He took a step forward, revealing the canyons he'd been looking for.
Turning around his eyes wandered for one last time at the remains of his crushed shuttle, pieces of scrap metal laying all over the place, and the remains of his crew,
somewhere inside the main part of the wreckage. Returning home was now impossible, the least he could do was to ensure the plan came to fruition efficiently as possible.
He faced forward: in front of him the land split into two, in what was the deepest chasm he'd ever seen, stretching as far as his eyes could possibly go.
Although covered in gloves, his hands started shaking, while his lips whitened and his pupils enlarged under his helmet,
as if they were trying to capture the almighty essence of the scenery: fine, dull and gray soil covered everything, reflecting the light of the sun and appearing brighter.
In the distance, craters filled with darker volcanic rock, that, when shifting your gaze upwards, gave the landscape a contrasting tone in colors, exhibitng no atmosphere,
only stars and empty space, which gave the impression that if he really tried, he could jump and end up drifting through space. Of course, that wasn't the case.
The gravity here, although lower than Earth's, would not allow such thing.
The real danger in space, at least until now, was the void itself and his suit was the only thing protecting him from the cold, unfeeling emptiness around him. He couldn't think of that.
After directing his attention on the white multi-layered suitcase he carried, chills ran through his spine. His hands and legs stopped listening and a voice in his head scolded him:
"Stop. Stop it now. This is it, this is what you came for. Make sure their sacrifice wasn't vain".
He wasn't sure of his feelings, uncapable of telling apart dread from stupor, but it didnt matter right now, he had to complete his mission, a mission on which many lives depended on.
Another step forward.
This time he could feel the whole weight of his suit, pressing him down, pulling him back, every bone and muscle in his body screaming, crying for help, but it amounted to nothing,
as if he was guided by his brain and his brain only. Another step forward. His legs obeyed him, but didn't want to. His hands clenched into fists and a drop of sweat rolled down his temple.
This was a fight against his whole body, a fight he could win. Another step forward:
"Keep going, you can do this, you have to do this".
Another step forward:
"Think about everyone. Think about their pain. You can't run away. You just can't, either way this goes. So suck it up."
Another step forward. And another, and another, and another.
Time's relative, he knew that. He also knew that enormous quantities of adrenaline were flowing through him, keeping him in a fight or flight state, overloading his brain.
Every second lasted longer, every action carefully considered, every outcome attentively planned for, but his breathes cut short, needlessly consuming oxygen, his heart pumped fast,
his sweat turned cold, his throat closed up, as if he was being poisoned to death.
He understood the feeling, the feeling of vulnerability, true helpessness, fear of his surroundings and himself. Panic.
After reaching the gap he stopped for a moment, took a deep breath, straigthened himself up and proceeded to descend.
From the data analyzed back home, he knew close by was a narrow ledge on the side of the rift, as if the canyon itself invited you in,
mocking you and your futility in the face of massiveness and, although the passage was small, it was enough for him to pass through, with frail rocks covering it,
coming across like something clawed and dug it's way through there. He gulped and was momentarily stricken with terror. He knew what did that, it was waiting for him at the bottom of the pit.
He stopped thinking and started looking for a steady protrusion.
After finding it, he tightly tied his tether around it and, while holding himself to the side, he advanced, careful not to step on the brittle side of the path.
While going further down, he started seeing it: immense, grotesque and enourmous; the bottom of the rift was moving, wriggling, breathing.
He stood still, his blood turned to ice in less than a second, his mind blinded, confused, derailed; he couldn't understand what he was looking at. It didn't have a proper form.
What could only be described as some sort of sharp fins protruded from many parts of it, deforming the rest of the "skin", as if daggers digged through the body outwards,
surrounded by sepia colored tentacles that jutted out and reconnected with the main build, like infectious veins.
The being had an uneven scale-like, dim blue layer, spotted with holes that resembled empty eyes and the scales moved in a rythmical motion, comparable to waves.
When he first saw the image of this thing he was shocked, disgusted, but also a little intrigued,
for it was the first true alien life form to ever come in contact with the human race; it came from a forgotten realm of God and resided within the moon, enlargening it,
increasing its gravity by massive amounts, so much so that on Earth the after effects were devastating: tsunamis as big as mountains, earthquakes of untold magnitude,
entire continents flooded by colossal tidal bulges, unstable weather, including hurricanes, tempests and droughts. The human race was nigh extinction.
Ninety percent of the population was whiped out in a matter of weeks, technological advancements couldn't protect against such calamity.
The remainder of humanity gathered in secluded places in high altitudes and built a spaceshuttle,
in hope of sending an extremely powerful doomsday device to their natural satellite and detonating it, killing the creature.
Unluckily for the astronauts, the gravity of the moon was now in total disarray, shifting continuously, following the gargantuan creature's movements.
The shuttle crashed, killing everyone in it, except for the only person with enough determination to face this foul being and against all odds, transform the hopes of the survivors into reality.
He stumbled and couldn't move forward. The tether had reached it's limit, but it wasn't enough, he wasn't close enough.
Detaching his D ring from the tether was the only way to move forward and, after doing so, he descended even further reaching an opening on the ledge, the perfect spot.
Inside the opened suitcase was a detonator with a big red button, a round device, big as his hand, and a close range drone, white, with four tiny rotors,
and a compartment underneath it where the fusion bomb was supposed to be placed. Incased within the suitcase was a computer, which primary purpose now was to direct the drone.
His hand still shaking, he tried to place the bomb in the drone as slowly and carefully as possible, drops of cold sweat running through his face, some into his eyes.
Swallowing was now impossible, his liquids drained from his body, his lips started cracking and he could feel a grasp on his heart, tempting him to let go, to run, to faint,
anything to get away and return to normality, his "reality".
That thought brought his mind back to his body, like a seatbelt when you're about to crash: instant, sudden and painful, but it did it's job. Normality didn't exist anymore.
His friends and family all died. He was all that was left of his normality.
Anger focused his senses, giving him the concentration he needed to place the bomb in the drone's compartment and activated the unmanned machine.
It started flying, making a buzzing noise, similar to that of an insect, because that's what it was: an insect roaming around a creature way bigger than it. In that moment the creature moved.
It turned on itself, revealing other outer veins and sharp fins, always surrounded by those eyes, or what they should've been. He gagged and almost threw up.
Then the creature slowly raised a fin and swiftly smashed the drone.
For a second air left his lungs completely, and he fell to his knees, hopeless, but in the remains of the drone hope persisted, in the form of a round radioactive device.
He watched it fall and by sheer luck, or maybe fate, it fell in one of the eyes of the creature. He screamed at the top of his lungs. A scream of joy, anger, desperation, madness and victory.
He reached for the detonator and with a wicked, twisted smile he pressed the button.
An explosion roared through Earth's sky. Louder and brighter than thunder and lightning.
Faces of people, miserable people, look up to see their moon covered in a gas cloud, lighting up the night and brightening the day. A miracle.
Pure bliss reached everyone's faces: they screamed, jumped, danced and hugged each other. They were so happy.
Too happy, to notice an unnamable, horrific and colossal creature with abhorrent protrusions rising out of the gas clouds and facing towards Earth.