By John Kaniecki
Captain Silvers gripped the arm rests of his consoles so hard that his fingers ached. His spaceship the "Eagle" was approaching a rift in space. It was an exploratory mission from which three other Class A.A. vessels had failed to return. It was the responsibility of the veteran voyager to find out why.
"What exactly is happening?" called out the commanding officer. His frantic crew scrambled through data to process information. The ship was physically shaken as if a ship upon an ocean.
"We are approaching a hole in space," screamed Lieutenant Connors.
"A hole in space, do you mean a black hole?" Captain Silvers was extremely concerned.
"Perhaps," said Science Officer Boggles. "It appears to be so but without anywhere's the similar mass."
"Can't we reverse our engines!?!" screamed Captain Silvers.
"Negative," replied Lieutenant Connors, "we shall be making contact in four seconds."
"Damn it," screamed the commanding officer, "I always wanted to go down in battle with some hostile enemy force. At least then I might get mentioned in a history book."
"Wait just one moment," interjected the Science Officer Boggles.
"What is it?" demanded Captain Silvers.
"Four seconds has already transpired," replied the scientist. "In fact it would take a good four seconds just to say the words that I am presently speaking."
"Negative," screamed Lieutenant Connors, "according to my computer we have three point five seconds until impact."
Captain Silvers sat back and relaxed for a brief instant. "No Boggles is right, for once."
Science Officer Boggles nostrils flared in anger but he remained silent. For far too long he had been getting no respect from the crew on the Eagle. Still his lack of rank prevented any retaliation or even honesty.
"Perhaps there is a problem with my computer," Lieutenant Connors surmised. "Maybe the clock isn't working properly."
"Or maybe time itself has slowed down," offered Boggles.
"How the hell can time slow down!?!" screamed Captain Silvers.
"I don't believe then you have ever studied Sirjay Reid, a most excellent theoretical mathematician and astrophysicist."
"For the sake of the whole ship Boggles, answer the question! We don't have any time for this nonsense." Captain Silvers was furious.
"Actually sir," said the science officer softly, "we have all the time we need."
"For the sake of the rings around Saturn, Boggles has gone insane!" screamed Captain Silvers. "Lieutenant what is happening to my spaceship?"
"We are approaching the edge of the space rift," answered Lieutenant Connors.
The Eagle continued to rattle and shake. The non-essential crew strapped themselves in preparing for collision. It was a futile effort. A collision in outer space would of course undoubtedly lead to a piercing of the hull. This would bring twofold destruction. The first being the loss of all air and oxygen. The second would be the extreme cold of that vacuum. None of the crew would survive. However regulations were regulations after all and none of the crew wanted to risk receiving a demerit.
"Ah, it's all so clear now," said Boggles, "how could we have been so foolish?"
"What are you talking about, you blithering idiot?" shouted Captain Silvers. "Can't you see that we are about to enter a rift in space? If you have something that can save our lives then let me hear it."
Boggles began to chuckle. Then he laughed like an insane man on a manic high.
"I told you to replace Boggles," screamed Lieutenant Connors, "we all knew that this was going to happen, didn't we Tony?"
Captain Silvers was shocked at the breakdown in protocol from his subordinate officer. "You'd better watch yourself or you will be the one getting tossed off the ship. Maybe some desk job at a planet with massive gravity would serve you well."
"Get over it, you egotistical moron," screamed Lieutenant Connors. "Can't you see that this time you royally screwed up? Why this is so bad that the crew can't save you just like every other time."
"Well if you're such a genius then why haven't we been blown to smithereens yet?" demanded Captain Silvers.
"I don't know captain, I don't know," screamed Lieutenant Connors, "but we should have been crushed by the massive gravity that created the space rift."
"There is no massive gravity you fool," screamed Science Officer Boggles. "You are forgetting your fundamentals in astrophysics."
"Go ahead Boggles," said Captain Silvers, waving his arms in frustration. "Explain it in a way that we all can understand."
"Velocity is a vector which calculates one's change in distance with time. Now if this is a hole in space time, as we know, it would be defined by the dynamics of this universe and not ours."
"Are you proposing that the laws of physics are not constant throughout the universe?" asked Captain Silvers in shock.
"Not only physics you arrogant, pompous, opportunist," declared Science Officer Boggles, "but it's my belief that the laws of psychology have changed as well. I'm sure even a dimwit like you can see the obvious."
"Well good Lord," screamed Captain Silvers, "exactly how long will it take for us to travel through this space rift?"
"Only one moment," offered Boggles.
"And exactly how long would that be corresponding to our normal time per the universe we had just left?" inquired Captain Silvers.
"Far too long," answered Boggles and Connors simultaneously, "far too long!"
- - -
John is a published poet and writer. He has a poetry book Murmurings of a Mad Man published by eLectio Publishing. He has a book of science fiction stories Words of the Future published by Witty Bard.
Thursday, October 22, 2015
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