I had one story left. It didn’t seem to completely fit the Halloween idea.
I felt inspired by NASA’s abandoned space gun project, and the new Navy rail gun.
Message in a Bottle
“Commander Allen, this is Houston. We’re going to need you to switch to a secure network before describing that debris.”
“Roger, Houston. Switching now…Houston, Commander Allen here. How are you reading me?”
“Loud and clear, Commander. Now what did you say it was made of?”
“Houston, it appears to be made from some kind of brass, or bronze. It’s about the size and shape of a watermelon with Fins, it has an antenna out the aft end.”
“Is it still transmitting?”
“Affirmative, Houston. Just a single ping about every ten minutes or so, like someone wanted us to find it. There’s a door in the side and I’m going to open it.”
“Make sure you can jettison it if something goes wrong.”
“Roger that, Houston. I’m still in the cargo bay and the doors are open. I’m turning the screws loose right now.”
“Try to get us a visual, Commander. We suspect it might be Korean. We want pictures in case you have to deep six it.”
“Suit cameras coming on now. It appears to be a piece of paper inside- No wait, it’s a big leaf, but it’s not like any leaf I’ve ever seen before. Kind of like leather.”
“Roger that. What are those marks on it?”
“It says, Hamburg, 1943.
“We listened to the Allied bombers every day and night, praying they would get closer. We needed cover to fire the space mortar and the bombings were as good as we were going to get.
“We’d been hunted by the Nazis for over five years. Getting caught meant certain death. Leaving was nearly certain death. We elected to take the small chance we had left and risked our very lives on a narrow escape. We didn’t know what we would find and doubted our supplies would last.
“We are alive and well at the time of this message. This tiny vessel is made from the last working parts of our ship. We are marooned, but happily so. The soil here is good for farming and we have domesticated some of the local fauna.
“There is life among the stars, if you know where to look. Come in peace or don’t come at all. Signed Ernst Cohen.”