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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Snap (09/04/08)

TITLE: The FaithRiders Chronicles
By Tim Pickl


It was a busy time in the cafeteria at the FaithRiders Mars Settlement (MS). The Mars Settlers were excitedly chatting about the future, and the subject was Commander Arianna.

The cacophony of conversation suddenly hushed as a GalaxyNews computer-generated Interviewer appeared in three dimensions seated near one cafeteria wall. On that day, the GalaxyNews Interviewer was a projected as a woman, about the same age as Commander Arianna. Arianna sat in a plush chair adjacent to the Interviewer. “We’re here today virtually visiting with the FaithRiders new Commander, Arianna. Commander Arianna’s Grandfather--Commander Scott--recently resigned and appointed Arianna to take control of FaithRiders.”

“Good Morning Commander Arianna, welcome to Good Morning Galaxy, the most-watched, most-listened to show…in the galaxy.”

“Thank you, GalaxyNews. I’ve been looking forward to this for a long time.”

“Let’s start from the first day of your career as the Commander of FaithRiders.” The computer-generated voice was programmed to be serious, but sometimes it sounded humorous, and at times, it was difficult for Arianna to keep a straight face. “We reviewed VirtualRecordings from the Press Conference your Grandfather held on Earth to announce your appointment, and noticed you were in tears. Please explain.”

“There are so many others out there—both men and women—who are so much more qualified than me to take over our great Organization. In fact, on that day, many of them were standing there with me. When my Grandfather announced his decision, my first thought was ME? Did he say MY name? My tears were happy tears, because--while I was shocked--I was also hoping he’d consider me. My experience as the SubCommander of the Mars Settlement (MS) and then later as Sub-Commander of both the Mars Settlement AND the Delta Orbiter Station (MS/DOS) prepared me for this position.”

The Interviewer paused, as if it was thinking, then disappeared. Another voice broke in, “Please wait while the Interviewer is rebooted…” When the Interviewer reappeared, she asked, “Why does the MainStreaming Media label your commanding style as ‘maverick’?”

“MS/DOS was established as an outpost to fulfill my Grandfather’s vision. But, as I grew up on Mars, I saw many things that didn’t add up. For example, I didn’t think his vision included political corruption. So, from a very young age, I began to work against the ‘good ol’ boy network’ by exposing mining kickback deals between Mars Settlers and special interests on Earth. When I became SubCommander of the FaithRiders Mars Settlement (MS), we indicted the people who were involved in the scheme. I guess that makes me a ‘maverick’.”

“Including your Father—he was indicted, too--right? What happened?”

This time Commander Arianna paused, then answered delicately, “That’s correct: my Dad was among some FaithRiders who snapped and submitted to temptation.”

“Isn’t your Father also a man of faith?”

“My Dad is a devoted, Christian husband and father, but--he was tempted by the love of money—which is the root of all evil, as the Bible says.”

“Be specific, for all of our Good Morning Galaxy audience.”

“Without thinking—and definitely without seeking God about it--my Dad made several foolish, snap decisions. He gave away mining rights and took monetary kickback bribes from the Viking Mining Company. Now he’s reaping what he sowed.”

“How do you feel about the situation?”

“Sad—very sad. I feel disappointed too, because Dad was next in line to become the FaithRiders Commander.”

“You became the MS/DOS SubCommander when he was arrested, is that correct?”

“Yes. At the time, I was the SubCommander here at the Mars Settlement, serving under his great leadership.”

“A great leader, with a great flaw, would you agree?”

“We all have flaws. How we choose to face those flaws every day--with God’s help--is what makes the difference. We get into trouble when we choose to go our own way.”

“What is your definition of a ‘maverick’?”

“A ‘maverick’ is a person who dissents from the rest of the group—one who refuses to ‘go with the flow’—one who stands up for what’s biblically righteous.”

“Excellent. What is your vision for FaithRiders?”

Arianna looked squarely into the VirtualRecorder (VR) Camera. “My vision for FaithRiders is to fully return to my grandfather’s original vision to ‘take the gospel to every world, anywhere interplanetary pioneers settle.’ Starting today, we will have coordinated prayer teams at all FaithRiders facilities. That way--somewhere in the galaxy--someone will be praying every minute of every day.

“We will fulfill our purpose.”



For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.
1 Timothy 6:10 (King James Version)

The naive believes everything,
But the sensible man considers his steps.
Proverbs 14:15 (New American Standard Bible)

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Member Comments
Member Date
Beth LaBuff 09/12/08
Yay, for the FaithRiders! :) Again, I enjoyed the MS and MS/DOS elements of this. This lady (Ariana) should run for President. :) I love the galactic idea to spread the gospel. Great sci-fi as usual.
Shelley Ledfors 09/15/08
Great piece! Cool sci-fi; a lot of humorous references, and a good message, too. Nice!
Kristen Hester09/15/08
This is fun and some of the elements reminded me of the current political race in the USA. Nice job.
Leah Nichols 09/15/08
I love how you're able to tie every topic into your sci-fi story! Very creative....good job!
LauraLee Shaw09/16/08
...and the creativity and clever wit just keeps on riding through your writing. Sooooo good. :)
Gerald Shuler 09/17/08
Great Christian sci-fi with a marvelous message.
Kristi Peifer09/17/08
Sounds like an ongoing saga...methinks I'm going to have to look up the FaithRiders!
Karlene Jacobsen09/17/08
Sci-fi is not my genre of choice, so it was a difficult read for me. However, this carried a very good message.