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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Concentration (07/24/08)

TITLE: Pitch and Yaw
By dub W


I haven’t slept, really slept, in about three earth days. Our ship’s clock lets us know the passage of 24 hours. An inane instrument, seemingly its only purpose is to inflict a certain pain; that is, the realization that Einstein’s theory held no water – at least as far as the human body is concerned.

Rodney, my cellmate, on this, in the words of the overall mission General, courageous adventure, was snoring in his bunk. I envied his ability to pick a space on the clock, be drowsy at a specific time, then fall fast asleep amid the buzzing and crackling of our equipment.

The folly in all this was simply that we are now lost. A government bid guidance system, for all intensive purposes, failed. Our courageous adventure was to send us back to the old planet earth (hence the earth clock); with the sole purpose of standing on the landing dock, looking upon the gathered crowd, and screaming, “Help!”

We left the space base in the third month. Are not these space terms so original? I thought when we arrived, five earth years ago, that there would be some scientific name like Zeta Santorin, but no movie writers were invited - just engineers. But I digress. The space base is a place where future space exploration would find a pit stop. Great idea, but the folks who sponsored this great project, sorta tabled it after they established it. The program was abandoned, and the supplies never sent, or if they were sent, became as lost as we are and ended up in a space vacuum and disappeared.

Since we have no guidance, ol’ Rodney and I get to steer this prefab death trap. Which means that sleeping beauty and I triangulated a bright spot in space, and declared it to be the earth’s sun. We simply go that way, three planets to the left is earth, seems easy enough. Don’t worry, we have a ton of literature and math calculations to help us with the foresaid determination; besides Rodney won a lottery a couple of months ago – his second one, so I figure we are lucky.

As long as I can keep that little circle in the window pointed at the dot – no problem. Well, sorta. Staring at a bright spot in a circle for several earth days at a time, makes me kinda cross–eyed and, as Rodney says, a bit strange. Okay, so I don’t stare at it all day. But, I do concentrate on the pitch and yaw of the ship, make corrections, and try to stay away from meteor fields and other space trash.

Rodney says we have enough food concentrate and supplies for ten men for a year. I think the label should say, “for ten angry men.” Dried fruit does that. Well, there’re two of us; that gives us a five-year window. When we were conscripted and traveled to the space base it took about two earth days. I figure we have a sporting chance to make it.

I jokingly say we were forced to come on this trip. The truth is that they chose us to go because for one thing, we are unwed; and for a second, we are both pilot qualified; and finally, cause nobody else volunteered. Actually, Rodney put my name in. We went to the same Bible study, and he said, “let’s just let God handle it.”

I said, “okay.” Never really expecting a dud guidance system. Dreams of relaxing in a street side coffee shop vanished. But, nonetheless, we are here. Oh, we did have a moment of panic and regret when the computer said “hey guys, guess what.”

We ran around in a circle in the cabin, played with some dials, and then finally prayed about it - and then went back to work. Panic is so overrated.

Well, it’s about time for another correction. The nose of this beast has oscillated from the concentration on the dot.

Let’s see. The green button labeled record should work. I have to document this; in case someone finds our lifeless bodies, and this mal functioning bucket of bolts, drifting in space. Uh, okay, here we go. “Recorded for the Captain’s log. 4:20p.m. July 23, 2208 – earth years and time respectively.”

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This article has been read 715 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Sunny Loomis 07/31/08
Interesting story from the future POV. Good job.
Karen Wilber08/01/08
I like the MC's frustrated voice. "Dried fruit does that" LOL.
Glynis Becker08/04/08
Very enjoyable. I like the MC and his voice. Makes me want to hear more of the story!
Lyn Churchyard08/06/08
Well come on buddy, you can't leave them floating in space. What happens if the 'restroom' breaks down? I mean, with all that dried fruit :(

I enjoyed this - I'm a space story freak. I love their method of navigation - a bit like "second star to the right and straight on till morning". Loved the wry humor throughout. Great story, Dub. :)
Verna Cole Mitchell 08/06/08
I really liked this. The underlying humor was delightful.