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The transmission of flight number eight

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posted on Jul, 16 2003 @ 10:52 PM
--- chapter one ---



This is Lieutenant Kent Allison beginning aural log of stellar modal conversion device test number eight. I have been instructed to maintain a continual voice monolog of my thoughts and observations for the duration of this test. It is now t-minus one hour, eleven minutes, and eight seconds to conversion time.

This test is the fourth manned experimental launch of the stellar modal conversion device developed by Alliance Space Agency. The official record of this test is coded as follows, device serial beta point niner-seven, capsule series is Hawkings-three, and accelerated transponder is enabled for this mission.


I'm not really sure what I'm supposed to say.


I guest I should point out that this monolog is being recorded both locally here in the cockpit, and being transmitted on two external channels. One channel is an optical link via laser to the launch control about 10 clicks away, and the other is through UHF relay.

The idea is that if one or two channels are lost, there will be one surviving channel.


Surviving. Shouldn't have said that.




This is test number eight. No one knows the results of the first seven tests because, well, there are no results.

The first four tests were robotic drones with no trace of the capsules in the target recovery zone. The next two tests were two-man crews that also were unrecovered. Lucky number seven was a three-man crew, one great pilot and two brilliant physicists. It was supposed to be a grand achievement. Everyone was so certain the adjustments would bring success, all hope rode on number seven.


Number eight is a one-man crew -- me.


I'm not a brilliant physicist nor a great pilot, just a capable person who knows enough to talk about what he sees out the window. The last flight had a laser link, and they caught a few words after conversion, garbled but clear. They were "Stop now, now", then nothing.

So with the accelerated transponder, and the UHF link, we hope to get a few more clues as to why the other tests have failed.


Damn protocol. I'm about to die.


I'm an expendable guinea pig. A talking monkey whose final words will be examined to help the chances of flight test nine to succeed.

I shouldn't complain, I volunteered. Things are desperate. We need this, and we need it bad.

--- chapter two---

Ever since the last attack, A.S.A. has been scrambling to mount some kind of offensive capability. There can't be any offense if you never are in a position to attack. They really caught us by surprise.

Maybe in the future they'll name a school after me. Test Pilot Eight Elementary School... yeah, sounds about right.


Not much to say really. I'm just waiting for the tugs to get to their safe distance and the countdown to reach zero. I wish this damn capsule had more windows, I can't even see earth, much less the moon.

Thoughts and observations you want huh? Okay, here's a thought, stellar modal conversion device is a crock. for the past two years, all effort, funding and research has gone into this one technology as the only thing that can possibly save the whole human race. What a mistake... we're doomed.


Stellar human termination device is more like it.


Damn, I don't want to die. I wonder what went wrong with the last flights. Flight seven was supposed to be the one that worked. One minute they're not far from the Moon, a few minutes later, just outside the orbit of Mars. Simple, right.

Right... so simple, engage a modal trion field, initiate conversion of all matter within that field to tachyons, wait a couple seconds, convert all tachon matter back to normal mode one matter. They had it licked they said. Everything on complete automatic, calculations checked and rechecked, timing was perfect, and everyone smiled. Then the silence. Oh, except "Stop now, now".

Why did they want to stop? And why couldn't they?


And the voice, it was strained, as if something were squeezing the life out of them.

Not two days later, the next attack came. The entire Armstrong Complex destroyed. Over ten thousand people killed.


Damn that was loud.

This isn't like the old earth launches of a hundred years ago. No radio channels full of hopeful chatter, no multiple checks of systems and flight crews. This is just me, and a frantic planet watching in silence.

Tachyons. Trion fields. No one thought much of these things three years ago, now they are the last hope of humanity. And the last seven hopes went up in flames. I wonder how many more chances we have?

What went wrong? What failed? And more important... did they actually change anything other than the communications link?

--- chapter three ---


Let's think here... what is different about this test?

I'm sitting in the same conversion zone as flight seven, fifteen-hundred kilometers out from the Moon's orbit, pointing in the general direction of Saturn, and drifting at about 10 kilometer a second.

The capture zone is Deep Sentry Seven, three point two light minutes away roughly in the orbit of Mars.

Conversion is automatically controlled, trion coils fire up, all matter is converted to tachyons, current speed is added to the speed of light, and I speed toward the capture zone at 299,802 kilometers a second. Exactly 185.7894 seconds later, trion coils reverse, tachyons are converted back to normal mode matter.

Everything is exactly the same as flight seven. Of course, I know this, I've known this for the past two weeks. I just have to have something to say, after all, I'm no scientist, what am I even bothering with these thoughts for?

Trimodal matter. What if the theories are wrong? Only brief short tests of the trion conversions have ever succeeded. And we jump from that to the desperate hope of stuffing pilots in capsules and hoping it all works?


Almost twenty minutes until I die... or worse. Do you hear this everyone? I've gone nuts. The once highly thought-of and promising Lieutenant in the Joint Forces Stellar Navy, now reduced to babbling incoherently about physics and his eventual demise. I know you're listening Captain Terry, I...


Damn! Where's the volume control?

Right, settle down... I know where the volume is, I've been trained for this.

Trained to babble. Babble. Babble. Babble. Thoughts and observations. Observe this [--- expletive deleted ---] Terry.

Damn is hot in here. Is there enough air for this trip? Seems hotter than when I started.

"Stop now, now" is what they said. Why did they say that? They said it right away. Why? What the [--- expletive deleted ---].

They must have been going too fast... but how? The conversion to tachyons is... I can't remember. The formulas, what were they again. [--- expletive deleted ---] it, what do I know. Stop this Kent, you're only driving yourself crazy.

Crazy? [--- expletive deleted ---], what does it matter? I'm about to die, who cares about...



Okay. Sorry people. This is important and I got out of control. I'm okay now, I volunteered for this, I know. You need to know what goes wrong and when, the kind of stuff that automatic telemetry just can't provide. Okay. I'm alright. I can do this. We have to be able to respond to the attacks. It's up to me to provide you with the data you need to eventually make this work and save humanity.



I can do this.

"Stop now, now." I can't stop thinking about what they meant. Something happened too fast for them to respond to, and now they're dead, capsule lost, no other data other than scrambled nonsense telemetry.

Wait a minute, no...


It can't be that simple.

--- chapter four---

Or can it... let me think.

[--- expletive deleted ---]

What was that crap about kinetic energy in the stellar modal review. Who was the speaker? Damn, I can't remember... some theoretical physicist, not on the A.S.A. payroll.

[--- expletive deleted ---]

He had the only dissenting opinion of the stellar modal conversion process... and it was something about kinetic energy converting also.


I can't think.


I should just settle down and accept my role. A voice on a tape. Maybe someone to say the next two or three words we should have heard after, "stop now, now".

That might be enough. Someday they talk about Kent and what he said. His last words saved humanity. I suppose that's not a bad way to go.

I wish I could see earth.


I'm calm now. I'm better. My legacy to the future will be rational and level-headed.

Stop. Now, now.

Stop. Now, now.

What caused that? What did they see? Was it kinetic conversion? Does the trion field cause a conversion of energy? Nah, it can't. It's only converting matter into the hyper-state, one step before anti-matter.

Hyper-state. Tachyons, right? Or rather, what we thought were tachyons -- always traveling faster than light. Faster. Always. Inverse ratio of mass -- that's how Einstein was still correct.


Ten minutes. Alignment is correct. Vector has been stable. Velocity is... um... steady at 10k per second. Nearly stationary by galactic standards.

Stationary? Wait... what was I thinking? What the hell was so simple a few minutes ago? Kinetic energy! Right.

Inverse ratio... wait a minute... damn, (untranslatable) times did he say that? Something about energy and hyper-state.


I got it... he made sense. But the A.S.A. stellar dynamics planners thought he was all wrong. They targeted 10 kilometers per second, but he said it was much too slow. What did that mean again? He said it would result in nearly terminal tachyon velocity... T.T.V.



I need something to write on.


Nothing. Damn it. There's no time left. Less than ten minutes.

I'm going too slow. I know it. Hyper-state matter always moves faster than light, in an inverse ratio. So that means... if I'm nearly stationary now... I'm nearly terminal velocity when I convert.

Damn it Kent, who do you think you are? The stellar planners know this crap better than you.

But they've failed seven times... "Stop now, now."

That's it... that's the only explanation. Immediately after conversion, they realized they were going much too fast... in mere seconds, they overshot the capture zone... then they were gone forever.

I don't have anything other than some powerful thrusters... how much more speed do I need? The hell with it, it doesn't matter... here goes.

No. Wait. What if I'm wrong? I'll die anyway. If I'm right, I'm a hero and alive.

Alright. Here g-- Damn it... this sucks.


Thrusters primed. Firing forward thrusters on target vector.


Damn, I didn't expect this many g's.

Lieutenant Alison this is cap-com, we read main thruster engagement. Can you confirm?

Cap-com, that's right. I'm too slow.

Alison this is Terry, what the hell are you doing?


I turned off the com. They're not here, I'm here. It's my neck.

Oh... how will I know when to convert back to normal-mode? I have no idea how fast I'll be going and when I reach the capture zone. [--- expletive deleted ---]

[--- expletive deleted ---]
[--- expletive deleted ---]



What have I done? 24k per second now. How fast should I be? It doesn't matter.

I'm dead. That was stupid.



I'm sorry.





Right. They're charged. 41k per second... oh hell... the thrusters are still on!

[--- expletive deleted ---] lock down mode! [--- expletive deleted ---] [--- expletive deleted ---]

I can't shut down thrusters!


[--- expletive deleted ---]


[--- expletive deleted ---]


Cap-com help!


[--- expletive deleted ---] the link is off.


Cap-com disable lock down, I can't --



[--- expletive deleted ---]

I still converted. With thrusters on.

What's my velocity... hard to tell... everything is blurry... I can't see. It looks like just over 4 million kilometers a second... but I can't tell if that's a four or a nine... If it's four [--- expletive deleted ---] how long until the capture zone? [--- expletive deleted ---] 15 seconds... gotta convert now! Stop!

[--- expletive deleted ---]


[--- expletive deleted ---]

I went too far.


I can't tell where I am... the stellar triangulation isn't giving me anything... the antenna must have taken some damage.

Well... if anyone receives this, hitting the thrusters didn't--

Lieutenant Alison, this is capture-seven we have you just over 2 million kilometers past the capture zone. Break out your rations, hang-tight, and we'll see you in about two days. Copy?

[--- expletive deleted ---]

(untranslatable) (untranslatable) (untranslatable) (untranslatable)

[Edited on 22-7-2003 by SkepticOverlord]

posted on Jul, 16 2003 @ 10:55 PM
Major Tom in the making.

Look forward to the second instalment.

posted on Jul, 17 2003 @ 04:53 PM
chapter two added to the original post.

posted on Jul, 17 2003 @ 05:09 PM
Yo Wiliam...

Very very interesting post...

I thought it was the real deal untill i looked at the thread... and saw it was in Fiction... too bad....

But well done... you had me glued to my tft screen...

Please post some more if you have the time...



posted on Jul, 17 2003 @ 05:16 PM
That was great william. Can't wait for more.


posted on Jul, 17 2003 @ 05:49 PM
Very nice story!

posted on Jul, 18 2003 @ 12:41 PM
chapter three added -- one more to go

(This is a reconstruction of a story that was bought by Omni in 1983, then never published when a new editor came on and changed the fiction schedule. I can't find my original copy, so I'm rebuilding from memory.)

posted on Jul, 19 2003 @ 12:25 AM
Damn, you do know the meaning of cliff hanger

posted on Jul, 21 2003 @ 08:36 PM
William this is great. But how much longer to I have to wait for #4? I love this story.


posted on Jul, 21 2003 @ 08:43 PM

I'll have to finish this as best I can. The version I submitted to Omni has a boat-load of hard science at this point... and I can't seem to get together the details I once had.

I'll just wrap it up tonight.

posted on Jul, 21 2003 @ 08:46 PM
Great. I can't wait.


posted on Jul, 21 2003 @ 08:53 PM
this is very cool william. Well done.

posted on Jul, 21 2003 @ 10:48 PM
well... thanks for the coments everyone.

This isn't exactly the ending I remember way back then, but it's close.

posted on Jan, 11 2008 @ 02:12 PM
Wow, great idea! Really good story!

posted on Sep, 21 2011 @ 05:44 AM
reply to post by SkepticOverlord

Heya SO.

Does this story have any connection to the enigma game?

Because I noticed that the character in the short story is the same as on the first page of the website.

posted on Sep, 21 2011 @ 02:11 PM
reply to post by demoncleaner

I think you could be right old bean.

posted on Sep, 21 2011 @ 03:16 PM
cant find chapter 2...

posted on Sep, 23 2011 @ 02:03 PM
Who was it that recorded their voice to this document? As well, what was the time frame?

posted on Oct, 10 2012 @ 11:27 PM
Okay... so I'll be expecting my Nobel Prize for Physics this year...

Mathematicians Extend Einstein's Special Relativity Beyond Speed of Light

They are describing the exact premise I used where some matter is always traveling faster than light.


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