Author: Alicia Yau
Colonization spaceship ‘Victoria’ has been orbiting a gas giant with the most chaotic magnetic field in the solar system for weeks without returning signals to Earth.
You yell, “They are not supposed to park there. Their destination is the watery moon of the gas giant. What’s going on with them?” Years of effort and a lot of money invested to open a path to dreams of every single passenger: young or old, paying for this ride in hopes for a bright future in an exotic world mooning the gas giant. Pioneers have paved the roads by terraforming some caves. If this is a confirmed disaster, the loss will be astronomical in terms of human lives and finance. You sigh.
“One more week… still the same.”
Breaking news: the advent of a faster-than-light ship (FTL-beta) is realized.
You hurriedly form an investigation team to ride the FTL-beta to arrive at Jupiter in less than thirty minutes, study ‘Victoria’, and report no damage, except no one is found. Searching, evidence of a bloody handprint, and video records are discovered and brought back to Earth.
“Oh, the print is not blood. It’s ketchup!”
“It may be signaling to us that the situation is not deadly.”
“These videos show two passengers panicking and having frequent paranormal encounters. Oh my god! You see… the shadows were moving to engulf them and they disappeared.”
“It seems like the shadow-beings like chaos.”
“Like sugar in coffee. Ordered sugar-cubes dissolve into disordered particles.”
“But, is it possible to reverse this order—disorder?”
“Why not? Dissolved sugar particles can slowly re-deposit to form ordered crystals and go back to their ordered state.”
“Oh… that means if we strive to maintain order, the shadow-beings will not like us in their dimensions.”
“Ahem… Remember mass-energy equivalence? Since the shadow-beings cannot show up as clear video images, their masses are weaker than that of humans. And, since they cannot move things to cause significant damage, their energy is also extremely weak. That means… they may not be able to kill human beings. They just want to abduct us into their dimensions if we live in chaos.”
You puff your chest, “Let’s form a rescue army. When they’re on-board ‘Victoria’, they will create chaos to lure the shadow-beings. Once the beings capture them, they may have a chance to see the abductees and tell them to keep calm and live orderly. Hopefully, the shadow-beings will expel all of them back to our dimensions.”
“Report from FTL-beta: …the rescue team was captured by the shadow-beings and successfully met the abductees. The scene was horrific. The abductees howled desperately like animals. Most of them were blaming each other. Some were having fights with each other. Luckily, not a gun or knife was found. The eerie dimensions looked just like ‘Victoria’ except everything was in fading, depressing colors and the light was hopelessly dim. The place seemed as if humans could live forever there without having any food or drinks; it was like an eternity of time. An erupting urge to behave insanely was felt by everyone on the rescue team. The rescue team told everyone to stop panicking and behave in order… The rescue has proceeded as expected. We are preparing to return to Earth with FTL-beta while the empty ‘Victoria’ is autonomously orbiting the gas giant until its fuel is used up.”
Your eyes become misty and thankful.
The colonization project has been abandoned and unmentioned.
The Earth, flooded by wars and crimes, became full of rumors of shadow-beings.
“Stop! Stop-” —..—