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Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/view_item/item_id/2275910-Blackhole-Save
Rated: E · Short Story · Contest Entry · #2275910
Contest entry for The Ultimate Trinket Adventure - Paranormal
Word count: 1692

Giphy Animation 3

“Run,” was the announcement over our individual speakers. Run where the bodiless voice didn’t say. Luckily there weren’t many choices. I headed off down the ravine toward our ship about three miles away. The dilapidated structure was the only place that could give us some resemblance to safety and with luck get us off this mistake of a planet. Everyone else decided to follow me.

The word run was repeated three more times with added hype before we reached the gangplank which was lifted off the ground enough we had to jump up. As each of my seven companions boarded I shoved them toward the bulkhead, leading to the center of the ship. Whoever was working the gangway was going to have a takedown by me, because they decided to continue the upper motion of the metal plank as we boarded. It was only by pure luck, that the last person was the tallest of us, and could reach my hand.

The metal door snapped into place and I dashed for the bulkhead door, swung it closed, and secured all five locking mechanisms. I felt the shudder of the ship’s engine as the last lock fell into place. I headed toward the control tower.

“What in blue blazes…”

Everyone, except the pilot, snapped to attention. “Captain on deck.”

“At ease you numbsculs. What were we running from?”
“On the other side of the clifts, a large number of unidentified beings were heading toward your position. They were definitely not friendly.”

I turned toward my second in command, Bertrum. “Did we get any kind of readings on the surface? Any possible locations of the Kolax Interference Stream?”

“No Cap. There was not even a hint the stream even existed there at any time in planet history.” Bertrum walked toward the flat map display table in the middle of the room. He pointed to the one place I was hoping we would not have to go. “The only place left to look is in this vicinity. Radar is picking up a strong signature of residue traveling away from us. There is a planetoid three parsecs ahead of its trajectory. The world has a network of very large caverns just below its surface. If the residue is strong enough it could reside there.”

“So we go there.”

“Cap, can I talk with you in your quarters for a moment?”

I lead my second to my small room off the main bridge and shut the door. I went to my closet and grabbed a clean shirt. Dawning it I asked, “So what’s up?”

“Sir, you know I will follow your orders at any time. It’s just … it’s just, Cap you know what we have to do to get to that piece of rock. I’m not sure all of our illustrious passengers would agree with what needs to be done.”

“Sit Bert.” When he took one of the chairs near the wall I sat behind my desk in the only comfortable chair on the ship. I rubbed my chin. On board, beside the six crew members, which included myself, were, seven members of the scientific community of our home planet of Poltarius. Poltarius was a dying planet needing crystals formed by soaking Camtou in Kolax Interference Stream vapors. It was not a hard process to carry out and Camtou was plentiful, but the home planet Kolax Interference Stream had died out three solar years ago. The scientific world left no words unsaid about how there were approximately eight solar years left before the Camtou crystals would start to disintegrate past the point where they could be repaired.

They were only half a solar year away from home, and the process took one solar year to complete, so their time was limited. I looked at my second and steepled my hands over my chest. “We don’t have a choice. Pull all personnel to the center of the ship. Double sceal all bulkheads. Protective clothes will be worn by everyone at all times. There will not be enough room for their equipment. They can use whatever is not destroyed when we get out of the other side of the maze. If any of the knuckleheads give you a problem have them talk to me and I will explain what is about to happen.”
“Sir…”

“No Burt. I want everything set before we hit the first layer of the event horizon. Now go.”

Burt stood slowly. “Yes Sir. I …”

“I know. I’m worried also, but we have no choice. Make sure the crew is completely informed on what we are about to do. They deserve to know how close to death we are about to descend.”

“Yes Sir.” Bert snapped a salute and left me to my own thoughts.

It had been a while since I maneuvered through what the ancients called a Blackhole.

<>=====<>=====<>

“Captain on deck.”

“At ease. Is everyone at their stations and our guest situated in a safe location?”

Bart huffed. “All the crew is on alert. We had to manhandle a couple of our ‘guests’ and confiscate some of the equipment they tried to sneak into the inner rooms. One of them actually tried to bring a radioactive mini-streamer. It would have ignited within the first event horizon, with the added pressure we are going to be experiencing.”

“If you have to strip them out of their clothes and then watch them dawn their individual protective gear do it.” I looked at the main screen. “Distance?”

“One-quarter parsec, Captain.”

“Very good. All ahead half speed. Put me on the intercom.  This is the Captain speaking. I want everyone in protective gear immediately. Stap into your assigned seats. Anyone not situated at a duty station, double strap and relax into your seats. Within a very short period of time, you will feel increased pressure. Don’t fight it. We are following the signature of a Kolax Interference Stream to a planetoid not far away. We believe there is a strong possibility the stream will take up residence there. Now settle in everyone, because here we go.”

I turned to the bridge crew. “Settle back everyone. If you are touching the panel, make sure your whole arm is situated on a flat surface so it can’t be bent. I have done this before so here’s hoping.” I settled back into my seat and stared at the panel. The pressure increase was gradual, gaining in strength steadily. I move my fingers closer to the levers I would have to manipulate.
Ten minutes later, by ship time, we were dead center into the interior of what appeared to be nothing. The engine had stopped, four minutes ago because they couldn’t keep up with the forward momentum we were traveling in. The hole was literally pulling us through. Now my hope was we were being pulled fast enough to be shot out the other side in the general vicinity of where we needed to be but not inside the piece of rock. The light could not escape from a blackhole, but an object traveling faster than light was not governed by those same rules.

Three members of the crew had passed out and the readings of the bodily functions of the scientist showed six of them were unconscious but breathing. I could feel the pressure, making it uncomfortable to even think but I was holding it together. I looked at the monitoring board. Only five minutes remained until the outer edge. We still were not out of danger. Being shot out of the otherside of this monstrosity surrounding us caused more stress than being in it. It would be like breaking through a three-foot wall of Trolite back home.

Five, four, three, two, one … crap. The release of pressure took me closer to blacking out than I would have preferred. “Report.” I listened to the stations report on how they were doing. “Burt, check on our guest.”

“Yes, Cap.”

“They’re all still alive at least.”

“Good. Get them up and moving. They can return to their areas and see if any of their equipment survived.” Checking the monitor I found we were close to the planetoid and surprisingly close to home. The hole had curved and bent time and space enough so we wouldn’t have to traverse it to get home.

“Landing party will consist of the four senior scientists, our spacial geologist, two security crew members, and myself. I want a close eye on the surface looking for inhabitants. If we locate a streamer we will collect samples, analyze them and decide what we are going to do. Carl, check the tanks to see if we can fill them at least three-quarters full. Another ship can be here in one-third of a solar year to collect more.”

“Yes Sir,” came over my headset.

<>=====<>=====<>

Thirty-five minutes later we stood on the barren surface of a non-hospital planetoid. We had to use individual nasal breathers. The gravity pull was only about three-quarters of home. As we walked toward a ridge a sonic boom ripped through the air. We all ducked.
“Captain to ship. What was that?”

“A miniature volcano just opened up about a hundred yards in front of you just over the rise. If I’m not mistaken Captain, it looks like we may have located our prize.”

“Checking.”

I walked the group around a knoll and found a blue-hued pulsating miniature volcano spewing … yep it was Kolax vapors, streaming into the atmosphere. “We have located our supply. Great job everyone. Ship send out the technicians needed to start collecting. I also need another member of security, to help keep these fools back from the stream. There is still a possibility it could open up further.

“On our way Captain.”

One day later the tanks were filled as much as the technicians allowed. The scientist was hunkered down in their labs, happy as a bunch of two -ear-olds celebrating the holidays. We were headed home, finally. Readings showed there was a huge supply of Kolax in the underground caverns. Apparently, there was a preexisting reservoir that attracted the space-bound stream and was ignited back into existence.

Life was good.
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