Home Sweet Home
Story by Morgan Chambers
We are a normal family who just happens to live in a space vehicle. My name is Roger Matell and my wife who I love very much is called Rona Matell. We have two boys, Ronnie and Ken whose ages are 12 and 14 respectively. They are good boys. As a family, all we ever wanted was to be left alone. We have always been self-sufficient. We have the knowledge our people have passed down from generation to generation that includes food production, self-healing, and building what we need from what we have or can locate. We never asked for anything because as you can see, we have whatever we need and what we don’t have, we can make, grow, build, or find.
I suppose you might say that our ship was small but we do have a lot of extra space. Our vehicle home measures 4,500 feet in diameter and 325 feet at the highest point which would be at the exact center. We have, of course, our engineering and power sectors, our sleeping quarters, galley, and gymnasium as well as a holodeck capable of replicating even the size of a small city. We often replicate a city and then use it for our entertainment. We visit restaurants and other happy and exciting places. It takes our minds off of the fact that we are effectively homeless.
Then there is the navigation specialty area and the storerooms. I could go on but I think you get the picture. As I said, we have everything we need except a home planet. So that is what we are doing out here, searching for a new home. Life on our ship is adequate, but we would like to get off her eventually, and that would be sooner rather than later. Oh and one more thing, our ship is a sentient being. Her name is Gabriella. Oh, and yes, we do have a small crew of 25 wonderful friends as well.
I know what you are thinking, how did we end up living in our vehicle? Well, it’s quite a long story so you’d better sit down. Our planet was wiped out by a rogue government that believed that it knew best. Once upon a time, that government was by the people, and for the people, but it was the nature of our race I suppose, to become power-hungry and greedy. Our representatives at first, were our friends and people we knew, people from our neighborhoods. Over the years that began to change. They overstayed their term limits and started doing insider business. After that, it was all downhill.
They quickly screwed everything up. They started canceling our support systems because they didn’t like the fact that our systems, the systems put in place to support our communities and seniors, were sucking money away from their corrupt and selfish endeavors. They closed a lot of important government offices and caused a civil war. Anarchy never amounts to anything but chaos, and that’s exactly what we ended up with. I tried to stay, but my family was threatened on several occasions and the street thugs and criminal elements were starting to set up their little hoods, each one with some fool who thought he could rule the world. The entire planet was in ruins when we left, and I’m pretty sure we only just got out in time.
“Skipper, this is Major Rigs, navigation has informed me that they have found a planet they think we should take a look at. Can you get to the bridge please?”
“On my way Rigs,” I told him.
The bridge was huge and had sliding doors that made a hissing sound when they opened and closed. There was plush carpeting that looked like it came from the American Western Indians in patterns of emerald green and light sandy beige. The pilot's chair was black with a comfy-looking red soft bottom look to it. The overhead on the bridge was very high and there were circular areas that looked dark gray and had odd geometric-shaped enclosures around them.
“What do we have?” I asked.
“It sounds like a Class G rock but look at it skipper?” Riggs told me.
I watched as the planet grew larger.
“Reduce speed to point zero one,” I said.
“Reducing speed skipper.”
The planet was beautiful. It was a blue world with water everywhere. It was practically a water world. The continents and islands were quite large in some areas and showed greens and browns and some light tans which we would assume are dessert areas.
“Over there,” I told him as I pointed to a particularly thick and rich green area.
“I’m taking a shuttle down, and we’ll be landing there… Loading dock two, this is your skipper. Ready shuttle number one for departure in two hours and give me extra fuel tanks. And better stock the usual armaments too.”
“Roger that Skipper,” a voice said.
The ship slipped through space as though it was standing still. Every few minutes, some debris flew past the ports but it was very small and nobody worried about it.
“Mr. Riggs, magnify to 30%.” The skipper instructed.
“Magnifying,” Riggs said. “I see movement down there,” Mr. Riggs stated.
“Yeah, I see it too. Would you like to join me on the off-ship adventure Mr. Riggs?” the skipper asked.
“Yes sir,” Riggs said. “I would be honored.”
“Major Jansen, you have the con.” The skipper instructed.
“Yes sir,” the major replied.
Matell and Riggs assembled a few of their best marines and headed over to the loading bay dock.
“Everything ready, Mr. Brown?” the skipper asked the deck charge.
“Yes sir, as you requested and sir,” he snapped. “Good luck sir and please come back to us safely.”
The squad buckled up and blasted out of the massive shuttle bay door.
“Next stop, with a little luck, our new home.” The skipper announced.
“I’m getting some radio interference!” Jansen called out.
“Find out what it is and report,” the skipper told him.
“Yes sir, will do,” Jansen replied.
They took a low angle and used the planet's plentiful atmosphere to slow them down and were soon well on their way to the ground.
“Looks good so far skipper,” Riggs announced.
“Yes, it does look quite inviting doesn’t it Riggs.”
Riggs brought the shuttle down and picked out a wide-open grassy area near a growth of large trees.
“We’re going under some heavy weather skipper,” he announced.
“Looks cold out there. Let’s get on some warm weather gear boys!” the captain called out.
Riggs set up a landing pattern and called out to the others to secure. Then he called out elevations as they descended. After a picture-perfect landing, Riggs deployed the mobile heavy tracks below the ship and they slowly taxied over to the closest forested area and pulled inside just in case. It was dark in there so he activated the unit's overhead lights.
“Look at that,” Riggs said as a large deer ran right across in front of the unit. Then a few hogs ran past the vehicle snorting and scuffing their way along.
“And up in the trees,” the skipper pointed out. Lots of birds and a huge nest close to their location told them that the planet did support all types of life.
“Sensors are reading a good atmosphere out there skipper,” Riggs announced. “I’m reading 78% nitrogen, 21% oxygen, 0.9% argon, and 0.03% carbon dioxide with very small percentages of other elements. Readings also show some water vapor and slight traces of dust particles, pollen, plant grains, and other solid particles.” Riggs said with an excited tone. “Just right I’d say,” he added.
“Everybody ready?” the captain asked. ‘Yes, sirs’ rang out all around and Riggs popped open the big sliding door on the side of the shuttle.
The squad filed out and worked their way across the meadow. Yellow flowers were blooming everywhere and some large red plants as well. The meadow was filled with lush green grasses and there was a heavy wind. It began to rain.
“Wow, this is a lot like home,” Riggs said.
“Sure is, and I have a really good feeling about this place. It feels good to get your feet on solid ground doesn’t it Riggs?” the skipper said.
They reached the other side of the meadow and spotted a long white split rail fence running the entire way down until it disappeared behind a group of trees. They followed the fence line until it came to a gate that was locked shut and there was a marque over the top of it in the shape of a big arch. On the top, it said, “Watford Farms.”
“Hmmm, I wonder what that means?” Riggs said.
Then they jumped the fence and found that the ground was strange. It was a dark gray color and much harder than the field they had just left. They followed the odd gray hard surface a mile or so and came to another sign on the side of the road. It said “M1.”
“Very odd,” the captain muttered. Then they moved out again. It wasn’t long before they came to another one of the odd signs only this time there were two posts and it was much larger. It said, “London 200 Kilometers!”
“I like it here skipper, this feels good,” Riggs called out.
“Yep, I think we’ll take it.”
Then Matell radioed Daniella and said,
“Jensen, pinpoint the location of the shuttle and bring her in. We are staying!”
“Roger that skipper,” Jensen stated. Bringing the mother ship down. “ETA, 45 minutes. Jensen out!”