Category Archives: Sci Fi

Sci-Fi and Fantasy Short Stories

Over the last couple of years I’ve written a number of short and not so short stories and trying to give them the visibility they deserve is a bit hard when they’re hidden behind a menu system on my blog page. So I’ve put as many of them as I can find on this post and I’m going to pin it on my page.

Many of them aren’t finished, but you know – Rome wasn’t built in a day and all that.


 

The Titan Mystery

Planet Simon - The Titan Mystery1
The Titan Mystery – Main image not my own (Deviant Art)

The Titan Mystery is my longest running story, set in the far future the commander and crew of the star ship Tycho become trapped in time and space while investigating a gigantic spacecraft that seems to be from distant future.

The only way for them to find a way to get free is to board the Titan and see what they can find out. What they discover is beyond they wildest dreams and nightmares.

 

The Titan Mystery                    The Titan Mystery – Part 2         The Titan Mystery – Part 3

The Titan Mystery – Part 4     The Titan Mystery – Part 5          The Titan Mystery – Part 6

The Titan Mystery – Part 7      The Titan Mystery – Part 8          The Titan Mystery – Part 9

The Titan Mystery – Part 10    The Titan Mystery – Part 11       The Titan Mystery – Part 12

The Titan Mystery – Part 13    The Titan Mystery – Part 14       The Titan Mystery – Part 15

The Titan Mystery – Part 16     The Titan Mystery – The Conclusion

 


 

Scorched Planet

Featured Image -- 2972

While on a less than routine mission to recover the data from a monitoring station David Hicks watches as a spacecraft passes over him and lands in the distance. Rather than being rescued by his partner he disobeys orders to find out more. He was prepared for aliens and maybe death, but not what’s inside that spacecraft.

The Scorched Planet                                                                                   Scorched Planet Part 2

Scorched Planet Part 3                                                                               Scorched Planet Part 4


 

Dark Horizons

Planet Simon - Pluto 1

Dr Harry Tressler runs the New Horizons mission to Pluto, the mission is going well until a government official arrives with armed soldiers and a few other strange looking visitors. The mission is secretly hijacked and Dr Tressler and his team are forced to stay and help until the flyby is complete. But why is this happening?

Dark Horizons (Chapter 1 – Obol Discovered)

Dark Horizons (Chapter 2 – Interference)

Dark Horizons Part 3 – Encounters

Dark Horizons Part 4 – Aftermath


 

On the Brink of Midnight

planet city 2

Midnight fails to fall on Sela’s home world and the consequences are going to be catastrophic for his whole race if he can’t find out why this is happening. With time short, Tira his partner and his brain as his only tools Sela finds out that their world is under attack with little to fight back with.

On the brink of Midnight #Blogbattle #Scifi

On the Brink of Midnight #Blogbattle #Scifi

On the Brink of Midnight #Blog Battle #Scifi

On the Brink of Midnight #BlogBattle # Scifi

 


 

The Adventures of Minecraft Steve

Planet Simon -Minecraft

Minecraft Steve is having a load of adventures with creepers, zombie pigmen and rogue crafters. It’s hard to know what’s going on sometimes.

Minecraft Steve and the Lost City – Part 1

Minecraft Steve and the Lost City – Part 2

Minecraft Steve and the Lost City – Part 3

Minecraft Steve and the Lost City – Part 4

Minecraft Steve and the Lost City – Part 5


 

Eternal Darkness

Black_hole.png

This short piece is part of a concept and I’m excited about where it may lead. Chronos is entering orbit of a supermassive black hole, it’s mission it to take humanity further into the future than it would ever survive. Perhaps until the end of time.

Eternal Darkness


 

There’s loads more and I need to work and promote all of them, and this is something I hope to do more of so keep watching!

Simon 🙂

 

 

Scifi Moments – When Machines Die

Science fiction films being what they are can give unique personalities to machines of different kinds, be they computers, robots or spacecraft. The moments when these machines are killed off are moments of sadness. These are some of the most memorable sad moments from science fiction movies. If you can think of others that are more memorable then let me know!

 

2001 A Space Odyssey- Hal

hal

Hal was the killer computer from 2001, highly intelligent and able to run the entire discovery spacecraft by himself. HAL mysteriously malfunctioned, killing a crewman Frank to get Commander Dave Bowman out of the spacecraft so he could kill those hibernating by evacuating the atmosphere from it.

Dave manged to get back to the Discovery and shut him down. Despite his calm and maniacal voice, you can’t help but feel for HAL as he is gradually deactivated.

 

 

Terminator 2

Terminator_2_Schwarzenegger_Dies.jpg

Time, time travel and paradoxes always seem to cause problems and put many heroes to a sticky end. This is very well demonstrated in Terminator 2 when Arnie’s character after having been nearly smashed to pieces allows himself to be lowered into molten steel in order to destroy all trace of Skynet’s Terminator technology to stop Skynet’s creation in the first place.

As Kryten once said: “Today’s been a bit of a bummer really!”

Shame it didn’t work.

 

 

 

The Black Hole – BOB

Old_B_O_B.jpg

 

BOB was the bashed up little droid from the Black Hole, with a southern accent he brought out the love of the underdog in the audience. His memory banks clocked their last cycles after he crossed the formidable Maximilian. His buddy Vincent had to say a sad goodbye to BOB after the fight with the spacecraft disintegrating around them.

 

 

The Starship Enterprise

Uss_enterprise_self_destruct

After the death of Admiral Kirk’s son, Kirk had to surrender the Enterprise to his Kingon enemy. But not before he set the ship to self destruct. This created a scene that audiences were nothing less than stunned at.

 

 

Drone 3 (Luis) from Silent Running

louie3

A little known (I nearly forgot this film too) called silent running saw a crew member defy orders to destroy the lifedomes they were carrying, kill his fellow crew members and go rogue and silent in order to protect the life in the dome that he loved.

In this were three drones, 1, 2 and 3 later renamed to Huey, Dewey and Louie. Louie came to an unexpected end while outside the spacecraft and his foot got stuck.I couldn’t find anything on YouTube on this scene. But this is a very different SciFi flick, it’s a mix of beauty, death and sadness with an ending you don’t expect.

 


 

I hope you liked this, I’m planning on making more SciFi film moments as there are so many. Any suggestions welcome.

Simon 🙂

 

 

Battle of the Books – A Warden and a Nexus

Candice Coates of candicecoates.wordpress.com has a problem that I an only dream of. She has two books to self publish. The problem comes is which one to publish first! The two books are called Warden and Nexus Gate 4037. Both of them are Science Fiction novels with a different twist. The Warden is comic adventure and Nexus Gate is a suspense thriller.

What Candice has decided is the we should get the power to decide which one gets to readers first. Look through the story teasers below and have a think. Then be a really great bloggie and click on the Battle of the Books link and vote for the one you thought was best! Simples!


 

If I had to pick one of these two stories to read first I would pick Nexus Gate. Time and paradoxes and the consequences of disturbing events in out timelines is something I have keen interest in.

BUT I being a Hitchhikers fan I also love a Sci Fi comedy advneture!

Thinking about it… do I really know?


On reading these teasers I had a few questions for Candice:

What were the biggest writing challenge(s) for each if these books?

-The biggest challenge(s) for each story I would say was initially the time crunch since I wrote them during a summer session of NaNoWriMo. Trying to make novel status in 30 days can be difficult but I’ve developed a system for it whereas I would aim for a certain number of words a day.

Another challenge that I faced was with Nexus Gate. With my first draft, I managed to write well over 150k words, but I recognized around 90k that the story had transitioned into book two. The challenge was in figuring out how to properly end book one so that it was a solid stand-alone piece.  Working out the transition for what I have with book two will happen soon.

Warden was written as a NaNoWriMo challenge wasn’t it? How did writing this differ from Nexus Gate?

-They both were summer NaNoWriMos. What made them different was that when I wrote Warden, it was my very first go at NaNoWriMo. I didn’t know what to expect. I didn’t have a system. I was really just playing things by ear and learning as I went along. When I started Nexus Gate the following year, I knew how to develop a working rhythm which helped me to write with greater ease.

 

Which book is your favourite?

-Honestly, I don’t have a favorite. They both excite me in different ways and that is because they are so vastly different even though they are under the genre of Science Fiction. I would say it’s like having two children, they are both yours but they are very different, still you love them equally.

 


 

Book Teasers

WARDEN:
warden

Genre: Science Fantasy, Comedic Action Adventure

Audience: YA, NA (New Adult), Adult

Book Flap: Ever since the bizarre death of her grandmother, Maeve Grandie has made it her sole purpose to be reliable, even if that means living a dreadfully predictable life. The only sense of adventure Maeve experiences is in her dreams. The only problem is her peculiar hereditary condition that gives her rashes on her hands and arms, turning the veins of her arms a screaming azurite blue, not only gives her weird dreams but causes her to sleepwalk as well.

But what would happen if those dreams that carry her into a bizarre land where people can cause their arms to ignite with blue flames and tear open the sky with their bare hands is not really a dream at all?

What if the dream world, Maeve finds herself suddenly trapped in, is actually a true world of wonder but one she is somehow destroying just by being there?

Senior Warden Vincent Jasper of Trident finds himself facing that very real and immeasurable danger when a young woman in the ugly pink nightgown interferes with an arrest right before disappearing through an Unzoned Door in the Universe causing the very threads of the Cluster and Realms to ripple and stretch, putting it and the lives of all who live within it in grave danger. Not only is the woman unknown but she keeps opening Doors and is somehow hiding right underneath his nose.

Can Jasper and his team along with the rest of Trident, apprehend this villainous threat clad in garish pink flannel and ruffles? Or will they find out that she is not the threat at all but the weapon of someone else, all before their side of the universe collapses?

 

NEXUS GATE:

NG Promo Cover

Genre: Speculative Science Fiction, Suspense Thriller, Time Travel

Audience:  NA (New Adult), Adult

Book Flap: Most important rules of time surveillance; never disrupt your host timeline and never step into the future. Decorated Surveillance Specialist Vivian Leona of 6037 has broken both.

Losing her husband, John Joseph Spruce, in the Nexus of time past, Vivian mistakenly pulls the wrong man into the future, a man recorded by history as having died on that very day in 1837. The consequences for keeping him alive in the future could prove far worse than Vivian bargains for, especially in the American South’s New Golden Age, 4037, where any overt emotion or cause of such, like racism, is seen as a deadly contingent—‘conditions’ cured only by euthanasia.

Slave foreman and bounty hunter ‘Tucker’ John Josephus Spruce of 1837 is called ‘The Animal’ by those he hunts, and a ‘necessary evil’ by those who enlist his skills, but are his ‘talents’ enough to keep him alive when he steps into a deadly snare set twenty-two hundred years in the future where he is now pawn and prey?

Will Tucker John’s instincts lead him towards retribution for his abduction, or will they make Vivian his only ally while setting him on an unexpected hunt for the one not only out for his blood, but the very woman’s he’s purposed to destroy?


 

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BIO: Candice Coates is a fiction writer, jumping from genres ranging from Speculative Science Fiction and Fantasy to Comedic Clean Read Romance and Drama, all with touches of her Christian faith. She is a lover of Ireland, tea, and just about anything with pistachios. When not writing she is creating visual art with pen or paint, or she is creating new designs for her handmade polymer clay jewelry line, Shizen Brook. To read more of her work you can find her at her author site, candicecoates.wordpress.com or icameforthesoup.com. You can also find out more about her and how to stay connected by going to www.about.me/candicecoates

About you:

 Where does your love of Sci-Fi come from?

-I think because I am a visionary at heart. I am constantly imaging and romanticizing about the possibilities of what could be. Science Fiction is all about possibilities. There are limits and yet there aren’t any at the same time.

 

What other story ideas do you have?

-I currently have a folder with over 143 different titles that I have ideas for. Some of them I’ve done work on, others I just have the generally idea saved and tucked away. I do play around with different genres though, hence why my author site tag is “The Novel World of a Genre Jumper.” I play around with Clean Read Romance, Coming of Age, Science Fantasy, Drama, etc. In short, I just love to tell a story and I aim to do that in as many ways as I can.

 

Where does your inspiration to write come from?

-Just about anything gives me inspiration. I got the ideas for both Warden and Nexus Gate from dreams that I had. Sometimes I get ideas and inspiration for images or random phrases that hear people say. It really just depends for me. A muse can be find in anything.

Promo Sticker

Battle of the Books

I hope you guys will look as what Candice is doing and support her and help her with this decision and eventually buy her books like i will.

Simon 🙂

Sci-Fi and Fantasy Hub on Planet Simon

As many of you will (and should) know by now I’m a bit of science fiction and fantasy nut. Whether it’s reading, watching or writing in this genre I love where it can take me. Journeys that one could never have imagined in the normal world are everyday in this world.

I’ve had a thought though, I’ve wanted for sometime to promote this work more, not just my own work but to have a place or blog where people can share their thought around things they’re written, read or watched. So I have the thought that I can use my old and currently unused Universe of possibility blog to be at the centre of this, or have a page on here where people who want to share and connect in this area can do so.

I do need people to join in with this and to help it grow, so let me know your thoughts, if you’re interested in the same genre would you be willing to join in, read, follow, help or participate. It can be as simple as letting me link to a post on your own blog, or if you really want putting something up personally. It’s so open it’s like space.

What are your thoughts bloggies?

Simon 🙂

Black Holes – Time dilation and messing with my head

My mind is getting a bit fried right now. Maybe it’s to do with this time of year, but I’ve been thinking about time dilation, black holes and that kind of thing. This has all come about from the film Interstellar where a group of astronauts try to find a new home for the human race in a far away galaxy.

They get there through a wormhole that’s in the area of Saturn and find themselves in a star system where three planets orbit a black hole. Things are ok so far, this is good old fashioned Sci-Fi stuff.

interstellar1

The first world they visit is closest to the black hole and they work out that an hour on the surface for them will mean seven years will pass from the point of view of their mother ship, the Endurance. This is also ok, this is now not only science fiction but thanks to the theory of relativity also science fact (or as good as becasue no one has yet verified this fact).

This time dilation was demonstrated in the story when an unscheduled delay meant that rather than the mission to the planet taking a mere seven years, it in fact took 23 years. To them they were only a few hours, but the guy left behind on Endurance had aged 23 years and Joseph Cooper’s kids had turned into mature adults who had thought he was either dead or had abandoned them.

interstellar-gargantua

Towards the end of the film, the pilot Cooper ejects himself and his spacecraft from Endurance. He ejects so that the rest of the Endurance can escape to the third planet carrying Anne Hathaway’s lone survivor. In the film it gets weird and there’s a kind of 3D thought / reality  thing going on and this is where I split from the plot to my thinking.

 


 

By ejecting, Cooper has essentially given himself to the black hole (called Gargantua). Our understanding is that spectacularly intense gravity would kill him, crushing anything physical completely and utterly to mere atoms. From his point of view this would happen quickly, but probably not quickly enough thinking about it.

Getting to the point here – if Anne Hathaway could watch Copper falling into the black hole and past the event horizon (again another problem with this as light has a little trouble escaping a black hole – hence it’s name) things would be happening  slowly. Whereas for Cooper looking back up things would be happening  very quickly.

The first thing is that this is a total brain fuck in itself.

The second thing kinda blew my mind away, I’ve been picking up the pieces all week! Cooper may never, ever reach the physical entity of the black hole. If time is moving so fast outside the black hole what may actually kill Cooper (he’s not going to be too bothered by this I think) is the end of the universe.

Think about it… while he’s merrily (Ha!) falling towards his doom, the universe is speeding by up there. So much so that it ends before he reaches it?!?!

Damn – my mind blew again. Sometimes I wish I didn’t think so much!


 

This is some purely wildly out there thinking – this would mean that falling into a black hole could be a bath to living forever. Firstly it wouldn’t you would die from the gravity crush, but it’s the possibility. When the kind of concepts can be thought of in mathematics and proved in theories on relativity it begs the question – what the hell else can we discover?

The only limits are the limits that our human mind can actually perceive and cope with and maybe even accept.

That’s kinda big.

Simon 🙂

No ownership claimed on images – found on Google from the film Interstellar.

 

The Titan Mystery – The Conclusion

Though the darkness of deep space a lone spacecraft moved slowly towards a rippling tear of energy in space. The Atlas, the ship sent to rescue the Tycho and it’s crew moved towards its reported position.

“We’ve not been able to pick up the Tycho on sensors Captain and they should be here!”

Captain William Roberts sat back in his chair, thoughtful.

“When was the last time we had contact with the Tycho?”

“Only a few hours ago to inform them of our arrival sir!” The communications officer answered.

“Raise them again and get them to re-confirm their position please.”

“Sir!”

Captain Roberts had read the report from the Tycho. It was quite a story, he wouldn’t ever say he didn’t believe it but he certainly had questions. But if they’re supposed to be here and are not, then perhaps the time leak from this Titan could explain it.

“They’ve confirmed their position sir.”

“Well you better tell McKinley that his problems aren’t over yet. I think he need to be thinking about passing though that time tear because it seems he’s in the right place at the wrong time!”
McKinley sat there, sunk in his seat. Dumbfounded as he looked across at Seanna.

“What do we do now?” She asked him. McKinley couldn’t answer, he had run out of all of his ideas now. He was looking forward to an end to all of this, so much had been lost to get the Tycho and what was left of its crew here. This was meant to be a routine survey and reconnaissance mission and it looked like now that the only chances they had were to either brave the rift or die on the Tycho when the supplies ran out.

After a pause McKinley hit the console on his chair, breaking the controls. In whT seemed like a rage he got out of his chair and headed off the control centre “you’re in command Seanna!” He shouted, everyone was silenced. No one dared speak until after he had gone.

“Hello sir, I’ve not seen you for three days. How can I be of assistance?” Dave asked McKinley as he arrived on the loading deck.

“It seems we’re stuck in the wrong time! Can you think of how we are going to back to where we should be?” McKinley asked Dave strongly. He had calmed a little since leaving the control centre, but his unhappiness was obvious.

Dave was thoughtful for a moment “I think the term wrong time is incorrect, we are in a different time than you want to be is more accurate!” McKinley rolled his eyes and was about to boil over again when Dave started  again “there is a way to try and get back to your own time. The problem is that it’s going to be dangerous and there is no guarantee of any success.”

McKinley was listening as the mechanoids carried on with his explanation “the rift is a tear in the fabric of space time, we have to enter it in order to find your way back. The problem is that because it is a tear it is likely to be visible in the same point in space across a vast section of time. Where to exit the rift is the key and considering the current condition of your spacecraft, we will be at the mercy of the powers we find in there.”

“Ok, let me get some of my people down here. Between all of you I hope you can make a plan that could work!”

“Certainly sir!”

McKinley called down the chief engineer, Jearo and some other science officers were also called and while McKinley was involved he could no nothing much except listen to the ideas and plans a bouncing around. For hours it carried on until finally a plan was hatched. It was still risky, but the mechanoids were going to need a few days to carry out a partial overhaul of the drive coils. This would enable the Tycho limited but useful propulsion. Dave was going to modify the navigational sensor arrays to be able to lock in on a time signal from the Atlas, essentially making it a crude time locator and guidance system. The core needed to have the coolant and linings repaired and then re-calibrated to operate at a different phase of entertainment to allow better propulsion in the rift and also not damage the reworked coils after their repair. Is was a big job and in the meantime the crew were preparing for the worst. Messages were sent to the Atlas in case the worst happened.

McKinley had just walked into his quarters and flopped onto his bed when Seanna came in. She too looked exhausted and grimy from working on the core all day.

“We did it!” She exclaimed, the exhaustion in her voice was obvious. McKinley stuck a thumb up of approval.

“Well done! We’re good to go tomorrow then?”

“Yup!” Seanna walked over, flopping onto the bed next to McKinley. Wrapping their arms round each other they both settled in for some much needed sleep.

“Do you think we will make it?” Seanna asked. “I was starting to like life and find it interesting again!”

“I wish I knew Seanna.” McKinley answered, kissing her forehead.

“This has been the most messed up mission ever don’t you think? I mean look at what’s happened. We discover a ship, it’s stuck in time and we get trapp-” a snorw came from McKinley. Smiling Seanna rested he head on the pillow next to him, but wasn’t able ro sleep like McKinley.
Seanna woke late and alone, without pausing for anything she made it up to to control. McKinley raised his eyebrows as she made he way onto the deck looking a little ragged.

“Good afternoon! Glad you could make it Seanna!”

“Where are we at?” she asked.

“Tyson has just get the Atlas to send signals at times intervals, acting as a time beacon. All the checks have been completed and we’ll be ready to start in about an hour when the coils are charged. Can you take the guidance panel as we all need your keen eye to look for the right way to go!”

“Certainly” Deanna replied. Manning her station the crew prepared for this one last journey. Like n impending sentence it was the longest hour ever to pass. Eventually the call came through:

“Coils are charged commander!”

McKinley took a moment to look around at the assembled crew. Each of them looking back at him. He wondered over to Seanna she put he hand in his for a moment and looked up at him “let’s do this yeah?”

Neila called over “All stations have called in, all systems are go and all lights are green!”

“Let’s do then! Take us in!” McKinley called out. The Tycho’s engines vibrated briefly as they pushed the craft forward towards its destiny. The rift that had almost destroyed themselves to escape from was now their target. In a few moments the pull of the rift was pulling them ever faster towards its heart.

“Keep her steady!” McKinley called out.

“We’re accelerating fast commander!” Neila called out ” in less than a minute were going to moving faster than our engines can push us!”

“Can we still navigate?” McKinley replied.

“Yes, but it’s getting harder!”

“Do we have a lock yet Seanna?”

“No! I’m trying to find it!” Seanna yelled back

“Keep at it!” McKinley yelled back.

For what seemed like endless moments the rift was getting closer and larger in the forward view. Turbulences of untamed power rocked and buffeted the small craft. Neila shouting out the damage sustained and isolating each in turn. Suddenly the crew were thrown onto their panels as a huge metallic crash was sent through the Tycho.

“Hull breach at the forecastle!” Neila shouted out, the deafening roar drowning her out. “Were going to get shaken to pieces at this rate!”

“Have we got it yet Seanna?” McKinley shouted.

“I think so, it’s hard to tell but there’s  lot of noise!” She shouted back. “I’m sending the heading to the guidance computer!”

“Give it all you can Neila!”

“Damn right!” At that the engines of the Tycho sprang into life, the ship shaking as it tried to fly straight and true. McKinley looked at the red lights all over the ship’s readout. His thoughts were resigned that this was it. There was nothing more he or anyone else could do. The swirling depths of the rift flashed and crackled with unimaginable power pushing and pulling the tiny craft around. A huge flash shot before McKinley’s eyes and then there was nothing, darkness. Silence.

“Am I dead?” McKinley thought, he wasn’t sure if he thought or spoke it. In those moments he realised he couldn’t be dead. Or… Maybe he could. Staring into the darkness he rose from his chair, swirling in the mists of balack shapes like monsters swirled and moved within it, then there were flashes of moments, the Titan mission,then previous missions, even further back to when he was a young man and had first started serving in the space core. Then he saw moments from his childhood, moments long forgotten, friends long missed. He  felt sorrowful and happiness as the moments played before him back to when he was a mere baby.

Then darkness again.

McKinley stood or so he thought in what felt and seemed like nothing. Gazing ahead until light filled his vision like the curtains open in the morning. He blinked as he tried to see around him, closing his eyes again he tried to open them. Gradually he was getting used to the light, his vision clearing. He saw a figure standing in front of him.

“Who are you? Where is this?” McKinley asked.

“Welcome McKinley.” Came a voice, gentle yet powerful. McKinley had heard it before, but he couldn’t recall where from.

“It’s good to see you again, take your time, don’t fight it my friend. You took your time! I never thought you would come!” The figure said to him.

For a few moments McKinley struggled with his eyes, clearer and clearer they became. He became aware he was standing on on sand, the sea washing over his feet. He was suddenly aware of Seanna, she slipped her hand into his.

“Will he be ok?” She asked.

The voice laughed. “Patience, in good time. It’s taken him more time to awaken properly!”

McKinley felt Seanna’s soft lips on his cheek. “Come back to us old man!” She whispered, he could tell she was smiling. Seanna wouldn’t let his hand go, in a few moments his vision cleared. He looked around to see the crew on this desert beach in the middle of a vast ocean. He looked over to the vista of a ringed plated in a deep blue sky and moons easily visible in the sky.

“Where is this?” McKinley asked.

“Don’t you k ow where we are? Or who I am?”

“Endevin?” McKinley whispered. “How?”

“Welcome to reality my friend!”

Too stunned to answer, McKinley looked at Seanna and smiled. He had no idea how or why. But he felt more alive now than he had ever done in his life. Like the moment of being born and feeling, sensing for the first time. Life, had somehow just begun!

Simon 🙂

© Simon Farnell 2016

The Titan Mystery – Part 16

The seconds passes and on the Tycho not a word was said, everyone held their breath. Then in a dizzying flash the core detonated. The screen went blank for a moment as all the visual sensors were over loaded. McKinley turned to Neila.

“Now would be a good time!”

Neila was already on it, the engines powered the Tycho forward. The spacecraft vibrated, shaking the structure. Illuminated schematics showed red alarms on the 3D image of the ship. The engines were being strained  close to their working limits.

“What’s going on?” McKinley barked at Neila.

“The engines are giving it all, but we’re not moving commander!” she shouted back. The groaning of the engines was immense, it was hard to hear anything.

“What do we do now?” Seanna shouted at McKinley.

“Hang on!” he shouted back as he thought, the image had returned to screen 4 and a huge spatial vortex had opened up in the fabric of space where the Titan was, the was no sign of it’s massive hulk. There was no time to worry about what had happened to it now.

“How long until we reach the event horizon?” McKinley shouted.

“Less than five minutes!” one of the science station crew barked back.

“what’s our projected escape velocity?” McKinley asked. He knew time was tight, but he also know panicking wasn’t going to get them out of this. 

“We would need to give power equivalent to three times the speed of light to escape this commander!” The science officer shouted back.

For a moment, McKinley was thoughtful. “What range would a class five fusion warhead cause damage to Tycho?”

“About one hundred thousand kilometres” the defence chief advised. All eyes suddenly turned to McKinley, the crew were all expecting him to pull a rabbit out of his hat.

“How many class five warheads do we have?” 

“Three commander, but we’re not permitted to use them without strict instructions from command!” The defence chief protested.

“Well” McKinley replied with irony “if you like you can wait for command, but I’m going to launch them. I want them to detonate within three seconds of each other at 200,000 kilometres, 150,0000 kilometres and 120,000 kilometres.” McKinley explained in detail.

“That’s so close!”Seanna exclaimed.

“On launch I want the engines to be firing as close to 200% capacity for ten seconds!” The crew looked around at each other in astonishment.

“You heard him! Seanna yelled out! Neila prepare the engines, remove safetys and prepare to fire them. Williams prepare the warheads! Come on!!”

All of them returned to their stations, there was only a few minutes until the event horizon was reached and the engines were firing hard already. The sound of the straining engines drowning out all but loud voices.

“We’re ready!” Neila asked out. Awaiting the order to commit.

“Execute manoeuvre now, now,now!” McKinley shouted, making sure he was heard. At that moment the engines noise rose to above deafening, Seanna secured herself into a science statiosn chair as McKinley was clipping up. Waiting for the warheads, hoping. McKinley was trying to count the seconds, then before he was ready the first, warhead,exploded, then the second, then the third so fast together the time between them couldn’t be counted, each warhead rocking the ship more than the last. 

“We’re moving commander!” Neila shouted. “10,000kps, 20,000kps!” Her voice barely audible above the roar. McKinley was trying to think through the seconds he could keep this up for until the engines exploded or the Tycho tore itself apart. A metallic groan tore through the ship as his questions was answered almot immediately. 

“The engines are pulling away from the hull! Neila shouted. “We have to throttle back!”

“Not yet, keep giving it to her for just a few more seconds!” Seconds passed like hours as McKinley waited with his crew. Like a judgement on their lives, would the universe spare them or destroy them? Just as he was about to order to throttle back the vibration stopped as the Tycho was suddenly released from the grip of the spatial rift. Shot like a powerful missile out in to the void.

“I think we can throttle back now!” McKinley shouted.”bring them back down to 10% slowly Neila so you can assess damage. Then bring us to a stop.” The engines were throttled back before he had chance to finish, Neila relived to be doing it. “We can observe the anomaly from this safe distance. McKinley tapped out some commands into his chair and the spatial rift appeared on the screen, uncoupling himself he stood to gaze at the marvel. A moment later Seanna was at his side.

“That’s something else sir!” 

McKinley grunted a reply back, not wanting to talk away the wonder. After a few minutes he turned.”Take the ship off alert status and inform the crew we’re clear and safe please”

“What do you think happened to them?” Seanna asked.

“I’m not” McKinley replied bluntly “I can’t. Endevin and his people are gone who knows where and I feel some responsibility in that.”

For a moment Seanna was silent, thoughtful “shit” was all she could reply.

McKinley raised his eyebrows as he turned from the screen to look at her. “Very philosophical lieutenant commander, but I doubt that remark will get into any great writings.” McKinley half smiled as he was saying this, Seanna looked up at him.

“Commander…”

“Please, not in front of the crew.” McKinley answered softly, he then quickly turned and strode off towards the exit he turned to her “You’re in command Seanna, affect necessary repairs, but hold this position for now, I need to talk to command before we move off.” He turned again and was gone, down the access tunnel. Seanna stood there for a moment, gathering her thoughts.
McKinley was deep in thought as he walked around the lower decks, assessing damage to the Tycho in person and how the crew were. The powerplant had been severely affected by their efforts to escape as well as the drive system. The chief engineer wasn’t happy and wasn’t hiding this fact at all. McKinley was listening but with this thoughts elsewhere and exhaustion he wasn’t taking in anything.

The ships crew was on nightshift and the Titan crew,including Seanna had been dismissed and sleeping for some time. McKinley had sent his message to command hours ago and wasn’t expecting a response for at least a day or two. But something inside him had him thinking that this was his last mission in command of this or any ship. He entered the landing bay where Tranquility still stood having made its high speed landing. He looked up and down the mechanoids, stood in deathly silence. He was thinking that maybe with Dave gone they were unable to operate any longer. Walking up to one, it towered over him as he looked up at it.

“Oi!” McKinley shouted up at it “Are you still in there?” No response at all came. McKinley huffed and walked off. “So much for future technology!” He mumbled as he walked off. 

“They are operational sir – merely charging.” Came a voice that he heard but couldn’t believe. He spun round almost falling off his feet.

“Dave?” 

“Yes sir” he replied.

“I – what the… I thought you were… gone! Dead!”

“Death is not something I can experience as I am not alive. But I am not gone.”

“How did you get get here? What’s going on with these guys?”

“So many questions sir! The other mechanoids were able to initiate a matter energy transport of me to their location before the core detonated. they used immense power to do this so now they are in a recharging cycle, we are inductively harvesting power form your vessels systems to recharge our power cells. I trust this is acceptable.”

McKinley had been told by someone that power was being drained from the systems somewhere, he had ignored it as something to worry about later, but now of course he knew. 

“That’s… fine.” McKinley shrugged. He walked up to Dave “thank you.” He said, with a touch of finality.

Dave made some kind of robotic beeping noises. But said nothing, as if he didn’t know how to reply. “You’re exhausted sir, please rest. You should also be aware that as the holder of the key and without our own ship, you are now are our controller.”

“Thanks, I didn’t know that. I had better sleep” walking away smiling McKinley had forgotten the disc, is fingers found it and he wanted to make sure it didn’t leave him as he finally reached his quarters and took to his bed. Despite his exhaustion he took time time to find sleep.
McKinley’s sleep was restless, he woke much later that he should have to incoming messages. He sat up, his head hurt, for a few moments the memories weren’t there. Then one by one they came flooding back, groaning as he realised it had all been real he slowly made his way to his desk where his terminal was bleeping. He pressed a button and it came to life, there were two messages the first was a simple text message. It didn’t say who it was from, it merely read:

“I knew you would help. Thank you.”

His headache meant he wasn’t in any mood to think about this now, the next message he knew and was from command. For a moment he stared at the screen,wwondering if he could get away with ignoring it. He pressed to access the message.
Seanna was in the control centre, looking through all the damage control reports and how the repairs were going, she had been up a few hours now, only a skeleton crew were there as they were still waiting and watching there was no need for everyone to be there doing nothing.

“How soon do you think it will be before we can get underway?” She asked the engineering chief.

“I don’t think we can, the drive coils are melted and I can’t give assurances that they’ll operate at all or not blow themselves to pieces. The only thing you can do now is use the navigational trusters to give you some propulsion!” The engineering officer protested. He had spent the last half hour all the damage that had been caused and how long it was going to take to repair. Seanna could sense he was going ro start over again “The ship needs to go into a drydock and get a refit…”

“Ok, I get the point!” Seanna cut in. The chief engineer looked at her, a little hurt and a little disapproving as he left control to get back to his duties. She sat back in the command chair and went over the priorities, she was waiting to McKinley to surface and give her an idea of what was happening next.

“Seanna, come and see me in my quarters please.” The call surprised her, he never called officers to his quarters “I need a full update when you get here please.” Seanna looked round, everyone looking back, she rose and went down. Pausing outside the entrance to McKinley’s quarters  she pressed the entry button.

“Come in!” She heard him shout, the doors opened and she stepped in. The doors closing behind her.

“How bad is it then?” He smiled at Seanna as he turned from his view of outside, the rift clearly visible.

“Pretty bad sir.” She answered with uncertainty. “What’s going on? Have you heard from command?”

McKinley nodded “Yes and they are, let’s say quite unhappy. They are struggling to understand how a simple reconnaissance mission has ended up with four dead and a fried ship that needs rescuing.” Seanna looked at him, saying nothing for a moment “But they’re also getting excited about some of the things we brought back. So they have done me a favour as they call it and decided To keep most of the details quiet and not investigate the incident too much.”

“How do you feel about that?”

“Mixed, I’m not sure I want to give up everything we got from this. So I need some time to think about what I’m going to do.”

“Should we move to meet the rescue vessel? Sir?”

“If it was up to me, I would say make them come to us. But it’s not anymore commander.” McKinley handed Seanna a tablet, taking it she read through the message. 

“I’m in command? They promoted me?”

“Yes, it seems that your conduct was exemplary of a commander and that I was reckless! I never thought I would hear myself saying that to you!” McKinley smiled at Seanna.

Seanna smiled back but said nothing for a moment “Sir, I mean McKinley, what happened back there? No one will tell me, they keep telling me to talk to you. One moment I was in one place, the next… I don’t know what was going on!”

“Sit down Seanna” McKinley motioned to her and she sat, staring at him “I plucked you from death Seanna, from the point at which you died. From the other side of that time portal I watched as you were killed and… and I couldn’t live with that.” McKinley looked down from Seanna as if ashamed. He then looked back up at her “You’ve been the most amazing first officer I’ve served with and while you have frustrated the hell out of me at times I have respected your passion and drive. It looks like now that I’m going to lose this command, but I least I served with you and…” McKinley got up and turned from Seanna to look out of the window.

“And what?” She got up and stood behind him. “Tell me, I know what you’re going to say because, because I’ve felt it!”

“Really?” McKinley answered, not facing her.

“Yes, despite it all we’re connected and I can’t be without you anymore than you can be without me.” Seanna was shaking, as if all her life had been trusted to McKinley “you know that for years I’ve wanted to be a commander, you’ve old me it’s not all its cracked up to be and here and now, finally I see what you mean.”

McKinley turned and looked at Seanna “what will do you?” 

“I’m turning down the promotion and if they kick you out, then I’m leaving too!” Seanna answered the tone in her voice was that tone McKinley had heard many times before when she had decided what was going to happen.

“Don’t, come on. You’ve waited years for this!” McKinley protested.

“It’s done.” She replied. “Like it or not, old man you’re stuck with me. I’m not going even if you send me away!”

“What if I did?” McKinley smiled.

“Don’t play games with me, you wouldn’t dare!” She replied, grinning back.

“Do you realise the trouble you’ve caused yourself?” McKinley smiled, Admiral West has always had a soft spot for you and has hated me for years, but hasn’t found a way to get me until now!”

“Was it West that dealt with you?” Seanna asked screwing her face up “I’ve seen him chew up and spit out officers that even I wouldn’t cross!” 

“Yes, we have some history which I won’t go into yet. But he’s hated me having a grip over him as he sees it. I couldn’t care less but it seems now he’s going to be even more red faced as he wanted you in his little circle I think! Now I’ve taken his prize.”

Seanna raised her eye brows “I’m a prize am I?” McKinley didn’t answer, smiling at her instead. 

“It’s going to take three weeks for the rescue ship to arrive, I think we might start finding out what we are in that time.” McKinley’s had stroked Seanna’s face, she reached up to strike his hand.

“I hope so too sir!” For a moment the two of them were lost in their moment, both of them wishing it not to end.

“Let’s get on with sorting out this old bird best we can eh? I’m struggling today, I’ll be up later.” Seanna smiled and turned to leavw, then McKinley stopped her “By the way – Dave made it back he’s down in the landing bay with the others! You can tell whoever had spotted the power drain not to worry about it, it’s them recharging.”

Seanna smiled “I will. Don’t stay in bed all day. You’re not in command now remember!”

McKinley smiled back “Neither are you!”

“I am for a day or however long it takes the message to get to command!”

“Yup, then no one’s in charge and there’ll be chaos I’m sure!” McKinley was grinning “Now get on with it Seanna and from now on – no sir!”

Seanna grinned as she left “yes sir!”

Three weeks later the crew of the Tycho gathered as they waited for rescue ship to arrive, the triumph had been unbearable and now they waited for their rescue. But in the direction the rescue ship was coming. Nothing was there.

Simon 🙂 

The Titan Mystery – Part 15

Tranquility lifted slowly from the landing deck, the extra weight of the mechanoids making the thruster motors strain under the weight. In a few seconds the vessel had lifted  and pushed itself gently through the  opening out into space.

“We nearly didn’t make that!” Collins complained. “We’re too heavy! What’s that robot doing on top?” He asked McKinley.

“Follow his directions.” McKinley ordered.

“What ins… oh” the text readout gave Collins co-ordinates to follow. “ok.”

“What’s he doing up there?” Seanna asked McKinley quietly.

“He’s got an idea about releasing the core into space, this might save the lives on board.”

“Might?” Seanna questioned.

“Yes, might.” McKinley answered.

“Or if the core goes off early we might end up blown to pieces!” Seanna said a little too loudly, everyone looked round. McKinley stared at her with an icy stare. Seanna was silent, the whole cabin was.

“Tymon is asking what the hell is going on?” Jearo asked, breaking the silence “He thought you wanted an emergency docking!”

“I still do!” McKinley replied. “We have a little detour, that’s all!” McKinley watched as Collins guided the craft under Titan’s emmense hull, he watched as Dave fed the instructions through. Then there was the command.

“STOP”

The craft jolted slightly as Dave lept from Tranquility, McKinley switched a screen to view him leap from Tranquility and attach himelf to the hull of Titan.

“GO. NOW.”

For once Dave wasn’t giving lengthy instructions “Go Collins, Jearo tell Tymon to stand by – we’re coming in!”

Collins gave an engine burn and Tranquility leapt forward, the Titan going out of view as the craft swung round, McKinley fastened himself into a seat, Seanna fastened herself next to him, her hand brushing across his he thought. As Tycho came into view, McKinley couldn’t help but think of Dave, there was no way he was going to survive this he thought, then the four members of the crew that had been lost. These people should have been coming back, but they were gone forever and he was going to have to answer for their lives.

“We’re Coming in Tycho – Hang on everyone!” Collins shouted, bringing McKinley back with a snap. Tranquility suddenly seemed to slow as the breaking thrusters fired, but they were still moving forward at great speed. In  the small landing bay, the arrestor fields were lit up red and as Tranquility slid onto the landing bay the craft moved sideways and then with a sudden crash Tranquility was at a total stop.

For a moment all was still in the cabin as everyone looked round to see if anyone was injured. “Thank God we’re back!” Jearo cried out.

“Yes, but we’re not out of this yet!” McKinley unclipped and struggled out of his seat, equipment strewn everywhere, Seanna followed quickly after as McKinley blew the hatch open and stepped off the access ramp.

“What’s going on sir?” a troubled Tymon stood in front of McKinley asked.

“There’s no time!” McKinley replied with a sense of urgency. He looked around to Seanna, she had a cut to her head and blood was running over her face. “Get Seanna sorted out and anyone else in there that needs it! A medic appeared from behind Tymon and looked at Seanna while two others ran inot the Tranquility as the rest of them disembarked, all seemingly stunned except Blake who was taking charge of getting them all out.

“I’m coming with you!” Seanna barked at McKinley.

“You’ll be sorted in a few minutes, get into flight uniform then get to control!” McKinley told her. Nodding Seanna let her wound get attention while a deck hand brought her flight gear.

McKinley shouted over to the disembarking crew “Blake, keep the mechanoids there for now, The rest of you get into flight gear and get to your stations. If you’re not needed get to quarters now!”

“Sir?” Tymon was impatiently asking. McKinley struggled out of his suit into his flight uniform as he talked.

“The core of the Titan was breached” he said breathlessly as he climbed into the suit. “Dave is going to try and eject the core, when that happens we need to get out of here fast!”

“Dave?” Tymon asked.

“There’s no time. Sorry. Let’s go” turning towards the access shaft Tymon followed McKinley as he strode forward, still fastening his flight suit.

 


 

McKinley  walked into the control centre and looked around to see crew at their stations, those returning still had to make their way up. Tymon close behind him, Tymon manned his communications post. 

“Prepare to depart on my command, put main engines into hot standby, we may need to get out of here fast Neila!”

“Sir!” Neila replied, tapping commands into her panel. The sounds of the engines powering up echoed though the Tycho reaching it’s subtle crescendo.

“See if you can find a signal coming from the centre of the Titan Tymon.”

“Why would there… hang on. I’ve got something. It’s… Dave?” Tymon handed McKinley an earpiece, McKinley clipped it onto his ear. He stood there, listening intently.

“Ok… right…” nodding at he instructions from Dave, Seanna walked onto the control deck, the filthy grey  body suit had gone and she was now in flight uniform. All signs of her head injury had gone. McKinley took the earpiece out and handed it back to Tymon. McKinley looked over at Seanna.

“It’s good to see you’ve found some clothes at last Lieutenant Commander!” Seanna walked up to McKinley’s side, making sure no one could hear her retort.

“Shut up you! You didn’t complain much at the time.” Seanna grinned “What’s going on?”

“We need to leave, it seems that Dave had had to speed things up!” McKinley turned to Tymon “Advise the crew to man alert stations.” Tymon’s message rang out through the ship  as McKinley turned to Neila and gave out more orders “Prepare the engines, we’re going to need to make a fast getaway as soon as the core goes critical. Don’t mess about, we’re going to have to run the engines into the wall!”

One of the crew turned from his station “Commander, I’m picking up signs that something is happening, I’m reading a massive energy spike!”

“Can we see what’s going on?” McKinley asked.

“Look on the screen 4, I’ll see what I can do.”

McKinley and Seanna turned to the four screens in from of them, standing at least 6ft tall each of them were showing data readouts for the entire spacecraft, the central isle of the  control centre meant anyone could see any of them at any time, turning to number 4, a close view of the Titan showed a capsule being ejected, in this view it was small, but in reality, it must have been at least as large as the Tycho.

“Standby everyone, this is it!” McKinley announced. In the seconds that passed, it seemed like an age. All the crew could do was watch and wait.

Simon:-)

Copyright 2016 Simon Farnell