Darius Lee – “Last Hope”

The bang echoed through the room, the mans large metal fist testing

the tables integrity. His voice boomed through the hall.

        “This is not the right way! The fuel that the rocket runs on is unstable sir, and you are putting human lives inside that ship is sending them away with a chance of dying! Please sir,I Beg you, if you give my crew more time—”

 he is cut off by a even bigger presence in the room.

      “You were given the time you asked for doctor Nezitam! You have failed, and this option is the only one left! Do you not understand the urgency our situation calls for?! The Earth will be a flaming ball of nothing in twelve years time! Sending the ship any later will doom us all. Now leave,I Will not ask you again!”

The large figure in the front of the hall was known as the judicial use in deciding given everywhere, or J.U.D.G.E. It’s and AI built by some doctor long ago who learns as it judges things throughout the world. It’s been on earth since the rebuild and once it hears the people ideas it judges if those ideas are best for the people or not. In this case, you can see the outcome.

     “Leave doctor, orI will have you escorted away”. The doctor rambled as he left “you all are doomed, DOOMED I say!”

 My head tilted down as these words left his mouth. Once upon a time the doctor was seen as a genius, the premier expert in the field of space travel. Now he was seen as a madman. It pained me to see him like this, as any daughter would, but then I remember the things he sacrificed for his reputation, one of those things being our relationship.I Stared at the crowd below. My grey space suit reflecting little light and my helmet sitting heavy in my lap.I Had trained for this moment for the last 7 years, training to save my race. Now it seemed like the days were sneaking up on me, and leaving in 3 days felt like a crazy notion. The JUDGE program had finished its work, and the people had started clearing out of the hall. The large courtroom doors swung open unleashing a blast of hit into the room. The weather that day wasn’t to hot, only around 94 degrees, but the dryness of the air seemed to take the moisture straight out of your skin, the sun took up around a third of the sky, the red giant almost mocking the people of our planet. The sun had already engulfed mercury and Venus, and it was steadily moving towards earth. The people of our planet trembled, and our last hope was a manned mission through the galaxy, through a pre-designated strip of planet prospects that humans could call home. Including me, a group of five highly trained astronauts are manning the mission to new earth. The ship leaves in 5 hours and the world waits at the edge of their seats as our departure draws near. The crew is escorted off the stage to a large hover car that awaits at the end of a long teal carpet. Cameras flash as we walk across the 20 yard carpet to the chariot. We slowly enter.

     “Jeez… this day seemed to sneak up on me. How are you Cassandra?”

Lui hyien had become my best friend though the last seven years. She was our space walker and had been studying to survey a planet from above to determine if it was still worth visiting, and she could also do outside repairs.                            

     “Yea… I’m okay. It’s just seeing my da— doctor Nezitam like that… it hurts.” “I’m sure it does. But hey, we gotta get our head in the game! We need our captain to be completely composed for take off.”

Charlie looked up

    “yea, we need ya cass.”

 Charlie was my twin brother. When there is a person on earth who has exceptional intelligence, they are permitted to have two children through artificial insemination (with a machine called a “chronasix”). My father was one of those people, and he had me and my brother. Charlie had the special ability to diagnose if a planet could handle human life, if it had the resources to sustain our presence.

     “Thanks chuck. Don’t worry, I’m all here.”

 Sandy turned her head out the window.

    “We are almost there guys”

sandy was our mechanics expert. She was a loud person, but she was nice enough. The car stopped and we slowly flowed out. No cameras were permitted in this area, so all that stood was our group, and the towering ship. The ship had to be the size of a football field, as its silver sides sloped upwards to a dull point. This would be my home for the next ten years, and if the mission failed… than it would be my home for the rest of my days.

     “Holy cow! That’s way bigger than the one in our training sessions! It might even be the size of Charlie’s ego!”

Tyson was Sandy’s husband. They married while we were training, and were always attached at the hip.

      “Shut up Tyson, we all know for a fact that my egos at least a story taller than that thing!”

 The crew laughed. But the thought of what was really going on sort of hit us all at once. Sandy closed her eyes.

      “Guys… what if we don’t make it back.”

 She was instantly given a jumble of comments. “We will” “we have to” “why would you even say that??”.I Turned towards the whole crew.

     “There’s no guarantee we make it back guys. There’s no guarantee the earth is saved. There’s no even a guarantee that we survive.  But this is our best bet. We are the best bet. So this day we make history, today we start our journey to safe the human race.”

I turned on my heels, and could feel their eyes pointed on my back. We slowly walked to the ship, and we were met with a loading crew. We loaded onto the ship. We got into our launch suits, sat down in our seats, and waited. My seat sat at the front with liu to the right and behind me, followed by sandy who sat behind and to the left,  while Tyson and Charlie at diagonally and behind Liu and Sandy. The air in the room felt heavy, like it weighed down on us. A large blue television hologram appeared with our world’s top scientist already speaking on it.

    “The ship launches in 30 seconds. Are you ready, crew 3251?”

    “Yes sir”

the words felt dry leaving my throat. The countdown begins.

     “Are you guys ready?”

     “21”

     “of course we are. This has to work”

     “11”

We all braced ourselves

     “2”

     “1”

      “goodbye hero’s. The earth awaits.”

The engines roared as we turn our heads to Charlie, but instantly we are launched into away from earth, at a speed no other human has reached. We entered the blackness of space in an instant. All the sudden, everything is silent, as we move millions of miles an hour from home. Charlie sits, profusely sweating, panting.

       “Charlie… are you okay?…”.

        “Yea… yea I’m fine.”

Silence was our only company for the next five minutes. Tyson breaks it.                  “Guys, we should stop the ship open the window guards, we have 7 days that are for leisure. We could use a couple minutes”

 With the push of a button the metal window guards slide upward, revealing the sight few humans have ever seen. The vast, terrifyingly beautiful view of space. We gazed out in awe at the raw building blocks of the universe. Liu’s voice trembled as she said something that faintly sounded like

      “my god”.

I had to break the feeling of amazement after a bit, even though slightly regretted doing so.

       “Alright guys. It’s time. The GPS says we are about 10 hours out from our first destination. We have to get moving again.”

Just like that, the windows went down and we were moving at unimaginable speeds again.

      “Everyone, you should get some rest. We’re up at exactly 5:00 sharp tomorrow morning.”

The crew went our separate ways, going to our rooms.I Found mine, a large room that resembled a hotel suite. The Tv was supposed to have around 300 movies downloaded on it, but without even bothering to check I  layed down and went to bed.I Awoke to a strange noise. It sounded like metal lightly clanging together.I Rolled over off my bed, my feet touching the cold metal floor. The noise continues.Crept across my room and went into the hallway. The lights were dimmed in the hall, and slowly maneuvered through the narrow passageways towards the sound. The banging got louder.I Felt as if I was just around the corner, and asIturned,  the sound disappeared. Not only the sound, but almost as if the thing… its presence… was gone.Slowly walked back to my room.I Didn’t go back to sleep.

      “Did you guys hear that last night”

Tyson said. Everyone nodded in agreement.

      “Did anyone catch what it was?”

 Silence. Sandy broke it.

       “I’m sure it was just the fuel thinner running a little rough. I’ll go check it right now.”

Sandy left, while the rest of us prepared. There was 2 hours until we arrived at the planet. We were flying through another whole universe. This was the Tacitil system, a small group of planets that orbits two suns in a strange pattern. There is one planet here, which we nicknamed “Goliath” because of its massive size. It is like a much bigger version of Earth, roughly the same size as Jupiter. Liu was sent out to survey if there was anything we should be worried about. Potential storms on the planet, mountainous ranges we should avoid, etc. She surveyed the planet using various tools, and she gave us the all clear. Within the hour, we became the first humans to ever set foot in a new solar system. We breathed it in… fresh earth. Life was brimming on this world. Noises came from every direction.

       “This planet is so… raw.”

I said. Our job was for us to survey and decide if this planet is one of our options. We would stay for a maximum of two weeks, and then once we had gathered enough data we would go on to the next prospect.

      “Oh sandy, what was the report on the fuel thinner?”

      “Oh right. It had lost a blade, butIfixed it”

       “Great. Don’t need a broken ship”

       Charlie got up, heading into the ship

       “Where ya going chuck?”

        “Bathroom”

       “Well… okay.”

    “Liu, help me unpack the ship. We have to set up for—”

Iwas interrupted by a deep rumble. Almost like a large animal was growling from the earth. The ground rumbled. Charlie spoke up

       “guys… we need to leave… now.”

       “What? Why? We can handle an earthquake.”

Charlie almost seemed angry.

      “This isn’t an earthquake! This world… from my predictions… it’s dying. Its to big for the crust to support the weight on top of it. It’s going to collapse into itself. We have to leave! Hurry!”

 We quickly packed everything up and headed to the ship.Ipowered everything up.

       “Guys, buckle up!”

 The ship hovered. Then the banging started. Again. Louder.

       “What’s going on!?” Sandy said.

      “I’m, i’m not sure. Sandy go take a look”

sandy hustled back. The rumble continued.

       “Guys, something’s wrong with the fuel thinner. It’s been tampered with!” Charlie tilted his head up. He was smiling.

       “This was necessary”

I Turned to him.

       “Charlie… what did you do!?”

       “Father asked me to do this Cass. To restore his reputation. The J.U.D.G.E program dismissed his claims, but those claims will be true! Then he will be respected again! Nobody will laugh at him!”

I Couldn’t believe it…I Felt sick.

      “Your… you’re both insane…”

 Tyson jolted up.

       “Fix this Charlie!Iswear to god I’ll kill you”

 he rushed over to Charlie, grabbing him by the collar. But Tyson wouldn’t get his revenge. With the fuel engaged the ship was unstable. It’s frame shook as the gas was to thick to power it. All the sudden… and explosion. Our ship became a ball of fire. My skin burned, slowly charing. I Heard screams… the screams of my crew. The screams of the people of earth. Our planet was doomed. I Faded away, my body shutting down. As my eyes closed saw my brother. Sitting, smiling, knowing the fate of his friends and family. This was of us and our planet.

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