Author : C. James Darrow

There was a time when man set his eyes on the stars beyond our own. Yet as the centuries passed man still found himself stuck on the world upon which he began. Through our own advancements we eventually found ourselves setting foot onto the Moon and Mars. But it was our satellites which reached far beyond those boundaries, to which no living man ever would.

A time dawned when man’s chaotic history culminated to a single point which became our tragic end. Not from our own self-destruction, but rather obliteration from the one thing which had given us life—the Sun. The dying star became a spectacle of light as it engulfed our home and the other inner planets we had come to know so well. However it was this fate which we recognized long before its occurrence. In one last attempt to survive the eons, and to preserve a history we so cherished, we erected one last monument to ourselves.

The vault was constructed from solid gold, a magnificent cube the size of a small home. It was sent to, and placed on Europa with a hope that any future travelers may find the last remnants of our forgotten empires. Inside it we placed thousands of books and millions of photos; a collection of documented life throughout the evolution of man and his home.

It was there it sat, for millennia to come, resting atop the frozen moon; shimmering in the light of the colossal red Sun. Though it was that light, however weak, that allowed the world to slowly warm. The melt itself took thousands of years alone and the layers of ice began pooling together, creating vast oceans. Soon the vault’s weight became too much and it broke through the thinning ice, sinking far below the surface, and so vanished every last trace of us.

Though it was something else that soon found its way to the surface. Black eel-like fish, for the first time ever had been granted a view beyond their once encapsulated icy realm. It was when they first reached the surface that they stared into the heavens with uncomprehending eyes. Soon they began to lunge from the icy waters, propelling themselves into the thin atmosphere that had slowly been forming above. The red Sun, though providing only a fraction of the heat it once had, was more than enough for the emerging species. It was here they continued to jump into the air, over and over for countless years to come, striving to reach the stars for themselves.

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