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Space Cadets #4

Hanson Lu on Unsplash

Previously…

“What’s that noise?” yells Stevens over the resonating sound.

“Sounds like the Tardis.” I reply, still wondering what happened to the Borg Cube which a moment ago had been poised to assimilate our space craft.

“The what?”

“It’s the doctor.” I say confidently. “That’s who I just thought of. You know how it works.”

“Doctor who?” the boys turn to be, puzzled expressions on their faces.

I roll my eyes. “Yes, that’s right. Doctor Who. From the British TV series. You know, late 20th, early 21st century? Goes around space and time saving people.” I raise my eyebrows. “Like he might be able to get us out of this mess..?”

They shake their heads. Then their eyes slide past me, widening. I spin around in my chair to see the familiar blue box start to materialize. Relieved, I try to jump up from my seat, but the safety belt restrains me.

Suddenly the ship is rocked by a huge explosion. Over my shoulder the viewing screen flashes on, showing a ball of flames and massive pieces of dark black debris scattering across the void.

“Gotcha!” cries Harris, punching the air.

“Way to go!” cheers Stevens, leaning across the console to give Harris a high five.

So that’s what’s happened to the Cube. “How did you do that?” I ask.

“Hit the red button,” Harris indicates the joystick in front of him.

I turn back to see the Tardis start to fade. “Come back, Doctor!” I cry. “We need your help!”

“We don’t need help from some old doctor. We’re fine,” says Harris smugly. “I just blew up The Borg.”

“Er, I’d not be so sure,” says Stevens pointing at the viewing screen.

black hole guardian.com

How will the Cadets escape from the Black Hole? And who imagined that??
Tune in next week for the next episode of Space Cadets!

Writing My City – Update

writingmycity new pic by mak1one

Just a quick update on the outcome of the submissions to the #WritingMyCity project.

To recap: Cape Town Libraries, in conjunction with the Book Lounge and the Fugard Theatre, launched the project earlier this year to encourage Capetonians to write stories and poetry about the city they live in.

The initiative was aimed at giving Capetonians, from a broad range of backgrounds, the opportunity to tell their stories to a wider world, and for more local community stories to be told and shared. By doing this there is an opportunity to celebrate and deepen the understanding of who and what makes Cape Town the city it is, and build better social cohesion. 

You may remember that I volunteered to facilitate a series of workshops, leading a group of people to help them produce their own unique submission. Things didn’t entirely go to plan but in the end we did tell our stories and we did submit to the project. 

My hope was that at least one of the ladies’ stories might be accepted. Unfortunately, this wasn’t the case. Perhaps their stories were just a bit too gritty. But it was an interesting journey for us all, and I hope that one or two of them will continue to write and get that release and enjoyment from doing so.

The names of those who have been selected suggest that a range of different voices will be published, including the immigrant English woman who wrote a little piece from the point of view of a child from the township.

 

 

 

Author Angst

Nothing to Say by Chris Hall lunasonline

Drag open cupboards! Rummage the dusty shelves!
Words spill out; letters separate, scatter across the floor.
Photos flame to ash, picture frames’ contents
ooze sludgily down the walls.

You fling open a window. There’s a beach, sunshine and the smell of the sea!
Waves lapping; a boy in a boat.
He points and you look
but there’s nothing to see.

A sudden squall
slams the window
shut.

Here’s a door; chained and padlocked.
There’s a message, curled and yellow, stuck to the frame
A single word, written in your own hand:
No.

You step away, anxiously.
You know. Now
is not the time.

Turn away, turn back!

You trudge step-by-step
over the disturbed contents
of your untidy mind.

Empty handed.
Empty headed?

You take a breath, drain the mug of tepid tea and realise that
Today, you simply have
Nothing to say.

Space Cadets #3

Space Cadets by Chris Hall lunasonline
Source

Previously…

The music fades out as we leave the planet’s atmosphere. The viewing screen blinks.

[STARDATE: 2607.7 – DESTINATION: SECOND STAR ON THE RIGHT]

The letters dissolve. The screen is filled with huge rocks, hurtling towards us.

“Asteroids!” yells Stevens.

The warning siren starts to wail and the red light flashes.

“Does this thing have shields?” I wonder out loud.

[SHIELDS ACTIVATED]

A medium-sized asteroid glances off the screen; the ship slews. Only our seat straps save us from being thrown to the floor.

“How do we steer?” shouts Harris.

A joystick, with a large red button on the top, sprouts from the console in front of him. He grabs hold and his eyes fix on the screen. His tongue pokes out of the side of his mouth; his gaming face. The control is hyper-responsive. Harris dodges nimbly through the asteroid belt, blowing rocks to smithereens with a dab of his thumb.

Then we’re through. The asteroids are behind us and all we can see is the inky blackness of space, peppered with bright pinpricks of light which are the stars.

All is quiet. We sit back and admire the view. My thoughts wander.

 

A huge black cube appears on the left of the screen. It glitters menacingly.  

[You will be assimilated]

Stevens peers at the screen. “The Borg Cube!

The ship is being pulled towards the vast angular vessel. Sirens wail, warning lights flash. 

“But that’s not real!” Harris protests as he wrestles desperately with the joystick.

The ship judders ominously.

[Resistance is useless]

Stevens turns to me. “Hold on. Remember what the Zyborgatron said?”

I think for a moment. “Something about the ship being ‘guided by your imaginations.’ “

“Okay, who imagined The Borg?” Harris growls.

“Never mind who’s responsible. Just think of something else; something friendly!” I yell. “Hurry!”

The Borg Cube fills the screen. Harris jabs the red button repeatedly.

The viewing screen goes blank.

 

Then I hear a familiar sound.

Tune into episode #4

Home

Home by Chris Hall lunasonline
Source

Take a last look at the world we call Home. You’ll never see it again. After this generation, and maybe the next, nobody will. It won’t exist.

And we, brave comrades, will not see our next home, nor the several generations which will succeed us. Our new home is far, far too distant. Almost too distant to contemplate. It lies beyond our own planetary system, beyond anything visible to our eyes. Only our most powerful telescopes can see; reached only by a single exploratory probe which has travelled over many of our lifetimes.

Thus our new home has been identified. All available data indicates it is suitable for life. Or was. Remember we are travelling such a very great distance across the galaxy, that what we know about this planet is only its past.

But we are optimistic. No other race could have been so stupid. No other beings would wantonly destroy their planet.

So, brave comrades, we boldly go, across to the westward arm of the great spiral galaxy, to a group of eight planets which orbit a sun, just like ours. Our destination is the third from that sun, a blue planet, and we will call it Home.