Gordon E. Abbo               Science Fiction               Third Millennium Publishing




Excerpts From A Galactic Odyssey


“Well,” Hex interjected, “when the humans are ready to move to another planet they’ll have to go elsewhere besides Earth.”

“Indeed they will,” Ben agreed. “The problem is there aren’t very many suitable planets within the present range of our space travel, which is about 150 light-years. We’ll have to go out much farther. Our engineers in the Space Fleet are working on developing a new hyper drive that will extend our range to 1,000 light-years.”

Several days later, Paul and Heather attended graduation ceremonies. The head of the Department of Interplanetary Affairs, Weji Tanko, addressed the graduates:

“Four years ago, the 136 of you began your training for the Space Fleet. Today, all 136 of you are here, having successfully completed a rigorous curriculum. Remarkable, isn’t it?”

The audience roared, “Yes!” and stomped their feet in approval.

“What’s also remarkable,” Weji continued, “is this is the first class to include a group of humans, eighteen of you, as we begin to work with integrated crews. We did this after a pilot project with one human turned out successful. So far, we’ve seen how well Reptons and humans work together, as you prepared for a career in the Space Fleet. In a spirit of cooperation and teamwork, you will extend our frontier of outer space as we expand our colonization…”

After Weji spoke, the graduates received their diplomas. A reception followed. Heather noted that, despite the presence of family and friends, one person was conspicuously missing—her father.

I hoped Dad would have changed his mind and come, she thought, feeling disappointed and rejected. But that was too much to expect. Why did I think he might show up? It hurts to realize he really didn’t want to see me graduate and become a commissioned officer in the Repton Space Fleet. I was only fooling myself thinking he would.

The ceremony ended. Now Paul and Heather had nothing to do over the next few days but wait for notification regarding their first assignment.

“We’re in big trouble, everyone,” Hex said matter-of-factly over the intercom to his crew. “Due to an apparent malfunction, we ended up on the other side of the galaxy, lost in completely unknown territory with our hyper drive down. But I promise you this. We’ll find a way to get back home. After all, we’re among the best in the Space Fleet…”

Hex signed off the intercom and looked around at the members of his bridge crew.

“I wish I shared your optimism, Captain,” First Officer Tuca Yassu said. “The reality of our situation is we won’t be able to make any hyperspace jumps to nearby star systems.” 

“Sir,” Tuca added, “once we lose maximum power, it will only be about another five minutes until we fall into that black hole. We will be crushed and stretched to death.”

“Don’t remind me,” Paul said. “I don’t look forward to becoming spaghettified…And, everything we’ve recorded during this voyage, all of our data, will go down the drain, never to be recovered.”

Hex stood up from his chair and switched on the intercom. With a solemn look on his face he addressed his crew. “Attention all crewmembers. This is the captain. We have a serious situation, where we are slowly being dragged toward a black hole. Despite all efforts we are unable to pull away, and it looks like this could be the end of the line. Unless we come up with a miracle, we all have about an hour and a half to live.”

Interested in reading more?  Purchase A Galactic Odyssey.


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