It was the year 2201 AD. Gigantic preparations were in progress for the first manned expedition to Jupiter. A team of 100 astronauts had undergone rigorous training to travel in a spaceship called "Peregrinator". They were instructed to fetch samples of all possible objects from Jupiter’s surface. The International Geologists Association were hopeful that they would find some metallic deposits in these objects and this would compensate for the diminishing quantity of metal available in the earth’s mines.
After the specified period, "Peregrinator" safely landed on a plateau on Jupiter. Soon, the astronauts became engrossed in their work of garnering samples. Unfortunately, the region they had landed upon was a single continuous rock for several kilometers. So, it was decided to use the five mini-spaceships that were parked in the Emergency exit section of "Peregrinator". Using these mini-spaceships, a group of astronauts could travel to nearby areas and explore Jupiter. In one such mini-spaceship "Eagle", 5 astronauts namely John, Susan, Tom, Kalpana and Nelson started their voyage towards the north pole of Jupiter.
This strategy was working successfully and about a dozen samples of diverse rock types were accumulated. Suddenly, they noticed a very steep precipice. Tom had to elevate "Eagle" by a height of 2500 meters. However, what he saw atop the precipice caused a shudder in his heart. Over a relatively flat region on this mountain was another spaceship. Totally confused, anxious and curious Tom and his mates stopped "Eagle" at a safe distance from the exotic spaceship. A consensus was reached that John, Nelson and Kalpana were to approach this spaceship armed with laser guns, while Tom and Susan were to guard "Eagle".
The trio circled around the spaceship and found nothing formidable. There was a single door, through which they entered it cautiously. Inside there were numerous computer-like devices and screens. There were about six compartments in this spaceship and the trio was observing the central one. Nelson saw a lever that was about two feet long. Out of curiosity, he moved it towards the left. All of a sudden, the trio felt as if they were moving upwards. Kalpana rushed towards one of the panes and was aghast to realize that the spaceship had started moving away from Jupiter. All ran helter-skelter and finally, when they reached the door they found it closed. They barely recovered from this shock to notice that "Eagle" looked liked a tiny speck. Surprisingly, this unmanned spaceship was moving away from Jupiter.
In a small time span, the spaceship crossed the boundaries of the earth’s solar system. The trio concluded that it was all over for them. They prayed to God thanking him for the joyous life they had lived and hoped that "Peregrinator" would be triumphant in its mission. They huddled down in one corner waiting for death.
Meanwhile, the unmanned spaceship continued its journey along the programmed route. It crossed two solar systems and returned to the planet from where it had been launched in the third solar system. Nelson was the first to arise from a deep slumber. He was taken aback to find himself alive. He quickly roused John and Kalpana who were also asleep. They again started to move frantically in the spaceship. They noticed that there was a similar lever near the door and they pushed it towards one side. Surprisingly, the door opened and all three heaved a sigh of relief. As they walked out of the door, what they saw was simply unbelievable.
There were trees, stretches of land, rivulets, stones, clouds and most importantly – a sun shining in the sky. Taking clue from the swaying of trees, John removed his astronaut’s suit, to discover that he could breathe. Incredibly but truly, the trio had landed upon what can be termed as – a second earth. All three danced like madmen, drank some water from a clear stream and ate some fruits. They roamed for about an hour and were horrified to see some skeletons, similar to those of human beings and other fauna found on our earth. They deduced that this earth was devoid of civilization, possibly due to an asteroid attack. It was also inferred that this asteroid attack annihilated living beings on this planet and this lead to an absence of control over the spaceship while it was stationed over Jupiter. They returned to the spaceship.
The sun was reddish orange on the horizon. The trio was carefully scrutinizing the different components of the spaceship searching for any hint that would prove useful. However, all efforts were becoming futile. Nelson was in the central compartment near the lever he had moved due to curiosity. The catastrophe he had initialized was unimaginable. Frustrated abysmally, he kicked the lever hard. This time it moved towards the right. Unbelievably, the door closed and the spaceship began to move away from this planet.
The trio again had their hearts pounding and they gathered near one of the window panes to watch where the spaceship was now heading for. They could behold a myriad of revolving planets, satellites, asteroids, stars, darkness, light as the spaceship traversed its programmed path and returned exactly to the same spot on Jupiter from where it had taken off.
John, Nelson and Kalpana were overjoyed to return to Jupiter. They pushed the lever near the door and disembarked the spaceship. They began taking brisk steps towards "Eagle". Meanwhile, Susan had reported the incident to "Peregrinator" and another two mini-spaceships carrying a total of ten astronauts had arrived to assist Tom and her. All these astronauts spent the next hour hugging each other.
John, Nelson and Kalpana once again prayed to God and thanked him for their re-union with their friends. The three mini-spaceships began to move towards "Peregrinator".