Fandom > Fiction / Fanfiction

NIRI TE 'S FANFIC "LAST FLIGHT OUT "

(1/39) > >>

Niri Te:
HERE is the start of my FanFic below. Let me know what you think of it on my FEEDBACK thread.

Niri Te:
LAST SHIP OUT
CHAPTER ONE
The lights inside the capsule went green.  Steve Hobbs hit the pneumatic release for the dry side door of the lock, to Open.  Pamela Wright and John Williams tumbled in, with John saying, "We have to get out NOW!"  Pamela injected, "The planet is coming apart, the ship is ready to go and flight crew is aboard awaiting our arrival."
      Steve Hobbs replied, "We heard some of the radio traffic down here, before everything went silent.  Did that Tidal Wave from the undersea earthquake reach the coast?"
John said, "The military radios that we have in the Submersible picked up military and emergency traffic.  A three hundred foot high wall of water has killed everyone from L.A. to Tijuana.  The only thing that stopped the water were the mountains and hills of the Los Angeles Basin."
  Pamela injected, "If we don't leave here within the hour, we will never leave."
  With that Jim Hanson, Chief Biologist, and Chip Higgins, Project Chief, stuck their heads in the room from the companionway.  "We have data coming in from the remote seismographs that is OFF the scales.  How fast can the Submersible carry us up?"
  Pamela replied, "I can have us configured and ready to go in five minutes."  Chip replied, "We are downloading all data into our optical drives, we will be ready in minutes."  Steve turned to Chip and said, "For God's sake, don't forget the BOOK."
   At that moment, Sharon West came running down the companionway into the room with a knapsack full of ten years of data saved on RAM chips, slung over her shoulder.  A camera was in her right hand and "The Book" was in her left.   "I'm glad you guys didn't leave me behind!"  Chip chuckled, "Yeah, like we are going to leave behind our Chief Engineer, Pilot Extraordinaire, and all around Ms.Fix It!"
   "How much time we got?" asked Sharon with a wry grin, ignoring the compliments.
  "Three minutes!" said Pamela.  "Pack your undies and toothbrush, and remember, you only have stowage space of 2'x2'x2 feet for carry-on.

CHAPTER TWO
   John Williams looked over his shoulder as he announced, "Release is activated.  We are out of here."  Pamela, her eyes beginning to mist, looked in the direction of the underwater sea lab that they were leaving and said, "Fare thee well, Old Friend, Fare Thee Well."  Sharon slid her arm around Pamela's shoulder and gave her a gentle squeeze, saying, "We knew this day was coming ten years ago.  11,232 feet below the surface is a world of its own.  Yet this world, as hostile as it can be to the unprotected, could not stop the bastards on the surface from destroying it along with its Mother.  We need to make sure that the story of what happened here and why, is told throughout the universe."
  Pamela rocked her head to one side until her left temple touched Sharon's right temple and said, "I know, my friend.  But it still hurts."
   Sharon replied, "It makes me feel bad too, things are going to get interesting here, real soon."
   Twenty minutes later the craft broke the surface and John started the three minutes of pre-operational checks for the air-breathing propulsion drives.  When these were completed, the twin turbo-fans were fired up and the underwater descent vehicle morphed into its other design; a ground-effect flying machine.
   At five minutes out, Chip Higgins looked at Sharon and asked,"Has your brain shifted over to your pilot's duties yet?"  Sharon replied, I was ready to go halfway up the ascent".  Steve Hobbs, occasionally the worrier asked, "Is there going to be an 'official' welcoming party waiting for us at Dillingham?"  Sharon responded, "Why should there be?  Anyone of any official capacity would expect us out of there, until things calmed down.  We are just part of a U.H. Research team, going to our hanger."   As they went "Feet Dry" she reminded everyone, "If anyone asks about the weird looking plane, tell them we are going to do magnetic anomoly studies with this new aircraft, to check for any near future major tectonic events and assure them we will have finished that mission in two hours."
   Chip Higgins smirked and said, "As geologist of this bunch, I can make them believe it. And Hell. In two hours, we will be ready to dock with the transport."  Pamela laughed, squeeze Sharon's wrist and said, "Well I guess that would finish this part of the mission."
   "John, leave me plenty of room to get the aircraft out of the hanger.  That is one big wing span."  said Sharon.
   The "hanger", was an old B52 hanger left over from the days of the Cold War, when Dillingham was an Air Force Base, and alternate field for Hickam AFB should the runways at Hickam be too badly damaged to land there.  In the years following the conclusion of the Cold War, Dillingham became a private airfield for general aviation and the University of Hawaii.  The Air Force reclaimed it during the Venezuelan and Nicaraguan Wars, only to return it to civilian control after the Wars concluded successfully.
  With the hanger doors opened, "Star Shooter" was an impressive sight with her seventy foot wing span.  Her blended body plan form left no locations for vortices to start.  She was one slick ship.  That, would be what most people, including other pilots, would think if they saw her. What they would not see, is the purpose-driven design of the ship that took eight years to build; and whose sole purpose was to carry these people to a docking with one of the original deep space mining transports parked in high Earth geosynchronous orbit.
  William Treycott, 60 year old retired navigator of the early mining ships that fanned out looking for minerals, stood beside the ship, polishing cloth in hand. "She's all ready, Captain", in deference to Sharon's job of flying them from here to the mining transport affectionately named "Old Dog."  John, a qualified pilot in his own right, and Sharon's trusted co-pilot on this flight, slapped her on the shoulder and said, "Let's kick the tires and light the fires."
   Once the ship was outside on the tarmack, and as they were strapping-in, Sharon looked over her right shoulder at William and said, "So do you think the finest renegade navigator in the universe can help us find Old Dog among all those other ships parked in high orbit?"  Just before Sharon fed the throttles forward on the turbines, William replied, "With my eyes closed."

CHAPTER THREE
   It was a strange sight to see seven people board this long winged, very sleek craft that looked like a very high tech, jet powered motor glider, all dressed in decade old military pressure suits, their helmets in hand.  The moment they were aboard and the door closed and sealed, the two small turbines were fired up and "StarShooter" taxied to the runway.
   Due to the phone circuits being totally over loaded with calls to and from the Main Land, filing a legitimate flight plan for a reasonable sounding, critically important research flight was out of the question by telephone.  Likewise, no one would question the need for this flight to get airborne as quickly as humanly possible.  So as soon as the aircraft was line-of-sight to Honolulu, Sharon filed her plan over the radio.
  "Honolulu Tracon: University of Hawaii Research Experimental November Two Seven Six Six Zero, seven souls aboard, on critical emergency research flight climbing out of Dillingham, requesting most direct route possible to the south point of the Big Island, with expedited climb out to flight level Four Niner."
   "Experimental Six Six Zero: squawk One Zero One Seven"
   "Experimental Six Six Zero squawking One Zero One Seven"
   "Experimental Six Six Zero we have you, Proceed at heading Zero Four Zero to flight level Two One.  Maintain own navigation, clear for expidited climb out.  Contact Honolulu Center at One One Niner Point Three.  Good Luck."
   "Experimental Six Six Zero: turning Zero Four Zero, switching to Honolulu Center. Out.   Honolulu Center, University of Hawaii Research Experimental November Two Seven Six Six Zero, seven souls aboard, requesting flight following."
   "Experimental Six Six Zero: Squawk One One Zero Five."
   "Honolulu Center, Experimental Six Six Zero squawking One One Zero Five."
   "Experimental Six Six Zero. We have you. Your aircraft has a priority expedited climb to flight level Four Niner.  Turn to a heading of One Six Five degrees. Maintain own navigation.  Good Day."
   "Honolulu Center. Experimental Six Six Zero turning to heading of One Six Five degrees. Expedited climb to flight level Four Niner.  Maintaining own navigation, Good day."
   The formalities of air traffic navigation taken care of, Sharon looked over her shoulder for a moment and said, "You guys will be earning your astronauts wings in less than an hour.  Grab your pressure helmets and be ready to put them on like I taught you."
CHAPTER FOUR
   A few moments later, Sharon handed over the control of the aircraft to John, walked to the unoccupied launch chair and sat down. "O.k. folks, time for a fast history lesson and preview of coming attractions.  This ship is one of three built for the RDA for planetary magnetic field studies and was completed four months before the Battle for the Well of Souls.  I was one of the design engineers on the project and the first test-flight pilot for all three aircraft.  I am the only person to have flown this one until I just handed it off to John.  These ships were designed to fly at the edge of space and land and take-off from ground bases. They were designed to do magnetic measuring to learn more about, and locate deposits of, not just Unobtanium, but other magnetic rare-earth metals as well.  I was slated to go with this ship to Pandora on, what would have been the second ISV sent to Pandora once its test flights were completed.  It would have been boxed up in three segments and reassembled on Pandora. But when the RDA launched  the Battle for the Well of Souls, all these plans were jettisoned.  As we all know, mass riots  broke out world wide because of the RDA's treatment of the Na'vi.  But even before that, the RDA wanted to keep the very expensive equipment that had been recently built - SECRET.  So they fanned out the three ships.  One went to the University of Madrid, One to the University of Tokyo, and this one to the University of Hawaii, officially for studies of the Magnetic Fields of the Earth."
   "So that's why no one questioned your flying this thing out of Dillingham so quickly," remarked Chip.
   "That's why, and it is also why they won't try to blow us out of the sky when we make the next jump out of Class 'A' airspace into what is usually reserved only for military and approved research vehicles," remarked Sharon.  "The next jump that we make, will take us to the edge of space, so I want your helmets on, secured, and your suits' umbilicals all hooked into their receptacles in each of your launch chairs.  You will still be able to talk to each other on the intercoms."

CHAPTER FIVE
   After sliding into the Command Pilot's Chair, Sharon looked at John before either of them was hooked up to the intercom and said, "Looks like that went well with the  crew."
   "Throttles to 100%, fuel burn on the curve," reported John. "Going through sixty-thousand, D.C. buses for oxidizer pumps hot.
   "If things get interesting with the Fuzz, it should happen now."  Sharon stated.  She called out, "Approaching seventy thousand, oxidizer feed initiated, please watch my temps, John."   And he gave a thumbs up.
   "Temps in the green.  We are stabilized.  Eighty thousand.  We are GO for insertion." shouted John with glee.
  "Tail cone jettisoned." replied Sharon.  "Igniting rocket motor. in Three---Two---"
   "Jet fuel cut-off." said John.
   "ONE---Mark!"  said Sharon, as the solid fuel rocket motor fired.
   "Clock started."  said John.  Sharon looked in a small mirror on the top of the windscreen brace, and saw four very scared people, and then William Treycott, tapping out navigation calculations on his micro-computer.
   "OK, listen up." said Sharon to the the four Space Newbies in the back.  "Once we shut off the engine, John and I will check the hull integrity.  Once we have determined that everything is OK, and the air is OK in here, we will clear you to remove your helmets.  Keep them fastened down to something stationery.  We do not want stuff floating around here.  You may want to float around here. DON'T.  There will be so much time for you to do it on the trip HOME, that you will get bored with it soon enough.  Stay put in your seats, we don't want you banging into things, trying to learn how to float in space.  John and I have done this, training for space flight."
   Three minutes later John announced, "Two minutes to BECO."   Sharon gave a thumbs-up, and told the rest of the crew. "In a little over a minute, things are going to get real quiet in here.  The booster engine will cut-off."
   Steve Hobbs asked, "Then we free-fall in orbit until we are picked up?"
   "That is correct, Steve, we should get picked up late in our second or third orbit." responded Sharon.
   Once the solid rocket motor burned all of its fuel, John adjusted a mirror that he stuck to the panel with double-sided tape, and Sharon floated to the rear of the cabin.  Once there she opened a panel,and reported, "At current consumption, we have ten days, four hours,and eighteen minutes of oxygen."  She then made it look easy, floating forward to a gauge panel, and after examining it, declared the craft Airtight.
   Once Sharon was lightly strapped into the aft launch chair, Pamela asked, "We are going to have to make two or three passes between the earth and the RDA base in exile on the Moon.  Aren't we going to get spotted?"
  "OK folks, let me explain part of the answer and William will explain the rest," said Sharon.  "The moon is still over one-hundred-thousand miles away, and what is right behind us, is a boiling atmospheric cauldron. Unless we fire a high-powered laser at them, the RDA on the Moon will assume that we died over an hour ago with the rest of the human species on Earth.  As for them mounting some great interstellar war party bent on revenge to Pandora, that will never happen.  I will let William explain that to you now."  William cleared his throat and began his part of the presentation.
  "The RDA on the Moon are not some grand military industrial government in exile, as much as they would like to think so.  They are a bunch of feudal groups constantly jostling for power among the other groups up there.  They have no large ISV's like they used to, only four shuttles that were spares for the ISV's shuttles, and a bone yard of ISV parts. that when they stop fighting among themselves, could possibly assemble three-quarters of an ISV with only half of its drive system usable.
   "The biggest interstellar threat that they have, is a group of twelve of the old near- light speed interstellar mining transports, each with two shuttles.  These shuttles are capable of much of what the newest models of the ISV's could do, but not with as much glitz.  I, and my two crew mates, whose job it is to keep all of these in excellent mothballed condition, have selectively cannibalized all but ours and one other.  Only those two will be able to fly out of here.  Ours will fly all the way HOME, without a hitch.  But the OTHER one will go super-critical as soon as they try to go near light speed, once they clear the Oort Cloud.
  "With that. guys, I suggest we all try to take a nap.  Sun rise happens quick up here." counseled Sharon.
CHAPTER SIX
  Sharon, John, and William slept like logs, while the four new astronauts had a fitful time of it.  Here in space with no atmosphere to scatter light, the sun "rising" over the Earth was like turning on a flood light inside 'StarShooter'.  Seven pairs of eyes were almost instantly accosted by the sun's unfiltered light.  "Morning Guys, did you have a nice nap?" said Sharon cheerfully.
   John and William immediately unbuckled and floated forward to the flight deck.  Once both were secured in their launch chairs, they started tracking across a thirty degree swath of sky with a medium-powered laser.  After four tries, a bright red light was seen from inside the 'StarShooter'.  "He has us!" said William.  Once the two ships located each other, they modulated voice onto the laser carrier.  A brief, forty-five second conversation ensued, breaking off before "moonrise", so as to have no chance of anyone on the Moon spotting them.
   "Dan Warren can grab us next dark-cycle when we are almost diametrically opposed to the Moon in our orbit of Earth." said William.
   "Let's make good use of our time 'til the hook-up, and practice what we have to do." said Sharon. "Before we go Dark-Side we will all be hooked into our E.V.A. packs."
   "E.V.A. packs?!" exclaimed Jim, "You mean we have to Space Walk to the Shuttle??"
   "There is no other way,"replied Sharon, "We could not modify 'StarShooter' to be grappled, and have her stay together on the ride up here."
   "Not to worry." said John, "Sharon, William, and I will be tethered to you guys, and we will float you over to the Shuttle."
   "We are going to leave this Brave Lady here, aren't we?" mused Chip, and Sharon answered, "We wanted to bring her, but there is just no way."  It seemed to Chip that she caressed StarShooter lovingly as her hand ran along the bulkhead.
   Most of the light side of their last orbit of the Earth, was spent verbally rehearsing every step; from hooking into their E.V.A. packs, to how they would tie into each other, to where each person's place in the line was, and what movements they would make during the transfer.
   As the sun set behind the Earth, Sharon could see their trepidation, and told them, "You Guys will do fine, we will make sure no one gets hurt.  Now grab your gear and secure your carry bags to your E.V.A. packs.  Once that is done, help each other with your packs, and one of the three of us will inspect them all."  They had been finished for three minutes when the Shuttle pulled alongside.
   "Well, it's SHOW TIME!" voiced William, and he, Sharon, and John opened the doorway.  William was the first one out and fired his thruster, stringing a quarter-inch polished single strand wire between the two vessels.  Once that was done, Sharon lead them along the wire to the Shuttle, where William helped her unhook them, and get them inside.  The entire transfer took seven minutes from the start to finish; when Sharon disconnected the wire, cast it to the StarShooter, saluted the ship, turned and entered the Shuttle.
   Once inside the Shuttle, Sharon immediately joined the others on the pressurized Flight Deck, and Dan Warren fired the Shuttle's main engines at full power until just before their exhaust would have been seen from the Moon.
CHAPTER SEVEN
   Sharon settled down in her seat, closed her eyes, and let out a long exhale.  In the next seat to her right,  Chip reached over and patted her wrist saying, "She is a Grand Lady and a Noble Warrior,"  he mused, guessing at the meaning of her sigh.  "I know that when the Na'vi hear her story, they will write a song honoring her sacrifice for us to bring documentation to others of the price of greed."  Sharon looked at Chip, but only nodded and smiled.  It was hard to imagine the fabled Na'vi honoring a machine, no matter how Grand and Noble Sharon believed her StarShooter truly was.
   As soon as the last of the moon was hidden by the Earth, Dan Warren fed full throttles to the Shuttle's engines, and broke Earth orbit, the Shuttle's speed increasing to 57,000 MPH, in a straight line for their ship to Pandora.  During the hour long trip to the transport, Dan asked Sharon to come forward and sit in the co-pilot's chair. He didn't have to ask twice.  Sharon was buckled-in as quickly as was safe.
   During the remainder of the flight, Dan explained the operation of the Shuttle to Sharon, while everyone else was in conversation about the chain of events since the first massive tsunami which had leveled most of Southern California.
   With 15 minutes left, Dan flipped the Shuttle backwards. He performed a braking burn in three stages, the final burn slowing the Shuttle's closing velocity of 1,000 MPH.  The moment that the final burn was made by the Shuttle, the  Mining Transport also performed two burns cutting the Shuttle's closing velocity to Fifty, and then 10 miles per hour, when the Shuttle was five miles astern.
   When the shuttle pulled abeam, it used its maneuver thrusters to dock with the transport.  As the shuttle was partially powered down, Dan said, "Well Folks, let's climb aboard the Magic Carpet Ride to Pandora."
CHAPTER EIGHT
   As Sharon strapped herself into her seat on the Mining Transport Vessel, she greeted the pilot Captain Wendy Stallings, of the thirty-year-old, ion-driven, near-light speed, mining transport.  With the higher altitude of the parking area of the old mining transports, this ship's new crew, now totaling ten, was able to sit tight.  They were waiting until the moon had just slipped behind the rapidly becoming, more lethal planet Earth.  The surface of the Earth was now completely obscured from space by a sold mass of acidic, micro-dust laden cloud cover, that went from sea-level, to eighty-five thousand feet.
   From their vantage point, the once verdant Earth, now looked like a smaller rendition of one of the gas giant planets. Everywhere that two techtonic plates met, a huge number of volcanoes had all erupted within five hours. Huge, continent-sized, hyper-low-pressure systems, with three or four hundred mile-an-hour winds, were driven by the devastating heat rising from the volcanic maws.  The opacity of the thick, dense, cloud cover was created quickly by the planet- wide pyroclastic flow of the great number of now-reactivated volcanoes.  This was added to by the worldwide infernos that were ignited by the super-heated air.  To add insult to injury, there were thousand-mile-long atmospheric flash-overs of the layer of methane that had accumulated in the upper altitudes for two centuries, caused by greedy global warming of the planet.
   The sky rocketing temperatures of the atmosphere had another effect that was unseen from space:  The last of all ice, glacial, permafrost, and polar;  melted, raising the sea-level fifty-three feet.  This caused the peninsula of Florida and Long Island, New York; and all coastal lowlands and oceanic islands world-wide to disappear beneath the waves within several hours.
CHAPTER NINE
   Once the docking and crew transfer were completed, Wendy powered up the Transport while the Earth was still blocking the moon from view.  During the hour and minute burn, the Transport reached an inner-solar system speed of ONLY 60,000 miles per hour.  The slow speed was chosen because of the crowded nature of the solar system from the asteroid belt to the sun.
   Due to their "head start" on the RDA, who were now the only resident humans left alive in the solar system, and their selective use of propulsion, the Transport would be gone five more days before the "brass" at the RDA Moon Base realized that one of the parked Transports was missing.  Even if the first Transport that they came to was one of the two that would move, they would be over -a-week behind the Transport with the ten rebels aboard.   Wendy shut-off the conventional rocket motors making the Transport that much more difficult to detect from the RDA base.  "We will only need to play Hide-and-Seek with the Moon Base one more day-cycle, and  then we can engage the Ion Drive.  Dan, work-up the Burn Numbers for me and Course Change to get us over the top of the asteroid belt.  Give them to me as soon as you have them," instructed Wendy.
   Dan made his way to the Nav Station, and started working up the numbers, while Sharon made her way over to her fellow ex-marine biologists.  "Hey guys, I'll bet you like the artificial gravity on this ship, don't you?"  They each stated that though the flight off-world was exciting, and they were all glad that they did their tasks properly, it would be a good thing if there was a bit less excitement for a while.
   "Well, before too long you will have one more thing to add to your resume: you will have spent six years at eight-tenths light speed," said Sharon with a wry smile.
   Four hours later, Dan brought a series of Burn Times, "Z"  axis changes, and headings based on where, on their anticipated flight path, they were for the next six hours.  This data was all on a computer storage drive not that much different in appearance from the "ancient" early twenty-first century computer flash drive, except that this flash drive had a 500 TerraByte capacity.
   Wendy smiled at Dan as he handed her the drive, and asked, "How many hours?"  Dan replied, "Twenty."
   "Great!"
   Fourteen hours later, the Earth blinded the Moon and Sharon announced, "We are going to make our last conventional rocket burn that will place us on the correct trajectory to allow us to go N.L.S.* for an overflight of eighty percent of the asteroid belt.
* Near Light Speed

Niri Te:

CHAPTER TEN
   Wendy looked over her shoulder and said, "Come here and grab the Number Two Seat, Dan.  I want you hands-on for this maneuver."  Dan sat in the co-pilot's seat, strapping himself in. Wendy chose to start the course correction fifteen minutes in the future, loaded the correction data into the NAV computer, synced the two clocks, and started the count-down of the NAV computer's clock.  As the clocks hit zero the nose of the Transport pitched to a positive AOA*, and the craft attained the pre-programmed flight parameters.
   One-tenth of the way through the "Z axis  climb" to clear the height of the asteroid belt, the Transport flew outside the orbit of the moon.  When Dan made the announcement, a cheer went up in the transport.  After that, a certain routine set in on the Transport.  People used the stair-stepper and stationary bike in shifts, to stay in shape.  Sharon spent half her free time picking Wendy's brain on how the Transport was flown, and the other half pouring over the engineering manuals and drawings of the Transport.
   As Sharon's trusted back-up pilot, John Williams spent quite a bit of time learning "Old Dog's" flight characteristics as well.  John was the first one of the researchers that said anything about the Transport's name.  He and Sharon both liked the entire "Old Dog" series written by Dale Brown, who was a favorite writer of both of them.  Sharon had all his books in her quarters down in the deep sea lab, but there was no room for them during their hurried exit.
   During the next awake cycle, for the non-flight-critical crew members, Sharon suggested that they make good use of their time by spending two hours each day learning to speak some Na'vi.  Dr. Augustine had included several chapters in the back of her book dedicated to the Na'vi language.  And while her book only included a vocabulary of five hundred words and the most elementary grammar, learning it over the next five plus years, would show the Na'vi that THESE humans cared enough about the Na'vi culture and language, to learn what they could of it.  The suggestion was met with enthusiasm all around so they all started as soon as lunch was eaten.
*Angle of Attack

Niri Te:
CHAPTER ELEVEN
   "Rewon lefpom oeyä eylan. Srak ayoeng 'efu ohawk?" (Good Morning my Friends.  Yes/No do we feel hunger?) asked Sharon as she entered the Transport's galley.
   "Of course we're hungry, Sharon.  We haven't eaten since last night," groused Steve.
   "Well then let me make for, nìwotx oeyä eylan", (all my friends), "some mushroom and cheese omelettes," she replied.
   "Oh Lord, powdered eggs, dehydrated mushrooms, and we are not sure WHERE the cheese comes from," chided Chip with a smile.
   "I don't care WHERE they come from, I'm about ready to eat the TABLE!" said Pamela with a grin, as she walked over to the microwaves to help Sharon cook breakfast.
   "I have a question folks," asked Sharon.  "We have been studying Na'vi for two weeks now, and you guys have learned at LEAST as much as I, but I seem to be the only one of us trying to speak it outside of our classes.  If we don't start speaking it, we will get there, and WON'T be able to carry on a conversation with the Na'vi," worried Sharon aloud.
   "Perhaps if we had an hour of Na'vi nì'aw after the two-hour daily lesson..." offered Pamela.
   "That sounds fine to me, " said Steve, "if we could take a half-hour bathroom and coffee break to reset our brains..."
   Sharon looked around, saw everyone nodding agreement and said, "Tsakrr awngaru tìhawl. Then we have a plan."
   Pamela and Sharon laid out the breakfast spread, and during the meal, Steve made the comment, "I have a question for Chip, Sharon, and whoever else wants to jump in."
   Sharon motioned that he had the floor and he continued:
   "PLEASE tell me that the polluting humans in general, and the RDA in particular did not have the power to destroy the Earth the way we just witnessed."
   Sharon nodded to Chip and said, "You are the resident geologist, Chip.  You have the floor."
   Chip cleared his throat and said, "As much as certain people in the RDA  might have gotten a perverse pleasure at the notion of wielding that kind of absolute power, neither they, nor humanity in general, have the kind of power to end the Earth as we knew it, with such speed, short of all out nuclear war.  Exactly what happened, we may never know until we meet Eywa face to face. But there are a very few theories that had been postulated in the last two centuries of what might have caused it."  With that he looked at Sharon and said, "Sharon here, will tell you of a theory, that has been held by a fair number of geologists, but that can only be backed up emperically."
   Sharon smiled at them all and began; "The Earth has three main components if viewed in cross-section:  The iron-nickel core, which some say spins at a very fast speed; the very hot magma; and the crust on the surface. It is pretty well agreed that the magma acts as a liquid slip-clutch between the rapidly spinning iron-nickel core, and the slow spinning crust.  There are those that believe that there are NULL ZONES in space, where gravity waves, and magnetic fields are at much lower strengths.  If the Earth were to enter a large area of such a disturbance, it could alter this viscosity of the magma, thereby altering its coefficient of friction, causing tremendous strain on the plates, causing the weakest of them to sheer, starting a domino effect on all of them.  This could cause exactly what we saw in our rear view, climbing away from a rapidly dying flora and fauna of Earth.  In my opinion, the Earth itself is not dead, but almost everything on it or in its seas IS dead.
   "Put bluntly, Ladies and gentlemen, I FIRMLY believe two things even more so now, than I did a month ago.  The things of which I have an unshakable faith in now, are that we made it out of this hellish cauldron because Eywa saw in each of our hearts, and what she saw was their Blue Core beliefs.  I believe that we WILL be tested, but only to show us, that we HAVE been chosen to bring the message that we have with us to the rest of Eywa's far flung creation for other's to see.
   "In closing, in case anyone is interested, I know that I know, that one day, I know not when, or how, all of us will be rewarded by becoming TRULY Na'vi, spiritually, mentally, AND physically."
   Sharon looked to her right, lovingly, at Pamela and said, "Pamela, I get the sense that if you don't get to say something soon, you are going to explode.  Please Share with us."
   "Thank you Sharon," said Pamela with a troubled voice.  "It's funny that you should say that we all will be rewarded by becoming Na'vi because for the past three nights, that is what I have dreamed.  Once I dreamed that I had died, that we all had died, the other two times was unexplained. Maybe it's just wishful thinking, but maybe not.
   "The other thing that you said that startles me, is your easy admission that Eywa is directly responsible for getting us this far.  Now, I was never comfortable with the of the God that I grew up with.  I truly identify with a deity that is at least partially female. My thoughts never were appreciated at Sunday school. It is such a relief to consider that Eywa is real to you, to us, and not just a Na'vi construct that we are observing."
   While Pamela was speaking, each in their own time nodded in agreement, to what she had been shown in dreams for the last three nights.
   "Then I guess it is safe to say, that we all have had the same dreams during the last three nights, correct?" queried Sharon.
   Everyone agreed, and over the remainder of the morning meal, they engaged in joyous descriptions of their dreams of Pandora and one day, becoming true Na'vi.

Niri Te:
CHAPTER TWELVE
   Pamela walked into the combined mess hall that also served as the classroom, and dayroom, in a cheerful mood,  and asked, "Srak ayoeng lu nìltsan?" (Yes/No We are well?)
Sharon replied, "Prrte lu kera kelku." (Pleased to be going home.)
And Jim answered, "Oeru 'efu ohawk!" (To me is hunger!)
   "Well in two weeks we have learned to make easy statements to each other that make sense," observed John cheerfully.
  Steve added, "With the number of weeks ahead of us, if we keep it up, we should be O.K. when we arrive home."
   "Speaking of 'home'," mentioned Wendy as she walked into the room, and up to Sharon, "I understand that you have been helping your teammates come to grips with the concept that Eywa and the Judeo-Christian God may very well be One and the Same entity.  You also effectively used existing Earthly religious thought and Bible texts to lend credence to your beliefs."
   "I am not on some evangelical mission, if that is what you are concerned about." answered Sharon. "But when I made the statement that it certainly appears like Eywa pulled the plug on Humanity on Earth, amd the way that it happened planet-wide so quickly, with volcano induced fires, and instantly lethal super-heated air, that it fulfilled, if you will, the way the god of the Christians and Jews said the world would end.  It got us to talking."
   Usually the quiet one, Steve piped up with, "And it all seems to make a lot of sense, when you notice that we are the ONLY Earthlings to make it off the planet before it turned into a sudden Hell.  Furthermore, every step of the way, all of us, you three included, made it out of there to show every species who wish to know, what the price of unfettered greed is."
   Jim Hanson jumped in with, "Sharon shared with us what she felt abut the way we left the planet, and got Pamela, and then the rest of us to divulge our shared dreams. Which none of us knew the others had."
   "Sharon seems to have a sensitivity for this kind of stuff," volunteered Pamela.
   "Oh I didn't mean to be accusatory."  replied Wendy, "I think it's kind of neat that our little clan, if you will, seems to be getting its own Tsahik."
   "Wait a minute here," injected Sharon.  "I never wanted to make myself out as someone who could interpret the Will of Eywa."
   "But WHO is the ONLY one here that majored in Theology at an S.D.A. Bible college?" said Pamela with a grin, while demurely pointing at Sharon.
   "Oh we never heard about this," exclaimed Jim, "please DO tell us about it Pamela."
   Pamela grinned mischievously at Sharon.  "We two, MOE, served in the Army together.  Then we both ended up at the University of Tennessee, studying Engineering.  She in Aeronautics, and me in Avionics.  Then we split directions.  I went to the University of Miami to study Marine Biology, and she went to a Seventh Day Adventist college on Tennessee.  We met up again at the University of Hawaii.  At that point we decided to obey destiny and join the ranks at the research facility.  That is a very good thing, because I thought she was going to get all religious on me, and not move past a pen-pal relationship."
   Sharon looking somewhat relieved, said, "See?  There you have it!  I am neither a great theologian nor some wise insightful esoteric guru sitting on some mountaintop.  I could never hope to be someone who can ascertain Eywa's will.  I don't mind discussing spiritual matters.  But I think it would be presumptuous for me to claim myself as Tsahik.  I would like that no one here apply that honorable title to me, either."
   "I was just wondering about some of the things that I had heard about, Sharon. I was not trying to get you to change your life's calling," apologized Wendy.
   "No offense taken Wendy, I just needed to nip any speculation in the bud," answered Sharon.  "NOW, who wants some lunch?"

Navigation

[0] Message Index

[#] Next page

Go to full version