The New Beginning

January 24, 2018
By bradyrosen, Ann Arbor, Michigan
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bradyrosen, Ann Arbor, Michigan
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Author's note:

It was homework

It was a chilling, and blistering cold evening in Munich, Germany, year 2057, for Leon Houston. He was a German Astronaut that specializes in the assembly and operations of the new technology the U.S. and German created. They had discovered a climate control satellite that would be sent up into space to reduce storms from starting and excess heat rays from reaching Earth and starting global warming again. They had to learn and adapt after the last end. It was the end of the modern world, and set us all the way back to barbian like times.
The end of the modern world can be described as the long term effects of mankind. It was a sequence of unearthly storms that spread across whole continents and stopped at nothing until they destroyed entire land masses. It started as thunderstorms whos bolts would set woods and houses ablaze and burned entire cities. It then transformed into hurricanes and tsunamis that wiped out countries and left wreckage and chaos to those who happened to survive. The survival percentage was less than 1 percent, leaving roughly around 5 million people left. They had to repopulate and rebuild the new world. They knew that if they fell back into the same old habits that it would just end the same as last, but even worse.
There was little bits of secret government in each country and they made alliances and treaties in order to get the supplies they needed, and work together in the betterment of the world. This is where Leon comes in. Leon is a mechanical engineer who was trained in the field of astronomy and is a certified astronaut so that he can assemble the new technology. This technology was created with the treaty of tormenta, and it is a satellite that uses UV rays to eliminate any storms that are forming on Earth. It was going to be the single most useful and crucial piece of technology ever created. It just had to be installed and assembled in the correct positions. Leon Houston was going to be the person that would save the new world by constructing the climate control satellite and starting it up.
Now it’s time for me to explain the treaty between Germany and the United States. It was a very bland treaty that was constructed after the end, and was put into place to try and prevent history from repeating itself. In order to fulfill that, they had to provide each other with the necessary resources they needed to survive and make technological advances. They also needed to follow through on their ends of the deal with not contributing to pollution, disarming all of their nuclear weapons, and no talking with any other countries still in tact. The reason being to keep the world safe and protected. This of course would only happen if they kept their end up. However the U.S. was getting tired of the boring life with no cars and any sort of pollution, when they had so much at their disposal. German of course caught on to this as they had planted cameras in the supplies they had sent over and saw that they were running vehicles and turned the gas back on to houses. Germany saw this, and they were furious. They felt betrayed and that they were being used. They wanted to send a message that they were not to be messed with. They wanted to portray that they ran the show.
It was set that the launch date was to be set for June 23rd, which was the last day for most people during the end of the old world. They set Leon into the newly designed spacecraft that was electrically ran to minimize pollution. They packed in the satellite and all the tools Leon needed, and set the destination for the international space station which was ran by the U.S. currently. 3...2...1... Blast off. The Earth shook like the previous earthquakes, and reminded them of what once was. But it soon left as the Space Odyssey made its way up, signifying that the effects would soon be gone with the future lying in the hands of that satellite.
He forcefully exited Earth’s atmosphere with the power of what feels like your eyes are being pushed into the back of your head. As soon as he broke that barrier, it was smooth sailing to the space station where Leon could enjoy the jaw dropping view of a lifetime. It made him feel as if Earth were this small, practically insignificant planet in the realm of the universe. It truly sent put a new perspective on life as we know. Finally Leon docked into the space station, and was immediately snatched up, and sent into a confined room with nothing but a bed and walls. He was so clueless as to why this was happening, and who those 3 men could be. Were they space pirates? Surely they couldn’t be, the location was only shared between the U.S. and Germany… That only left 2 options.
Leon was seized and taken to the room with no explanation or anything. While he was being apprehended, he did however see an american flag patch on the left chest of one of the men. That meant that it had to be the U.S. that sent men, secretly up to the space station to catch Leon. But what exactly was he in violation of? He waited and waited in the room for days living off of dehydrated food and little bits of water that had been left in the room prior to him being held. There was a vent by him and he heard noises coming from it, but he couldn’t make out the words because the bed was in the way. He gently picked up and moved the bed trying to make as little noise as possible, and leaned in to listen. It was heavily muffled, but he managed to make out the words “You heard the president, he said that we are going to war, and that the satellite, by all means necessary, can not be built.”
The other man, who seemed much younger answered with “But it’s the key to starting life over on Earth, and I lost everyone. It can’t happen to me now, I told them I would make a difference”
“But you are. You’re saving the U.S.” stated the first man.
Then all of a sudden Leon sneezed, and the noise went straight through the vent, and instantly he heard nothing, until footsteps approaching the cell door. Leon had to act fast and seem as natural as he could. He didn’t have time to move the bed back so he just got under it and started benching it and busting out reps to try and come up with a plan B that would hopefully work. Leon was not a very muscular guy, but due to the little gravity, he made it seem like he was a bodybuilder. They turned the corner and all they saw was a scrawny kid benching this bed and knew that something was fishy. They knew he was up to something, and he wouldn’t confess, so they cut off his water supply to try and push the answers out.
Two days went by where Leon was alone in the room with nothing to do and nothing to eat or drink. He was reaching the end of his ability to cope with dehydration, when a dark figure appeared at the room door. Leon couldn’t make out who exactly it was, but all he heard was him say “Take this, and start planning on how to assemble the satellite.”
“Why are you doing this? Why are you helping me?” Leon struggled to ask.
“Because I believe in it, and I once made a promise.” The astronaut answered. Leon drank the water he dropped off, and knew that it was the younger astronaut because of the promise he had talked about. Leon had now gained ground on the race to setting the satellite up on time, and had a new allie that could help. The new mission was to survive, and find a way to build the satellite that was still in the ship docked to the station.
With all the extreme dehydration and starvation Leon faced he forgot exactly how to assemble the satellite. He had to try and remember what was needed to do but he couldn’t figure it out. He sat down and ate the food he dropped off. He took a bit of the crunchy, dried beef that normally would be repulsive, but it tasted like a juicy filet because of what he has gone through. He noticed a piece of paper in the package that had the best selling “How To” on installing a satellite, which was very odd because that’s not really something everyone has to know. But oh well, he couldn’t complain because this would resolidify his knowledge on how to assemble the satellite. Leon studied all day and all night like his life depended on it… maybe because it did. Slowly he started to recall everything that was needed to know, and was ready to take on the initial mission he was sent to do: save the world.
Leon had to somehow signal to the faithful astronaut that he was ready, so he started whistling at a very high pitch because the one was younger and would be the only one that can hear it. After about 5 minutes of the intense whistling, he finally made his way to the room where Leon was, and asked what he wanted. Leon told him that he was ready, and whenever there was a gap of a day where he could carry out the mission he was ready. The astronaut opened the door, handed him a map of and said “You’re on the clock. Get it done”.
Leon had to find his way to the loading dock where he would find his space suit, and his spaceship where the satellite parts and tools to assemble it were in. He looked at the map, and made his way to the dock as quick and silent as a black cat. Leon put on the spacesuit and reached the dock, getting ready to enter the spaceship, when it needed a passcode that he didn’t have. He needed to think fast. He first tried 2030 because it was the first year of the new beginning, but had no luck. He then tried 1969 because that was the year U.S. landed on the moon. Bingo. Open sesame. He grabbed the tools, the parts for the satellite, and made his way to the transportation pod. It was located across the lounge area where everyone else was. He had to get past them to complete the mission.
He couldn’t go through the lounge area with all of the equipment he had, so he decided to wrap it all up in a tarp and make his way to the transportation pod from the outside. It was very risky move because he was tied to nothing but the jimmy rigged tarp bag. He had to hold on with the grip of an anaconda and slowly move himself to the other side of the station. He opened the door to release himself out into the deep, dark space, and began his journey. Bit by bit, Arm by arm he made his way half way, until he swung himself too far, and the momentum of his movement transitioned to the bag and the inertia was too much to overcome. He was yanked off his rail, and headed out towards nothing. It was the end of the mission, and Leon.
Leon panicked, and his life flashed before his eyes. It went all the way from birth, to adolescence, to manhood. Every memorable moment, up until the last one on Earth. It was his wife asking him to pinky promise her that he would come back. Leon made that pinky promise, and everyone who knows about a pinky promise knows the significance and value of it. He couldn’t just give up and accept the fate of not being able to get through this. He had made it this far, and he couldn’t give up now. He was thinking about what happened and how he got off track in the first place and suddenly he realized how he could get himself back. All he had to do was push the bag in the opposite direction of where he wanted to go and Newton’s third law would do its work. He pushed as hard as he could, and kept pushing, until eventually he made his way back to the ship. As he finally grabbed on to the railing he stopped, and just looked at Earth knowing that he was looking down at her, and he had kept his promise. Then he continued on to the other side of the station and into the transportation pod. He grabbed the space junk filled tarp and piled it into the pod and set the destination to the nearest worn down satellite.
Once the rocket started propelling Leon towards the future of mankind, he started realizing how thankful he was of the man who had given him the chance to do this. He didn’t know if he would ever see him again, but he felt eternally in debt to him. Leon reached the satellite named glory, and started to add the parts that were needed to carry out the process of transforming it into the device it needed to be. He was finishing up the final touches, and needed one more screw to be able to add the last part, when he put it in the screw gun and accidentally pressed the trigger which sent it shooting into space. Oh God. That’s all Leon could think.
He was back to square one yet again. But this time there was no doubting or second guessing what would happen, it was just action and him getting this mission completed. No more bullshit roadblocks, strictly business. He looked everywhere in the tarp for a screw but there was none anywhere. He went to put his hands on hips as to show that he was exhausted, and saw that there was a nail placed between his thruster and his space suit. He had no choice but to remove the screw and place it in the satellite to commence the plan even if the U.S. may not want it anymore, even if that meant he may not have a way back to the probe. He had to; so he did. Twisting the screw off ever so slightly, he removed the screw from the suit, and attached it to the satellite while punching in the secret code. The satellite was initiated. His thruster was removed, but he quickly grabbed it and wondered what to do. He wondered what he could do.
He thought maybe if he put it on his chest and used it that way to get him over to the pod it would work. It would work, but it would take insane precision, and perfect timing, but it was the only choice. So he went for it. He turned on the thruster as he was perfectly lined up with the pod and sent full boost ahead. He was on target, but then it went off and he had to act fast. He kept the boost going, but moved it to his feet just when he was below it. It shot him up and onto the pod, where he then quickly got in and gasped for air. Not because he didn’t have oxygen but because he was exhausted from the stressful events. He hoped that this would finally be the last mission of his seemingly endless debacle. He tried to set the destination to the German Space Headquarters in Munich but the only available location on Earth was NASA. It was going to take another extravagant plan to make it out of there, but after going through everything he did in space, he was fairly confident. Once he pressed the big red button that would allow him to make the long trek back to Earth, he was shot back into the seat, which meant it was time. It took several hours to make it to the correct entry point where it could reach Earth’s atmosphere. All of a sudden it stopped, and then just dropped. All he could see was fire covering the whole ship, which meant only one thing… He was back.
Once he reached about 30,000 feet, the pod was forcefully stopped due to the parachute deploying and carrying him safely to the ground. He was immediately arrested by the remains of the U.S. army, and was taken to the capitol which was now in Lexington, Kentucky. He tried to make a run for it but what shot down with a taser and woke up in the back of a truck. He was then thrown into a cell where he was held until the president could come talk to him. It took 2 days, but finally he was met by the president to determine what would happen. They met inside the square office where every wall, door, and crack was soundproof, so nothing left that meeting; That’s how serious this was going to be. Once they got into the room, the president pulled out a green button, and put it down on the table. “This here activates the satellite to serve its purpose. Although I have destroyed the treaty with Germany by letting greed get to my people, I can make it all better by pressing this button. Now I know you went through hell and back to set this up, tell me why I should.” The president exclaimed.
“I truly believe that this machine is the key to survival on Earth, and could be the new start that we all so desperately need.” Leon answered. “It’s more than just a satellite that saves us from storms, but it can be seen as a power beyond us, that you helped create.”
“I know what it can do, but why? The storms happened for a reason. We didn’t treat the gift we had received the way we should’ve, so why do we all of a sudden get the right to try and save it?” Mr. President quickly added.
“But what if the reason they happened was for us to show how much we cared and find a solution. Don’t you believe in second chances? Well this is ours.” Leon aggressively answered.
There was a long pause where the president was standing there with a blank face, until he suddenly moved. He reached for the button, and tossed it to Leon. “Finish the mission” He ordered. Leon slammed the button like a whack-a-mole and immediately felt relieved. He had finally accomplished the most important mission in history.
After Leon had finished the mission, he asked the president if he would have a meeting with the president of Germany to try and settle the disputes from the disbanded treaty. The U.S. president was uncertain at first, but remembered what Leon had said about deserving a second chance, and kindly agreed. He called up Germany’s president and asked if he would meet with him and Leon to discuss the treaty, as well as the new satellites success. He was hesitant but wanted to see Leon because he thought he had died. He ordered a military ceasefire until further notice while he attempted to figure out what was going on with the satellite, and Leon. He would leave for Lexington at dawn.
Once the president of Germany arrived in his electronic plane, he was met by the last bits of secret service to escort him to the new white house. He met the current U.S. president and Leon in the square office to discuss further matters. Edward Richtofen, Germany’s president, was shocked to actually see Leon alive. He greeted him with a hug and jumped into many questions, where Tom Chandler, the U.S. president answered with “That’s what we’re here to talk about”. They started talking about how the whole treaty got disbanded because of the actions done by the U.S. to give Leon some answers about his troubles faced in space. After Leon got briefed on the past, they started talking about the future and where they were at in terms of allies. “I’m deeply and truly sorry for all of the actions my nation has done to lose your trust, and I take full responsibility.” Tom stated. “I will promise you that those actions have been handled, and will never happen again.”.
“I accept the apology, but I need something to show me you have changed as a leader and as a person.” Edward proclaimed.
“Someone once told me that everyone deserves a second chance. I’m here asking for my second chance.” Tom answered back. He then handed Edward a small tablet that displayed all these functions and reports that he didn’t know what it was for. “This is the future. This is the satellite that you sent Leon up to install. I triggered it, so it is now in use.” Tom stated. Edward was shocked to hear this at first, he thought that it was going to be immediately rejected and not put into use, but it was.
“I accept to rekindle our treaty, but only on our terms.” Edward quickly stated. The conditions were that they must only use electronics, and no sort of gas powered appliance of vehicle at any time. They also had to send weekly reports on the satellite, as well as greenhouse gas levels to make sure that they were not dishonoring the treaty at all. They both agreed to the new arrangements and wrote up the new treaty. They both signed, and framed the new document which would be hung in the new begining museum. It would go down in history as the second biggest accomplishment, with the satellite being the first. Leon would be signing the document as well, due to his initiation of the treaty. It was time to go home, and celebrate.
Leon and Edward took the plane back, and as soon as the plane started to take off, Leon had flashbacks to when the spaceship took off, and he replayed the whole journey. He could only describe it as one thing. He was truly a hero. When they landed in Munich they were greeted by no more than Leon’s wife, and the secret service. All he could do was hug her, and tell her that  he kept the promise. He had done the impossible, and came back to her. Mission complete.
2 years passed and the population was slowly growing to about 10 million. Most countries were beginning to renew their governments and starting to produce more crops and begin to establish a new infrastructure. The U.S. and the German government held their treaty and were both still upholding their ends of the deal. Leon and his wife were married and had 2 kids, Neil and Buzz. Leon had found the man who gave him the chance up on the space station and befriended him. They often visited each other to catch up and to keep up with the satellite and see how it was doing. It had been working perfectly. It had stopped every single storm that was in threat of harming the Earth. It was a dream come true, until suddenly the communication was stopped, and the sky was covered in a pure darkness. Something had happened, and they needed to act fast before something happened, and there was only one person that had the experience, ability, and skills to perform that mission. Leon was called on by a unanimous vote from every nation working together. He had to renew the promise with his wife and get started. Leon was sent to the rescue once again.

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