Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: TRIP (10/18/18)
- TITLE: Voyage to the Origin
By Art Westefeld
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Their target was the beginning of the universe so they could finally put the crackpot theories of the creationists to rest. They set the controls for seven billion years in the past. Everyone of the invited crew were told to strap themselves in for safety as they weren’t certain just how turbulent the Big Bang was going to be.
Jack Hawkins , the mathematician who developed the formulas for the voyage of the timeship, named the Sagan by some humorist in the press, was at the controls along with Cynthia Darwin the first planned Chrononaut of many. Her slim hands activated the targeting controls as Hawkins powered up the timeship’s engines, sending waves of blue chronotron radiation to surround the ship and begin its journey back to the beginning of everything.
The assembled non-pilots stared out the viewports as the world unwound around them. The view changed from a modern cityscape with hover traffic to ground based, fossil fueled vehicles, and those became more and more archaic. Finally the view changed to horse drawn carriages and people riding on animals. One of the reporters exclaimed, “Shocking, people used to abuse animals like that!”
Hawkins ignored the chatter of the others on board as he concentrated on sending the ship further back into time. Ignoring the landscape around him changing into a more rural and primitive way of life he held the course steady and watched the chronometer count off the years they went back into the past. As the countryside became uninhabited,just forest and animals, the view outside the Sagan went totally black.
“What happened?”, a confused voice reached his ears, a rational part of his mind recognized the voice as Darwin’s.
As he looked to the control panel Hawkins felt like expressing his shock out loud as the chronometer seemed stuck on a readout of just over six-thousand years ago and the engines were at full stop. A young engineer at the scanners called out, “Dr. Hawkins, I getting readings of a strange kind of energy, the readings are off the scale!”
Hawkins thought, with a smile he didn’t allow to reach his face, “We need bigger scales.”
They a voice like none they’d ever heard was heard by everyone in the Sagan. It was a deep masculine voice and it said, “Let there be light!”
At that moment the sun came blazing out of the darkness, and the Sagan received a massive amount of solar radiation that restored the solar energy used in the time jaunt.
And again the Voice spoke saying, “Let there be a vault between the waters to separate the water from water!”
And as the amazed passengers of the Sagan observed the view outside the viewports the Voice continued to speak and first land appeared then plants and lower animals appeared out of nothing. Then a final Command issued forth from the Voice and a man while they heard, “Let us make mankind in our own image, in our likeness, so they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the wildstock and over all the wild animals and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”
Then the Voice proclaimed, “It is good”
Hawkins finally regained the presence of mind to active the control that would return the Sagan to the present. He thought as the centuries sped forward, “The Creationists were right and the World Government will have to find a way to keep this quiet.”
The timeship landed at its launch point and immediately it was surrounded by armed guards, to quarantine the people on board until it was determined that it was safe to release the assorted passengers and crew.
When the government got the report from the people it was decided to release a statement to the media that everyone on board had been fatally affected by cosmic radiation at the dawn of time. The truth couldn’t be allowed to be known or the religious nuts might start more trouble.
Author’s note: What the people on the Sagan heard came from Genesis 1: 1-26 NIV
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