At The Speed Of Sound

December 14, 2011
By Alex Ibes BRONZE, Elmwood Park, Illinois
Alex Ibes BRONZE, Elmwood Park, Illinois
2 articles 0 photos 0 comments

“All systems operational,” Boomed the loud speaker. All of the cells in the entire ship were double locked and were covered in super hard plastic that is supposed to withstand two nuclear bombs without even a scratch. The captain and his first mate strapped into their deluxe red chairs with complete certainty. The other ship workers strapped in but were not so certain about this trip. The captain and first mate had gone at the speed of light many times before. The ship wasn't even allowed to reach the speed of light, so the crew had nothing to worry about. The crew still didn't like the idea of going extremely fast in empty space.

The captain is on a routine transport of roughly 16,000 convicts that are due for life in prison. In the Earth prisons there was extreme over crowding. With the Earth's population exceeding ten billion humans and counting there will always be more criminals to add to the already expanding list. There was no way that these prisoners could be just let back out on the streets of the various countries and cities they're from. Most of them are convicted for multiple murders or rape. There was one convict who seemed odd. It was a rather tall and large man. Not the large as in fat or chubby, but the large as in muscles the size of your entire head. He looked alien. That wasn't an uncommon sight either- many of the convicts were from different planets in different solar systems. It was just something about him that didn't seem right. The captain just couldn't put his fonger on what. He would find out what soon enough, though.

“Ready,” asked the captain to no one in particlar. Silence. It was time. No matter how many times he went into hyper drive, he never could shake that feel of child like excitement. He felt like he was a kid on christmas eve, waiting to open their presents. He slid his key into the lock that held the speed controls. It popped open with a resounding click. He slid his hand over the lever slowly for about ten or so seconds, and then gripped with unknown power. The lever seemed to scream “Pull me, I dare you.”

“I shall,” whispered the captain, and with that slowly pushed the lever until it reached an orange part labeled: sound. The ship slowly began to reach the speed of sound. For the ship to maintain the speed of sound for an extended period of time, it needs to slowly speed up or else it would just be a giant burst of energy killing anyone not strapped in, and probably breaking the spines of anyone sitting down. In five minutes the speed of sound was matched. The captain held his hand with great might ver the lever. He could no longer hear the sounds of the engines of the ship which meant that the vibrations in the air can't reach him. He slowly pushed the lever in between sound and light. He felt as if his legs were being pulled by an unknown force behind him. Completely normal. The ship was now traveling at approximately 93,141.1 miles every second. The captain is denied access to the speed of light so he can't pull the rest of the lever. It would be of no use anyway- the ship is already going to be slowed down by automatic sensors in the ship. They send out highly concentrated laser beams that reflect on any particle larger than two hundred billion atoms. The beams, if reflected, have an automatic override system to either steer away from that mass, or, if that mass is the predefined route, or slows down. The ship basically controls it self and the captain is just the back up kit.

As the Earth like planet comes into view, an emergency light comes into view. The captain sees it but it dissapears, as if not wanting to be seen. Suspicion emerges. The ship stops completely with the crew dazed from the trip and confused from the stop. The captain rises from his elevated chair with immediate urgency.

“Check on all the inmates, Simon!” The captain jumped off the platform to a computer.

“What's wrong, captain,” says his first mate, George.

“I saw an emergency signal flash on.”

“Sir, with all due respect, are you feeling all right?”

“I'm feeling pretty terrible right now, We could all be in danger!”

Simon runs into the main chambers with the captain and first mate just as he gets clipped by a giant, red-hot steaming metal bolt. He falls screaming in agony. The odd tall convict stands tall with standard guard weapons. Most likely obtained through the killing of one of the cell block guards. His muscles bulging out with vains just made him even more intimidating. It looked like even if he was disarmed, he could kill a pack of bulls with his bare hands. The convict had a shirt that had 0009812 written on it. He reloaded his bolt firing crossbow with ease. Whiz. A bolt flew right past the captain and right into the steering control panel.

“I have other convicts destroying the main steering computational unit,” said the convict with absolute hatred in his eyes.

“You'll kill us all,” said George.

The convict said nothing, stared at George, aimed the crossbow and fired. The bolt went straight through his heart, with deadly accuracy. All within five seconds. The remnants of the bolt fell limply from the screen that is used for video conferencing. George was the captain's friend and companion. Now he was dead. The captain's survival instincts kicked into over drive and everything went into slow motion. A guard ran into the room only to be shot by the convict, again going towards the heart but not straight through. The captain's hands pulled his standard issue M9 from his holster. The convict, in seeing this, had only one response- charge. He ran with all his might towards the captain. The captain had no choice but to shoot and hope that he didn't have an iron body. Four rounds were fired before the convict slowed to a stop, and fell face forward. With his face lower than his hips, he looked like a baby that had fallen asleep. As the reality of the situation came rushing to him he looked at Georges cold dead body. A puddle of red liquid was slowly spreading around his body. Two guards entered the room, saw the bodies and everyone in shock, and said

“All convicts are secure.” Everyone's heads slowly turned towards the guards and looked on the scene with disbeleif. The captain sat down and sighed. Turned the steering unit on and began to slowly laugh. The crew once again looked on in disbelief. The captain's laughter slowly grew louder as the two guards began to carry the three bodies out of the room. His laughter slowly stopped and tears streamed out of the captains' eyes.

“I know what he did,” said the captain.

Soon the captain could no longer hear the engines, the crew, or his own scream. All he could hear was deafening silence. The planet that the ship was supposed to land on became much larger much faster. They were traveling two times the speed of sound. That was the man that murdered his wife for when he failed him in a computer and physics class. He was crazy, but looks like he wasn't so stupid after all. The ship crashed into the landing pad through the building below it, blowing up gas and oil lines. From a bystanders view it would have looked like a meteor crashing down through the atmosphere. Everything happened with in a few seconds- the crash, the explosion and of course...the death of all aboard and all around.

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