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Journey on Titan

Mastiza was roused one morning by the flash of a bright light over her eyelids. Opening her deep emerald colored eyes, all she saw was the familiar orange haze above. She sat up, propping her skinny, weak body up with her hands, and searched around frantically. Nothing could be seen of any source of the light. It was only the ordinary plains of orange-red sand and dry weeds that had lost life hundreds of years ago, and yet they still remained.

Mastiza stood up, brushing the dark orange grains of sand off of her ragged clothes. Again she looked around for any sign of what might have caused the flash of light. Spotting nothing, she sighed. She lifted her single blanket off the ground, along with her ever shrinking pack of food. She stuffed them in a cloth bag, slung it over her shoulder, and sighed again.

She looked at the big stone that she had set out the night before, and the smaller stone next to it. She started walking in the direction that the smaller stone pointed.

Mastiza would have been hard to see, had any others been there. She was dirtied with red dust so much that she blended in with the land. Her short blond hair was covered with the dust after nights of sleeping in this wilderness; there were small cuts and scratches from the sharpness of the sand all over her once smooth skin.

The flash of light in the early morning was something she had grown accustomed to. She had never discovered the source of the light. It was very unusual on Titan to see light of a different color than shades of orange, but Mastiza had been seeing these white flashes for a few weeks now.

She wondered if she was going mad, and if they were only in her imagination. The others had made fun of her for claiming there was another color of light. But she knew it was there; she knew it existed.

A few months ago, Mastiza had found a slip of paper in her small room, resting on her pillow. She had no idea how it got there. On it was written:

Search for the source
And you will find.
Follow the course
You have in mind.

Keep going North
You won’t have to fight
Take a step forth
Discover the light.

It perplexed her still, but she decided to do what it said. She didn’t know why. She had simply slipped away one night, and here she was taking step after step farther into the desert.

She knew she would die soon if she didn’t find more food or water. It was pointless to turn back, since she had gone so far, and yet she felt that it was pointless to go on. Something inside her made her want to go on, though.

Looking at the ground, she continued to walk north. She didn’t see anything around her except for an orange blur. She wondered if green plants had ever really existed, or if it had all been red like it was now.

She glanced up, not knowing why. She knew that all she would see was the orange horizon on orange sky, but nonetheless, she looked up.

To her complete amazement, she did see something different. Ahead of her and to her right, hovering above the ground, was a tiny spot of white light. She looked at it closely, but she was not able to decipher what it was. She rushed towards it, and gradually it started getting larger. Out of energy, she paused and tried to catch her breath, but now she had new hope and determination, so she again set off towards the light at a steady pace, keeping her eyes on the spot of light that was slowly getting closer.

A few minutes later the white speck started flickering, and then suddenly it disappeared altogether. Disappointed, she stopped, with a slight groan. Taking a deep breath, she kept going in the general direction of the light.

Soon she noticed the land begin to rise. The slope became so steep that she had to use her hands to go forward. Then, suddenly, the land completely flattened out, and Mastiza took a few more strides forward until she looked up and stopped, staring wide-eyed and openmouthed at what was before her.

A sparkling lake stretched as far as she could see, but more to her amazement was the sky. No dull orange clouds could she see; instead there was a clear sky of a color she had never before seen: a deep, pure light blue. She could also see, looming up to her right, Saturn, the planet which she knew her home orbited, but she had never before caught a glimpse of it. Its huge striped surface with its beautiful rings hung right in front of her, and she gaped at it, dumbfounded by its enormousness. She thought she could also see Mimas, another of Saturn’s moons, with its large, bizarre crater, and also Rhea, a moon with a dull-colored surface.

And then, far, far away, she saw the light - Sol, the star at the center of the system. Its yellow face shone down upon Mastiza, its light shimmering on the surface of the lake.

In the center of the lake, there was a tall white stone protruding from the water. The sun’s light shone upon it, and the point of the stone glinted brightly. This, Mastiza figured, was the point of light she had seen from far away.

Mastiza was finally satisfied. She had found what it was she came for: she had seen the white light of the sun that none living on Titan had ever seen before. She let out a contented sigh and went down to the lake to drink.

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