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|This is a story that i started writing thinking it was going to be a really stupid story, and i didn't, at the time when i started writing it, know why i continued. But i did. It was past midnight, everyone else had gone to sleep (and i was thinking i probably should have) but decided to stay up just a little longer, just until i ran out of inspiration... Which turned out for a pleasant surprise, that it was a lot better than i thought. (spontanaeity!) It even inspired me to write a sequel...||
Ivan was confident. He had checked and re-checked the controls about five times, and the rest of the crew were completely reliable and he loved them to bits.
They were making a journey to somewhere in the vicinity of alpha/proxima centurai, jumping to a hundred times the speed of light or something like that. After a week of travel, they would arrive near that star, discover the star system, claim a couple of the planets for Earth and come home.
They would be back by January.
They were all strapped into the seats of the ship Evanescence, waiting to ‘evanesce' into deep space. To his left was Elyse, the captain, and behind Ivan was John, the assistant captain for if anything went wrong.
Which it wouldn't, of course. Now was the time to see what it was like to go faster than light and what it was like when they got there. He was ready for anything, with his laser gun and oxygen generator thing, and all these other neat gadgets.
"Ready for take-off." Said Elyse, and they all strapped themselves in to the padded seats. She began flipping the controls and Ivan looked at all her physics calculations. It was amazing, and all triple-checked. Elyse took a deep breath, said a little prayer, and with a whirring sound, they rose into orbit.
This part was boring. Ivan had been in space before, took a few snapshots of the Great eye of Jupiter, from Europa (which were now up on his daughter, also named Elyse,'s dresser.) He wanted to get to the good stuff, hyperspace or whatever. The stars seemed to twinkle innocently at them, as if saying ‘take your time.'
Impatiently, he waited until finally he heard the engines revving up, and they were going fast past the planets - Mars (watch out for Phobos there!), Jupiter, then the sound hit a pitch that matched the color of the Universe (ie., beige.) And Ivan felt himself being crushed against the softest part of the seat. Everything was white now and it felt like he was inside a star. It was about that time that he fainted.
He woke up as they were still in this state of going faster than light. Everything past his own nose in front of him was star speckled darkness.
"Elyse?" he asked. It seemed she had just woken up as well.
"Yeah?" she answered, from somewhere on his left. She sounded awed. "I never thought I'd be breaking the law, even if it's a physics law."
John chuckled and they watched stars light-years away on either side go past with a blur. They started to gradually slow down and the stars rushing past them went slower. Soon they were going less than the speed of light and they could see each other again. They were headed for the star system of Alpha Centurai, of so the co-ordinates told them. However the star wasn't there!
"It blew up!" Elyse said suddenly. Judging by the absolute dating device analyzing the debris, it was about four years ago."
Ivan hadn't been ready for the open void. He had been ready for everything but he hadn't been ready for nothing.
Elyse, Ivan's daughter, was at that moment stargazing. Suddenly a large star caught her eye. Simple and quick calculations told her it was either Alpha Centurai or Proxima centurai, and common sense told her it wasn't Proxima.
She watched as it grew bigger and twisted out of shape.
The death of a star. She'd read about that in books. Elyse was watching a supernova blow up.
Wait, she thought. Her father was there. Did it blow up right as they got there? She was suddenly wide awake, she had to go get her telescope and see if it was okay, she -
It hadn't blown up tonight, it was four point something years ago. The summer she was eight when she had first met the older Elyse. She had felt something then, a small disturbance. The small disturbance had been Alpha Centurai exploding.
Her mother was waiting for her at the door.
"Mom," she said, "They have nothing to use for gravitational swing to get back. They'll continue on to the next star. Right into it."
Ivan looked at Elyse. She was really smart, always had been on the top of his physics class ...
"Look!" John yelled. Up in front of them and growing steadily bigger was a star. Elyse's face went white and she was pressing buttons like fury.
"Override automatic navigation, manual control requested." she said frantically to the computer. Ivan helped her by putting up a shield in front of the ship. John was even helping. They veered away just in time. They clapped, gave each other high 5's, and started to submit photos back - the best quality at light speed.
"Guys," said John, who had been checking the ship to make sure everything was working. "There's not enough fuel to get us home."
Elyse, the younger one, woke up at about that time from a nightmare. She kenw what had happened. They had broken down in the wastelands where Alpha centurai used to be.
|The Lesson||The Fortress|