A faint beeping brings her to what seems like reality. Everything seemed muffled, even her memory. What was happening? Why was she having so much trouble opening her eyes? The beeping seemed to speak to her. Its voice sounded familiar. As she finally gave up trying to wake up she let herself fall back into the deep unconscious state.
Her vision went completely white. Or was it? His old white hair seemed to blend in with the clean space station walls. His shoulders faded into her blurry vision. He was wearing the same gray outfit with the NASA logo over the shoulder. He turned his head to look at her.His dark eyes looked at her with pride as his pink lips peeled into a smile. He turned to face her and put his hands on her shoulders. His old face seemed to glow as if it were brand new. He opened his mouth and spoke in his wise voice that seemed to crack near the end of each sentence.
"We've reached Supernova Heights, Atlas!" She looked into his misty face that stared at her so intently that she thought he might manage to read her thoughts. She never knew what he meant when he said that. No one did. But by his body language, it obviously meant something good.
"Dr Tarick-..." She tried to speak, but it barley came out as a faint whisper.
"Save your strength, girl. You'll need it. You have an amazing adventure in front of you and I know you'll make the station proud," Atlas only looked at him now. As he clenched her shoulders, his grip became tighter. His long white hair that drifted in the zero gravity turned to a dark brown and his wrinkly skin recovered back to a flawless look of youth. He was suddenly young again. Atlas had never known what he had looked like. For her whole life she knew him as the crazy old teacher that lived on the space station. Now he floated in front of her as a young man; he couldn't have been any older than she was now. Everything seemed different about him, except his eyes. They were still locked on her own, but now they had lost their twinkle. What was happiness a second ago was now pure sadness. His hair flopped down over his ears as gravity came to. His feet sank to the ground. A ground that was covered in grass. The world appeared around him. The actual world. The one with a blue sky and trees. And the sun...
Dr Tarik's grip on her loosened. Atlas looked to see that his hands slid off her shoulder and hung at his sides. He drifted a few paces away from her, the sadness still in his eyes. Atlas was about to try and speak again when a flash of light made her have to bite her tongue to stop from screaming. The blue sky around her took an eerie red tinge. She tried to look to the sun but her eyes couldn't bare it. It was too huge, too bright.
On the ground in front of her lay the old Dr Tarik. He had transformed back to his old self. The trees around them began to catch fire. Atlas could tell he was in pain. He was burning! But why wasn't she? Atlas tried to jump forward to his aid, to try and shield him from the burning sky, but she couldn't move.
"Dr Tarik!" She screamed. But it didn't seem to make a sound. What was she to do? She couldn't bare the sight of the old man dying. She fell to her knees and reached out a hand to him. He moved one of his hands away from his face and looked at her with one bloodshot eye, tears gathering around his eye lids. He reached out one hand and touched Atlas's finger tips with his own. As he struggled against the pain that he was feeling in his final moments he managed to speak.
"Go, Atlas..." As his boiling tears spilled down his cheeks, Atlas began to cry as well. His hand slowly fell to the ground as did his head. His eyes closed so gently that Atlas was able to see the last twinkle of life of them as they turned glassy.
"Tarik!" She screamed. But all that answered her now was the many different alarms as they pounded against her ears. She had finally made it back to reality.
She lifted her head from the dirt that she lay face down in. She now realized what the beeping was about. A huge jagged crack ran along the glass of her helmet. She needed to do something quick. She attempted to push herself up with her hands; a heavy gravity pushed her back down. Gravity she hadn't felt in what was actually decades.
As she struggled to her feet she almost forgot to breathe when she got her first glimpse of where she was. She stood on a dusty plain; tall mountains stood in the distance; and in the sky, hanging low on the horizon, was a sun. No, three suns. She began to feel woozy. She almost tripped over her feet as she turned to witness the scene behind. The wreckage of their space craft. Flames licked up from the rubble. One could barely tell what it was anymore.
To Atlas's horror she seen another space suit laying flat on its back. She took a few careful steps towards it, fighting back sobs. She had a horrible hunch as to what lay inside this suit. Stopping a few feet away, she lent forward a little to see his bright, blond hair behind the glass of his helmet covered in blood. She knew he was dead. He was sprawled out on the ground,limp and completely immobile. It looked as if he were trying to escape the wreck but died before he could make it.
A horrible pain of emotion caught in Atlas's throat at the sight. Her breathing became raspy while tears strolled down her face. She looked over at the wrecked shuttle that lay just behind her crew-mates limp feet and knew that somewhere within the mess of the rubble would be her other two crew-mates, probably dead from the impact.
Atlas choked as she sobbed hysterically. She swayed nauseously at the scene, stumbling back to try and escape the reality. But the strong gravity took advantage of her weak legs as she stumbled and fell back onto her back.
She lay, staring at the beautiful sky of the new world, crying uncontrollably at the knowledge that all her friends were dead, killed in the accident. But she was still alive somehow. And Ill die too... She thought as she listened to the beeping, without giving a care. Before she lay her head back to go to sleep, she thought she saw a figure standing only a few yards away from the wreck, A shape she had never seen before. She thought she could see two dark eyes staring at her but what did she know? She was probably already half dead, seeing illusions through her thick tears from the lack of oxygen.
As she let her body go limp she wondered if this would all end up as a dream. She'd wonder if any minute now she'd wake up in her old bed back on earth when she was no older then four years. The faint light of the suns reflecting of her helmet was the last she seen before everything went black.