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6001, An Earth Odyssey

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posted on Jan, 26 2006 @ 04:14 AM
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I've been really cold on my writing lately, but I thought I'd take a stab at the contest. Despite the sci-fi start, this is actually an lost civilizations story once you get through the lead-in.
Feel free to tell me what you think- style critiques are obviously welcome.

As for where the story came from- I used to believe pretty strongly in the idea of an ancient civilization that was destroyed by a nuclear war, so what I've done is draw upon that to recreate the story with America/Europe as the lost civilization- so it's not really just a story, but also a bit of a "sanity check" to question whether or not "losing" an advanced civilization is really possible. So without further ado...

(By the way, I'll be finishing this story tomorrow or the next day with 1 or 2 more chapters, and the progress of the story will be leaping forward a bit in those chapters)

CHAPTER 1

"WHAT THE HELL WAS THAT, YI?!"
"Shut up, I'm busy!"
"Tell me what happened!"
"You said our course avoided the old missile defense satellites, but somebody didn't account for orbital decay, so they saw us and we got boned- bad."

Colonel Jin said nothing.
Yao, the co-pilot, turned to the political officer in disgust, but thought better of saying anything; he was already on thin ice with the Colonel.

Yi quickly sealed off several compartments and redirected power to backup lines. His reward was a host of warning lights. The life support system was bleeding profusely. Yi quickly gave the override command and shut the lines- the alarm stopped.

"What are you doing?" the colonel barked.
"Landing... at 1' North, 23' East- give or take. The briefing said there was a base there."
"No! The moon is strictly off limits. You must land us at the designated target on Earth!"
"Impossible. We're putting down on the moon, locating the life support leak, and making sure our hull is intact."
"Then you will land further East. The base at 01', 23' is irradiated."
"I listened to the briefing. Cancer takes years- screwing up would be much worse."
"How long does being shot for treason take, comrade?"
Yi called the commissar's bluff.
"They're not going to shoot the hero of Ceres. I saved our water from the Japanese, remember? Now I'm taking China back to Earth, and you're here to record my valor for the peasants- so do it. The war is over and you're not in charge anymore!"

Yao stared in disbelief, as did the commissar. Yi had always had a well-earned chip on his shoulder, but things had definately changed since the mission was announced. The tall, muscular Korean had immediately been seized upon by the media as the star of the crew and afforded a near god-like status. To make matters worse, he was in charge.

Yao shook his head and began preparing to land as Yi guided the ship in.
"I hope this works, Yi." (translation- you're going to kill us all)


Five frantic hours later, the flight engineer climbed into the command center, soaked in sweat and gasping for breath in the heavy, spent atmosphere of the cabin. Yi and Jin were both asleep, trying to conserve oxygen. Yao acknowleged him.

"What's our status comrade Kim?"
"The life support leak is internal- we can open the lines and sustain a breathable atmosphere for several more hours. In that time I can seal the leaks and repair the fans to get the CO2 processors back up. Our entire water supply is gone though, and the waste tank... well as long as you don't unseal compartment five that will only be a minor inconvenience."

Yao tried to focus on the good news, but it was not lost on him that they had no water, and did not yet know if their hull could be repaired for an Earth entry.

"Anything else?"
"Um.." Kim obviously had something on his mind, but stopped and continued his report.
"Yes, my men have confirmed that the reactor is intact. Doctor Kwan assures me that our... payload... is undamaged- I still don't really understand what those little cans are going to do to a whole planet..."
"Nevermind that part Kim. Are we OK or not."
"Yes... except for the new one- forgive me I forget his name. He... he was in compartment 8 when the explosion occurred. He never responded on the intercom, so I believe he died swiftly."
"I'm sorry to hear that Kim. Carry on and report again when your repairs are complete so that we can go to work on the hull. I'm sure that our departed comrade would like to see the remaining seven of us accomplish the mission for our people."
"Of course sir."
Kim turned to leave... "Um... sir? There is one other thing- if you have the chance to look out the starboard porthole from compartment 2. It's... interesting." Kim hurried back to work without bothering to explain.

Yao watched him leave with an incredulous silence.
What was that about?... Oh well. He reactivated the lifesupport system and took a deep breath, anxious to be relieved of the fatigue which had begun to come over him as the air in the craft depleted. The warning lights came back to life- completely oblivious to the fact that everything was OK. Yao looked at them, then glanced at the sleeping commissar. There was some similarity- even if Yi was being a jackass about it.

He stretched and eased himself down the ladder into compartment two. The artificial gravity really did take some of the fun out of space. Just as well though. He'd never been in anything quite as strong as Earth's gravity, and he remembered the aches he'd had when he was transfered from Ceres to Mars. Over the past several months, on the space station and now on the voyage, gravity had been steadily increased, but had still only reached 70% of Earth's.

He helped himself to the window, confident that all he would see is a wrecked space station, left over from the beginning of the war- over a century ago- when Muslim-Indian alliance had driven the other nations out of the inner planets. He never had understood what anybody wanted with two planets too hot for human occupation and a lifeless, seismically violent Earth...

But that didn't matter much. Because there were no ruins outside. There was, however, a strange flag. Red and white stripes with a blue field and stars... Muslims? No... no green or black, and no moon.
Who the devil put you there... and where did you put my moon base?

"Yao," he jumped at the call. Yi must have woke up and noticed the warning lights.
"Yes, the life support's fixed Yi."
"Good man. Let me get a look at that base- anything look useful?"
Yao stepped aside and waited to see the reaction.
"Yao... good god Yao have you seen this?"
"What's to see? Somebody's put a badly designed flag where our spare parts are supposed to be."

"No... don't you get it! There's no base out there. The Indians aren't the reason we left the inner planets. That dang flag is."
"It doesn't look so threatening."
"Only because you don't read enough. I think that might be the white people's flag- they were real. The lost nation of Washington."
"White people? Have you ever seen one? Why not just come on and blame aliens- or are the white people aliens too- maybe wizards and witches too? I don't have such a good memory for fairy tales."

"No, they weren't aliens, but they weren't communists either supposedly- and it worked- maybe even better than communism. If they exist, then Mao isn't the father of civilization, the Japanese system was older than ours- potentially even as good as ours, and the damned Muslims will probably revise their history yet again and whip up some whole new reason to claim themselves as the chosen people and rebel."

"But if all that's true and the Japanese system was OK, why did Japan collapse?"
"Because after I destroyed their flagship at Ceres, water became more expensive than Uranium for the outer planets."
"You single handedly made Japan collapse?"
"Well... granted it was a lot easier since everyone was shooting at you for some reason... but yeah, I did it."
They both chuckled at Yi's arrogance.

"I'm gonna see if Kim can spare some men to check out the hull right now. If you're going back to sleep you better check under the bed for white people first."
Yi just rolled his eyes. He was sure he was right.

[edit on 26-1-2006 by The Vagabond]

[edit on 2-1-2006 by worldwatcher]




posted on Feb, 1 2006 @ 02:05 PM
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If the judges have not already done it, please do not judge this story, since it is incomplete.

Thanks



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