures that we have had. So, we might as well try.”
“Well let’s not waste any more time. Where is she?” asked Loki, urgently.
Saturn then looked over to another god, but this time would be a woman more beautiful than what I could ever fathom. Her eyes were like honey. Her lips were just the right size for a face, which were soft looking and sparkled as she’d taken her tongue to lick them. Her entire body was like an hourglass and her hair was so long that it had come all the way down to her feet.
“Aphrodite!” shouted Saturn. “Would you please be so kind as to get our beloved captive.”
Aphrodite nodded and then walked past me to another section of the ship. She smelt like nature and all sorts of citrus fruits.
Not long after Aphrodite would return, but with someone that had made me finally stand up from my knees. My heart was jumping all over my chest. Those eyes, the hair, the tattoo on her left arm, the bracelet on her right wrist…
“Sonya…” I paused.
Not a word was said. The woman that stood next to Aphrodite seemed to be in a trace of some sort, almost lifeless like a zombie, but I could tell very well that she was alive, and I could tell very well that she was my wife.
I then turned to Saturn and sprinted tackling him to the floor. Rage flowed through my arms as my hands clinched around his neck.
“What did you do to my wife! What did you do with our child!”
Saturn only chuckled the tighter I squeezed around his neck. I’d reached for the knife in my pocket to give him one last chance before I would give him what I believed to be a final blow, but I guess all the rage had made me blind, more so, naïve to the fact that I was trying to kill a god.
A soft hand then touched my shoulder. By its touch alone it had brought back so many memories. It reminded me of the day I had gotten my big promotion to the job I was sent to space to do. I remembered having my cup of coffee, reading the newspaper to see what the best stocks were to invest in, and all while she would have her hand on my shoulder massaging it. I’d then turn around to her on my knees, resting my head on her baby bump, while she would rub her fingers through my hair.
I then let go of Saturn and turned around. As always it was Sonya, and even though she no longer had the baby bump, I was exhausted, tired, lonely, and could not help but feel compelled to rest my head on that exact same place once more. It saddened me that I could no longer hear or feel a kick. Then again, I was just happy to know that a part of my life remained, and well, Sonya was the biggest part to it.
“It’s okay,” said Sonya.
All I could feel were her tears as they had fallen on top of my head. We had both held onto each other tighter than what we did on our wedding day.
“Okay, okay. So, it is quite clear to me that you two know each other very well, which means this task for the new planet will be very easy. So, if you two will just follow me, we can get this over with quickly and the sooner I can go back home to Aesgard.”
I then got back up on my knees for the second time and this time I would make it clear that I would not be on my knees again, as I grew tired of the god’s carelessness.
“No, we will not go anywhere until I know where our child is,” I said.
Saturn had floated back up to his feet like a vampire.
“Now you are getting greedy,” he said. “Is it not enough already that you have your wife back, but now you want your daughter as well… I don’t think so. She is ours now.”
A daughter… So, I guess Sonya one the bet. We had daughter which meant that I owed her three months of cooking. I dreaded the thought, but thankfully we weren’t exactly in the right place to make that happen.
Nevertheless, Saturn had to be dealt with. I needed to get my family back at any cost. I needed to offer a god something that they always wanted, but was not always guaranteed to have, which was love. Genuine, unconditional love from not one but all life from the new planet we were to live on. If I was to promise Saturn that everyone’s hope and faith would go more into him then the great messiah Jesus himself, then maybe he would give me and Sonya our daughter back. Maybe I could turn back the hands of time. I just wondered just how habitable the new planet would be and if me and Sonya alone could restore humanity.