Spaghettification – the process by which an object would be stretched and ripped apart by gravitational forces on falling into a black hole.
The engines of the spaceship let out a desperate sound of straining and Colbert put more pressure on them. He was determined not loss this gravity fight with the black hole. The lives of his crew were in his hands and they had been through so much all ready.
Colbert shook his head to get rid of the sweat dripping into his eyes. His knuckles had turned white on the control sticks and his hands were numb because of the tight grip. He gritted his teeth and kept his eyes on the front windows ahead of him.
Space was endless, dotted with planets and stars, wormholes, asteroid fields and so much more undiscovered. It was rare for a black hole to appear as normally they were find and carefully mapped but this one that Colbert had found his spaceship in hadn’t been plotted.
‘I won’t give up,’ Colbert hissed, ‘come on, baby,’
A crackling voice came over the speaker, ‘boz, the engines are over heating!’
‘It’s fine, Linger! They can take it!’ Colbert barked back.
Linger answered but the intercom crackled over it.
Colbert puffed out and shut his eyes. His whole body was shaking and he felt dizzy.
The engines give out a churning noise then cut. Colbert smelt smoke. He let out a scream of defeat and everything began stretching as if they were warp jumping. Then the spaceship began ripping apart and groaning under the buckling stress.
More screams and yells echoed through the ship. Colbert listened to them over the intercom, his heart pounding. The front window smashed and he was sucked out, tumbling into a grave of unknown blackness.
‘Space station to control? Can you hear me, over?’
‘Hearing you loud and clear, space station. How are things today?’
‘Everything is great. No problems and we are all well. What about there?’
‘That’s good to hear. Well, things are not going well at the moment, The virus pandemic is really spreading. We are having to work with a skeleton crew only and have stopped or scaled back a lot of things.’
‘That’s tough. Is there nothing to be done?’
‘Not much. Accepting joining you out there. You guys are the safest people right now.’
The experts said the virus transferred from an animal and though it was contiguous, it was a mild bug that would soon go.
He knew differently but was sworn by the Secrets Act not to say anything. Bats were the contaminated animals but they hadn’t been captured from the wild. They had been born and lived in the lab to be the test subjects of a biological warfare drug.
It had been his project until the funding had fallen though. It was his task to destroy the bats but instead, short on money, he had sold them to a market vendor. He hadn’t given it much thought, the virus hadn’t worked and all the bats were fine.
He was slummed on the sofa, having fallen asleep in front the TV when the first reports came in. He awoke, stirred by the noise and saw that a new virus had been declared and the source seemed to be around a market area close to his town.
Perhaps, it was nothing? Just a coincidence. He went back to work; another month, another project, just enough money to get by on.
This thing will all blow over, he thought, the news likes to scare people and make it worse then it is.
But it didn’t go away. Day after day and months later, the virus had spread world wide. A pandemic was declared, people were dying and industry was at crawling speed. Streets and places like cinemas and shops were empty as people tried not to get ill. Everyday reports came in of rising confirmed cases.
He went to his bosses and told them he wanted to help make a vaccine. It seemed every scientists’ responsibility. It was agreed. He went to the archived biological warfare drug project, breed some new bats and got to work.
(Please note this is a fiction story and contains no true facts).
Ivan and his friends were repeatedly told not to go near the tumbled down red barn on the edge of Slim’s farm. From a distance, there seemed nothing wrong with the abandoned structure so the teenagers wondered why they had to stay away.
Bored one afternoon, they checked the barn out. Entering, it seemed to be a normal, empty wooden building. So, had some bad secret the villagers wanted to stay hidden happened here?
Messing about, they accidentally triggered something. There was a mighty whooping sound, the barn began to shake then vanished, casting the teenagers into time and space unknown.
We camped under the stars, those burning gas balls in space that humans once made wishes on. What were they thinking? Stars didn’t hold any power, they are just there, getting in the way, though they did make good target practise!
Right now, we were shooting at an old human transport machine that didn’t fly at all. How behind in technology had they been? It amazed me how they had lasted so long!
Well, humans were gone. Something had gotten them. What was it? Don’t know, don’t care but their planet was all our’s now.
We should never have returned to the dead planet. And yet, it was full of resources. The colony need supplies for its continuance and there were people who’d pay us well for a rare item or ancient artifact.
As I walked over a wooden beam, distracted by fixing my orange radiation mask, the beam give way under my weight. I tumbled into a dark shallow pit. The sounds of falling earth deafening me as it showered down.
I lay still, trying not to panic and stay calm. I had fallen underground before and soon my team would be here. The waterfall of noise faded and I heard distant voices calling. Then a powerful light came on from above and I saw what was facing me.
The empty eye sockets of a human skull were staring back at me. The dark pits of those hollows questioning and demanding answers.
I shuffled backwards and heard the rattling of bones as my hands and feet skittled across them. There were more skulls surrounding me, their empty sockets seemingly watching me as well.
There were too many! Far too many to be a normal burial place. This was a plague pit!
I tried to fight down the firing panic and the hint of vomit in my throat. I had to stay still and in control. Repeatedly telling myself it was okay, I shut my eyes and breathed heavily into the mask and air ventilation systems.
A rope bashed my helmet with a thud. I reached for it gratefully and let my team pull me up. Scrambling to the surface once more, I lay down and just breathed. A fine mist fell then a cloud of white drenched me. I was being decontaminated.
This plant was dead for a reason and I didn’t want to become it’s next victim.
It was fun to mess around in the abandoned factory. There were holes to jump, beams to climb and ‘treasures’ to be found. They were playing there when the Earth began to shake, white beams pierced down from the sky and everyone started disappearing.
The moon fell from space and broke up as it entered earth, sending fire across the sky.
The children walking in the forest, found a chunk of it, not knowing what it was and seeing only a strange coloured ball, they played with it, throwing and kicking until the moon piece began to break up.
Each with a moon rock, the children decided to take their unusual find home, whilst unaware of the turmoil and terror that had befallen their world.
He liked coming up to the roof of the abandoned hotel. It was the tallest building in the little city and he could see for miles around. He liked the space being up there give him. He keep breath, think and wait for his people to come back.