Spaceception

TCBW: Chapter 4/Important update, please read. 3/16/17

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1 hour ago, KAL 9000 said:

I'd love to help! 

You'll actually be helping me by reading it, you guys are the beta readers (Along with the Wattpad users), just give me feedback :)

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Where are the pages?

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1 minute ago, KAL 9000 said:

Where are the pages?

Probably this one, I'll link it to the OP when I put it up (Like I'm doing with "The Void"), it should be up in the next couple days.

 

Also, I've finished around four to five pages so far on the second chapter :)

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I've almost finished the second chapter, 1st chapter still needing edits (It's not that bad, but the others are busy I suppose :))

So far, it's around 12.1k words total for both chapters, there will be at least 1k more words in the second chapter, maybe 2k.

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Doesn't a book have to have 40k words to be considered a novel? Just wondering, because that's the basis of what I'm going for.

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7 minutes ago, The Raging Sandwich said:

Doesn't a book have to have 40k words to be considered a novel? Just wondering, because that's the basis of what I'm going for.

Yes, but Scifi is usually considered to be 80 120k words.

http://manuscriptagency.com.au/word-count-by-genre-how-long-should-my-book-be/

 

Although, it's your choice in the end.

Edited by Spaceception

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Here's chapter 1!!!

Spoiler

Chapter 1

 

Today’s the big day, Eppizeh thought. It’s time to change the world. He sighed to himself and got ready. His heart was pounding; what if they don’t approve? What if they laugh? Eppizeh got ready quickly, and scurried over to the Grand Council building. It was a tall, thin building where an elected group of 100 educated Elordians governed the largest and most advanced society in the world. Their ground, naval, and air transportation were the most technologically advanced, and computers were becoming a larger and larger part of society. There wasn’t any central leader either; they just selected someone different every time to make speeches and announcements. There was no war, no famine. Their civilization was perfect.

 

But Eppizeh thought of a way to make it even better.

 

2 weeks earlier

 

“Alright people, listen up. So this is how it works: we light one end of this stick filled with highly compressed and flammable powder. When I light it, get to cover, because I don’t know if it’ll explode. If it doesn’t, it’ll just go up for a while, and come back down.”

 

Eppizeh had just finished explaining what was going to happen once he lit the strange-looking tube. It had a pointy top, and was open on its bottom, with several fins mounted near the opening as well. It was almost as tall as he was, and everyone who worked on it was interested to see how well it would work, as well as the several dozen spectators who were curious about what was happening. Eppizeh grabbed the blowtorch and lit the fuse. He then scurried behind a clear fibreglass plate to see what would happen. The fuse was 20 seconds long, and when Eppizeh lit the fuse, the group started counting down.

 

“20! 19! 18! 17! 16! 15! 14! 13! 12! 11! 10! 9! 8! 7! 6! 5! 4! 3! 2! 1! Liftoff!”

 

The small rocket sped away from the ground. Soon all that was visible was the smoke track it left behind. Everyone gathered to watch its progress through the air, and after a couple minutes, they spotted it. The parachute had deployed successfully, and was gliding gently back down to the ground. Many people were taking pictures with large cameras, with the giant planet in the background. When it reached the ground again, they looked inside the top of the rocket to retrieve the control unit and camera.

 

Everyone followed Eppizeh to a large shaded tent where there was a bulky computer hooked up to a small generator and blank screen. He removed the memory card located in the control unit, inserted it into the computer, and pulled up a program to see what the results were. After a few minutes, the data had come through, and Eppizeh proudly announced the results.

 

“So! The rocket went up to about 32 kilometres, becoming the highest flying object in history, and took several stunning photos at the top,” Eppizeh said, as he pulled up a tab showing the grainy color photo. They could see the curve of the planet, the glint of the atmosphere along the horizon, and the city down below. It looked so tiny. With the naked eye, one could barely make out the buildings. The room held its breath in awe and wonder.

 

“This was a very successful test, and we hope to conduct many more in the near future. We hope you all enjoyed the flight, and we hope you tell everyone about it,” Eppizeh said, grinning, then turned his attention to several reporters who wanted to interview him.

 

“How long did the rocket take to build?”
“What are your long term goals?”
“How much did this cost?”
“What’s the importance of these flights?”
“Can Elordians go on these ‘spacecraft’ someday?”

 

“We don’t know if Elordians can go into these rockets, but we think they can. Our long term goal is to explore our planet’s twin. The rocket took 3 months to build, and it wasn’t very expensive; however, I do not know the exact price. I will answer more questions later, but for now, I need to report my findings to the Grand Council.”

 

Back to present day

 

Eppizeh entered the Grand Council building. The behemoth was at least 100 meters tall, with seats and speakers along the walls above the entrance, and a five level panel in front of him. With all of the council members looking down at him, he felt a sense of foreboding as he looked nervously around him, and one of the Council members stood up and looked down on him, and pulled out a piece of paper.

 

“Dr. Eppizeh, you have been allowed to speak your argument on why we should fund your ‘space program’. As we understand it, a few weeks ago, you successfully launched a large model one-fifth the way into space. It had been successfully recovered as well, but now you must explain to us why we should provide you monetary aid,” the Council member said.

 

“Um, y-yes,” Eppizeh stuttered, and cleared his throat, which had suddenly tightened. “I want you to fund this program so that we can take the next step in our species’ development. I know that this will be a noble and worthy project to get behind, it will inspire future Elordians for generations to come, and will allow us to explore the next frontier. Economically speaking, it will likely be expensive with a high rate of failure, as with all large scale projects, but I believe that within a few years, we will have the failure rate reduced, and a new industry that will create numerous jobs.”

 

“We know that, but aside from the newly created jobs, what else is there to offer?” a different Council member asked, sounding slightly annoyed.

 

“Pride that we’re keeping our place as the most advanced province in the world, and the fact that this could be used to assist many other industries, such as communications. We believe we could connect the whole world easily with probes circling our Moon; you would be able to contact anyone in an instant; there could be military applications, because while we’re a peaceful society, we know there are those who mean to disrupt that peace, these probes could be an advanced warning, and could help keep the peace. Medically speaking, when we’re eventually ready to send Elordians to space, the medical research done on our bodies could help advance the understanding of our biological limits, and create new techniques for hospitals. That’s just a few examples, I’m sure that researching and sending equipment into space, as well as letting people innovate on what we would build could improve an extremely wide array of industries, perhaps even create new ones. What’s more, it would be wise to have a space program in light of what happened several years ago, when that asteroid impacted a city, killing millions. the prevention of such tragedies should be of the utmost importance, and a a space program would provide not only an early warning system,” he paused for a moment, "but may allow us to prevent it from ever happening again."

 

Several Council members around the room muttered; some looked down, approving, while others shook their heads, as they lost someone they knew, or loved that day, and someone down there was making their deaths a reason to fund this ‘space program’; there were a few who lost someone that day who thought it was a good idea, to prevent other such occurrences from happening again. Some of them were even disgusted, surely assuming he was attempting to fearmonger the council into submission.

 

One of the Council members muttered to the speaker in the front row, and several more engaged in the conversation. Eppizeh looked nervously at them, and they spoke for several minutes before turning to Eppizeh. The Council member finally spoke.

 

“We will require several weeks to review your proposal. In the meantime, you may go back to your home, and we shall send you a letter if you’ve been approved or not. I wouldn’t get my hopes up too early, but if what you say is true, there could very well be a bright future for you.” The Council member gave him a slight smile, and Eppizeh felt his heart lift a little. I have a chance after all! He simply nodded at the Council members and expressed his thanks, then walked out of the building, and took a deep breath in relief.

 

Eppizeh went to the edge of the city, and looked out beyond the desert. The sky was a pale blue, there were practically no clouds in the sky, and the enormous gas giant hung in the sky, with its slowly spinning cloud bands. It was still, and quiet; it felt like nothing could go wrong.

 

A month later:

 

Eppizeh was organizing papers on a desk in an abandoned building far outside of the city, the soon-to-be-headquarters of the space program. The approval was sent in eight days ago, and since then, several dozen workers were cleaning and repairing the old, years-abandoned building. The concrete needed to be repaired, everything needed to be scoured clean, but one day, it would be the pinnacle of Elordian engineering.
Eppizeh was making phone calls, and speaking with aircraft suppliers to see if they would give them the resources for the project, when one of the engineers walked in.

 

“Hello Dr. Eppizeh, someone sent me to get you to the entrance. I don’t know what for though.” He looked around awkwardly, and left.

 

This can’t be good, Eppizeh thought.

 

He sighed, hung up the phone, and left the office to the entrance, where several construction workers were waiting for him. “Hello Dr. Eppizeh, we were wondering how you wanted the launchpad and tracks to be built,” one of the workers said.

 

Oh good.  He almost sighed in relief that nothing serious was wrong. “I’d like the tracks to be 12 meters apart from each other, and leading 1 kilometre in a straight line to the Launch Pad,” he said. “That way, we can build larger rockets, so I’d also like these doors to reach the top.”

 

The doors were 40 meters high, but the building was 110 meters high. Forty meters was good for their first rockets, but 110 meters would be required for larger and manned rockets, which they figured out after a proof of concept study.

 

The construction worker nodded, and walked over to the other workers who were busy with designing the launchpad.

 

6 months later

 

The space center, after months of gruelling work, was finally complete. It featured a vehicle assembly building, Mission Control, rails, a launchpad, a testing zone for engines, and a communication station for transmitting to and from spacecraft. The engineers were currently busying themselves testing liquid fuel engines for rockets. They had tried using solid fuel, but they couldn’t be controlled, sometimes exploded, and couldn’t shut off. So the engineers put their heads together, and designed an engine more suited to their needs. The liquid-fuelled engine was less powerful than a solid-fuel motor, but was controllable, could be turned off and back on, and was more efficient. The testing proved to be successful, but one of the newer engines experienced a failure and exploded, which injured several engineers and put the engine test bed out of commission.

 

“Okay, it’s been a day since the engine failure, any idea on how it failed?” Dirmani, the head of engine development, asked. Eppizeh stood silently in the background, while a small group of engineers were compiling data.

 

“We believe a faulty fuel line caused the explosion. After taking a look at the video, it seems the explosion takes place at the fuel tank, not the engine nozzle. Something went wrong, and the fuel was ignited all at once creating a fireball,” one of the engineers said. He was involved in the engine building process.

 

Dirmani nodded. “Can we prevent that from happening again?” he inquired.

 

The engineer nodded. “All we need to do is test the fuel pump, and examine it closely. Frequent testing of this engine likely caused fatigue, which is how the engine failed,” he replied.

 

“Okay then, test it more thoroughly. I want full inspections before every firing,” Dirmani said. “Alright, let’s get back to work!” The engineers scurried out, and Dirmani walked over to Eppizeh.

 

“When will the first launch be ready?” Eppizeh asked.

 

“We don’t know, hopefully within the next couple months. Aside from the engine failure, the engine is holding up nicely. The only tricky problem I see is inspections; we’re going to need to regulate that more,” Dirmani replied.

 

Eppizeh nodded in agreement. “I’ll leave that to you, and tell your guys they’re doing a good job. Every failure we have, we can learn from it. Make sure they know that,” he said.

 

Dirmani smiled. “Ah, words of wisdom, I’ll make sure I pass it along,” he said, before he walked out of the room, and back to the engine development room.

 

Eppizeh looked at the files, and looked at the pictures of the engine after it had exploded. The test bed was a mess, but it could be repaired. The engine remains weren’t even recognizable. He sighed, gathered the papers, and walked back over to his office to make some phone calls.

 

Six weeks had gone by, and now Eppizeh looked up at the nearly completed rocket. It would only do a suborbital hop, but it was a fine piece of engineering. The way the paint gleamed in the sunlight, the way the engines looked in the shadow, the sleekness of the machine, It really is a beauty, he thought to himself.

 

The engineers were doing inspections, working on the decoupler and payload. In just a few weeks, it would make its maiden voyage to space… assuming it doesn’t explode. First time for anything almost never works, he thought.

 

He walked out of the building, and looked at the launch pad, which would soon have a rocket standing on top of it. It was a dreary, overcast day, and it rained unpredictably, but everyone was buzzing with excitement with the upcoming launch.

 

At someone’s suggestion, stands were built for spectators to watch the launch. Eppizeh thought it was a great idea, so they sent an order to have one built two km from the pad, with refreshment stands, and a countdown clock to let everyone know when it was going to launch. Their program was gaining everyone’s attention, and they were quickly climbing to the top of most news reports.

 

3 weeks later

 

The stands were so full, in fact, that many Elordians had to stand. It had been one of the most talked about events in the last couple weeks. The atmosphere was full of excitement, and a rocket two kilometres away was gleaming gold in the bright light of the sunset. In less than 10 minutes, it would make its maiden voyage.

 

The Mission Control building was jam-packed with engineers trying to get a good view, engineers trying to get to their stations, and the media trying to get information. This hadn’t been done before, and the thought on everyone’s mind was the prospect of seeing the first suborbital rocket launch. Eppizeh was the first flight director, as he hadn’t been able to assign and train anyone to do it yet.

 

"T-3 minutes" blared over the loudspeakers. It was approaching dusk at mission control, and the Sun would be setting soon. This made the rocket look even better, as the golden light from the sunset gleamed off the rocket. What a perfect time to launch, Eppizeh thought.

 

“This is the flight director, begin launch status check; Booster,” Eppizeh said.

 

“Go,” the flight controller in charge of Booster replied.

 

“Talker.”

 

“Go.”

 

 “Timer.”

 

“Go.”

 

“Engine.”

 

“Go.”

 

“Guidance.”

 

“Go.”

 

“Abort.”

 

“Go.”

 

“Payload.”

 

“Go.”

 

“Telemetry.”

 

“Go.”

 

“Aerodynamics.”

 

“Go.”

 

“Staging.”

 

“Go.”

 

“Recovery.”

 

“Go.”

 

“Comms.”

 

“Go.”

 

“Clamps.”

 

“Go.”

 

“Launch Vehicle Director.”

 

“Go.”

 

“Launch status check complete; the count is at T-minus 2 minutes and counting,” Eppizeh announced.

 

As the speakers projected his voice across the stands, everyone perked up a little. The engineers were elated, and even the Elordians manning Mission Control were having trouble hiding their excitement.

 

“T-minus one minute and counting, still go,” Timer announced, noting the green light on the panel. The clock was ticking down, and the fuel pumps that were giving fuel to the rocket fell away. Eppizeh was pacing. He had never been more nervous in his life.

 

“T minus 30 seconds,” Timer announced with a hint of excitement, “20… 10…”

 

“Nine.”

 

“Eight.”

 

“Seven, main engine start.”

 

The engine ignited and roared to life, spewing hot exhaust gasses onto the pad. The launch clamps creaked and groaned, threatening to shear. But they held steady. At this point, the crowd gathered in the stands joined Timer in counting down the rocket’s departure.

 

“Five.”

 

“Four.”

 

“Three.”

 

“Two.”

 

“One, clamps released.”

 

The launch clamps separated from the rocket with a clang, and the rocket ascended into the heavens. As the engine lifted away from the pad, the crowd cheered it on. The exhaust trail of the engines curved into space as the rocket rose higher and higher. It gained velocity quickly. Soon, all that was visible was the smoke trail it left behind, glowing bright red in the sunset.

 

“Booster, status,” Eppizeh said.

 

“Still good, we’re getting good telemetry,” Jarguran, the booster tech, replied. Eppizeh nodded.

 

“Payload, status,” Eppizeh said.

 

“Still go, probe’s looking good.” Hatzle replied from Payload.

 

“Booster separation coming up, 10 seconds,” Jarguran reported. Eppizeh’s heart threatened to leap out of his chest. Now would be a bad time to fail, he thought to himself.

 

“Separation in 3, 2, 1,” Jarguran said, anxiously.

 

“Booster separation looks clean,” Kiris said from Staging. The entire room exhaled in relief.

 

“Current altitude is 92 kilometres. Looking good, still rising. Expected final altitude 106 kilometres,” Firgint said from Telemetry. Eppizeh nodded blankly, words failing him.

 

“Fairing separation looks good, the onboard camera has been activated. Should have the data within 10 to 30 minutes,” Hatzle reported.

 

“G-good job everyone,” Eppizeh said, as he inhaled shakily and wiped the sweat from his forehead. Soon… Soon there will be a payload on our world that has touched space. “Don’t celebrate just yet though, it still needs to come down in one piece.”

 

Along the stands, everyone cheered when Eppizeh announced the payload had reached space. The first probe to travel to outer space, and almost breaking the bonds to its parent world. Everyone felt elated, and even though it was getting dark, they were still straining their eyes to try to see the probe when it came back down.

 

Behind Eppizeh, the engineers were cheering, their first rocket launch had been a perfect success so far, and everyone was pushing to see the telemetry from the probe.

 

23 minutes later

 

“What’s that?” Eppizeh asked, looking at the probe’s telemetry. Something had gone wrong.

 

“Looks like only one chute opened, and the other two got tangled up,” Hatzle said, who was also looking at the telemetry.

 

“Can the probe survive impact with only one chute?” Eppizeh asked, worried.

 

“I don’t know, I don’t think we prepared for that,” Hatzle said.

 

“I sure hope so, what’s the altitude and speed?” Eppizeh asked.

 

“It’s travelling at 118 kilometers per hour, and about 1,200 meters up,” Firgint reported.

 

“That’s far too fast. Could the payload survive the impact?” Hatzle asked.

 

“Some of it might be damaged, maybe some beyond repair, but most of it should survive.” Eppizeh replied, unsure.

 

When the probe landed, the recovery team immediately went to go pick it up, and found that some of the structure was severely damaged. After a quick examination, they found that the microgravity science experiment, insect experiment, and some data logs didn’t survive. The camera didn’t survive either, but the memory card looked fine, along with most of the basic science data. They collected the probe, and headed back to Mission Control some 23 kilometres away. After reporting the successful recovery, Mission Control and the engineers standing behind it cheered in celebration. They had made it to space, and they had the equipment to prove it.

 

“We recovered the probe, and had a semi-successful mission, repeat, we had a semi-successful mission!” Eppizeh said, his voice roaring through the speakers. While no one was sure what he had meant by ‘semi-successful’, what they did know was that the spacecraft was recovered, and everyone cheered.

 

While the spectators didn’t know what was next, Eppizeh and his team did.

 

They would be going into orbit.

 

18 hours later

 

“So, here’s what we know for sure: After going above the atmosphere, the camera took eight pictures from space, the apoapsis was 105.8 kilometers, and the maximum speed was 3,642 kilometers per hour. Nothing else survived,” Eppizeh said, after he analyzed the memory card the recovery teams had salvaged from the wreck.

 

While much of the data didn’t survive, everyone in the room was euphoric. Everybody was patting everybody else on the back, and celebrations went on through the night. Who cared if most of the data was lost? It was their first launch, and they had successfully touched the skies. Plus, the pictures were awesome, and besides, there was always next time, they thought.

 

2 months later

 

Their second rocket was slowly making its way to the launch pad. It was basically a replica of their first rocket, only this time, they had figured out what went wrong with the parachutes, or, at least hoped they figured it out. But there were new guests in the observation lounge behind Mission Control; around a dozen of the Council members had made their way to the facility to see the flight in action.

 

It was a bit more cramped this time around, because everyone had given the Council members some space to themselves. Eppizeh was pacing to and fro on the other side of the glass, waiting for the launch, and a newly-trained flight director was making the preflight checklist. In less than four minutes, they would be launching.

 

Eppizeh had never been more nervous in his life, he had absolutely no control in this launch, and several Council members were right behind him observing the launch. Please don’t fail, please don’t fail, please don’t fail, he thought to himself. He almost missed the countdown because he was so nervous.

 

“Ten.”

 

“Nine.”

 

“Eight.”

 

“Seven, main engine start.”

 

Again, the rocket engine roared to life. Everybody in Mission Control and the observation lounge silently held their breath.

 

“Five.”

 

“Four.”

 

“Three.”

 

“Two.”

 

“One, clamps released.”

 

The rocket’s clamps released, and the rocket raced into the sky, leaving a dissipating trail of smoke in its wake.

 

“Liftoff! The rocket has cleared the pad!” Timer announced triumphantly.

 

Behind Eppizeh, the Council members and engineers were clapping; some were even cheering. Eppizeh briskly walked outside, and saw the smoke trail of the rocket rise higher and higher. It was on its way to space. Eppizeh walked back inside, and saw the high-speed camera tracking the rocket.

 

“Booster separation in five seconds,” Jarguran said.

 

“Cutoff looks clean, booster separation is good.” Kiris said.

 

“Altitude is 93 kilometres,” Firgint announced, “probe is still go.”

 

Yurgx, the flight director, nodded. “How’s the payload?” he asked.

 

“Still good. The fairing just separated, all systems nominal,” Hatzle reported.

 

“Altitude is 104 kilometres,” Firgint said.

 

“We’re running the experiments now, got a couple of minutes before we reenter,” Hatzle said, “let’s hope the chutes deploy this time.” He smiled.

 

“Now, Hatzle, let’s not jinx it.” Yurgx said, a faint smile creeping about his face.

 

“Aww, you’re superstitious? Come on!” Hatzle protested, sarcasm dripping like venom from a snake’s fangs.

 

“Better safe rather than sorry,” Yurgx replied, “besides, don’t we need all the luck we can get?”

 

“You’re right. Anyway, the probe’s back in the atmosphere,” Hatzle said.

 

Yurgx nodded approvingly. “Excellent. How’s Recovery?” he inquired.

 

“Good. We’ve just sent them the expected landing site, and they’re on their way now,” Urns reported. He had an earpiece to ensure constant communications with the recovery team.

 

Yurgx stole a glance at the Council members, who were smiling and clapping. Leaning over, he tapped Eppizeh on the shoulder, and pointed behind him. Yurgx grinned and said, “Remember, we still need to land.”

 

Eppizeh replied, “That’s good though, at least there are a few Council members interested in space exploration.” Yurgx couldn’t help but agree.

 

Everyone in the Mission Control room watched with bated breath as the probe made its way back down to the ground. When all three of its parachutes deployed successfully, everyone cheered. A few minutes later, the probe landed with a speed of only 1.2 kilometres per hour.

 

Both rooms erupted in sheer joy. Some of the Council members had lost control and started cheering and jumping. But they glanced at their coworkers, and settled down. Everyone in Mission Control, however, lost all professionalism, and everyone jumped up and down, hugged fellow engineers. When the recovery team announced that the probe was in perfect condition, everyone screamed themselves hoarse in excitement.

 

A few weeks later

 

“Okay, everybody! Listen up!” Eppizeh announced to the team, who were still, Eppizeh included, ecstatic about the recent launch. “Now that we have two successful suborbital missions under our belts, we need to start thinking bigger. I want you guys to design a two-stage rocket that can carry a small probe into orbit.”

 

“We’re on it!” one of the engineers chirped, excited.

 

“Get to work, guys.” Eppizeh left the room, and the team began designing a rocket that could go into orbit.

 

It was hard work; the team decided that they needed to develop a new engine, since the engine that had powered both probes into space wasn’t powerful enough to bring them to orbit. Over the next few days, they designed an engine capable of producing more than 400 kilonewtons of thrust. The engineers decided they would cluster five of these engines on the first stage, producing over 2 meganewtons of thrust at liftoff. This, they reasoned, would power a small rocket into low orbit.

 

The vehicle itself would measure 46 metres in height, and have two stages. The first stage would have the cluster of five engines, and the second stage would have only one. The rocket was rated to carry 4.1 tons into orbit, and would be the next step in reaching for the stars.

 

8 months later

 

Eppizeh rubbed his eyes, exhausted. Most of the engineers had been up all night working on their orbital launch vehicle, and in less than 10 hours it would make its maiden voyage. Most of the engineers who had been working the midnight shift went home to get some rest, while several dozen took their place to finish inspections and to get the spacecraft onto the launch pad. The rocket really was the pinnacle of Elordian engineering. The rocket’s outer skin was pure white, save for black scripture indicating the rocket’s name:Harzlemat, or powerful rod. After giving the inspectors their final set of instructions, Eppizeh went home to get some much-needed rest. When he arrived in the city, many people recognized him, and tried to make conversation. However, Eppizeh’s body was crying out for sleep, and he simply waved them off tiredly. When he finally arrived at his home, he changed into his sleep-clothes, and flopped onto the bed. He was whisked off to Dreamland almost immediately.

 

8 hours and 23 minutes later

 

The launch would be in just over an hour. Every worker, engineer, and over ten thousand Elordians came to witness the launch that would be forever imprinted in every Elordian history book. It would be spoken of for centuries to come: the first orbital mission in the history of the Elordian race.

 

Everyone was rushing to prepare for the launch. The inspectors were wrapping up the final inspection. The rocket was set up on the pad and fuel pumps had already started. Mission Control was going over the preflight checklist to make sure they didn’t miss anything important. The observation lounge was packed. In fact, the staff had to remove the chairs in order for everybody to stand in the lounge. Nobody minded; in fact, all of them were discussing the upcoming launch.

 

Council members streamed in to witness the launch; this time, a VIE (Very Important Elordian) observation lounge was fashioned on the side of the wall, so they could see the launch more clearly. Some of the Council members were even chatting leisurely with the flight controllers in Mission Control.

 

The Sun would be setting around the time the rocket would launch, and it would launch in the golden glow of its parent star as it dipped over the horizon. Just like the first launch, thought Eppizeh. He was particularly proud of himself; he would always give credit to the tireless workers who actually built the rocket, but he couldn’t help but feel that it was because of him that they were able to do this. Several years ago, the thought of launching something into space was considered by many to be crazy talk, but they had done it twice in the past two years alone. Today, they would perform the biggest launch yet.

 

“T-minus 20 minutes to launch,” Timer announced, his voice quivering slightly in excitement.

 

Everyone was ecstatic. Some began to jump up and down from excitement. Others pressed their hands against the glass, trying to get a closer view. Everyone’s eyes were on the rocket.

 

“T-minus 5 minutes to launch,” Timer announced; surprisingly, he remained completely calm on the outside.

 

Eppizeh paced about uneasily in Mission Control, glancing at the screens and the rocket on the pad. Yurgx was muttering to himself, and everyone in the building were doing last-minute checks to make sure everything was ready to go.

 

“T minus 1 minute to launch,” Timer announced, more ecstatic by the second, “50… 40… 30… 20… 10…”

 

“Nine.”

 

“Eight.”

 

“Seven, ignition sequence start.”

 

The five lower stage engines ignited with a spark, and then they gave out a deafening roar.

 

“Five.”

 

“Four.”

 

“Three.”

 

“Two, all engines running.”

 

“One, clamps released.”

 

The clamps released the rocket, and the Harzlemat launch vehicle ascended into the heavens. The flight controllers stole a glance at the rocket as it punched through the clouds. The engineers and guests behind Mission Control cheered the rocket on as it rose higher and higher. In the stands outside, everyone rose from their seats, and stared in bewonderment at the rocket as it disappeared from view, the smoke trail being the only thing remaining visible.

 

“Eh… Flight, we have an anomaly in the central engine. It’s spluttering – the engine just died, Flight,” Jarguran reported, worried.

 

The main screen reflected this as well. The central engine began to splutter, and it gave up in a hailstorm of sparks.

 

“Can we still achieve orbit?” Yurgx asked, anxious.

 

“If no more engines fail, I believe so. It’ll definitely be in a lower orbit though; maybe skimming the upper atmosphere. Luckily, we gave it a small payload,” Jarguran replied.

 

“Keep a close eye on it,” Yurgx ordered. He glanced at the main screen, which clearly showed the four functional engines alongside the non-functioning one, their plumes pushing it higher and faster.

 

“Copy,” Jarguran responded. Immediately, he pulled up vital statistics on the four functioning engines. “Booster separation in 30 – Blast! Engine 4 just died!” Jarguran smacked his hands on the panel in frustration.

 

Eppizeh heard Yurgx mutter unprintable words under his breath. He recovered from his fit soon enough, and then he asked, “Can we still achieve orbit?”

 

“I’m not sure, Flight. Even if we do, it’ll definitely be in a low orbit,” Jarguran replied. “Booster separation in 5 seconds; separation looks clean, second stage fired.”

 

Explosive bolts fired, jettisoning the now-empty first stage, along with the 2 faulty engines. The second stage engine ignited, and the rocket sped away from the discarded first stage.

 

Yurgx nodded and sighed, rubbing his eyes. “Please make it to orbit,” he muttered to himself.

 

“We have fairing separation, altitude 100 kilometres,” Hatzle reported.

 

“Second stage cutoff in 20 seconds,” Jarguran chimed in.

 

Everyone watched the telemetry intently as the probe went higher and faster than any previous probe in history. Everyone prayed fervently that the probe would have the fuel to make orbit.

 

“Second stage cutoff and separation. Apoapsis is 123 kilometres, periapsis is 102 kilometres. We’re in orbit!” Jarguran announced gleefully.

 

The area around the launch pad erupted into cheers. Mission Control was in a frenzy; they had made history, and everyone would remember them as the Elordians who put the first artificial object into orbit. The stands outside roared with excitement. There was now an artificial object that would circle their world. They had finally done it. They had an artificial satellite, circling their world faster than any other object.

 

The room behind Mission Control was even more ecstatic. The engineers cried tears of joy: their hard work and sleepless nights spent building the rocket had finally paid off. The Council members in Mission Control had joined the cheering. They shook hands with the engineers and congratulated them on their success.

 

Even after a few weeks, everybody seemed to be talking about it. When people looked up at the right moment, every 90 minutes, they could see a streak of light racing across the sky.

 

The engineers at the space program worked harder and more efficiently than ever before. They had already started the construction of the next rocket, and in several months, they would launch another satellite. Eppizeh and his space program became household names, and when he and his team returned to the city, they were greeted with cheers and smiles. The Grand Council had even given them more funding. They were certain that nothing could go wrong.

 

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Here's the cover!!

73645613-176-k270696.jpg

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3 hours ago, Spaceception said:

“So! The rocket went up to about 32 kilometres, becoming the highest flying object in history, and took several stunning photos at the top,”

Wow! Not bad for a first launch!

Also, great chapter! Can't wait for the second!

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So what do you guys think?

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24 minutes ago, Spaceception said:

So what do you guys think?

Pretty good! Although, I could help with the biology of both species...

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2 hours ago, Spaceception said:

So what do you guys think?

Pretty nice if you ask me.

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3 hours ago, Galacticvoyager said:

Pretty good! Although, I could help with the biology of both species...

I'm working on it, although, it's not going to be super detailed, I'm not big on biology.

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Love it :D.

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1 hour ago, Spaceception said:

I'm working on it, although, it's not going to be super detailed, I'm not big on biology.

Oh OK! Just make sure to add an `alien` aspect to the species to separate that they are different from earth life (although if they are both related thanks to panspermia, you dont really need to do the same for both alien biospheres.) Perhaps life on the twin world (`bird` world) uses echolocation instead of eyes? While life on the `main` world sheds their `fur` in a way where slime peels off alongside the fur...

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1 minute ago, Galacticvoyager said:

Oh OK! Just make sure to add an `alien` aspect to the species to separate that they are different from earth life (although if they are both related thanks to panspermia, you dont really need to do the same for both alien biospheres.) Perhaps life on the twin world (`bird` world) uses echolocation instead of eyes? While life on the `main` world sheds their `fur` in a way where slime peels off alongside the fur...

The shedding fur idea sounds good, but I think I'll do something else for the Vurvians. :)

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Just now, Spaceception said:

The shedding fur idea sounds good, but I think I'll do something else for the Vurvians. :)

Its your book! Do as you please to your species and ideas! Experiment and explore new possibilities! :wink:

by slime peeling off, the slime helps slide the fur off. Like snakes, I think the shedding would be removing the skin and fur in one large go, like a snake removing all of it scales at once instead of in clumps. The slime is created when the time of shedding is near, and the slime is slippery to speed up the process. And might be used to make pranks? (Because yaknow, bananas.)

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3 minutes ago, Galacticvoyager said:

Its your book! Do as you please to your species and ideas! Experiment and explore new possibilities! :wink:

by slime peeling off, the slime helps slide the fur off. Like snakes, I think the shedding would be removing the skin and fur in one large go, like a snake removing all of it scales at once instead of in clumps. The slime is created when the time of shedding is near, and the slime is slippery to speed up the process. And might be used to make pranks? (Because yaknow, bananas.)

To slime, or not to slime, I do not know.

33 minutes ago, KAL 9000 said:

Love it :D.

What'd you like best?

Also, I've worked out a basic measuring system, I'll fix the chapter later though :)

Elordian Mesurment system: Half of Imperial

Qi = Inch = half an inch

Lor = Foot = half a foot

Mev = Yard = half a yard

Jiv = Mile = half a mile

 

Vurvian mesurment system: Double of Metric

J'e = Millemeter = 2 millimeters

Y'ru = Centemeter = 2 centemeters

K'x = Meter = 2 meters

M'az = Kilometer = 2 kilometers

 

And NO! I will not be mixing it up and spicing it up, I don't have the time or patience for that, figuring out a time system is bad enough.

 

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17 minutes ago, Spaceception said:

The shedding fur idea sounds good, but I think I'll do something else for the Vurvians. :)

Another thing. Shedding could take a few (earth) hours to complete. So its not a quick progress...

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I've finished the third chapter of TCBW! Word count is around 20k :)

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21 hours ago, The Raging Sandwich said:

Nice! When will the second chapter be up?

Soon, only a few more edits to go :)

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I

AM

EXCITED

FOR

CHAPTER

TOOOOOOO!!!!

(Seriously though, the story so far is absolutely amazing and I genuinely am excited for the second chapter of this story.)

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24 minutes ago, electricpants said:

I

AM

EXCITED

FOR

CHAPTER

TOOOOOOO!!!!

(Seriously though, the story so far is absolutely amazing and I genuinely am excited for the second chapter of this story.)

Well, hopefully, it'll be up in a few days :)

But I myself am excited to see how the story unfolds as well.

And I'm the one writing it!

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This is great!

 

On 10/14/2016 at 7:56 AM, Spaceception said:

Elordian Mesurment system: Half of Imperial

Qi = Inch = half an inch

Lor = Foot = half a foot

Mev = Yard = half a yard

Jiv = Mile = half a mile

 

Vurvian mesurment system: Double of Metric

J'e = Millemeter = 2 millimeters

Y'ru = Centemeter = 2 centemeters

K'x = Meter = 2 meters

M'az = Kilometer = 2 kilometers

The Vurvians have the better system, also, for a weight system:

Elordian:

Kyet = Ounce = Half an Ounce (14 grams)

Yut = Pound = Half a Pound (227 grams)

Oly = Ton = Half a Ton (508 kilograms)

 

Vurvian:

N'et = Gram = (2 Grams)

Py'et = Kilogram = (2 Kilograms)

 

 

And temperature:

Elordian:

Tyate = Fahrenheit = Half of Fahrenheit = (Human body is 98.6 Fahrenheit, or 49.3 Tyates)

 

Vurvian:

I'ut = Celsius = Double Celsius = (Human body is 37 Celsius, or 74 I'uts)

 

Also, why give the more advanced civilization the less advanced measurement system?

Edited by CAKE99
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