Falling Home

Avatar Author: Jason Garber While working at AOL, I was a part of the team that built Ficlets along with Kevin, Cindy, Jenna, and Ari. When AOL decided to shut our baby down, I contacted Kevin and got the ball rolling on Ficly. I'm more a musician a... Read Bio

Reentry is a tricky thing at best.

The Ph.D.s on the ground tell us that we’re always falling, in a manner of speaking. Way I look at it, orbiting the planet’s got nothing to do with the soul-shaking fall back into the atmosphere. Come in too steep and you’re toast. Too shallow and you’ve got a one-way ticket to the far reaches of space.

What do I know? I’m just a pilot. If any of us weren’t glued to the backs of our seats, we could look out the window and see the curve of the Martian horizon ever so slowly flatten.

The mission itself had been a success, as successes go. The planet’s main communications satellite had gone toe to toe with some space debris and most certainly did not walk away from that fight the victor. Crippled, but not dead, the contraption had lost touch with Earth, leaving the few colonies left back there in the dark.

“Lights out,” as they say.

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Oh no! This story doesn't have a prequel. Want to fill in the blanks and write one?

Comments (10 so far!)

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  1. Avatar ElshaHawk (LoA)

    ah, in reverse, and we learn that the mission restored light, thus earning you bonus points. :P

  2. Ahfl_icon THX 0477

    Great start to a sci-fi story with some familiar themes about isolation, home, and the down side of the adventurous spirit.

  3. Avatar Jason Garber

    Thank you, both! I wanted to start something in the middle of the story in the grand tradition of the Spaceman Spiff strips from Calvin & Hobbes. Those strips inevitably started with the protagonist (crash) landing in the middle of some crazy planet into some sort of misadventure.

  4. Avatar Kevin Lawver

    Well done, sir. A fine entry into the challenge and a good starter for a bunch of prequels and sequels!

  5. Avatar Stovohobo

    I love the departure from the mundane here. Very nice look at what’s going through the pilot’s head after some bad experiences.

  6. Avatar ALRO613 (LoA)

    Ya, a lot can be done with this – and I love scifi – so i may just have to participate in a sequel here..

  7. Avatar Treebeard's Ghost

    I immediately thought of Spaceman Spiff! You have quite a way with words.

  8. Avatar Xanathael

    A poignant window looking out into a larger story. Great work!

  9. Toonrmicon Robotech_Master

    Very interesting that Mars is apparently the center of human civilization now, and Earth only has “a few colonies back there”. Makes me want to learn more about this setting: did some terrible catastrophe wipe out all life on Earth?

  10. Avatar Mighty-Joe Young (A.K.A Strong Coffee)(LoA)

    wow this is a good story Jason i like how we gain so much insight about this whole scenario in so few words awesome.

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