“Europa Tour” by Jessica Brook Johnson
Debra pulled a lever, filling her submarine’s ballast tanks with more water. The boat continued its descent through Europa’s narrow sea trenches. The thrusters groaned with effort against the building current. The Earther tourists didn’t notice. They pressed their noses against the windows, oohing and aahing at the sights. Translucent invertebrates swam around hydrothermal vents. Bioluminescent plankton glowed like fairy dust.
Debra answered all the tourist’s questions until someone asked, “And what’s that colorful confetti-like stuff we see sprinkled around?”
“Another type of plankton,” she lied, deciding not to tell them it was pieces of paint from previously crashed submarines.
Author Note: I haven’t seen much exploration of Jupiter’s ocean moon Europa in science fiction, so I wrote a 100 word piece about it.
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