Join Date: Sep 2004
Chapter two. Here you are. Hope you enjoy it.
The space underneath the rocket lit up in a huge explosion. The sound of it was deafening to those close by. Three different rocket thrusters propelled the rocket up into the air. Those on the ground saw an awesome sight. Those inside, were greeted by a great sight and a great thought. They were going to Mars. They were actually going to Mars!
Wes fiddled with the headset until he had it comfortable. “Daytona tower, we have liftoff,” he said with a big grin. “We have liftoff.”
You could almost hear the smile in the tower operator’s voice. “Roger that Odyssey.”
Wes leaned back and put his hands over his head. “Well, captain, we’re on our way. Next stop, the big red rock!
Elias smiled. “Yep. Only 56,327,039 more kilometers to go,” he said with a smirk. “And going at 25,000 kilometers an hour… It’s going to take a while. About 2200 hours if my math isn’t wrong… And that means… Around 100 days, if I not mistaken.”
Wes grinned wolfishly. “What are the chances your math is wrong?”
Elias returned the grin. “Pretty big chance. I’ll go check out the numbers with Ron. I’m not even sure what this ship is capable of. Be back in a second.” He pulled himself out of the co-pilot’s chair. He almost fell down the passageway. “Argh,” he said. “I forgot, we’re still inside the atmosphere, and still going straight up.”
Wes laughed. “Yeah, that would put a damper on things.”
Elias laughed with him. “Yeah. That would have probably hurt.”
A short while later, The Odyssey was pulling out of the atmosphere and into the void of outer space. The sun pulled into view. The Earth was covering the sun just enough to paint a beautiful picture to the inhabitants of The Odyssey. Elias found his way to the research wing of the ship. He found Ron hunched over a notebook and scribbling with a pencil. “Hey, Ron!” Elias called out.
Ron looked up from his calculations. “Yeah?”
“Me and Wes were wondering how long you think this trip will take. Going about 25,000 kilometers an hour, I figure we’d hit Mars in about 100 days. What do you figure?
Ron laughed. “First of all, you got the speed way messed up. I can go at least twice that. The Odyssey is outfitted with a brand-new plasma drive engine. Yeah, we finally got plasma to work. Going 25,000 kilometers an hour will be like sitting in Manhattan traffic. Maximum speed is around 100,000 kilometers an hour, and I figure we’ll be going around 75,000 kilometers an hour for most of the trip. So I figure about a month all around.
Elias smiled. “Thanks for that info, Ron. Don’t hurt your brain with all the big numbers.”
Ron smiled back. “You got it captain.”
A knock sounded on the door of the research wing. A voice was heard, yelling though the door. “Captain! This is Lieutenant Michael Wilson! I want to talk to you!”
“Okay, Mike!” Elias yelled back. Now completely out of the atmosphere, Elias found it harder than it should have been to get to the door. Crawling and pulling along the ceiling, he finally made it to the door. He pulled it open and floated out. “What’s up Mike?”
Mike tried as hard as he could to stand with proper form in front of a ranking officer, but the fact that there was no gravity made it difficult. He eventually gave up. “Sir, just to be safe, I would suggest that all personnel on this ship undergo marksmanship training. You can’t be too safe.”
Elias groaned. “You couldn’t be too safe,” was beginning to become a motto for him. But it was true. You couldn’t be too safe. “If that’s what you want to do, then do it. But, how can you shoot? With no gravity?”
Mike turned and floated down the hallway. He beckoned for Elias to follow. “Come on. I’ll show you.” The main hallway was distinctly easier to traverse than the rooms. A long chain of hooks ran down the hallway, and a person could easily pull themselves along the hallway. They came to the end of the ship. They entered the last door on the left. It was dark. Mike flipped a switch and the lights came on. It was a firing range. Targets lined the far wall, Machine Guns were set up, and designated firing areas were painted on the floor.
Elias floated to the top and inspected the area from above. “This is great, but there’s still no gravity. How do you fix that?”
“Easy,” Mike said. “You better get down.” Elias started pulling himself down. “Too late,” Mike said with a smirk. He pulled the lever and gravity was instantly placed in the room. Elias fell downwards to the floor and landed with a thud. Mike laughed. “You didn’t move fast enough.”
Elias got up rubbing the back of his head. “Yeah, I guess so. Anyway, I’m going to grab some weapons and ammo. What do you want?”
Mike shook his head. “No need, we have an armory right here. I’ll give you the run down. All of our weapons are provided by the United States Army. And they are the best.” Mike walked down to the first firing station. “Here we have your basic M16A2.” It’s your standard issue assault rifle. Most soldiers will be carrying this, with the exception of specialist weapons, such as mortars, deployable machine guns, and the M-4 Carbine with an added M-203 grenade launcher. Lucky them if trouble comes.”
Elias picked up an M16A2. It was surprisingly light. Elias had always thought that weapons were heavier than that. “Well, let’s get started. Show me”
“Okay.” Mike picked up an M16A2, and set the stock against his shoulder. The M16A2 has three modes of fire: automatic, three-shot burst, and single shot. Most of the time, burst is most effective. It has an even amount of accuracy and rate-of-fire. Flip the selector level to burst, and let the lead fly.” He fired the weapon. Elias jumped. He was expecting it, but the sudden sound still made him jump. Elias looked at the target downrange. Three bullet holes were set in the bulls-eye of the target. Mike smirked. “Your turn.”
Over the next hour, they went down the line, firing weapon after weapon. The M-4 with a M-203 grenade launcher, the M-24 and M40A1 sniper rifles, and the M-249 Squad Automatic Weapon, or SAW. It was basically a deployable machine gun. Next, mounted machine guns. The M-240 MG and the M-2 MG. Both could churn out over five hundred rounds per minute. More small arms came next. The M-9 pistol, the M-1041 combat shotgun, and the MP-5 sub machine gun. Next, Mike showed Elias the rockets and heavy weapons. “Wow,” Elias thought. “We have enough weapons to blow up Mars, let alone combat its inhabitants. I hope we don’t have to use any of this.”
The following weeks were spent drilling soldiers and training non-soldiers in the use of weapons. The gravity room could be altered to different degrees of gravity. They weren’t really sure what kind of atmosphere Mars had, and they had to be prepared. After all, you just couldn’t be too safe.
Exactly one month from leaving Daytona, The Odyssey was orbiting Mars. Elias gazed out the window. “Wow,” he breathed lightly to himself. “Mars. I never thought I’d live to see the day I would see Mars.” Mars’s larger moon, Phobos, drifted idly by.
“Ya know,” Wes said, “I’ve heard that Phobos is on what they like to call a ‘death orbit.’ It’s gonna collide with the red rock eventually.
“That may be so, but it’s not going to while we’re here. While we’re just sitting here in awe of the Red Planet, let’s take it in.”
Wes saluted. “Yes sir.” And The Odyssey plunged toward the surface of the Red Planet.
Run from me, Hide from me,
Hear my Tomphson singing,
Son of Freedom's family,
Death to you is bringing.
--Sig made by insanesith. Thanks man!