When George Hawkins thinks of summer vacation it is one endless camp after the next. Never had he thought of summer camp in space on faraway space stations filled with cadets and danger from the Zeleion race.
When George Hawkins thinks of summer vacation, he thinks of one endless boring camp after the next. This year would be different, though. George’s birthday and the beginning of summer vacation were the same day! Sweet!
He had never dreamed he would be going to a summer camp in space on a faraway station filled with summer campers like himself.
His mom rambled on about her first camp that morning and al George heard was “blah blah this and blah blah that.” Now at Jupiter station on Ganymede moon, he wished he had paid better attention. It will take all of his wits to save the other campers trapped in the caves, rescue the senior Viceroy and save the station from a Zeleion invasion.
It is on a space station far from Earth that George will learn the value of true friendship and a destiny formed eons ago for him.. if he can only survive the adventure!
His mom was trying to smile.
“Off you go, Frank (his brother)is waiting for you,” his dad said firmly.
George took the bright red suitcase from his dad’s hand and walked over to the yellow light. Passing his ID under the light, he walked toward the narrow hallway, in a blink he was gone. With one step he went from the narrow, poorly-lit hallway to suddenly standing at the ledge of a great balcony overlooking an immense dome. He turned to look for his parents, however the narrow hallway had disappeared.
Ahead of him was an enormous spaceport. He stumbled forward in disbelief and caught the thin silver railing at the edge of the balcony. He had never seen anything like it, and his mouth dropped open like “a Cod fish looking for prey” as his dad would say.
Huge silver escalators led up and down from many different balconies along the dome walls. The escalators emptied onto the great dome floor of the spaceport. The balcony where he stood was about halfway up one of the walls of the immense dome. Above him the dome walls opened up to the blue sky.
All of his life, he had thought spaceships were things of the future, or just part of his childhood daydreams, conjured on long summer afternoons in his tree house. Yet, in front of him was the future all glistening and shining in the morning sun. He rubbed his eyes to see if he was dreaming. Nope, it was a spaceport all right. And not just one spaceship, but many of them!
The spaceships in the dome were all different shapes and sizes and all were being loaded with eager summer campers pulling suitcases of different colors. Small clouds of white steam leaked out of various ports along the sides of the spaceships.
Gazing over the ships, he suddenly realized he had lost track of Frank. Eagerly he scanned the campers for his brother, he finally spotted Frank a few levels below him, passing one of the loading gantries of a cone-shaped ship. With wild excitement, George ran nearly losing his balance racing down the silvery escalator with his bright red suitcase bouncing along behind him.
Strange, George thought to himself, I’m not afraid. He just didn’t want to get lost. By the time he caught up to his brother, he was out of breath. Frank smiled wrapping one arm around George’s shoulder in a bear hug, and taking George’s suitcase pull with his other hand.
“Told ya you weren’t going to believe it. And, yes, camp is in outer space this summer. It’s a great adventure George, but it can kill ya if you’re not careful. You’ll do things you never even dreamed of. You’ll have to meet my team. I’m sure you’ll like ‘em, they’re a great bunch of friends.”
George smiled, relieved to have his older brother with him on his first trip to outer space. Then he laughed to himself at how funny that sounded. Outer space!
“So what do we do now and what’s with all the clothes. I mean aren’t there any washing machines on the moon?”
“George, you slay me. Was I so naive when I was a first rotation camper? We’re not going to the moon, we’re going to Jupiter Station. And just for the record, I don’t know why mom packs all these clothes. We don’t need them on Jupiter station. Maybe when mom and dad were young, that’s how things were done, but its’ different now, you know,” his brother wiggled his eyebrows with a goofy grin.
He followed Frank onto the steep gantry of a large oval spaceship. He watched Frank wave at other older campers and exchange greetings. Frank had friends, people outside of school that liked him? Now that IS stranger than fiction.