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Chapter 4 - Roller Coaster
ivor | Published 966 days ago
  


Chapter 4; Roller Coaster

 

            “Go ahead, I dare ya!” Said Slade

            “I double dare you.” Said Bendict, the third member of Berger’s group. Bendict was the smartest in the group, but still went along with Burger, because it was fun.  Burger looked down at his workstation, a crumpled clear bag, with a blue white powder lay on the display tray,  in his right hand he held a dusty old bottle of Asynth, the stuff had been banned for years. Burger at twelve years, knew the history. When you mix Asynth with Dymecca crystals, and drink it, you feel powerful.  Some say it changes you.  The Authorities couldn’t handle that, so they banned both the drink and the Crystals. Others said the continued use of the DySynth cocktail leads to madness. Burger dismissed the notion. Besides, he was only going to take one shot anyway.

            It was the second day into the run, Burger had, at the start, entered his own trajectory into the command control, and masked  his ship heading toward Versalon, with a blip following the prescribed route and heading to the true designated destination. Mom and Dad’s friends knew how to pull strings. Burger took the contents of the foil bag, and carefully emptied it into the bottle. He waited for a reaction from Slade and Bendict.  He corked the bottle and gave it a shake. Uncorked it and held it up to his nose,

            “Eww.” He said, That got a laugh.

            “Go on do it, take a swig.” Slade encouraged. It was a good thing that they were under radio silence, that was another good idea. Burger put the bottle to his lips, threw his head back, and took a deep gulp, trying not to taste the gritty texture. He nearly caughed it up as the Asynth burn kicked in.

            “Hey, don’t waste it.” Slade chided.

“Yeah save some for when we land.” Burger corked the bottle setting it aside. He was expecting more, and so far nothing seemed to be happening. He was disappointed. Maybe he didn’t take enough.

“Hey!” Bendict Protested, “That’s it, lets wait and see what happens when it takes effect.” For some reason Burger found this funny, and started to laugh, and as he laughed it hit him. He was so much smarter then his friends. He started laughing, he couldn’t stop. his face was turning red, Slade and Bendict were both laughing now. They didn’t know why. When the laughing subsided, Bendict said,

“How are you feeling Burger?”  This started another round of laughter.

 

After the Third sleep period, Burger awoke, took a swig, recorked the bottle, set it close to his side and put his arm back to scratch his back, doing so, he knocked a control box to the ground.  He picked it up, thought for a second before realizing it was the control module of the Diwrecker, that he affixed to Yelid’s craft.

“Hey guys, wanna have some fun?”

“Like What?” asked Bendict. Burger held up the control.

“The Diwrecker?” Slade replied.

“Correct, and it’s about time we send Yelid and his friend on their way,  I’m just going to give them a little jolt, and let them wonder what’s wrong.” Burger smiled,

“I imagine they’ll be concerned” I will give them five minutes, they will think things are back to normal, and then we’re going to send them spinning.”

“Hey Burger, you can’t do that.” Bendict replied, “They are traveling in hyperspace drive, You could throw them out of the wormhole!”

“Hey Burger, you can’t do that,” He mimicked,

“I know,” Said Burger gleefully, “They’ll explore space alright.” He burst out laughing.

“No, you don’t understand what I’m saying, you could kill them.”

“Yeah, and?”

“Shut up.” That was Slades response.

“You know it’s not just Yelid and Cory, they got their kid brother along with them, That’s three lives you are endangering.” The news didn’t phase Burger.

“I’m only gonna mess with them, make them do a few loop de loops, thats all” Burger was getting  annoyed with Bendicts attitude.

“Besides, if anything happens to them, Who’s gonna know? They may never find the bodies.” He snorted.

“Of course they will, they are tracking all our moves, the moment something goes wrong we’ll have a pack of Rescue squads searching, and if they find the Diwrecker on Yelids ship, they can track the controls back directly to you, I don’t think even your parents will be able to save your ass.”

“Screw You!” Burger spat, as he held the controls up before the camera, and jostled the joystick.

 

Yelid, Cory and Punim were jostled from their sleep.  In all monopods, the control panels were flashing red.  Yelid came alert first, as his bed changed to seating configuration.

“Cory, Are you awake? Punim?  Did you all feel that?”

“Yeah I felt it, what happened” Asked Cory with a dazed voice.

“Buckle up, everyone, right now.” Yelid said hurriedly.

“Yelid, What happened, I’m scared.” It was Punim.

“Don’t worry Punim, I don’t know what happened either, but I want you  to buckle up while I scan the logs. You too Cory. If anymore jolts occur I want us to be prepared.”  Both he and Cory scanned all their operating systems, so far every thing was working. A remote scan of Punim’s craft showed the same.   Still, something jolted at least one of their ships; Being connected Yelid could not be sure whose craft might have been responsible.

“We better send a notice back to the base, maybe they could check their systems and figure out what….”  His ship was sharply jolted to the right, Had he not been buckled in, he would have went sprawling,

“Everybody buckled in?” He prayed that Punim had acted quick enough, He tried to reach the radio control, but his ship was veering sharply, it crashed into something and went spiraling wildly, Yelid tried not to lose control but in fact, he had none. The control panel was useless, the forces exerted on his craft were too much, he felt he was going to be sick, but worse than that, he was worried that His friend and his brother were all going to die. That something was terribly, terribly wrong, was the thought in his mind as he blacked out.

 

“Look Burger, be real,” Bendict explained, “ If they hit the gravity barrier, they will go sprawling, like a rock skipping waves. If they break out of the wormhole, and at hyperspeeds, that is entirely possible, you will have committed a Galactic offense,” Burgers heart was cold. For some reason, their puny lives didn’t matter, they deserved it, and besides, who was this “friend” trying to have it his own way.” 

“Are you with me Slade?”

“You bet Burger.” Came the response. Bendict countered,

“Last chance to talk sense with you, Man, What’s happened to you?  This isn’t fun, it’s not a joke anymore. They will loose conscience, Their survival programs will most likely be all wack, and unless they land, they are gonna die out there in uncharted space. That’s Murder by any Judge, and I for one want no part of it, You mess with the Diwrecker one more time, and  I’m splitting from your Group!”

“Good riddance Wuss.” Said Burger defiantly, “If you breath a word of this remember genius, you will be found as guilty as me, “  Burger cranked wildly at the joystick,

“Zoom, Zooom, Zoom” He called with each jolt,  Bendict, disgusted, broke away from Burgers group. Burger had a point, Like it or not he was an accomplice.

“Bye bye,” Slade called “You’re going to miss all the fun.”  Burger finally dropped

the unit to the floor, laughing all the while.  It was funny how he suddenly felt like a nap. He took another swig of the DySynth cocktail and lay back. 

 

Yelid became aware first, the wild dizzy spinning had subsided, but now he was

totally disoriented, and his control panel was showing more failures then he could count. His first instinct was to make contact with Cory and Punim.  His equilibrium was off, and the navigation module was of no help. He was still spinning, but worst of all, he realized that Cory and Punim were experiencing every move that his Monopod was making, So long as they were connected, this would be so.  He couldn’t help it,  but he was still embarrassed as he threw up.

            “Cory, Punim are you there? Can  you hear me?  Are you alright?”  The one proximity unit was functioning. It showed the other two ships were relatively close,

            “ I hear you Yelid,”  It was Cory.  Another small voice answered,

            “Yelid, where are you?” Yelid breathed a sigh of relief.

            “Guys, I don’t know what happened, but my ship is damaged. Give me a status report on your condition while I do a diagnostic.”  The figures came up, and they were not good. All Three Monopods were in the same condition. All had experienced damage of some kind, beyond their tolerance. It was a matter of time before all systems failed.

            “Look you guys, we have to find a place to land, our atmosphere units are damaged, My navigation is out, how about the rest of you?” 

            “I got some navigation.” Cory replied, “But my atmosphere is also compromised.”

            “Punim, how are you doing?”

            “I don’t know Yelid, but I’m scared.”  Yelid bit his lower lip, took a breath and tried to sound hopeful.

            “Don’t worry Punim, everything is going to be ok.”  He wished he believed it.

            “We seem to be falling toward a small planetary system, I think I can direct us there with my controls.” A moment passed and Cory reported back,

            “Yeah, one of the planets has a sustainable atmosphere, It’s uncharted, but it’s the best we got. It’s the third one in from their class B star.  I’m going to take us in”  His communication was starting to break up.

            “How long?” Yelid asked.

            “Hard to tell.” Cory replied, “Our velocity controls are down. But from visual readings, I would say we are two hours away from planetary contact.”  In fact, the crafts were hurtling through the outer planets, racing toward the small blue dot.

            Yelid gave it some thought, with the navigation controls down, they would all crash land, that could be fatal. If Cory and Punim had some navigation control, they might be able to survive a landing. As much as he hated to do it, for survival purposes, it would be necessary to break the group,  Each craft would have a better chance on it’s own. Yelid realized that with his navigation down, he would be the most likely to land hard.  It was a tough decision to make, but Yelid was the team captain, he addressed his crew.

            “Guys, we are going to land on that small planet. I think we will be ok. But we will have to break the group.  Try to land in water, if there is any, it would absorb much of the shock. When you do land, we will try to establish contact with each other, Run down your first aid items, food and water supplies, The atmosphere is reading positive, we will be able to breath at least.”

            “What about if we meet monsters?” Asked Punim.

            “There are no indications on my sensors of any life forms. Most likely we will be alone.” Cory responded. He did not mention that aside from the communication unit, with the group, his outside receiver was out of order.

            “Good enough, you get that  Punim, no monsters.  OK, I am going to unlock our ships, we will be on our own until we land.  Don’t worry about me, Our ships can take a lot more then we have been through.” He lied.

“ It’s a small planet, we should be able to hook up with each other after we land. Save your energy for guidance entering the planets atmosphere. It might be a bumpy landing, but we will all make it. We will all be fine. Remember, check your food and water generators once you land, check your antennas, and try to establish contact. Aim for the softest landing that you can.”  As an afterthought he added,

            “It might be a good idea to conceal your craft if you are going to explore. Again, you can use your Waterskin exits, to keep the ship secured beneath the surface if you make a water landing.”

            “Cory, do you read any life forms at all on the surface?”

            “No, but my sensors are damaged, there might be primitive life given the planets conditions, but there is no way the instruments can tell at this point.”  All the while the blue planet was looming larger. Half of the planet was in darkness,

            “I think I see lights down there.” Said Punim.  “But I’m not sure.”

            “Ok, we are going down, we are uncoupled, and on our own. Good luck guys, I love you, I will see you soon.” With that Yelid switched off his communication, and prepared himself for a free fall landing. Cory and Punim did the same.


continued 

 




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