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|This one is about this girl who has a rare gift, er some sort of 6th sense that she can sense when a supernova blows up (i don't quite know how accurate that is, maybe it's only the ones within a certain radius from her.) This one was another late night spurt of creativity.|
I realized later that it wasn't altogether an original idea... but then again, nothing really is.
It was a rainy autumn day. Elyse had just started grade eleven, it was Monday morning of the second week of school. And it felt like a Monday morning. Her mother had just woken her up.
"Mmph, I'm getting up." she said, listening to the pounding of the rain on the roof. It kind of matched the pounding in her own head, that indicated to her that, light years away, a supernova star had exploded. She took a deep calming breath to relax herself.
It always happened that way. She thought of it as a ‘disturbance' in the Universe itself or whatever made up the Universe. The death of a star. It wasn't usually this clear, which meant the star was close. Relatively speaking. Probably about ten light years away. The worst one she could remember had been when she was eight. She didn't like to think about that one, it made her sad.
"Elyse!" her mother called. So impatient.
"I said I'm getting up!" Elyse said. She made herself stop thinking about the immensity of the Universe, and more about the day ahead. She had skating after school today ... she could start working on her interpretive program she was making up. The song was a slow one ... she would have to think up an idea or theme to go with it ...
Finally she was out of bed. After having her shower and getting dressed in her usual jeans and t-shirt, she put her short-ish brown hair in a usual ponytail and went downstairs to have breakfast. It was all a routine, never seemed to vary. She liked it that way, it was something predictable in this unpredictable Universe.
After eating her usual cheerios-with-milk breakfast and brushing her teeth, she went on the computer to check her email. That was always predictable too. She didn't get emails much, and usually Fwd's with the occasional email from her friends.
That was another predictable thing: she didn't get to see her friends much at school. More this year than last year, since they were now in the same school as her, though.
Her email came up on the screen. Fwd, Fw, fw, Dear Elyse, your audition has been chosen...
Elyse chuckled as she opened it. She remembered, she and her friends Anna and Layla had had fun one day making up a crazy audition for each of them for this internet audition. Yes, they had everything on the internet these days!
But it said "Your audition has been chosen." Did that mean she got to say a line or two? She had always wanted to be in a movie. In movies, the characters get to do so many things, and it was almost like the actors got to too. It would be almost like doing the heroic things the characters did.
And the characters didn't make mistakes. If they thought they knew something might happen to someone, they usually ended up saving that person.
The email was taking a long time to load.
No, it wasn't. The dumb machine had frozen up. It had a knack of freezing up whenever there was something she wanted to read.
Almost lazily, she pressed ctrl+alt+delete, and sat down to wait for it to restart.
"Elyse! You're going to miss the bus!" Her mom said, coming in the living room. "And if you do, you'll have to walk. I have to work and I can't drive you to school."
"Mm hmm." said Elyse. She wasn't very talkative in the mornings. Her mom made up for it, so she definitely didn't take after her mother in that way. She remembered her father wasn't a morning person either.
A pounding in her head reminded her she should be thankful for what she had, even though she disliked mornings. If there had been life around that star that had exploded, they didn't have mornings anymore.
School was uneventful except for one thing. Anna, Layla and Kyle had all got accepted to be background people in the movie. They all said they couldn't go unless the person who played the main character was from around here. In that case, the movie would be filmed here.
"Not likely," Elyse said.
"Yeah." Layla agreed.
"What kind of talent do we have in this excuse for a city?" Kyle added.
Through physics, Elyse thought about her friends. She only really saw them at school. Was that normal? Didn't people usually spend more time with their friends?
"Any questions about that?" asked her physics teacher at the end of the class. He looked like the typical scientist with a white beard as though the hair had migrated off the top of his head down to his beard.
There was a pause while people woke up. Apparently nobody had any questions, they either understood it all or hadn't been paying attention. From the number of people trying to stifle yawns, it seemed to have been the latter.
Then Elyse surprised everyone, even herself, by asking a question.
"Could you explain to me how the warp drive works? How you can travel faster than the speed of light?" she asked, knowing it was completely off topic. "More specifically, the spaceship called the Evanescence?"
That last sentence surprised her even more. Why was she bringing up memories she didn't want to remember? Why was she trying to remember the one thing she had been trying to forget for four years?
That she could have stopped it was the worst thing. She knew, in a way, that her father and the rest of the crew on the Evanescence would not be able to get back from the vicinity of Alpha centurai. She knew Alpha Centurai had died four years before.
But she hadn't trusted her instincts to tell him about the nearest star, because it still looked like it was there, being four point something light years away and all.
"Hmm," said her physics teacher. "The Evanescence..." He looked at her with a piercing stare. Elyse pressed her lips together so it wouldn't look like she was trying not to cry.
"The Evanescence was an experiment. The crew were all wonderful people, and I really admire them for trusting a ship I helped design. This ship used a new technology that warps the space-time continuum. In other words, to put it simply, the people on board were frozen - literally - so they wouldn't age. This was done by computers as the spaceship reached a certain percentage of the speed of light. As you get closer to the speed of light, time seems to slow down, so to someone who was not on the ship, it would seem like the ship was going faster than the speed of light.
"The crew was awoken near Proxima Centurai. Unfortunately, the star had become a supernova and exploded already by this time, and the spaceship had no gravity to use to swing themselves around to come back." Elyse bit her tongue, not to cry. Then he continued and she was surprised again. "Today I got the signal they sent four years ago." He paused, closed his eyes and continued, "Elyse, I have a nice picture of Ivan you and your mother might like."
Elyse nodded, she didn't trust her voice. Her tongue hurt and she longed for this class to be over so she could go be alone for a little while.
Her teacher seemed to have the same idea. "Class dismissed." he said. Everyone started talking at once. Some about the Evanescence, some about how it was the first time in history that this teacher hadn't given them homework, and he let them out early.
Their teacher was sitting in the desk staring at a random speck of dust.
"Er, you knew my father?" Elyse said, her voice a little higher than usual. She never cried in front of people and she wasn't about to now.
"Yes," said her teacher, inspecting the little piece of dust. Elyse looked down at it too. "He was a wonderful person. A little headstrong and stubborn, but that made him a good co-captain to Elyse.." Elyse knew the other Elyse, the one who was her father's co-worker. She and Elyse had bonded because they had the same name. But it did make things extra confusing.
"Here's the picture of them all." the teacher said, looking away from his piece of dust and getting something out of the drawer. He handed an envelope to Elyse.
She thanked him and left.
In the privacy of the bathroom, she took out the picture. There were three people, standing beside a window showing the star-speckled darkness behind them. In the middle was her father.
Still she didn't cry.
|March 2030||Ivan was confident... Part one|