Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Write in the SCIENCE FICTION genre (05/10/07)
TITLE: The Perils of Pauline
By Kenneth Bridge
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Now Pauline had boldly petitioned for the writ to go to the source and end it once for all. Toward the tiny blue dot nestled in the velvety black of space she strained with every fiber of her being. The ability to exceed the speed of light that was necessary for journeys like this, once thought impossible, was overcome by an entirely novel approach and a better understanding of this weird universe. “Jahweed Rawalpindi, there was a scientist!” Pauline mused as her fingers gathered up some fabric from her uniform and pinched a brief crease before releasing it to return to its natural shape. “Not just space and time, but the deeper fabric of the universe could be gathered and pressed together to allow instant transit across unimaginable distances,” the renowned physicist had theorized. Engineers, assisted by increasingly more powerful computers, had worked in groups to do what no one person could ever know enough by herself to do, and found ways to make it work.
Except of course, they had to slow it down. The first brave volunteers were so unhinged by the experience they began to spout god talk and had to be destroyed for their own good. So now vessels like hers grasped more loosely the vibrating strings of the cosmos. Nevertheless, where light might take five billion years to traverse, Pauline was crossing in two weeks, and even that short time seemed an eon, so eager was she to vindicate factual science over this weakling god.
As parsecs dwindled to astronomic units, Pauline shuddered and fought against the emotion that threatened to overcome her keen objectivity. When the blue disk grew large in her view, she violently suppressed this strange sense of homecoming to the ancestral planet neither she nor any of her ancestors for generations had known. It was surely nothing special in this vast universe, and the idiocy of the godtalkers who found it pivotal, in the face of so much scientific fact, amazed and amused her.
Her excitement mounted as she rushed toward the atmosphere. As she crested the dark side of Earth, the full radiance of its sun wrapped her in its stunning embrace. The light grew more brilliant than a star could, more than ten thousand stars. A voice was speaking to her, in words deeper and clearer and more true than any sound could ever carry.
“Pauline, Pauline,” why do you persecute me?”
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