Journey to Styxaz 

Captain’s Log: Day 145

Nothing can describe the feeling of falling asleep in the Earth’s shadow and waking up to find the red surface of Mars glaring at you. It looks like an angry ball, just daring us to trespass on its surface. The sight of the planet leaves you with an overwhelming sense of dread and apprehension. I’m trying to stay strong for the rest of the crew, but I can’t help feeling like we might never see Earth again.

We woke from hypersleep a day before we reach the planet’s surface, just as planned. All systems seem to be working as expected. Thanks to the improvements, we did not experience much muscle loss. We are just dealing with minor soreness due to inactivity. We should reach the surface without any complications.

The broadcast has grown stronger, but we are no closer to translating it or identifying the source. The constant beeps and clicks are not helping with moral. Smith has taken to wandering what little space we have. I fear he will break before too much longer. I have to express my concerns once again. It was foolish for us to come out here without knowing what the broadcast meant. We do not know if it is a warning or a plea for help. We could be flying into some kind of trap.

After years of studying life in harsh climates, I am not sure life can survive here. There is no water visible on the surface. The surface appears to be made entirely of rock. When we land, we will use the tools we brought with us to attempt drilling. We will proceed with our experiments despite my reluctance to step foot on the surface.

End transmission.

Captain Keith sat back, rubbing his temples. He knew the entry sound like death was a sure thing, but he was told to be honest. He could not shake the feeling that they were in trouble. If Smith lost it, he would be alone. Something needed to change. He winced as the beeping and clicking started up again. That was not the change he had in mind.