< Audio log // Cassini IV // Location: TITAN, region KM T.? >
< Artefacting abates // Speech intelligible from 04:12:22 >
—alright, I’m alright. Can’t deny it was hairy though. Falling from that height, the capsule plunged way under. Had me wondering if you guys paid as much attention to methane-proofing the upper surfaces as the lower section. Should’ve had more faith. Apologies.
Clouds enveloped the shuttle, then everything shut down. The most incredible roaring sound. Launching the capsule was the only option.
So now I’m—where? The scanner’s glitching. Bugger. Looks like I’ve missed Ligeia. Ah. I’m < laughs > bobbing like a bottle in Kraken Mare. North basin, near the Throat of Kraken.
< Partial artefacting >
—timings were off, though. That rainy season? It’s hit early. Storm’s picking up. The cloud cover is almost total, which explains the lack of two-way. Hell, with this roaring sound I’d never hear you anyway. It’s the tidal maelstrom, I guess, pushing through the Throat to the southern basin. And me with it.
< Background white-out [‘roar’?] >
—’s name was that? I saw a shape. Huge. Dark. Nothing on the scanner, but the viewscreen tells another story. < Hiss // [exhalation?] > Kraken Mare’s just a cool name, right? There’s no actual—
< ‘Roar’ near-total // Fragments only >
—thing’s tracking my course—
—still accelerating, trying to flip the capsule. < Sharp exclamation > These waves must be fifty feet—
—stopped. It’s stopped, dead ahead, like it’s waiting—
—main power’s out. The mouth’s wide open—
< Artefacting // ‘Roar’ >
—them I love them. I’m heading into the Throat.
< Ceases >
About the author:
Tim Major’s recent books include Hope Island and Snakeskins, short story collection And the House Lights Dim and a non-fiction book about the 1915 silent crime film, Les Vampires. His short stories have appeared in Interzone, Not One of Us and have been selected for Best of British Science Fiction and Best Horror of the Year. Find out more at www.cosycatastrophes.com.