What an Exit!

by LaVerne Zocco


I had been flying up in the stratosphere in my private Dart ship. I was alone as I was always alone. I could have headed out into deep space, I could have gone to the moon, but I chose not to. No, I was free flying without destination and without flight plan.

I had taken off my space suit for the moment and sat on the flight deck in my thermal suit counting on the pressurized cabin to keep me breathing. It was dangerous to approach space in such a cavalier manner, and I was arrogant enough to defy the space gods, like the sea gods whose one purpose in existing at all was to destroy man’s best ideas.

Many ships had gone down and many of my buddies had gone with them. No glory came to them, they crashed into whatever was hard matter in the universe, or they went sailing out into hyperspace and froze to death, or they just disappeared with not even a contrail to follow their path.

For myself I had always wanted to go out in a blaze of glory, to meet my maker on some far planet, but with other scientists monitoring my dangerous expedition. I wanted that small monument that said what a hero I had been and that I would always be remembered.

And finally I decided one fateful day to throw caution up in the air and try a daring idea with an aim to set the fastest distance in space obtained in a private Dart ship, a small speedy trophy of the space age that was soon going obsolete but was my particular baby that had been outfitted with all the necessary equipment I could find for such a try.

When I was ready I transmitted my starting position to Earth and one of the military space installations picked up my signal and was so fascinated with my call they kept on my channel. I asked them to follow my transmission throughout the ride and measure my time and distance. They followed me all the way through.

I felt no trepidation as I executed the highest speed I could attain for the longest distance I could travel. Surely, by the end I would exceed all former records and stand alone as the newly dubbed holder of the Championship. But tragedy might strike in the blink of an eye, and I knew what would happen to me if the plane blew apart in milliseconds after the try. I would fall with no space suit on through the extreme freezing cold down towards Earth to a broad landing site in the universe, floating in the cosmos as man’s Eye in the Sky, miles above Earth.

The ride through space would freeze me to a brittle state of steel-like dagger, my toes sharpened to a point, my torso stretched out with the pressure of altitude and my head widened and akin to the hilt of the knife I had become. I would be so close it would take but minutes to hit and I might make my exit still conscious for a nanosecond in which I might see my dream rewarded.

I would crash feet first into the James Webb Telescope and the whole scientific community would see it when it exploded. My skilled hand moved toward the throttle. Wow, what an exit!


Copyright © 2010 by LaVerne Zocco

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