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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Space (01/23/06)

TITLE: The Sneaky Conquest of the Nefarious Light-bulb-arians!



“Boys and girls! Today we are continuing our studies on, ‘Space Exploration!’” Miss Johnson announced to the boisterous class of 10 year olds in her high pitched screech, which accelerated to the volume of a piercing siren whenever she was excited. The pick-pock of her stiletto shoes echoed around the classroom as she briskly walked across the wooden floor-boards, encouraging a fresh round of giggles from the children. “Our afternoon activity will be to use our imaginations to travel to the extremes of the universe..."

Ben Clarke instantly closed his eyes, he was already in exploration mode...

“Commander Benjamin A. Starburst reporting for duty!”

Picking up his over-sized space helmet, Benjamin hurried to the Space Transporter. Pushing the green button, the doors instantly flung open.

With a crisp salute, a Lieutenant acknowledged his arrival, “Where to Commander?”

“Top Level, Lieutenant! There’s some serious exploring to be done today!”

“Yes, sir!”

Benjamin watched the Level indicator illuminate as the Space Transporter reached each frontier entry point. Ten. Nine. Eight. Seven. Six. Five. Four. Three. Two. One.

As the doors snapped open, a concealed loudspeaker suddenly barked, “You are entering the Outer Space Frontier Realms. Continue at your own risk!”

“Danger is my name and adventure is my game,” Benjamin chuckled, ignoring the ominous warning, heading straight over to his newly acquired spacecraft, ‘Intergalactic Nebulous Okey-Dokey One.’

Adrenalin rushed through Benjamin’s body as he skillfully lifted the spaceship from the dock, the thrill of space exploration was always the same, marked with both wonder, and danger.

Benjamin studied the brightly-coloured console sporting a vast array of flashing buttons, switches and dials. Entering his desired co-ordinates into the navigational system, he set the course and engaged the spaceship into automatic drive. Hmmm, time to relax until reaching co-ordinate point, ‘777Alpha-Omega’.

The emergency laser-beam communication screen suddenly appeared.

“Commander Starburst, unusual activity has been reported on Pluto. You are requested to investigate.”

Benjamin punched in the new co-ordinates. Great, ETA for Pluto is only 45 minutes!

Nearing the planet, Benjamin switched on all the spacecraft’s warning systems and defense shield. “THERE!” Bright lights could be clearly seen flashing from the planet’s surface.

Activating his virtual-logbook, Benjamin documented his course of action. “My objective is to travel to the darkened side of Pluto and enter the planet’s atmosphere from there, flying below the range of movement detectors. Through the advantage of stealth and cunning, I shall be able to observe the villainous activities and deal with them appropriately.”

Entering the darkened side of Pluto’s orbit, an involuntary shiver swept over Benjamin’s body. Something’s wrong! I can sense it! Suddenly, the cockpit warning lights and siren erupted into operation.

Deadly brilliant light rays exploded around the spaceship. “Oh no! It’s an ambush!

Images of the attacking spacecraft appeared on the computer screen. “LIGHT-BULB-ARIANS! I should have guessed it was those nefarious light-wielding scoundrels!”

“Thirty-five enemy spacecraft are engaged in a full-scale attack,” Benjamin screamed into the logbook, “Taking evasive action. Engaging light-speed.”

After a suspenseful pause, Benjamin’s spacecraft plummeted into outer space in light-speed mode.

“Disengaging light-speed,” Benjamin reported 20 minutes later. Hehe, I’ve out-maneuvered those diabolical Light-bulb-arians!

“Hey, what’s that now?” As the spacecraft slowed to normal speed, Benjamin could hear loud banging on the fuselage. Frantically scanning the computers he found that he had halted in the centre of a meteor storm. Again light-flashes surrounded his spaceship. “Oh no, double danger! The Light-bulb-arians have followed me into the meteor storm!”

“EVASIVE ACTION! Re-engaging light-speed.”

Moments later Benjamin’s spacecraft disappeared into the universe’s uncharted abyss. The Light-bulb-arians will be smushed by those meteors. Hmmm, I’m heading back to headquarters, my stomach’s grumbling!

Benjamin disengaged light-speed and studied the control panel to determine his bearings. “Hey! The spaceship isn’t slowing down and why are there still flashes of light?” Benjamin looked out through the cockpit window. “AAAHHHGGGHH! A black hole! I’m being sucked into a black hole! And those Light-bulb-arians are still attacking me!”

“Commander Benjamin A. Starburst calling the Supreme Commander-In-Chief, Lord Most High, PLEASE HELP ME!”

Instantly the escape plan downloaded into Benjamin’s mind. Activate the escape-pod. Use your spaceship as a decoy to lure the unsuspecting Light-bulb-arians into giving chase. They will be sucked into the black hole.

“Emergency evacuation! Activate escape-pod!”

“Ben! Wake-up!”

“Eject button engaged. Activating the escape-pod. AARRRGGGGHHHH...”

“BEN!” It was Miss Johnson shaking him and squealing in her atrocious voice! “Benjamin Clarke! How many times have I told you not to sleep during class time!”

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This article has been read 1031 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Linda Watson Owen01/30/06
How cute! Light-bulb-arians! You sure had a 'bright idea' for this one! Lots of fun!! I enjoyed it!
Mary Frederick01/31/06
Great story! As a former teacher I can identify with this story repeated in classrooms everywhere. A fun read, thanks for sharing and taking me back to "good ole days," of teaching imaginative and creative children.
Pat Guy 01/31/06
This is my favorite part!

“Danger is my name and adventure is my game,” Benjamin chuckled, ignoring the ominous warning, heading straight over to his newly acquired spacecraft, ‘Intergalactic Nebulous Okey-Dokey One.’

And someone had a good time with this as anyone who reads it will! What a fun and creative read! Loved this getaway of the mind. (speaking of the reader's!)

dub W01/31/06
Wonderful imaginative story - a real treat. Try to limit exclamation points and steer your ship away from gerunds and you have a wonderful offering.
Suzanne R01/31/06
FUN! I can't think of a better adjective for this piece. You obviously have a real insight into the mind of a little boy ... but link it to us boring adults by seeing it also from the stiletto-shod teacher's point of view. EXCELLENT!
Julianne Jones02/01/06
I'm curious: was the writer of this piece perhaps a "Ben" when a child? Oh dear, does this mean I should no longer tell my kids off for daydreaming. What a fun read. Well done.
Shari Armstrong 02/02/06
That was SO much fun! I could see that as a children's book :)
Jan Ackerson 02/02/06
How cute! And I love the "pick-pock" of the teacher's stiletto heels.
Corinne Smelker 02/02/06
There was a discussion on the boards the other day about Calvin and Hobbes - well you have painted a picture of Calvin with your words - well done
Grace Sempa02/03/06
What a story! You kept me in from begining to end.

The phrase I loved most is..."Commander Benjamin A. Starbust calling the Supreme Commander-In-Chief, Lord Most High, PLEASE HELP ME!"
Instantly the escape plan downloaded into Benjamin`s mind.
Wonderful imagination,
Amy Michelle Wiley 02/03/06
This was great!! The first paragraph bogged it down just a little--I would like to see it a little smaller. I loved the way you kept it real to a child's imagination with great names like Intergalactic Nebulous Okey-Dokey One. LOL
Maxx .02/03/06
Too good. It read like a kids daydream. Certainly had enough action! Good work!
Cheryl Harrison02/03/06
Good job...I got so caught up in the adventure of it all that I forgot it began with a school boy's daydream. Then you brought me back to reality...how fun.
Lynda Lee Schab 02/04/06
Very fun and clever story! A wonderfully entertaining read. Well done!
Blessings, Lynda
Val Clark02/06/06
What a fun read! Loved going on this adventure with Ben. Bet your boys enjoyed it too. Yeggy
B Brenton02/11/06
This is almost too cute for words!
Awww... bet you got the inspiration from your kids!
:P I want another! More fanciful daydreams.