Note from future: Learning to live in the water is the smartest thing we ever did.
Just like back on Earth in the very beginning, we space-faring bipeds went ahead crawling around and covering all the rocks out in space before we looked to where the action really is – the water of Hendrix, a sea-covered planet.
The only reason I use spacecraft any more is to transport my submarines. Submarines are the number one most valuable domestic, scientific and technological exploratory vehicles of the day.
Our smart scouts have returned with details from southwestern Hendrix where we’ve been monitoring the Human Hunters. Those AI androids have succeeded in secretly recording their subjects for my assessment.
The Human Hunters evolved within the southwestern ocean of Hendrix in The Trappist System. Our early explorations were foggily observed by them, just enough that these dexterous natives wonder – are aliens invading Hendrix? Of course they have their own name for their planet.
Odd beings with a vague resemblance to the natives have long been rumored, but now the team dedicated to investigating the truth has brought in several bodies.
The duo, Z’zyn and Glor’tng both of the place best translated as “Boiling Valley,” return from the Danger Zone with the bodies of three aliens they call “humans,” after the legendary utterance of the mythical Man in the Bubble Head Suit -rumored to have visited Hendrix a hundred years ago only to die after uttering that single sound…”human.” Is it possible that many more are arriving in a theoretical area that exists around the ocean? Some investigators now believe that their flowing world has a solid surface with a giant bubble of gas covering Hendrix itself! These concepts are unusual and highly upsetting to many of the 3 and ½ billion citizen natives, who bear weaponry that uses sonoluminent cannons. It’s a technological adaptation mimicking the natural explosive force of a homegrown Hendrixan -the Throg.
The deepest waters of Hendrix differ from that nearer the surface. The creature we call Oceanus belongs to a rugged, primitive species that uncannily mixes with the water itself, as they’ve evolved with a carbon compound uniquely blended with hydrogen, oxygen and neon. A similar species was discovered in our own Solar System in Europa decades ago, hence the designation Oceanus Europa.
Hendrix is home to ice-capped oceans many times the depth of Earth’s Pacific. In a place where sound is so important that his very arms end in sonic receivers, bio-luminescent beauty yet emanates from Woraht (right) and fellow creatures. Restricted to a bio-zone no shallower than 2.6 kilometers below the southern ice mantle, Woraht would explode and melt into a rag of crumpled flesh under water pressures comfortable for humans. Likewise, the pressure Woraht lives comfortably within would crush an unprotected human into a tiny ball instantly. Early, clumsily planned intrusive probes from Earth made Woraht‘s society vaguely aware of human existence intruding into their world.
More smart scouts arrive with terrible news about the Extraquarians and the Throg investigation in the north sea.
Extraquarian Commander Donovan Slyper: “Something huge is coming out of the depths! It’s firing explosive bubbles of some kind…!”
Extraquarian Ensign Jose Phillipe: “Help! It’s got me! It’s got me! Get me off of this! Help you guys! Help!”
Why do we risk our lives swimming in the icy, dismal, terrifying alien underflow of subsurface seas, when robots could do all of the exploring?
Risk is something everyone enjoys to some degree, however small, ain’t it?
Some cheat at games, some shoplift, some have affairs; but for some, risking life itself is the only way to feel alive.
We explorers of extraterrestrial oceans do send robots in advance, but we don’t wait until we know everything. Once it’s determined that our gear will hold up under particular local conditions, we suit up and exit into the unknown.
Often we return with discoveries and treasures of immeasurable value.
Just as often… we don’t return.
Those explosive bubbles described by the doomed Extraquarian are sonoluminescent in nature. Long-dead old-Earth chemist Kenneth Suslick once discovered that “cavitation” of gas bubbles in liquid energized by ultrasound drives an implosive collapse of such bubbles creating sun-like temperatures. The gigantic Throg native to Hendrix has the ability to generate ultrasound waves.
That’s me, below, wrestling a Glantun. Made of alloys blended in space factories, my super-pressure suit supports me comfortably even when on this fateful mission exploring anarea of the Hendrix ocean locked beneath a thick mantle of ice.
Presently underway are missions into the waters of Joplin, Prince, Elvis, Jackson, Belushi and the great sea inside Bowie. As new forms of dangerous life are being discovered, smart scouts are being used for months preceding human excursions.
New chemicals, materials and even philosophies are being discovered on Hendrix. It’s dangerous, but many explorers are willing to risk their lives for the experience of immersion in alien oceans and the thrill of being the only humans ever capable of this incredible odyssey for the first time.