As some of you might now know, my brain doesn’t really sit still with one thought for too long. It’s always running at full steam with a bazillion ideas floating around my head every which-way at top speeds. Often times, I’ll latch onto something, work on it feverously, and then completely forget it about it for months afterwards. Well, today I thought it would be nice to share one of those ideas that I’ve been working on with all of you out there.
This is an excerpt from a Young Adult, Sci-Fi novel that I’ve been playing around with called, Beyond The Horizon. It tells a story of solitude, science, and a little bit of humor as our main character, Commander Atma Alby, attempts to make his way back home through a black hole. In the excerpt, you’ll see a bit of his past, before being stranded, and some of what he was dealing with before leaving his home.
I hope that you all enjoy and if you have any ideas or suggestions, feel free to leave a comment or get in contact with me through the social mediaverse.
Far out folks!!
“Atma!” I woke up with a start. The banging on my door was both repetitive and annoying. I slowly raised my head off of my desk, bits of scrap paper and half-baked schematics stuck to my face, I lazily wiped them off. As I arched my back and stretched my arms out wide, I glanced around my room. In the few short days after moving into the research facility, I had turned it upside down from its once pristine condition. Scrap electronics, day old nutrition packs, and mountains of crumpled papers littered the floors. I had managed to destroy the room entirely, but it felt like home. The pounding beat of the door stopped momentarily.
“Atma Alby, you open this door right now. I know you’re in there!” Slowly I raised myself up from my seat and pushed across the room towards the door. Its heavy, wooden frame tugged open as it bulldozed papers and garbage across the floor.
“Well it’s about damn time! We’re going to be late and I’ve heard General Nyx doesn’t like to be kept waiting.” A tall, slender frame stood before me. Her hair was shoulder length, bright turquoise, and her eyes shown like embers in a fire. Her face was sharp, pointed like she’d been carved from stone, every angle perfect and full of detail that only she could wear.
“Ah, um, Ms. Raiba, thank you for, um, waking me. I must have fallen asleep during my research again.”
“How many times have I told you, call me Zuli. We’re going to be working together for some time, I’d prefer that we treat each other with the camaraderie of friends more so than co-workers.” She stood there for a moment, hands placed firmly on her hips, tapping her nails against the regulation light-weave fabric of her labcoat.
“Well,” she questioned impatiently, “shall we?”
“Oh, yes, of course. If you’d allow me one moment I’ll be right out.” I lifted my hands in a pleading fashion and she waved me off to allow time for changing into my work clothes. I quickly grabbed my labcoat, threw on what I assumed was a fresh shirt, and pulled on a pair of white slip-on’s. Zuli was still waiting impatiently on me and as soon as I opened the door a second time she began to walk down the hallway towards the conference area. The door slammed shut behind me and I ran to catch up.
“So Ms. Ra-”
“Zuli,” she interrupted.
“Yes, Zuli, what was it that drew you into joining the research team? If we are to become, um, acquainted I’d like to know some of your qualifications for the project.”
“I’ve seen the other side of Alpha Nine.” She said it so abruptly, I thought she might be trying to pull one over on me. But when no laughter came, I had to pry.
“What do you mean you’ve ‘seen’ the other side? There’s no recorded data on anything beyond the event hori-”
“Remember a few years ago when the United Nation Operations picked up one, singular launch towards A-9? They tried to play it off like it was some backwoods, mad scientists attempt at detonating a large-scale, thermonuclear explosion at the epicenter of Alpha Nine. Backed by some pieced together footage of the rocket exploding just before reaching the event horizon, the media bought it and the event was never brought up again. But that, Mr. Alby,” she stopped and turned to face me. I was so entranced by what she was saying that I stopped just short of being nose-to-nose with her.
“That was a lie.” She grew quiet for a moment as we stood there, looking at each other.
“They found me a few months later. I was holed up with an underground group determined to prove that our government was keeping something from us. They confiscated everything, including the only thing that was keeping me going.”
My jaw had hit the floor well before this point, but now, I was starstruck. I breathed deep and finally spoke.
“That was no weapon, it was surveillance. You sent a camera through and you captured something, didn’t you? What did it look like? Could you see anything clearly?” So many questions were buzzing in my head that I hadn’t noticed how quiet she had grown.
She looked right into my eyes and I could see clearly now, the anger in her eyes.
“You asked me why I joined? Well I didn’t, I was drafted. I’m the first person to ever capture useable data beyond the event horizon. That and an advanced knowledge of the quantum fluctuations Alpha Nine puts off, they saw me as useful. I was deemed ‘government property’ and given the choice of participating in this little trail run in exchange for no jail time. Now, Atma Alby, we should hurry before we’re both reprimanded for tardiness.”
She turned and once again began to quickly walk towards the conference area. As I followed behind her, my brain fired on all cylinders trying to piece together what I had just been told. That there was physical data of something beyond the event horizon. That this woman had seen it, held it in her hands. That I was working with her. Everything I had worked for, sacrificed to get here and this woman was simply ‘drafted’ due to random circumstances. If I could discern one thing from what she said, it was that we were on the verge of something that would change all of our lives from this point on.