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|The thought for this story came from a Monty Python song as I was reading the Hitch Hiker's guide to the Galaxy. The title is a quote from the Monty Python galaxy song, from the line that goes: 'It's orbiting at nineteen miles a second, so it's reckoned, the sun that is the source of all our power.' So I thought of generalizations, ate a cookie, and decided that I agreed with the quote 'All generalizations are false, including this one.' and thought the other stars must provide the earth with a teeny teeny bit of energy, but nobody would think to use it unless there was no other alternative ...||
A dull dreary mid-July night, and the only thing it seemed that could have made it more dreary was for the world to end. Most people were asleep, unaware that an astronomical phenomena was going on. The guys at NASA , however, and the space cadets at Space Camp were wide awake and all crowded into one small room full of controls and computers.
"We seem to be orbiting eccentricly." Said one scientist. She had her long hair pulled back in a messy bun and, although she looked awake, calm and cool was actually very tired, annoyed and worried. Outside the lightning flashed, completing the scene that was enough to make you panic.
"What do you mean by that?" asked a fifteen year old boy who was there for a Space Camp. "You mean the Earth is closer or farther away from the sun than it used to be?"
"Yep." answered the scientist from the front of the room. "For some reason we don't understand, the Earth is spiraling out farther and farther from the sun and has been doing so for the last seven minutes." It was actually seven minutes, five seconds and twenty two milliseconds. "It's almost like the sun has lost all it's gravitational pull."
"Maybe something happened to the sun, like it got pulled away by a black hole." Said the boy, who was just daydreaming but happened to be darn close to being correct. "And... whoa, we wouldn't know till eight point something minutes after because we're eight point something light minutes from the sun!" His friend was sitting beside him, and she rolled her eyes. Many other people did the same.
"Hmm, that is a possibility." said the scientist at the front. "But whatever it is –" she stopped short and turned to one computer screen that was showing the sun. Only it seemed to have at least doubled in size since last time she saw it. But before she could scold someone for fooling around with the magnification, she glanced out the window. It was growing steadily lighter. The floor seemed to shake and there was more lightning. One of the girls screamed and yelled;
"It's the end of the world!" A few other people panicked, and the NASA scientists up at the front of the room tried to calm them down. They would have been successful if the lights hadn't chosen that moment to all go off.
Eventually everyone was off to their beds by the light of the emergency lights. But they didn't get to sleep very much that night.
"Amazing though it may seem, we have to inform six billion citizens of this planet that the Earth is spinning off course and the sun seems to have vanished, and to please stay calm." The voice on the radio said. There was something of that nature on all the channels of TV, all the frequencies of radio and even written in bold letters on google.com. It wasn't at all reassuring that pretty much every form of communication was telling you not to panic. It had the reverse effect of course. People all over the world panicked, and those who didn't panic just plain refused to believe it.
Not everyone panicked. The governments of as many countries as possible, met and discussed what to do. Amazingly, they came to a consensus to try and conserve energy, and produce more energy and store it, leaving only the minimum amount of energy for each household. They put greenhouses, lights and heating appliances over the most vital farms from all four food groups – overlooking the junk food until Canadians and Americans formed the SOCk campaign (Save Our Chocolate.) They attatched generators to excercise bikes, and forbid people from using their cars, therefore gradually changing the trend so that there were more thin, in shape people in our species.
But this could not support us indefinitely. We needed a new energy source. All the greatest scientists put their efforts together, but before they could even turn on their particle accelerator, someone came up with the answer. Ironically, it wasn't an experienced scientist, it wasn't even a scientist. It was a nine year old girl named Kara. Kara had read about the girl who had thought up the name for Pluto, and decided she wasn't too young to suggest an answer.
Her parents had explained to her that all the energy on Earth ultimately came from our nearest star, the sun, the thought struck her.
"But wouldn't there be energy from all the other stars? You can see light from the other stars and light's energy isn't it?" she asked.
Her mother thought of that for a second.
Then the two of them were biking as fast as they could to the NASA headquarters, in the rather dark, rainy and miserable night. (Why did they have to disconnect all the phones just to save energy?)
T o b e c o n t i n u e d . . .