Planet X91 The Beginning, p.1Mark Stewart / Actions & Adventure / Science Fiction
Copyright Planet X91 2012: Mark Stewart. All rights reserved. No part of this story may be reproduced in any form without written permission from the author. This story is fictitious and a product of the author’s imagination. Resemblance to any actual person living or dead is purely coincidental.
Edited: Rosemary Cantala
Printed version: Amazon’s create space
Digital format: www.novelmaestro.com
In this series
Planet X91 the beginning
Planet X91 the new home
Planet X91 the underwater cave
Planet X91 the storm
Planet X91 the drought
Planet X91 the Fire
Planet X91 the plague
Planet X91 doorway to time
Planet X91 the new earth
Planet X91 alien amongst us
Planet X91 wayward asteroid
Planet X91 the unwelcome visitor
Planet X91 the Derelict
Planet X91 the hidden catacombs
Planet X91 descending into ID
Planet X91 sleeping disease
Planet X91the black hole
Planet X91ghost ship
Planet X91 SOS
Planet X91 interplanetary games
Planet X91 Decadence
and many more adventures
Earth orbit departure date: 2177AD
Destination planet X188: center of the Orion belt.
Ship: USS Lock.
Payload: Five-hundred crew members.
Crew status: Cryogenic freeze.
Goal: Colonize planet X188.
Earth departure time: Five years three months thirteen days.
Orbit ETA: Five years two months twelve hours
FIVE YEARS from Earth’s orbit found the USS Lock almost halfway to their destination.
Overhead lights flickered on, highlighting five hundred cryogenic freezer tubes in a large rectangular shaped room an area the size of four house blocks. There were ten rows of the tubes side by side. Inside each tube, behind the frosted glass a single person lay frozen.
The frosted glass dome on top of one of the freezer tubes slid back. A one metre tall cleaner robot near the tube didn’t look up at the noise. The robot’s job description; vacuum the entire ship.
Nothing else moved in the ghostly quiet.
A lone figure blinked and stretched his arms. Slowly he lifted himself from the deep freeze of cryogenic sleep. Stepping out of the unit his smile looked slightly crooked.
In silence, he walked towards the area set aside for the crew. The echo of his footsteps sounded deliberate. He walked past several frozen women crew members, hesitating only long enough to give them a sideways glance before moving along the rows.
The buzz of the cleaner robot coming closer forced the man to stop. He watched it slide past. A red light on the side of the unit signaled it needed to get back to its magnetic compartment to recharge the batteries. In around twenty hours it would start its cleaning duties again.
The man walked on.
He changed direction, deciding to march towards the right-hand side of the ship designated for the children. The metal shutters protecting the portholes were all closed tight. The figure didn’t slide one open to see the view.
The first freezer tube he stopped at contained a teenager. He unplugged the unit and wheeled it towards the shuttle bay.
The lone figure made three trips.
He picked out two boys, one twelve; the other sixteen. He knew the female was fifteen. A number identified each person. Hers was 16494. The other two were 27459 and 18450. He wheeled them into maintenance shuttle number one. He could have picked any one of the small twenty ships, but he didn’t want to waste time. The closest one would be suitable for what he needed. The man silently walked out of the air-lock, pushing a button to close the hatch. Wearing a satisfied smirk, he walked back to his freezer unit, changed the date to correspond with the other five hundred freezer tubes then slipped back inside. He watched the frosted glass dome close. He closed his eyes and went back to a frozen sleep.
The USS Lock, the first ship of twenty vessels was on its maiden voyage. Two trips per ship each lasting twenty years was planned. The massive ship, cylindrical in shape, fifty metres high; forty metres wide was stocked full of everything the colonists needed to survive and set up a new home for the thousands who were to come.
Forward in ship’s nose section was the bridge. Twenty lights blink methodically on the dashboard. Five were red; seven were yellow; eight were green. What they represented, nobody except the pilot and navigator knew.
At the rear of the ship were the massive engines. Maintenance workers called the entire area the heart of the ship; a fifty-billion-dollar heart. If one of the five engines were to fail the ship would take longer to reach its goal. The five hundred men, women, and children will wake too early and might not see the new world.
The Earth was fast turning into a planet with no future. Natural resources were almost exhausted. Ten million people overpopulated every country. If the lawmen couldn’t control the crime, the human race could find themselves extinct as the dinosaurs.
The search for a new home had begun in earnest.
Professor Oakland, an astronomer, discovered planet X188 in the exact center of Orion’s belt by accident. After extensive analysis, he believed the planet to be perfect for a new colony. Traveling through space was an extremely risky idea. Ten years of cryogenic sleep would see the colony of brave, eager humans in orbit above planet X188. What they might find when they landed could be a challenge of catastrophic proportions. At the time of their freezing, each colonist was thinking and hoping for a successful landing.