Gerry Glenn Jones is a writer of fiction and nonfiction. He has written more than 800 Internet articles, as well, as magazine articles.
The Last Flight of The Cyclops
The United States was 300 years old on that particular date; the date was July 4th, 2076, and the world was far changed from July 4th, 1776, on which the delegates of the 13 colonies adopted the Declaration of Independence, and a new baby was born; a baby which was destined to become one of the strongest nations in the world.
July 4th, 2076, was going to be a historic date in the history of the world also; it was on this date that the United States launched the Cyclops with its two-person crew, code-named Odysseus and Penelope, who were in fact, actual husband and wife, Commander, Scott Johnson, and Lieutenant Commander, Jane Johnson. This mission into the farthest reaches of space was a secret endeavor, which the astronauts aboard the Cyclops didn't even know the purpose of this interstellar mission; they were only told it would be the longest mission ever launched, and that they would be in controlled hibernation, also known as suspended animation for the next 200 years.
Why Were These Two Astronauts Chosen
As the husband and wife team sat, strapped into their control seats, they looked up at the cloud laced sky through their navigation window, and realized they would leave Earth in their 30s and reach their destination in space, where ever it was to be, at ages of over 230 years, and possibly return to an unrecognizable Earth 200 more years later, which would make them over 400 years old. However, their return was mired in secrecy, just as the mission was. Scott and Jan were okay with this fact since they would be together the entire time, even if it meant death.
Lift Off of The Cyclops
The Cyclops lifted off the launch pad with ease, due to the solar-powered engines being propelled by the sun, thus eliminating the weight of other fuels, whether liquid or gaseous in composition. There also was no sound except for the ship being separated from the launch tower.
The Journey Begins
The astronauts would remain animate for the first 30 days until the ship was scheduled to leave the Earth's solar system. This would take them passed the period of time the mission could be scrubbed in case of problems with the spacecraft or illnesses of the astronauts.
After the 30 day period, Jane and Scott entered their hibernation capsule and began their amazing journey into a region that no Earth-born person had ever traveled. The ship's hyperdrive engines were able to produce speeds in excess of a thousand light-years an hour, through a huge advancement in molecular transfer.
After what the astronauts believed to be a 200-year period, they were awakened from their protracted sleep to see no difference inside the spacecraft. They also felt wonderful, as if they had just completed a single-night of restful sleep.
Both Scott and Jane were anxious to look out the navigation window of the ship to see any wonderment of their new location, wherever that might be. As they sat down in their control seats, Jane flipped a switch which opened the metallic curtains, which had been closed for almost 200 years. Then the surprise came; they had landed on the most beautiful place they had ever seen. The view was far-reaching and was filled with all the scenery they loved to see when they were on earth. There were also animals everywhere, which seemed to be in unison with each other as they ate the greenest grass the two space-travelers had ever seen. There were also beautiful birds seen flying through the cloudless sky.
Scott ran a test of the outside air to determine how much oxygen was present. Surprisingly, the readings came back with a zero amount of outside oxygen. When he tested for any more elements such a hydrogen, nitrogen, carbon dioxide, or any other elements of the periodic table, he was amazed they too, were not present. However, there was a single precious chemical element, which the computer classified as Au, or the atomic number 79, which is gold.
As the entry/exit door slid open, the two explorers didn't seem to have to breathe. The atmosphere seemed to be neutral or nonexistent, and there before them was a golden pathway, which led to a beautiful gate, constructed from what appeared to be a single pearl. Then they saw the most amazing thing they would ever see; the "Face of God!"
How was this possible? This was impossible! There must be a malfunction in the 200-year old testing computer, or how could there be living things outside, like grass and animals that needed carbon dioxide and oxygen, respectively to live. They must be present here in abundance, as indicated by the living organisms.
Determined to be the human guinea pig, Commander Johnson told his wife to remain inside the safety of the craft as he ventured outside. Her response was that since they had been together for all the years, she wasn't going to be separated from him now, and he reluctantly agreed.
The evening news on Earth on July 4th, 2076 was headlined by the major story of the day; it announced, "The Interstellar Mission to the farthest reaches of space, was a failure today as the Cyclops blew up from a faulty solar panel, which ignited the oxygen on board, resulting in the deaths of Commander Scott Johnson and his wife, Lieutenant Commander, Jane Johnson."
© 2019 Gerry Glenn Jones