January 20, 2011
“Sir, we are green all across the board,” said the ships pilot. “Good,” acknowledged the Captain, “then launch in 3…2….1!” The engines begin to rumble, their low groaning bellows resonating through the metallic hull of the space craft. The ship trembles and all on board begin to feel pulled down to the floor as if they suddenly became twice their normal weight. Ten seconds of noise, shaking, and uneasiness passed by and then they all abruptly stopped, SILENCE. The ship had left the atmosphere leaving behind any and all wisps of air and cloud. The Captain sat down in his chair and addressed the crew, “We have successfully left Mars’s atmosphere and are now preparing to rocket over to the Pursues cluster to explore and chart the planets and other anomalies. Shortly we will charge the engines up for hyperspace travel and all crew members must be in their respective safety pods for the half-hour trip. Good luck everyone, Captain Connors signing off.” The crew began to get into their assigned pods in all areas of the ship. There were pods in the crew’s quarters, in the med bay, in the storage area, in the service and maintenance area, in the research facility, in the engines room, and in the command center. The captain punched the coordinates in and lifted up the cover over the hyper-drive button and slowly placed his moist, warm hand over it. He got into his pod and the ship began to divert power to the engine core. A buzzing sound filled the ears of everyone aboard, then it stopped, and then everything began to look twisted as the light was sharply bent by the incredible speed. The computer controlled the flight and when a half-hour passed it began waking people up in their pods. In retrospect the flight passed by in a matter of seconds for the crew onboard that was put in hibernation.
Through the port holes of the ship and various observation decks people see green, red, blue, and orange clouds of dust, debris, and elements. These nebulas are as young as a baby just born from the womb of a loving mother. Jordan, the pilot, even goes as far as making shapes in the gaseous clouds. There were Beluga whales swimming, Pelicans skimming the surface of a wave, and little fish jumping out of the water in frenzy. In the middle of this galactic ocean was a swirling maelstrom of darkness. “Chart that black hole,” said Connors, “and make sure to stay at least 1 billion miles away from it. We don’t want to risk putting the whole mission in jeopardy!” The navigator plotted a course for the nearest planet and the ship smoothly jetted through the cold vacuum of space. Every one of the crew members on board was restless and had an uneasy feeling in the pit of their stomachs. This always happened when they were sent on reconnaissance and exploration missions. It’s was something about going into the unknown that frightened but also pushed Jordan to go on and maneuver the ship through the debris field. The captain saw it first; it was a bright blue sphere shimmering from the star’s light. It looked like a blue Easter egg decorated with tiny little red dots. Looking at an internal scan the planet was a jawbreaker. It had so many layers that it was even difficult for the computer to discern them individually. The Captain said, “Jordan try to take a bite of that.” And the pilot replied, “I can’t, it’s made out of granite and granted that suckers too big.” The Captain left the intercom on and the ship erupted with laughter at this joker’s remark.
It had been a long time since the crew of the DA-BONAPARTE had been on one of these missions. It had been a long time since they explored an unknown planet. It had been a long time since they all laughed so hard. The planet, as if knowing the crew was in elated spirits, decided to rotate and show it brilliant southern countenance. Its various patterns and trenches smiled up at the ship and the brilliant white icecap shinned light at the ship making it glow. The signs showed that this would be a good day.
The uncharted planet was about to have its first human visitors. The Captain put his first mate John in charge of the ship while he personally assembled a team to take down to the surface of the planet. The recon team suited up in their tick, protective exposure suits. They looked like the crew from ghost busters except that the recon team wasn’t saving a damsel in distress but their damn selves from distress.

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