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Precious Light This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   The man hurried his footsteps.

"It can't be!"

The rhythmic motion of his legs was enhanced by the deep breaths he took, as if in fear.

"No, I must be wrong!"

The whiteness of the walls blended with the blueness of the sky as he ran across the hollow halls. It was like a passing blur around him, while the only hope was ahead toward the yellow light. At once, the yellowness enveloped the whiteness of his robes. His dark tan skin surrendered its color. His brown hair was now enhanced by the yellow light, as if the yellowness itself danced within the shadows of his hair. He reached for the multi-colored panel - for the button that glowed an orange light and gently touched it. The man quickly scanned through the text. The words seemed to burn inside as he read on:



5 Parts Hydranium

10 hours to Depletion

11 hours to Destruction



The pain exploded within. The thought of nothingness was revealed with these words.

As quickly as he could, the man took out two metallic objects from his pockets. They were oval and seemed like buttons that fell off his white robe. Quickly but gently, he fastened the objects onto his temples. The little objects, as though with life, clung onto his dark skin with ease. The ovals slowly glowed with a bright red color, like dark coals resurrected in a flame.

"Channel 45166 to NASA 5 - Dr. Nale."

As if they heard his mind, the ovals reacted with a blue throb of light so intense that it had swallowed the yellow light.

"Yes, Dr. Anderson, what do you want?" the voice said within his mind.

"Rob, I don't know how to say this, but I believe the sun is dying. Within ten hours the solar system will be burned to a crisp."

"Oh, don't be ridicuoous. Our NASA computers would warn us of any slight changes in the sun," he replied with a hint of humor.

"But you don't understand. It's not hydrogen. It's ..."

"Don't worry about it, Dr. Anderson. The hyper-radiation last week probably didn't wear off yet. Take a nap. If anything should happen, we'll take care of it. Good day."

At once, the blue light diminished. The glowing had stopped and again was replaced with its metallic luster.

Hatred burned within that white robe. With his dark eyes staring out into the nothingness, he yanked the ovals from his skin. He pulled with such force that not even the ovals reacted quickly enough to such sudden will. For a moment, his skin clung to the ovals.

"If you don't believe me, I'll show you!" The sheer will was so strong that even a faint flash of blue light had escaped the metallic objects hidden within his hands. Slowly, he dropped the objects again into the abysmal darkness of his pockets.

"Computer, tap into NASA 5. Prepare cruiser to the sun. 1800 hours. Fifty tons of hydranium."

"Acknowledged: Time now 1600 hours. Cruiser AV scheduled to depart at 1800 hours containing 50 tons of hydranium."

Dr. Anderson pulled on his long black robes with ease and exited through an oval opening on the side wall and into a room full of vehicles of white metallic luster. It was long and oval all around and the top was completely flat. As if hearing his approcah, the top piece raised obliquely with a soft lengthened sound. The inside of the vehicle was black. The shape formed to fit a person, more like an escape pod than a vehicle. Dr. Anderson stepped into the blackness and laid on the black cushion that had materialized. The metallic lid closed again with its lengthened noise and sealed with a gentle sigh.

"Destination NASA 5 - Section L. How long to arrival?"

"One hour 50."

"Good, wake me up when we're there."

"Acknowledged."

He closed his dark eyes and seemed to absorb the darkness in his sleep. Suddenly, he saw the sun in all its brilliance. Its gentle light beckoned to him. At once, a brilliant flash of light blinded the darkness of space. The light died until he was floating in utter darkness. Then suddenly a deafening noise shrilled and he awoke.

A screen came into focus. A multi-colored panel emerged from the darkness.

"Welcome, Dr. Anderson. Nice vehicle you have here. I thought I told you to keep out. We know what we're doing. Sorry, but his is restricted area. Surrender your ..."

Dr. Anderson touched the white button that abruptly ended the display.

"How long to arrival?"

"We have just arrived."

The lid opened again, echoing its purr into the large open room.

"The coast is clear!"

His eyes scanned the red signs that illuminated each ship.

"Section A,B,C ... Ah! Section L. I have to hurry before they come."

With ease, he quickly descended from his vehicle. His powerful legs glided across the red floor, like a cat hunting for his prey. Again, his eyes scanned.

"Section E."

Suddenly he heard hurried footsteps echoing in the empty room.

"Up ahead. He's there. We couldn't get access to the ship. Catch him before he gets to the ship. Hurry."

As if he were now the prey, their voices triggered a reflex. He ran down the halls as fast as his legs could carry him. He could hear the faint echoes of footsteps only muffled by the deep panting of his breath. His eyes scanned agains; his vision blurred by the staccato of his legs.

"Section K. Up ahead."

He couldn't think clearly. There were no other thoughts. His legs wanted only to reach it.

"Section L."

The top of the cruiser opened with amazing speed, as if it knew his plight. Without hesitation, the man jumped into the cruiser. Before the lid had time to finish closing, he said, "Emergency Exit - All systems on." The cruiser seemed to understand his desperate situation and immediaately swept off the floor. Dr. Adnerson looked back. He could see the anger contained inside the men. He could almost make out the movement of a word: "Damn."

Slowly, the cruiser ascended into the unlimited boundaries of the sky. When he looked down, he could see hundreds of buildings reaching toward the sky. One long and metallic building shot from the ground and stopped near the earth's atmosphere, like a plant limited by the boundaries of oxygen. The cruiser continued to ascend above the atmosphere and now into the deep ebony of space.

"Computer map course to the sun. Maximum Speed."

"Acknowledged. Course mapped. Arrival in 8 hours."

Planet Earth came into view and then seemed to glide away from the side windows. Its unsurpassed beauty lit by the sun. Its blue hair reaching out to the stars. What it stands for, what it stood for, and all accomplishments laid waste by one dying sun. The bright yellow orb came into view. The lights shone upon his dark robe. Even it could not hold onto its darkness. The light shone into his eyes and burned into his bones. He could see the stars streak across space. Even its light were dimmed by the sun. Hours ticked away, with the giant star as his only companion. The fate of mankind lay in him alone. The sun's gigantic form seemed to grow as he got closer and closer. Suddenly the ship shook violently. "Why did we stop?"

"The heat of the sun burned out all computer controls. Unable to continue."

"All right. Link to Earth. Channel 4516 to Building 67, Section 85 - authorization Robert A. Anderson."

"Link established. Computer joined."

"Good! Computer, how long to sun's depletion?"

"Elapsed time to depletion: one minute."

"Computer, automatic control override. Switch to manual."

He looked again toward the sun. It had already dimmed to a soft waning light. As the last rays touched upon his face, it seemed to cry out, "Help." Now hung a piece of rock drained of all its erternal youth. He floated in void, as the stars shone ever more brightly. It was so dark with only the star's light to touch upon the dark surfaces of the sun.

"Prepare hydranium for use and eject."

"Unable to proceed. All automatic controls lost." Anger and despair burned in his eyes.

"Rats! I came so close. I can't fail. I can't let one stupid ship ruin everything. No matter. Have to get there before destruction. One death for a more glorious future Here's to life!"

Robert took up the controls and slowly steered into the sun. A big view of dead rock stood his view. And suddenly it was gone.

A bright blue light seemed to engulf the sun itself. Its intense blue light reached to all directions and seemed to shout, "Free again." Within seconds a yellow glow had replaced the blue light. The darkness that feasted on its death was no more. A new brighter light reached Earth and said, "Thank you." 1


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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