Rated: 18+ · Short Story · Sci-fi · #2291637
Black Holes weren’t what most Races thought them to be. Living in them was possible.
Living in a Black Hole
“What happened,” shouted Willunan Rootun. Willunan tried sitting in a chair behind his parents, Casum Rootun and Heluna Rootun.
“I don’t know,” said Casum as he continued trying to get their family spacecraft from tossing and turning. Tossing all six of them from side to side. The long metal braces over their legs and arms kept them from falling out of their chairs.
Expect for Casum and Heluna who needed their hands to control their spacecraft. “A planet suddenly appeared behind us,” said Casum.
“Why didn’t our External Detection warn us about it?” Anderri Rootun asked.
“Don’t know,” answered Heluna. “Probably the Black Hole we are checking out is doing it somehow.”
“Everyone brace yourself,” said Casum. “This planet is headed for this Black Hole, and it’s pushing us into it with them.”
Casum tapped a few buttons. The image on the monitor changed to show that planet pushing them toward that Black Hole. One second, they were heading toward it. The next second they were heading into it with the planet right behind them. Suddenly, everything went black.
Slowly, Casum opened his eyes. Casum started looking around. He was still braced in his chair. Everyone else was up and moving around. “Where are we? What’s going on? The last thing I remember is us being pushed into a Black Hole.
“It’s about time you woke up,” said Heluna. “The rest of us have been awake for one to three days.”
“As for where we are, we don’t know. I think we passed through that Black Hole and crashed landed on this planet,” answered Heluna.
Casum released his braces and got up. “Is everyone okay? What about our spacecraft?”
“Everyone is okay,” answered Heluna. “Unfortunately, I can’t say the same for our spacecraft. On this almost barren sand planet, it’s going to take Anderri another ten years to fix it.”
“What do you mean ten more years?” Casum asked.
“It means we will be here another ten years,” answered Anderri. “Oh, you’re asking me what I meant by ‘another.’”
“I may look like I’m thirteen, but I should be seventeen. We have been here for three years.”
Anderri crawled out from under that part of their spacecraft. “It has taken me almost nine years, but I have finally fixed it.”
“That’s great,” said Casum. “How soon can we leave this planet?”
“I have a few more things to check out,” answered Anderri. “It shouldn’t take me long. We should be ready to leave here in a few days.”
Casum patted Andeeri on her shoulder. “That’s great. The sooner we leave here the better.”
“We can leave this planet, but finding our way home isn’t going to be easy. Not because it may be billions or trillions of miles away, but because of where we are,” said Nornim Rootun.
“I have been exploring this planet for almost nine years. Trying to find out where we were. Haven’t been able to do that, and I know why. It’s because we never left that Black Hole, we entered about twelve years ago.”
Everyone looked shocked. “That can’t be true. We can’t be in a Black Hole. We may have stayed alive long enough to pass through it, be we can’t still be living here. Especially, not for the last twelve years,” said Casum.
Nornim smiled. “Not unless almost everyone in the universe is wrong about Black Holes.”
“It has been just over seventeen years since we started looking for our way out of this Black Hole,” said Willunan. “If we are still in one. I don’t think Nornim knows what he’s talking about.”
“Physically, I may be eight, but I have been in this Black Hole for the past twenty-nine years too. Besides, if we aren’t in a Black Hole, then where are we? Why haven’t seen anything that looks familiar to any of us?”
Nornim pointed at a Black Hole on their large monitor. “There’s another one. Maybe this one will be the one who takes us back home.”
“How many Black Holes have we checked out in the last Seventeen years?” Casum asked.
“This one will make fifty-three, I think,” answered Nornim. “Why do you ask?”
Casum pointed to their Black Hole too. “What makes you think this is our Black Hole?”
“I don’t know if this is the one, but ours is out there somewhere. We just need to find it.”
“If we could have gone through any of them, we would be even more lost than we already are. I know the Black Hole that brought us here will help us to get back home.”
Casum was frantically pushing buttons on his control panel in front of him. He looked up at that monitor. The planet they were headed for very quickly was getting closer. After pushing a few more buttons, he turns toward his Young Ones standing behind him and Heluna. “Get back to your chairs and brace yourselves with a full-body brace.”
As the Young Ones did as they were told, Casum looked over at Heluna. “You had better join them. I don’t know if I can land us without destroying most of our spacecraft.”
“I think I can land before this chamber is destroyed too, but there is a very good chance I will die doing this. We both can’t die.”
Even before Casum stopped talking, Heluna got up. After sitting down between her Young Ones, Heluna pushed a button on each armrest. The brace that covered her entire body slid over her. She now looks like her Young Ones. Only the small holes in that bracing were the ones for their eyes, ears, nose, and mouth could be seen.
Casum stared at their large monitor as they got closer to that planet. Suddenly, that chamber started shaking violently. They could hear and see their spacecraft falling apart on the large monitor. Using Closeness, they saw their spacecraft disappear into some clouds. A few seconds later there was an extremely loud explosion.
That time it was Heluna who opened her eyes. As she sat up in a sitting position, she started looking around. “Don’t tell we have been asleep for another three years?”
“No,” said Tallim. “It has only been about six hours since we saw you land your spaceship here. I just got here first because I’m twelve. The others will be here soon.”
“Where is the rest of my family? Don’t tell me I’m the only one who lived through this crash landing?”
Tallim smiled. “There was no crash landing.”
“If we landed safely, where are the rest of my family?” Heluna asked.
Tallim pointed to a small mountain. “They are on the other side of that. You were the first one we brought to this side. We were about to go get the others when you woke up. The others are still by your spaceship.”
“You said something about our spacecraft, not crash landing. Does that mean we can get off this planet?”
“Your spaceship has been damaged some, but it will move again. Unfortunately, you and your family won’t. Now that you are here, you are here forever too.”
Casum and Heluna were walking down a large open area when Tallim came running up to them. “Have you seen Nornim? We were supposed to go exploring together again.”
“We haven’t seen him since First Eating,” said Heluna. “He wasn’t there for Second Eating. That’s strange for him. He’s usually there for eating time. Should we be worried about that?”
“Probably not until Third Eating and Fourth Eating,” said Casum. “If he misses them too, then there might be something wrong.”
Casum, Heluna, and Tallim kept walking while they were talking. “I don’t think there’s anything to worry about,” said Heluna. “You know him. Once he starts exploring, he loses track of time. Usually, not this much time, but it still happens sometimes.”
“Where were you going today?” Casum asked.
“There are some Underground Openings near here,” answered Tallim. “We were going to go there again.”
Tallim smiled. “That’s probably where he’s at. I was supposed to meet him at your spaceship, but I had something I needed to do before I could go exploring with him.”
Just then Nornim came running up to them. Nornim was yelling. “I found out why we can’t leave here.”
Nornim led the way through the Underground Openings. They stopped when they got to a large open area. In the center of this open area, there was a large machine.
“There is one problem, though. It’s protected by some kind of weird Protection.”
“That’s not a problem,” said Anderri. “Any Protection can be gotten through.”
They started walking again. “Getting past it isn’t the problem. It’s what happens after that.”
Everyone stopped when they got to that machine. Except for Nornim. He stepped through that Protection and almost instantly aged sixty years. Quickly, Anderri and Fornine Rootun reached in and pulled Nornim out. Their arms and hands aged a little. All three were back to normal once they were out of that Protection.
“I can destroy it, but I need to be the one to do it. I’m one of the youngest ones here. Aging that old won’t be a problem for me.”
Fornine stepped forward. “I’m not that much older than you are. I should be the one to go in there.”
“I’m only a couple of years older than you Fornine,” said Anderri. “I should be the one. Besides, if anyone can destroy it, it’s me.”
Anderri blamed herself for not being able to destroy that machine. For the next five years, she had been trying to figure out how they could leave that planet. Not eating or sleeping most of the time.
The rest of the Rootuns were eating when Anderri came running into that chamber. “I know how we can leave this planet despite that machine.”
“We can’t use only one spacecraft to do it. One spacecraft can’t give us enough power to do it, but twenty to thirty combined should be able to.”
The rest of the family looked at each other. Then back at Anderri. “That might just do it,” said Casum. “If we can get enough others to help.”
“Don’t think that will be a problem,” said Anderri. “I know there are a lot who won’t, but I think most of them will help us.”
“What if we can do this? Then what? Do we start looking for our Black Hole again?” Casum asked.
"I don’t think we should. Even if we find it right away me and Heluna won’t survive going through it. We will already be too old. You probably can, but you will be very old too.”
Fornine ran up to Tallim when he showed up to watch them leave. “Come with us. We aren’t going to try to find our Black Hole anymore.”
A few minutes later Nornim entered Spacecraft Controls alone. “Couldn’t convince him to come too, could you?” Anderri asked.
As Fornine got in her chair and braced herself, Casum contacted the other twenty-four spacecraft. Several minutes later, those twenty-five connected spacecraft lifted from that planet. Just as they were about to leave it, they all started their power output. That’s when it happened.
The power output destroyed the machine keeping them there. As they were leaving that planet, a shock wave of energy swept outward from that machine in all directions. Destroying everything in its path. Except for all of the inhabitants there. They aged sixty years instantly. Most died immediately. Some weren’t so lucky. They died too, but it took them longer and it was more painful.
Quickly, Heluna tapped a few buttons on her control panel. The chairs the Young Ones were in turned around so they couldn’t see what was happening. Casum leaned over toward Heluna and spoke to her in a whisper. “We just destroyed a planet. Over a billion were still there. Including Tallim.”
Word Count = 1,986