Chapter 1

Chapter 1

A Chapter by Jake Staffeld
"

First chapter- I know it's short, but it's just a set up.

"

         The ship was old. It had been new almost a hundred years ago. But it functioned, and at this point, that was all that mattered. It was a large Stargazer class, designed to carry people and supplies through the vast distances of space. It had containment pods, for journeys that were deemed excessively long. When they were needed, the power on the ship was all routed to maintaining the inhabitants’ lives. Otherwise, it shone brightly in the never-ending dark.

 

                           ****************************

 

            Rick Hansen was lounging in the captain’s chair. He knew he wasn’t supposed to, since he was only a lonely engineer, but it felt so good. He could even see his reflection in the instrument panels. He couldn’t help but strike the occasional heroic pose. After all, the greatest achievers of human society in the last few centuries had all been space heroes. Great captains, Fleet Admirals, scientists who found ways to do things people had never imagined.

            The thought of the scientists brought to mind the other residents of the ship. Other than Captain Serein, the ships pilot, and himself, there was no one but scientists on the ship. They had to go and investigate Meta Gate 14. It had stopped sending information back to NASA almost a year ago now. But even going almost the speed of light, it took a while to navigate the universe.

Hansen sighed, wondering why they had been giving this old piece of junk. Sure, it was cheaper, but it wasn’t as if NASA didn’t have enough money to give them better ships. But he was just an engineer, so know one cared what he thought. He couldn’t wait until the day he made it into the Center Room, the highest power in the administration. Then everyone would respect him for his skill.

            He checked the maps again. Still a few more days until they reached the gate. Then it would be a quick fix it job, and then time to head back home. All in just a few weeks. Hansen wasn’t sure he wanted to return to Earth again, though. At least out here, he could pretend that he wasn’t affected by anything. Without the weight of an atmosphere, it felt as if all the sadness and exhaustion just floated away, along with everything else.

         Satisfied, he returned to his daydreams. Once he was in the Center Room, he could find a good girl and settle down, like his mom had always wanted. Or, more likely, he would be able to afford a never ending parade of high class hookers. He really didn’t have much interest in love, especially after seeing the world for what it really was- a black pit of misery and hatred. Oh sure, there were no longer resource wars, but only because humanity’s black plague had consumed so much.

He considered the current condition of the home world. The atmosphere was “clean,” which meant it looked less like coal, and a little more like an eternal night. The smoke of thousands of years of poorly regulated industry had given the atmosphere a bad taste. The sun cast reds and yellows over the planet, making it appear that rivers of blood flowed through the sky. Many of the colonized planets had kept strict restrictions on producers, but even so, they still had rotten air.

         Hansen guessed that was why he liked space so much. He didn’t mind being a little dirty himself, which everyone got in the void, an unfortunate side effect of the lack of water. He hated dirty air, however; it always felt as if he was breathing in misery when he was on planet. In the vast expanses of the universe, that didn’t happen. All the little tiny pieces of trash that found their way out here eventually made their way to a star or planet. And there was so much room between everything, it didn’t matter if a little trash floated around. It had no real effect when it couldn’t conglomerate.

         Rick took one last look at the maps before deciding to head to sleep. After all, nothing ever changed in space.

 

 

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         Serein stood in the bridge. He had the lights dimmed down to half. Somehow it felt wrong to have bright lights in outer space. Defying nature like that was asking for trouble, he told himself. Much better to just accept that you couldn’t beat the darkness all around.

         He was distracted from his musings by the lead scientist, Alexander Lowry. He was pointing out something or other about the gate; Captain Serein didn’t care one bit. His job was merely to escort Lowry and his team to and from the gate. And he intended to remind the scientist of that. “Listen, Lowry,” he began, his voice edged, “I don’t care about the gates. I just want the job done.”

         Lowry couldn’t let this challenge go; he was well known for being an aggressive man. “Don’t you see, this could effect the whole ship! If the thing malfunctions, we could end up on the other side of the universe!”

         “Then we’ll just take  the closest gate back. It’s not a problem.”

         Lowry shot daggers at Serein before marching out of the bridge. He swore to himself at that moment that if anything went wrong, he would have that Captains job when they got back to Earth.



© 2011 Jake Staffeld


Author's Note

Jake Staffeld
Please just let me know if you're interested, and also any characters/ descriptions I can do better!

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Featured Review

I thought this was a great start. You described your characters well and gave good detail in the chapter about their surroundings and what the were there to do. It kept my attention throughout! One grammatical error that I spotted though... " But it functioned, and at this point, that was all that mattered." You never need a comma before a 'that' phrase. So, you can remove it after 'point'
Other than that I saw nothing else wrong with this chapter and I believe you are off to a great start with this.
Good job!

~Erinne


Posted 9 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.




Reviews

I enjoyed the chapter. Good storyline and strong characters. I will keep reading. Thank you for sharing the story.
Coyote

Posted 9 Years Ago


Some good stuff there, really, the start is superb

Posted 9 Years Ago


I thought this was a great start. You described your characters well and gave good detail in the chapter about their surroundings and what the were there to do. It kept my attention throughout! One grammatical error that I spotted though... " But it functioned, and at this point, that was all that mattered." You never need a comma before a 'that' phrase. So, you can remove it after 'point'
Other than that I saw nothing else wrong with this chapter and I believe you are off to a great start with this.
Good job!

~Erinne


Posted 9 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.


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Added on November 16, 2011
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Author

Jake Staffeld
Jake Staffeld

Bend, OR



About
I'm in college, whoooooo. I like all kinds of rock, and songwriting. That's how I got into Poems in the first place. Some of these will actually be songs of mine I've modified. more..

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