The Columbus gently drifted into the wilds of space after releasing its embrace on the space station's docking port. Major Derec Landon and his crew had now officially begun the longest space mission ever attempted. Every mission in space had its risks, but this was the riskiest mission Derec had ever been a part of and he was in charge.
Derec felt confident in the skills of his crew. The six of them had competed against the best to be on this mission. This team was the best the Galactic Alliance (GA) had to offer. His crew had trained harder during the last year than any he had ever worked with before. Now they were sitting on the bridge of the most advanced ship ever built, buckled up, and ready for whatever they might find. A successful mission would mean Derec's name would be engraved in the history books. His life would finally be significant.
Endings and Beginnings
Derec went to the EM engine status panel. All indications were normal there as well.
She joined him at the panel. "Couldn't you have checked all this from the bridge?"
"Sure, but I feel better if I can actually see it."
"Maybe that is why I am here too. I'm not sure why I needed to see these systems." She glanced back toward the doorway. "Have you thought much about what you will do when we get back to Earth?"
Derec looked back at the panel and hesitated before saying, "I've given it some thought."
"And, I mean besides all the being famous stuff."
Derec let out a long breath. "Oh, you think about that too? I didn't know if I was the only one."
"We all imagine ourselves coming back the big heroes," she said. "But, what are you planning to do after all the interviews and ezine articles?"
"When I signed up for this mission, I realized that technology is going to be forty years ahead of me. It's going to be difficult making myself useful again. Maybe, I can simply ride my fame to retirement."
She laughed and glanced back toward the doorway again. "Maybe, and that is kind of what I was about to say. I have been thinking about my future on earth a lot lately." She looked into Derec's eyes as if searching for something. "If we find life, everyone will know about us. We could travel the world telling people about the aliens."
The officer's face hardened, and he hobbled over to Telenra and screamed at him, "Will you deny Onmey and accept Balatrey?"
"Balatrey is a demon, not a god." Telenra's eyes blazed with defiance. He had always had a strong faith. Madarey admired that in his friend.
The officer backhanded Telenra so hard, it knocked him to the ground. The two Drafarian soldiers tied him up as they had the first soldier.
As they tied Telenra, Madarey heard the screams of the soldier on the fire, which were beyond what he had thought possible. Then Madarey learned of a new level of suffering as the screams increased even more. Those screams crescendoed into a roaring silence.