he was on saturn

The Cassini Orbiter took me to the rings of Saturn where I wanted to witness the specular reflection of lakes from the planet itself. I wanted to witness the mysterious glow … the closest description being that of a cat’s eye when you shine a flashlight into it in the dark. I wanted to bear witness to colors I had never experienced before. I wanted something otherworldy, indeed I wanted something from Heaven. Who was it for me to take and was I being selfish? Yes I was.

In trust I led the Orbiter directly in between the Sun and Saturn allowing my bare and unprotected eyes to make their way across the colored mosaic of blues, greens, yellow-greens and finally deeper reds indicating thermal emissions from deep inside Saturn herself. My heart pounded and I became entranced on the rings themselves. My plain browned deep set eyes cast upon the sandy colors of the B ring and I noticed that the watered ice, of which Saturn’s rings are primarily made of, was contaminated with rock and other carbon compounds. The small ringlets were varied in their light scattered properties causing variation in their brightness. I was in shock and awe with the B ring herself.

My attention hence was distracted to Saturn’s A ring and it’s there that I saw him kneeling on the outer sharpened edges. I geared the orbiter closer to the Cassini division to take a better look at the being performing a near impossible task. It was at that moment that his eyes cast their gaze toward me and the craft. Frightened, as much as I was, he stood up in defence shielding his face and shrinking away from the hub of the Orbiter. I motioned friendly gestures but was sure he took them as gestures of malice and he started to make his way back towards the inner rings of Saturn. Desperate for contact I guided the Orbiter closer to the atmosphere hoping I could somehow attract his attention.

He was quicker than I and had already made his way to the innermost D ring of the planet. Eloquent as a dancer he hopped from ringlet to ringlet and I watched the colors of the rings brush past his sinewy legs and bottoms of his ankles as he skipped his way to the safety of the planet. It was a hurried kaleidoscope of colors on him and emotions within me. In my frenzied state I became unaware of my curiosity which was forcing me to push ahead full throttle and cause the Orbiter to move much more quickly than I had anticipated. I caught up to him and he fell onto the surface of a ringlet and was dangerously close to the many gaps surrounding him, the orbiter, and the D ring herself.

My own eyes widened to their largest possible diameters and I motioned for him to stay. He shook in fear and I could tell that he had never witnessed anything like me before … I was as alien to him as he was alien to me. Deep inside I felt a huge amount of regret and guilt build up. Who was I to force myself on to a being that wasn’t wanting to welcome me? Who was I, a plain human, too much of a bully to other species to admit that we in fact shared the same Universe. Too much of a pushover to admit that I, being a selfish human, was responsible for the debris and the toxins released. Too ashamed to admit that I was probably the lowest being in the Universe.

I cast my eyes in the direction of the cowering figure and sensed a feeling of imprisonment come from him. I veered the Orbiter away from the D ring, edged it past back to the Cassini division of the A and B rings in a motion of universal space and then I watched as the figure hopped onto the other ringlets and disappear into the depths of Saturn herself.

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