Taking a few weeks this summer to whet your appetite for the upcoming sequel to HILL OF GREAT DARKNESS. Here, right before your very eyes, throughout the summer months will be excerpts from HOGD. It’s been a long time coming, but the sequel is going to answer all your questions, and…
BLOW YOUR MIND!
CHAPTER 7: INTO THE NIGHT
Soon everyone was gathered in the ship’s galley, everyone had their mouth’s full, and everyone somehow had a horseshoe of some kind.
“Alright people,” Commander Moore began, “One hour ‘till we do the IGS burn. Any questions?”
“No sir.” Was the reply from Simone and Dr. Armone practically in stereo.
Looking at his crew, standing with both hands behind him, a perfect picture of iconic leadership, Commander Matt Moore continued. “As you all are quite aware, we really don’t know what is going to happen when we engage IGS. We don’t know if it will work or how far it will propel us.” He stole a glance over to the two designers of the system in an almost apologetic gesture, “Dr. Armone, would you like to add anything?”
“Yes I would, thanks Matt.” He said as he slapped the Commander on the shoulder and positioned himself in front of the crew. Smiling, he again rubbed his hands together as he said, “Today is a big day. For the most part, the test will all be automated. When we engage the system, IGS will engage and burn for five seconds then braking jets will fire till we stop. Then we simply look around to see where we are. It will be up to you people to record data, and hopefully, enjoy the ride. Sounds simple enough, lets just hope and pray it stays that way.” The doctor gave a command to the computer and a map of near space appeared floating before them. “As you know, NASA has been sending up provisional platforms for the last eighteen months to be at various distances from Earth in our projected trajectory, uh, just in case.” He was pointing to three different points on the 3D map in front of him then pointed to an area just past the last platform position. “I personally hope to be at least half-way to Mars by the time we stop.” He paused, looked around, and shrugging his shoulders added “It never hurts to be a little overly optimistic. IGS works: in theory. Truth is we just don’t know how well it will work in real life.”
“It sounds a little too much like Los Alamos and the Manhattan Project to me doc.” Captain Williamson said with a laugh.
“Oh, great, there you go talking nuclear.” Armone was having his own bit of fun now. “You’re starting to sound like the blasted media Tom.”
Everyone seemed to get a chuckle out of that one, everyone that is, but Simone.
“Perhaps it would be well for us to realize the importance of today.” She responded in all seriousness.
Jon Armone went over to her and took her hand in his as he looked deeply into the eyes of the young Ugandan. After a slight pause he smiled and spoke to his friend.
“We do realize the importance of this day my friend, but,” He spoke with a quiet, commanding wisdom, “We cannot afford to let the weight of the hour become a burden.”
Then a familiar twinkle sparkled in his eye as he added, “I think, when we are once again Earth-bound, I need to spend some more time with you explaining the intricacies of American humor.” Simone smiled knowingly at her friend as he turned and asked, “So, any more questions?”
Not getting any further response, he excitedly proclaimed;
“So, let’s rock and roll!”
“Alright, let’s get to our stations on the bridge everyone.” The commander announced, then looking over at the beautiful Ugandan he added, “Let’s take that next ‘giant leap for mankind.’”