Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Fearful (08/23/07)
TITLE: Hold Me Fast
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Larel put the shipket into ubergear. She dodged roids as they retreated from Charla, Urson’s fourth moon.
Major Deeken watched out the lateral window. “Incoming, porter side.”
Larel banked right, just missing a gargantuan roid that exploded in front of them after having been hit from behind.
Out the backer window, Zeker watched as the roids pelted Charla. Some huge, some tiny, all did damage. The cratered moon was getting blasted. Huge chunks of it flaked off from the force of the collisions. The sound was deafening.
Larel weaved in and out of the roids in the Dramidian belt. This mission was hopeless from the start, she thought as they cleared the last of it. Her fingers loosened their grip on the gears.
Deeken was already tracking the largest roids, their paths altered from the collision with Charla.
Hopefully none of them are heading our way, to our home… thought Larel. We just couldn’t get close enough… Couldn’t prevent it...
After unbolting, Zeker approached the front cabin. “Plan B,” he said quietly.
They all knew what that meant. They were dreading it. When the dust settled, they’d have to blow up the largest chunks, manually -- any that were heading to Xdke, their home planet.
“Three large roids still. And it looks like two huge chunks of Charla, five miles wide.”
Larel put the shipket into automode and checked the radar. She sighed. “We have to give it a bit, to see what the new orbits are. Hopefully…”
Zeker said, “I can tell ya right now that one is a problem.” He pointed to the largest roid. It was careening fast through space -- straight toward Xdke.
“OK, let’s go,” said Larel. “She put the shipket into ubergear, and chased after the roid.”
Deeken was saying a rosary in his seat. He’d do the brunt of the work when they caught up with the roid. The others left him in peace. They knew it would take all of his concentration to stop the roid.
The others would do what they could, but they’d drawn straws at the start of the mission. Deeken had won -- or lost, depending on how you looked at it.
“Approaching the roid,” said Larel.
Zeker said, “OK, this is it.” He put his hand on Deeken’s shoulder. “You sure you’re up for it?”
“Yes, sir,” said Deeken. He didn’t dare say more. He needed to conserve his energy.
With that, Larel shot out a line, hooking the shipket to the giant roid. “Attached,” she said. She put the shipket back into automode.
Deeken sat strapped into his chair. Larel and Maj. Zeke held hands around him. And the three of them prayed. They prayed harder than they ever had. They prayed for a miracle. They knew the people on Xdke, far below them, were praying too.
The three became one with the universe.
For 3 days they sat there, praying. Nothing else existed.
And then they heard it, a loud rumbling sound. In their meditative state they were aware of an incredible explosion. Larel and Zeke’s eyes were closed, and they had on protective gear.
The brightness of the explosion blinded Deeken. “It’s so beautiful,” they heard him say.
It was the last thing he would ever see.
Miraculously, their shipket wasn’t hit by the debris. The explosion freed the line joining them to the roid, or rather, what was left of it. Larel and Zeke went back to work, checking the screens for any other large fragments. “Looks like a complete implosion,” said Zeke.
“Yes.” They’d deal with Deeken later. Can’t think of him now, not yet, thought Larel.
When they’d ascertained that the Deekenger was over, they helped Deeken into his sleep-seat.
“He’ll never be the same,” said Zeke. He’d seen it before. “Physically he’s fine, except for the blindness. Mentally, he’s hyperaware, as aware as anyone has ever been. -- He’s seen The Light.”
They’d made a Holy connection. “Yes, Deeken will live, but forever in the meditative state we all entered. He sacrificed his future for us, for Xdke.”
Larel said, “It’s not not a bad state to be -- his mind is with God.”
If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast. Psalm 139:9-11 (NIV)
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