落日(The Fall of the Sun)
鄧曉炯 (Joe Tang)
Every three months mART invites a group of artists from Macau and Lisbon to showcase their talent in our online gallery, by creating an art piece inspired on a topic provided by us.
Sun is our third edition’s theme.
Scroll down for English version
The Fall of the Sun*
Inside the leading space ship, the captain was giving information about the procedure to the commander of the ship behind. “Commander, Sun X has already arrived to the destination” — he said. “Please, give us instructions.”
The commander issued his order according to the war strategy previously designed. “Start preparing the laser beam; prepare for launching.”
Sun X’s brise-soleil opened slowly, revealing the hidden canon, which was pointing straight at the small planet. “Crrr…” — the canon started firing powerful beams. “Crrr…crrr…crrr…”, the laser continued firing at the distant object.
“How was it?” — an anxious voice was heard, coming from the speaker. Even though the commander was 7 or 8 light-years away, Sun X’s results would be decisive for the success of this expedition procedure.
“Er…” — Sun X’s commander was also waiting, anxiously, for the results. “We received information, and the data show…” — the commander couldn’t hide his excitement, shaking the war bulletin — “… a big success! The planet surface temperature increased 1.8 degrees!”
Sun X’s message generated strong applauses in the control room, and the euphoria soon spread through the Internet to the other eight space ships — Sun II, Sun III, Sun IV, Sun V, Sun VI, Sun VII, Sun VIII and Sun IX. Sun VIII and Sun IX started moving faster to arrive closer to the predicted position, anxious to arrive to the destination in advance.
This is not a regular armed force. The space fleet is the last hope for human civilisation, since, many years from now, with the climate and environmental changes, men will no longer be able to live in our planet. So, combining world efforts, this space fleet aims at avoiding the end of civilisation.
After years of intensive expedition, they finally found the almost-perfect planet. The only problem was that the surface temperature was too low, and was not suitable for the human beings to live in. Yet, fortunately, this space fleet included numerous talents. With the collaboration of a multi-disciplinary elite, among which there were geologists, botanists, zoologists, chemists and physicists, it became possible to overcome this problem: by aiming the laser cannon of the space ship against the surface of this planet, you would be able to make the temperature increase from 10 to 15 degrees and, if the temperature is kept at this level for approximately one year, the environment will be changed. And this would be enough to ensure the arrival of the space ships that are carrying the immigrants (the human beings). It was almost a perfect plan.
“Commander! Sun IX has arrived to the position. Commander! Sun VIII has arrived to the position. Commander…”
The other eight space ships arrived first at the location, and only later did the most powerful and biggest ship arrive: Sun I.
Sitting quietly in the driver’s booth, the commander was observing very clearly all the completed actions, in according with the designed plan. From Sun II to Sun X, all space ships were surrounding the planet, arranged in an arc shape, illuminating the small ball, that was seen amid the darkness in space, with a strong laser.
The commander was satisfied watching the moment, as if he were in front of his master-piece, just born. He took his cup and sip a bit of coffee to celebrate. Then, he waved at the communications officer right beside him. It was time to report the results to the headquarters.
“The Commander of the space fleet Sun informs the headquarters that we just finished the planned…”
When the first explosion came up, almost no one was paying attention — even though there was absolute silence in space, very few things could be heard, especially considering Sun X was a very small space ship, with mere exploration functions. For the universe, this explosion was just a spark. But the explosion didn’t stop there. Sun IX, Sun IX, Sun VIII, Sun VII, Sun VI, Sun V, Sun IV, Sun III, Sun II, the nine space ships, kept exploding one by one, amid the darkness of the universe. It seemed a series of artificial fires, without any sound. After the instant shine, we were again overlooking the eternal silence.
But now the control module of the commander’s space ship was chaotic, since no one knew from where did the attacks come from nor how to defend themselves. The reaction was instinctive and there was no one answering the orders of the commander. Everyone was entering the emergency capsules, to be launched in the empty and endless universe. They were moving forward looking for the minimum hope of survival.
Alone, the space ship that lost control was suspended in the same location, 150 million kilometres of the small planet. Its laser beam was still on transmission mode. The space ship looked a small lamp in the dark universe — probably, it would still have light for more 99999 years, in case its energy finished naturally.
During Yao Emperor’s 1 period, there were ten suns at the same time. So, all plants died.
Emperor Yao ordered Hou Yi 2 to shoot at nine suns and nine crows that were living in the suns also died.
The wings and feathers of the crows fell.
And only one sun was left in the sky.
—————— Comment by Chu Ci·Tian Wen3
1 Emperor Yao: In Chinese it’s尧. One of the three sovereigns and one of the five emperors in ancient China.
2 Hou Yi: A mythological chinese archer.
3 Chu Ci·Tian Wen: Chu Ci（楚辞) is many times translated as Chu’s Verses, which is an anthology of Chinese poetry traditionally thought of as being written by Qu Yuan and Song Yu. Tian Wen（天问）is one of Chu Ci’s verses.
* Translated to Portuguese by the students of the MA in Translation Studies, University of Macau, Carla, Sofia, Shuang, Rafaela, Inês, Zora, Vanda and Linda; Translated from Portuguese to English by Luciana Leitão
The story is inspired by an ancient Chinese myth, but the author tried to put it into a different scenario — a future world — to see how it looks when the past crashes the future.
Joe Tang (Macau)
A writer, reader and day-dreamer.
Note: The artist has authorised mART to publish this work.