From The Book
CHAPTER ONE - BLAST OFF
Astronauts: Lombard, Brooks, Kalinen and Vladechev were sitting around discussing tomorrow Morning’s blast off and Brutus’s first trial run. With the new hyper drive installed. Tomorrow would be the spatial drives first trial run, and the space crew were all a little overwhelmed to be the ones to test it. They also were a little wary about the trial run and a little nervous, but they were the best men that the Air-Force had to offer; they were definitely the most capable. So they all had a lot of pride that they would come out on the winning end. They were all excited about their new challenge and adventure. Tomorrow they would be going faster in space than any other spaceship ever had by about a hundred times the speed of the most recent rocket ships produced. They would be the first spacemen ever to go well beyond the speed of light.
The crew were talking a little about going from normal drive into spatial drive, and that there shouldn't going from one speed to the other be any sensation at all of exhilaration. No force thrusting them deeply into their seats; it would be a very smooth transition.
Captain Lombard who had more knowledge about the new ship and its spatial drive said.
"No there shouldn't be any sensation at all, but there is one thing there could be. Starting up into spatial drive there could be something like a vibration, a spatial burp if you will as I call it. Feeling this you know you won’t be coming out again; all though you won't hardly be aware of your own demise as the spaceship blows up. Yet you will feel that little spatial burp; then nothing more. There then will be silence and peace and you will no longer feel any physical pain or psychological grief ever again. However, we will have become heroes all the same; giving our lives for our countrymen.”
Jason finished by saying,
“Well you guys can spend the night here if you like, it will be an early morning. So I am heading for bed now good night men and I will see you in the morning.”
Well five A.M did come early the next morning but they all woke and got them-selves ready for the gruelling day ahead. By six they all felt ready to take on the new day and the dangers it might bring. The phone began ringing and Jason Lombard answered voiced a lot of official yes's and no's, and said they were on their way then hung up. Then Jason said,
"Well we're on our way to the cape; it’s about an hour’s ride. It’s about a fifty-mile drive from here and it's a beautiful day, its hot as hell out there Boys. All situations are good they want us there as soon as possible.”
They left Jason’s at six fifteen and arrived at Cape Canaveral at seven thirty. The ocean, which was near, shone a crystalline blue. Consequently they didn't have long to enjoy the scenery and they were whisked to the up elevator along the side of the spacecrafts launcher as soon as they arrived. They escalated to the door of they're spacecraft and got in.
There were double seats in front of the ships controls the Captain sat in one of them: his most appealing characteristic was his formidable and commanding green eyes, his hair was so red it was alike to a tomato; however, it was cut short, and he was freckled all over, which gave him the appearance of a little boy, and he did have a young boyish grin even at forty, but of his command there was no doubt. He was six foot five
In the next seat to Jason’s right sat Yuri Kalinen the assistant Captain. Yuri was thirty-three years of age: he had black very short wiry hair, he had a pronounced forehead, a thin rather longish face and sea blue eyes.
There were twin seats right behind the front Commanders. Terry Brooks sat behind his Captain: he was the youngest of the four at thirty years of age. His hair was fine and sandy and he wore it in a crew cut barely long enough to part. He was darkly tanned and handsome. Terry was five feet eleven inches tall. He was the engineer of the ship and beside him sat Gusstav Vladechev assistant engineer. He was: thirty three had blond hair and he wore it long, down to his shoulders. He had masculine very handsome features, he was six feet six inches tall.
From the communications room a message was sent to the astronauts.
“Hello control to space lab; Jason, we've got the O.K we shall be starting countdown soon over.”
“That’s great command, the sooner the better, were all set to go up here.”
“Command to space lab; I've got the go ahead to start counting down from twenty.”
Jason again spoke,
“Acknowledged and all set let’s get out of here and see what this baby will do.”
“Command centre starting 20...19...18...17... 16... 15... 14... 13... 12...11...10. ....
“Now I'm starting to feel exhilaration as if I'm being pumped full of adrenalin.”
Now they began feeling the thrusters blasting into readiness to send them into the black voids of space.
“2...1...0 all systems Go.”
All that could be felt in the space cabin was a great pressure getting worse by the second. This was why an astronaut had to be in excellent physical condition. It was all the G forces you had to withstand; it crimped your eyes closed so you couldn't see anything. Just about made you pass out. Sometimes it did. Already the G-forces began to lessen for the men; so Jason was able to open his eyes. Before leaving Earth’s gravity the crew saw,
“Hey we’re just about to pass through the outer covering or cornea of Earth’s atmosphere.”
The Captain remarked,
It was spectacularly beautiful; it was of an opulent violet color of a very satiny and soft hue. They saw all of the stars in the deep black gulfs of infinity through this violet color it was magnificent. Now we were in orbit around Earth; our starting point. Jason looked down on the Earth there were such magnificent blue hues; his eyes had rarely seen such splendid blue colors; greens and browns were down there too, but not as numerous or awe inspiring. Jason’s eyes began to fill with tears as he thought to himself ‘I thank God for his grace and for the beauty he has blessed his children with. I am very happy and thankful.’ Now looking about him he noticed the black staring infinities, the black holes that went on endlessly and the silvery shining stars. ‘This gives me a haunted lonely feeling’ Jason thought; so he turned his attention to his crew.
“Well guys we made it just fine. I knew we would. How are you all doing?”
Terry Brooks; the sassy one of the crew, but even he was touched for the moment; spoke first.
“I'm just fine Captain. It doesn't seem to matter how many times you go up into the heavens. The beauty up here always strikes you with dazzling brilliance and splendour. You never get used to that and yet it’s ghastly and menacing as well, but don’t the stars look like chips of ice or maybe dazzling diamonds from up here?”
Both Gusstav and Yuri gave their assents of doing well. We were all quiet for a while. Time seemed to stand still as we gazed on the beauty all around. We had done one orbit of Earth; now it was about time to see if our
spatial drive worked. So Jason asked the guys’
“Well men that is it for our tour. Now it’s time to put the ship onto its coordinates the distance is seven light-years. However, we will be to our destination the Alpha Centauri system in a matter of a few seconds. In so doing we should have tested sufficiently well, to have faith in our new spatial drive, any questions?”
Terry Brooks said,
“I'm all ready but I can’t say that I'm not nervous.”
“That just shows your human Terry I think all of our comrades are feeling anxious as well"
Jason said, then Yuri Kalinen spoke,
“On behalf of my countryman, Guss and myself I just want to apologize for our quietness. It’s just due to our expectancy of what is to happen next and our nervousness as well. I think as soon as we get this last portion over with the better.
The Captain said as he re-checked his instruments. We were in the exact co-ordination for accuracy to get to our assigned destination. So Jason grabbed the bar for spatial drive.
There was no sensation of any kind, except a rapid blurring exheleration of the surrounding stars above, and a slowing down of the spectral light show in what seemed like a split second later. They had quickly slowed down exactly at the correct coordinates seven light years away. “So spatial drive has now been perfected and tested; this is a big break for humanity. A break that was much unexpected even though we risked our lives to see if spatial drive would work. We all are still alive and have traveled the seven light years in a matter of seconds so it is a success”
The Captain commented.
So now within a ten-year span with any luck at all; Earths inhabitants could be moved to a better and friendlier environment. Jason was pondering to himself now, and he thought ‘well it was time to get home to our victory dinner and to be given our spectacular reward. It was an unannounced blast off, so no one but the top brass knew the spatial drive had been tested. Even they didn’t know yet that it was a success in that very test; not even the newspaper men knew.’
The radios and TV’s were going to be blasting as the unprecedented news came in and the night’s festivities were broadcast. The team was all considering the night’s victory, and the revelry that they would share as they completed they're landing. The crew we’re all commenting on the wonder of doing, and accomplishing so much in just one short day. As well to top it all off the same night after the grand success they were responsible for commandeering; being back home for a spectacular celebration dinner and victory proceeding. It was a marvel. It had been a big risk; a risk of their very lives, but a risk that had been well worth it for all involved. That meant Mankind as well.
It had been accomplished with unprecedented success, and they were back to reap the rewards.
They had quickly been rescued from the ocean and an hour later by helicopter, they were taken to Washington. They were transported to their luxurios hotel rooms, and were getting ready for the upcoming festivities. They were all picked up in a white limousine in front of the Hilton an hour later; all attired in very gentlemanly tuxedos.
The portion of the park that was to be used tonight was surrounded with two ribbons. One separated the area that was to be used for the formal television and news telecasts; which was the red, white and blue of the American flag. The second ribbon cordoning off the section of the park that was going to be used for the celebration dinner for the Astronauts success; had been detailed by another ribbon depicting the grandness of the Russian flag.
To start the proceedings Jason Lombard was presented with a huge pair of scissors to do the honour of cutting the American ribbon. Thus beginning the broadcasts worldwide, Jason cut the ribbon with gentle pride. Now the media representing television, the papers, and radio for all over the world surrounded the Astronauts. Intermingled with this bustle were foreign dignitaries, they were there representing their countries, and to congratulate the victories of their fellow men. They also were there to learn all they could for the benefit of their government.
The Astronauts answered all questions they were able to and accepted the people’s congratulations. Then they began to move towards the wonderful aroma of barbecued beef. The Russians in contrast had gracefully cut their ribbon in honour of their fatherland. The debonair Yurri had accomplished this. Thus had started the rush to where all the people were congregating now. Everybody was now close to where there were several open barbecues with sides of beef roasting over the flaming coals, and inhaling the wonderful aroma.
The beef was delicious looking and if the meal was going to be as good as what it looked it was going to be a feast indeed. There were many picnic tables spread out with red and white-chequered tablecloths. There was ice cold beer for everyone present. As everything began to calm down and people all sat stationed at they're assigned tables. International friendship and peace reigned. It was like one country joined in one global aim. In fact that was exactly as it should have been and was.
The barbecued beef began being served; the astronauts were served first, ....of course, in respect. Then the other tables were called, depending on their table numbers until all had been served and satisfied.
Now the stars were out in beautiful rapturous night sky, with the communal rating the evening. The night was balmy and refreshing. There was definitely a hint in the air of better times to come. As the general public slowly trickled home saying good night to their heroes the Astronauts, and being assured of a good future home in the stars long before critical times came here on Earth. The general public wondered what they meant
“before critical-times came.”
Critical times had already arrived here on Earth! The expected life spans of the people on the planet had dramatically shortened. There was a serious food shortage, as all animals were extinct. This feast they had just had tonight was unheard of. Yet the occasion called for it, and the superpowers could swing anything it seemed. They had an ecological farm in Idaho. And they had a few rare head of cattle and some hogs; that somehow they had kept alive for experimental purposes. From this Idahoan town they had gotten the beef for the feast tonight. There was no sea-life either; as all oceans and water masses were polluted beyond supporting life.
Yes, Earth had become a polluted, barren and wasted planet. The only living thing still on Earth was man, and it was a miracle they were still alive. Men were haunted looking, because of the deep gloominess and despair here. So what were they talking about when they said, "Before critical times came?”
Could things actually get much worse? The general public didn't want to accept or to think about the answer to that question. It was no wonder mankind looked haunted and scared. That was one of the major reasons the superpowers had this general assembly and victory party tonight. They well knew how the public felt: defeated for one, helpless, hopeless and filled with despair for others.
So things had to be changed. They had to be given a reason for optimism, a Savoir so to speak. Someone they could believe in and who better than the Captain and crew of the spatial drive test, which had been one hundred percent successful. Spatial drive was the very key to humanities survival as then they had access to the outer most stars, therefore increasing and strengthening the possibilities, and perhaps solving humanities desperation for a new world, a new life. So preventing a show of rebellion against what the general public thought of as
'they're inactive government.'
They now walked away with new faith new hopes they now had true live heroes; they felt secure. Even on this bleak, gloomy planet and they felt sure they now had a future.