Marlene Fabian Stiles and Hank Fabian
GENRE: Science Fiction
It is the year 2051 and the International Space Institute has just sent two rival astrobiologists to search for extraterrestrial life on Europa, the mysterious ice moon of Jupiter. What they encounter could not only revolutionize science, it might make one of them the most famous person on Earth. Or does the Universe have other plans?
Charlie was right, the phenomenon was curious. If these holes had been created by gas bubbles, why were they uniform and spaced so evenly? Dismissing the peculiarity, she began a photographic assessment of the tunnel wall.
At one point, she discovered a fissure wide enough to squeeze through and marked her location on MySpeak’s guidance system so she could retrace her steps. Then she crawled into the fissure on her hands and knees. As her light relaxed the shadows’ grip, she stared in amazement at the spacious chamber before her. Her headlamp revealed a domed ceiling interlaced with natural archways reminiscent of the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul. Shimmering bulbs of water the size of walnuts hung from the arches like crystal ornaments. One by one they broke loose and fell in a reluctant rain, delicately splashing into a shallow pool cradled on the rocky floor.
A translucent brilliance caught her eye, and she centered her light on a glimmering mineral cluster that resembled a cache of rare gemstones. Pale green crystals seemed to come alive as her light danced across their facets. This is what he saw, it must be. Now she was grateful for her hammer. Striking the crystal as hard as she could multiple times, she finally broke off a small sample.
The raw beauty of this chamber invoked an overwhelming sense of awe as well as a realization that nothing could live on this barren moon; her mother had nothing to fear. Ming Yue conceded that she was relieved as well.
She took one final picture, then closed her eyes and spoke a silent prayer. Please let Pleiades find us so my brother can see these. A sobering possibility crept over her: She was the first human to see this fantastic grotto, and she might also be the last.
AUTHOR Bios and Links:
The family that writes together stays together, so siblings Marlene Fabian Stiles and Hank Fabian co-authored a science fiction adventure that explores Jupiter’s moon Europa as two rival astrobiologists race to be the first to find extraterrestrial life. This discovery should ensure the winner fame and fortune, but the Universe has other plans.
Hank is the guy walking around with a long lens camera and binoculars, a tourist of the world fascinated by every creature that moves and every plant that grows. He teaches biology and helped devise a college genetics program. As a scientist he likes to work with facts, so there's a possibility that the creatures he’s created actually exist!
Marlene is the president of a nonprofit, The I Will Projects, dedicated to advancing educational venues that include a middle school aquaponics program in partnership with the Boys and Girls Club which received a NASA grant. She writes in multiple genres and also has published “Elderchild,” an Alzheimer’s narrative written in the first person. She shares Hank’s love of the natural world and is dazzled by the interconnectivity of all living things.
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