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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Science Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

Launch has been achieved.

Submitted: March 20, 2018

A A A | A A A

Submitted: March 20, 2018










No words in any language could ever come close to describing the ship which I have taken to calling the Teapot, not because of its appearance but because of its destination. As I circled the vessel in an observation sphere I believe my eyes absolutely refused to blink until they were dried out and painful to close. I could actually imagine this being home to us for the duration of our lives without ever feeling trapped on a ship soaring across space at unimaginable velocities tossing us into bowls of the galaxy. Even at such speed it would take a life time to make the trip there and if we were luck back.


Upon my return to the station Professor Artemus Cochrane was on the platform waiting for me, harbouring a little excited impatience, though he managed not to make his speech harsh.

“Good. You are back. I have marvelous news. The construction crews are finished and returning to earth. As I speak the Ships engineering staff is on board and settling in. They will begin an extensive systems check and correct any glitches that might show. Commander Delles has informed me it will take about a week. And the bridge crew is getting settled in and familiarizing themselves with their stations. Captain Lentress is most capable and has explained he handpicked the bridge-crew from mankind’s best.

My Boy we are a week from making mankind’s greatest foot-note in history.


I believe the human subconscious mind is the first and foremost authority in the art of manipulating time. It can allow it to run at a regular pace, speed it up and slow it down at will and twist it into a pretzel if it so desires. It seemed that those seven days extended well into months but when the actual time to prepare for launch it seemed they went by in a blink, or flash, whichever is faster.

All that took a back seat when my heart of hearts came aboard. I think this life long voyage would have been less delightful without her presence, though it remained unexplored in our day to day lives for a time.


At last we achieved the hour of launch and those not involved of the actual launching were instructed to report to an observation port and secure themselves in launch chairs. I am afraid no one was quite certain what to expect when the Emdrive engines were activated. Fortunately a system of inertial dampening was in place so we would not all be splattered against the wall if the ship suddenly launched into light speed. Such things, in the interest of expedience and cost, cannot be fore-tested. The fact that we could all be dead an hour later was heavy on my mind.


A computer voice announce launch in 13 minutes. It updated every minute. I found it rather un-nerving and I think I was not alone, judging by the number of fidgeting peers I could see. Sheanna was staring in awe at something only she could see. Later I asked her about it and she said, “It was the strangest thing. I could see the galaxy in 3d and it seemed so small.”

I think there was more but she would not say but whatever it was caused her to experience a certain kind of peace, the kind that comes with knowing.”


There was a slight vibration. There was a second of emptiness followed by a flash of light then motion. Earth, the station, the hanger where the ship was constructed, all were gone. Mars was fast approaching but there was no sense of velocity. Then Mars was gone. I regarded my digital pocket watch. Earth to Mars in 17 minutes. An electronic voice announced. “Launch successful. Light-velocity plus achieved.” I could not help wonder what the plus was but at that moment I noticed the stars were not passing by in streaks like everyone thought they might. They looked like they always do.  Still and silent in the vast reaches of space.


I stood from my observation chair and was amazed and delighted to have no after effects of the launch. Sheanna was already gone. I do not know how she departed without me noticing. Maybe there was some time or memory lapse in there somewhere.

I moved through the observation room and soon found Professor Cochrane sound asleep in his chair. I was not surprised since I was aware he had not slept for nearly three days before launch. I left him there and went to explore the vessel and find my station, which was in the aft section of the ship.



I was not the only one exploring the ship or trying to find their way about.

My way took me to the arboretum and the agro-dome, both of which were huge. The arboretum housed a floral array that was absolutely magnificent and was a treasure trove of pollinating insects. There were even beehives and several keepers. A forest grew at one end that the inventors claimed would create oxygen for the ship as long as it grew and flourished. The agro-dome was another marvel of technology, nature and ingenuity. It was a massive farm built on tables and from my meager vantage point I could see ever type of vegetable and fruit plants one could conjure in their mind. For the first time I realized this ship was more than just an exploration vessel, it was mankind’s first colony in space and we the passengers were on a one way pioneering journey.


At last I found my way to the Cartography lab which offered an amazing stellar view through massive shielded portals as well as several real time monitor screens and a work station that even the future would be impressed with. It rested upon my mind suddenly that this room was mine and mapping the stars was my responsibility. Even though I had seen all the drawing and watched the sphere being constructed and toured it while still in dockage it was only then I captured the magnificence of it and the depth of its meaning. I, we would never see earth again.

That thought was just sinking in when I heard a voice being cleared and the familiar low growl of Professor Cochrane’s voice. “It is rather over-whelming wouldn’t you say?”


“What will we find along the way?” I asked.

“That is why we are out here, aside from discovering the reality of the centre of our Galaxy.” Professor Cochrane answered.

“And if there is nothing?”

“No such thing as nothing my boy. We are here, pioneers waiting for the arrival of all and any that might follow.”

The galactic expansion of humanity. I was not certain what to make of that idea considering that civilization on earth had not yet come to a peaceful, enlightened juncture in its evolution.

I stood for a long while gazing upon the grand scape of space still marveling over the accomplishment of our voyage. I could hardly wait to see what we would discover and could imagine early explorers of earth thinking exactly the same thing……TO BE CONTINUED

© Copyright 2019 Donald Harry Roberts. All rights reserved.

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