by A21 Reporter Andy Clems
There have been celebrations throughout Moonbase Alpha to welcome home Commander John Koenig who returned safely after going missing on a solo mission over 10 days ago. Commander Koenig said that he was relieved to be home once more and that the time spent apart from his Alphan family seemed far longer than a week and a half.
It all began when Koenig blasted off in Eagle Six on a mission to investigate an unusual spacial phenomenon that proved impossible for the sensors on Alpha to define. As he neared the distortion, his communications link with Alpha was abruptly severed and seconds later, Alpha lost him on the space scanner and visual tracking. Rescue Eagles were launched immediately, but before they’d got a hundred feet off the surface of the Moon, the spacial phenomenon completely vanished, apparently taking Commander Koenig’s Eagle with it.
The search operation continued for several days, with scanners manned around the clock and Eagles patrolling the area for any clue to what might have happened. After 5 days and not a shred to go on, morale began to take a serious hit and one by one the Alphans came to believe they would never see their commanding officer and friend again.
Meanwhile, Koenig found himself aboard a completely non functional Eagle, floating stationary in the middle of a seemingly empty void of nothing. Staring out of the cabin view port, there was nothing but a pure white featureless space all around the craft. He tried to contact Alpha with no success and failed to get any of the electrical systems back online.
Donning a spacesuit and tether, he proceeded out of the cabin and into the nothingness beyond. Stepping off the edge of the access stairs, his foot came into contact with a solid surface, as if there was a floor or flat ground beneath him, but he could see nothing to differentiate anything below his body from anywhere else around. The Eagle remained his only point of reference in the bizarre environment and he proceeded to walk further from the craft with the reassuring pull of the tether at his waist.
Time may have passed, but it was impossible to tell. He couldn’t say how long he had been there when the gateway appeared before him. Well, there was no better way to describe it – about 8 feet tall, made of polished white stone and opening to a swirling mass of colour. As he neared the structure, he began to make out a voice coming from the other side – his own voice!
Stepping onto the round platform in front of the gateway, the colours rearranged themselves to form a pattern, then an image, and finally a window into the event on the other side. Astonished, Koenig recognized himself standing in a lab at Alpha. The other Koenig was younger and wearing a Reconnaissance Section uniform. Koenig knew he was seeing a vision of the past.
Suddenly the image changed, blurring as if some great force was scanning through an old-style cassette. When the images returned, Koenig saw himself on board an Eagle. The video call screen was operating and Commissioner Simmonds’ image was displayed. He was on his way to assume command of Alpha! Desperately Koenig stepped forward, through the threshold of the gateway.
In the blink of an eye, he was there in the Eagle, standing a few feet from his past self. The video image of Simmonds was frozen on the screen. The younger Koenig turned, his eyes wide in surprise at the space-suited figure standing just across the cabin…
TRANSMISSION TERMINATED – TO BE CONCLUDED IN NEXT A21 REPORT