As predicted, the flight became smoother after the jolty time while travelling through the atmosphere. And thankfully, no one got motion sick.
The teens began to relax and, eventually, even get bored. Card games and idle conversation with the teens nearest them helped a little, but soon most of the teens either sat in silence or fell asleep.
The screen above the doorway into the cockpit showed the space ship slowly narrowing the gap between it and their destination: Planet Tridiom.
Several hours passed.
Suddenly, a loud incessant beeping startled the teens out of their stupor and sleep. Red lights they hadn’t noticed before were blinking in time to the blaring beeps.
The captain’s voice crackled through the loudspeakers.
“Please remain calm. Our ship has had a slight malfunction and will have to return to earth. Only five of you can continue to the selected planet. Who volunteers to continue their trip to Tridiom?”
A shocked silence followed this announcement. Then the teens began looking at each other. Who would go?
The tall teen with neatly combed black hair stepped forward, away from the other teenagers.
“I’ll go,” he said. Kyrin had made his choice.
The girl with short, light brown hair came up next to him. “I’ll go too,” she said softly. Laeli had made her choice.
Another girl with long, wavy blonde hair came and stood next to Laeli. “Me too,” she added. Ovril had made her choice.
A boy with dark brown hair walked up to the others, sullen but determined. He was dragging a younger boy behind him that had the same color of hair as himself and was obviously his brother.
“Count us in,” he commanded.
The other boy shrugged and nodded his agreement. Destin and Fovil had made their choice.
The captain came out of the cockpit. He eyed the five teens who had chosen to go, then the others.
“All right. Those who have chosen to return to earth, please sit back down and strap yourselves back in. You five, follow me.”
The captain led the five teens to a much smaller space ship. It was a launch pod, and it would be their home for the next few weeks as they traveled to Tridiom.
After explaining how their pod was on autopilot, and therefore set so that it would bring them to Tridiom without them having to do everything, the captain gave them extra safety precautions like how to evacuate the pod in case of emergency.
“Hopefully everything will go as planned and you will end up on Tridiom without having to do any of that. But the User’s Manual is in that drawer if things go askew. I’ll trust that you know how to use it.”
The teens nodded, still nervous about what they were about to do.
The captain smiled and turned once more to the five teens as he left the pod. “Good luck to you all,” he said, and closed the door behind him.
After a few minutes of silence, the pod lurched off the main ship and began hurtling itself towards the far off planet.
The teens exchanged glances.
They were on their own.
The captain watched the pod disappear into space. “I sure hope those kids make it,” he muttered to himself.
His co-pilot heard him and nodded his agreement. “They had better,” he added.
The captain frowned. “Why do you say that?” He asked.
“The two sons of President Lake are in there,” the co-pilot answered in surprise. “Didn’t you know that?”
The blood drained from the captain’s face. “Get me in touch with the Tridiom’s civilization system authorities,” he commanded.
The co-pilot gave his captain a quick nod and then began the process.
A few minutes passed as the co-pilot sent out his captain’s message:
I have sent five teenagers aboard a launch pod to your planet’s civilization system. It is absolutely essential that they all arrive safely. Among them are two boys whose names are Destin and Fovil Lake. Contact me immediately upon their arrival. Their estimated arrival date is three weeks from this day. Please reply as soon as you receive this broadcast.
Captain Athin Long
Of the United World Space Station on Planet Earth
A reply came almost immediately after the co-pilot had sent out the broadcast. It simply stated:
We have received your broadcast and will keep our eyes open for the launch pod’s arrival. We will alert you as soon as it has come.
Tridiom Civilization Authority of Planet Tridiom
Now all they could do was wait.