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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Inner Strength (04/20/06)

TITLE: Instinct
By dub W


Basic instincts would have made him turn around run, but somewhere in his bowels inner strength was building. He eyed the horizon as the sun broke over the nose of his ship. “Lincoln, you have to see this.”

Lincoln, his navigator, leaned back from this computer screen and looked at the bright glow coming through the protective glass. “Man, that’s something, wish Missy and the gang could see that, think I should wake them?”

“Heaven’s no man, then we would have to listen to all the reason’s why we shouldn’t have left. I figure we can leave them in the chamber until March; I’ll be ready for a break by then.”

“How do you do it John, I mean how do you find enough hope to keep on?”

John swiveled in the captain’s chair and faced his old friend. “You’d rather I just pulled a switch and headed this thing into the nearest rock?”

“The way you fly we’d miss,” Lincoln and John were used to some light hearted sparing.

“Very funny wise guy, come on up here to the con for an afternoon.”

“No thanks, long as you keep that reflector into the sun, I have power.”

“We have power.”

“I stand corrected. Anyway, we have had this thing running for eighteen months. We’re eating dried food, and watching the next crew sleep – what are you thinking.”

John watched Lincoln make a feather like adjustment to the ship’s track. “Like you, I guess, raised with a faith in God, I just always believed that God would lead me, and I have lived my life that way.”

“I have faith too,” Lincoln glanced at the screen, “faith that we can keep this thing in the vastness of space for about ten more years before the hydrogen cells quit providing water.”

“My inner strength comes from my faith in Jesus Christ; I just can’t lose that feeling.”

“That’s cool to me, but don’t you ever just want to push the self destruct button?”

“Not my choice, it’s His.” John pointed through the protective glass and into the sky.

“I suppose so, amen.” Lincoln watched dots cross his screen. “Hey man, did you ever hear of anyone else out here?”

“Huh uh. And we have traveled half a universe away from the old earth orbit; the explosion alone tossed us a light year away.”

“Come down here and look at this.” Lincoln held his gaze at the small screen.

John unbuckled his safety belt and stepped down the two step platform to Lincoln’s computer area. “Okay, interpret.”

“Too big for space junk. It’s gotta be another ship, or two ships.”

“Well, it can’t be rescue ships, nobody knows where we are, we aren’t even sure.” John felt his stomach suddenly churn.

The dots held steady on Lincoln’s screen. “Look,” Lincoln pointed at the first dot. “It seems to be getting bigger.”

“Whoever it is has seen us too I imagine. Any estimates of range, speed, all that stuff?”

“Hey, I’m not a cop with a radar detector. Keep the nose in the sun and I will see if the computer will figure it, give me a minute.” Lincoln turned to the computer keyboard.

“Okay, I’ll go back to the con, yell if you find anything, I can keep this sun in our eyes for a while longer I think, but I don’t want to burn any fuel unless we need to get away.”

“You’re paranoid,” Lincoln called. “Better call on some of that inner strength.”

“Don’t worry, the Lord and I are on one channel right now.” John spun the captain’s chair and tried to see out a side window. “Let’s go ahead and wake Jimmy – we may need some radio help.”

“Okay, I’ll ping his pod, it’ll take a couple of hours to bring him up.”

John looked at the cabin clock, a 24 hour timer. “Any estimate on what’s on the scope?”

“Be several hours before I have more info." Lincoln stretched his six foot frame. “I’m headed to the back cabin. Be just a second.”

John stared out the window. “Lord, here we are in your space, in your hands. Lo though we walk through the valley of death we shall fear no evil, for thou are with us.” The force of the ancient sun broke though the glass and filled the cabin.

Two minutes later Lincoln approached the con, “Wow, now there’s some solar power.”

“Thank you Lord,” John murmured.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Helen Paynter04/27/06
Interesting story, although I'm afraid I didn't understand it very well. I'm guessing you were up to the word limit? - a bit more explanation would have probably saved the day. But it may just be me being obtuse ;)
Jan Ackerson 04/29/06
This reads like parts of a larger work--one that I'd enjoy reading! Watch out for unnecessary apostrophes...good characterizations here. Nice job.
Dr. Sharon Schuetz05/01/06
Very interesting story, but it needs more. What happens?