|THE PLANET THAT LOVED PEOPLE - PROLOGUE (standard:science fiction, 3268 words) [1/18] show all parts|
|Author: Danny Raven||Updated: Mar 05 2016||Views/Reads: 510/378||Part vote: 0.00 (0 votes)|
|SIX LIFERS FROM THE PRISON PLANET SIRENE ARE OFFERED THEIR FREEDOM BY EARTH IF THEY CAN FIND OUT WHAT LIES THROUGH A CORRIDOR INSIDE A BLACK HOLE.|
THE PLANET THAT LOVED PEOPLE DANNY RAVEN * * * * * 50,000 AD. Space travel is common. Vast sections of the Universe have been explored. No alien life-forms have been encountered. Many planets have been colonised from a unified Earth which now rules the known Universe. Humans, mutant-humans and clones are the only planetary populations. English is the common language. Near one of the Universe's rare static boundaries, a Black Hole has been discovered. There is a Corridor inside the Black Hole. Earth is determined to find out what lies through the other side. * * * * * THE CORRIDOR “Battle Cruiser Zenon, this is Earth Control. We last have you logged at space co-ordinates 4.65, 217.3, in Sector 901. Report your present position. Zenon this is Earth Control.” The voice had been calling constantly for the last thirty minutes and whoever it was sounded tired. He may as well have given up because he wasn't going to get an answer from the Zenon – the Bridge was deserted and it looked as if the crew had left in a hurry. Half eaten sandwiches were lying around, cups of coffee had been spilled over consoles, seats were overturned and space charts had fallen from shelves and lay strewn on the floor. Space co-ordinates clicked on to the Drive monitor but there was no Pilot to respond to them, scanner reports streamed unheeded on to the screens in the empty Navigator's corner and some warning lights on the instrument panels flashed on and off but there was no Engineer to assess them. “Zenon this is Control. Fleet Control to Zenon. Do you read me?” The Ship dipped slightly and the Captain's seat creaked eerily in the dimly lit Bridge. The Ship swung back sharply and the seat rolled down the Bridge, smashing against a wall and overturning, its wheels squeaking loudly till they slowly spun to a halt. On the Observation Screen directly in front of the Captain's console was the reason for the deserted Bridge – a short distance ahead behind some wreaths of innocent looking pinkish nebulae lay a Black Hole. It was like a dark satanic stain against the velvety blue of space and its surface constantly undulated and heaved as if there was something trying to burst free from it, something malignant. Here and there, the dull glow of a minor explosion erupted on the black mass but instantly the light and energy were trapped and sucked back in. Nothing ever escaped from a Black Hole and it constantly evolved, sucking the life from everything around it like some malevolent growth in space. The Zenon continued to drift aimlessly but all the time the space tides were edging it closer to the drifting nebulae which marked the boundary of the Hole's gravity field. A reverse thrust from the Drive would easily have cleared it, headed it to safety in the opposite direction but none came. “Earth Control to Fleet Battle Cruiser Zenon, your space co-ordinates please. Control to Zenon – respond.” A fresh burst of figures clicked on to the Pilot's monitor and it was as if the Ship seemed to try to alter course slightly but it was too late. Already it was nosing its way into the nebulae, the wreaths caressing the sides of the hull, the black force beyond beckoning, pulling. Momentarily the Ship seemed to fight the pull, bucking and shuddering and scattering the drifting nebulae then it surrendered and seemed to allow itself to be drawn forwards. The nebulae settled round it again and for a few seconds it disappeared, swallowed up by the pinkish clouds then it burst through. Ahead of it, twenty space miles away, the Click here to read the rest of this story (405 more lines)
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