Heroes of a New World Pilot Part 1 of 2
Adam Cleese, Maggie Sykes, Norman Baits, Cazimir Soucek, and Chris Everyman (hereafter referred to as ‘the characters’) went about their normal days. Cazimir who works for XSpace was updating tolerance data on Clotho’s engines when the personal data pad informed him he had been invited on board the Lachesis. Norman sat in the cafeteria of the Hays Medical center with his best friend James, when the Xerxes Group official and Disney Corporation cameras found him for his prize. Adam Cleese was job searching at home in Lansing with his girlfriend when they received the surprise. Everyone was given their travel documents for Orlando, where they would stay at Disney World before the trip. It seemed The Walt Disney Corporation was co-sponsoring everything, and had exclusive right to film the excursion. The characters all filled out a number of release forms (attached) and were left to consider their good luck.
The characters all spent a long time excitedly telling loved ones and significant others that they were going, then made the trip to Orlando. The Grand Floridian was booked exclusively for the Lachesis Group. They checked in and were assigned rooms as well as groups and sections, the better to let them acclimate with each other and for potential safety when on board the Lachesis. There were light refreshments as everyone filtered in from around the country, and the characters found out they were in the same group and even the same section! They hung out with many members of Group B. The Sagina family was escorting their daughter, Bai, who had to go up to the station alone. She became a ward and mascot for Group B. Adam and Suji, the down-on-her-luck mechanic became closer, and Cazimir and Norman discussed their lives, while meeting another Norm, Ai Yakamori, and Joshua Jones. Then the guests all retired.
The next morning was a big breakfast. They met even more people, like Jorge Valderrama, Viktor Nigorni, and a few more. Cazimir talked with Norm about the Trump victory, and Norm was surprised to learn that Cazimir was an H1 visa holder, changing his opinions a bit on the matter. The breakfast was clouded when Freddy Koss began making racist references to the Sagina family. He got up and left after Norman and Cazimir confronted him, and then got in a fight further down the table with Mike Chavez. Group B! But then Damien Xerxes made an appearance in the breakfast hall, giving an impassioned and humorous speech about the impact they were all making to the future of space travel. Cazimir and Norman went up to talk with Damien, who introduced them to Alicia Evans, while Suji stole Robert Fauerbach’s chair next to Adam to sit next to him and chat.
The rest of the day was devoted to the characters’ entertainment, and at the end of the day they had a choice: a puzzle and storytelling at the hotel poolside, or laser tag through the Magic Kingdom. Section 1, composed of The Characters, Bai, Norm, and Suji voted and elected for laser tag. They were put in command of Frontierland, and told to recover the flag from the Castle. Bai was shot, but another team’s captain gave her his equipment so she could keep playing. The players, with help from Cazimir’s known military background and Norman’s SECRET military background helped the team succeed. Even Norm, who was hesitant at first about the kids game found Caz’s speech about tactics incredible and joined in the victory.
They got back to the hotel and Ai told them a bit about the fun that was had at the hotel. The next morning was a big day of training so they went to bed early. When they woke up they were taken by bus to the Bay Lake near the appropriately named Bay Tower. Their, food and drinks were set out while they waited for their chance to try the space suits in the lake, and it turned into just another social event. Viktor and Freddy Koss got in a fight in the parking lot, and once again Cazimir and Norman interrupted it. Handsome Adam kept going after the ladies, hanging out with Catherine Ferdi, as well as Suji and Ai. Caz played some soccer, but twisted his ankle badly. It gave him a chance to hang out with Andrez Spirelli and Malika Said a bit however.
When it was their turn they dove into the lake, equipped with the space suits that were adjusted to neutral buoyancy to keep them at the bottom of the water. Beneath the surface, they encountered a simulated airlock that had been submerged, and they were tested to see how well they could get it open as large propellers blew them around, and simulated suit leaks interfered with their concentration. However, the characters, Jin Wu, and Pibero Djawatho were an unfair team, and managed to overcome all obstacles.
When they returned to the hotel that night, excitement struck! Norman went to his room to get some things, when he sensed someone was in his room. A man with a gun, hiding his burned face and skin with a pulled down hat brim and long sleeves pointed a gun at him and demanded he be ALLOWED TO THINK GIVE ME TIME! He pulled a piece of paper from his pants, and handed it to Norman. Written upon this paper were the names of all the characters! CALL THEM NOW THEY NEED TO BE HERE THEN I CAN THINK! The stranger said. Norman managed to get Adam to recognize that something was wrong, who called the front desk and the police. Adam then alerted Cazimir who went to Norman’s door, giving Norman a chance to rush the man with the gun! The entire 3rd floor was soon trying to restrain the man, before the cops arrived and took the man away screaming YOU CAN"T LET HIM GO UP HE CAN"T GO UP! They all decided the man probably was on drugs and wanted to steal their tickets. Damien Xerxes arrived with Alicia Evans and apologized profusely. He said if there was anything he could do, just say it. Then they all went to bed to get ready for the flight the next morning.
Viewed from the launch center, the Clotho is a razor thin white line, stretching across the entirety of the runway. The sweeping wings, integrated into the body of the vessel so that it acts as a single mechanism of lift, reach out across the scraggly grasses that gust in the salty sea breeze. As you drive closer for boarding, the true enormity of the ship becomes apparent. The boomerang fuselage is narrow, but only in comparison to the football field width, the uniformity of the height marred by a number of bulbous, metallic growths that conceal powerful engines, and a largest hump in the center where the passengers can reside. But even these architectural perturbations are fantastically sleek, a form that identifies elementally with speed.
Your bus pulls up alongside a mobile lift that carries you up to the hatch. Passing beyond and into the thick, alloyed chassis you might even be convinced you were in a rearranged 787 were it not for the complete lack of windows. Tens of semi-reclining seats, with pillowy padding capable of lessening the shock of ever increasing g-forces line the cabin. They have none of the normal arm rests and overhead compartments of an airplane, and between each is a decimeter of space, giving a sense of openness in the otherwise claustrophobic quarters. Concealed lighting bathes the interior in uniform, white light, while blue diodes flash like marching soldiers along the central walkway, indicating your seats.
The dry, sterile air of the fans kicks into overdrive as the Clotho climbs into the skies, leaving even the clouds far below as it approaches maximum cruising altitude. The space plane skates along the very edges of the stratopause. Atmospheric density no longer restricts velocity, but the massive jet turbines must dredge the sky for every last vestige of oxygen, like a great whale filtering the sea for krill. There is a loud clank, and a vibration that shudders through the cabin. The air-breathers that have served so valiantly, are now free to fall to the ocean below. At that same moment a roar unlike anything you have experienced screams out, and you are pressed into the back of your seat. You accelerate, faster and faster. Twenty seconds, thirty. The pressure on your chest mounts, and breathing becomes more of a chore than an autonomous function. Fifty, sixty. Everything rattles around you, but even your chattering teeth are silent in the face of the volcanic fury of Clotho’s raging rockets. Then, just as you think you might call out in distress, the pressure fades…and you are falling.
“Ladies and gentlemen,” a voice announces over the loud speaker, “I’d like to be the first to welcome you to orbit. We’re nice and stable and should be able to dock up with the Lachesis in just under 35 minutes.”
There is applause and some cheering as you consider what you knew all along – you aren’t falling. You are in space.
They get up to the station without any issue. After docking they are pulled by a tether through the weightlessness into the hanger. Then Alicia Evans has a surprise. With a call into her wrist comm their is suddenly gravity! Everyone, especially the scientists in the guests are amazed. Once again they are given free reign and take time to explore the station. They are given a quick tour of the safety features and the layout of the station. Some go to the casino or restaurants, others hit up the gym. Norman notices a man who seems to be in too places at once, but he chalks it up to being excited. The next day a gala is planned. Before that Cazimir takes a tour of the ship. A man named Walter asks him to get some pictures on his iPhone, which Caz does. The others all go on a space walk, or hang out with their friends and make new ones. The Gala starts. Cazimir hangs out with Malika whose cousin she found out was just deported by the trump admin. Suji and Adam end up sleeping together. The Clotho makes a dangerously close fireworks run on the gala’s large open window, and Alicia Evans runs off to dress down the pilot. Some hillbilly tries to give Bai alcohol because he doesn’t think it is a big deal, and Adam lets him but under supervision. Once again Freddy gets in a fight and is dragged off to the brig. This causes the party to wind down.
Everyone goes back to their rooms and sleeps except Cazimir. Around 4:03 AM disaster strikes:
_It is long after the gala, and station time has the lights dimmed and most guests asleep, resting off the alcohol, food, and fun. All of a sudden, there is a sickening lurch, and an instant later a sound like waves crashing in your ears. Alarms begin to blare as you are torn from your reverie.
No sooner has your mind become aware of the situation, than there is a distortion wave that ripples through space, like someone is dragging a lens across reality. It crashes around you with a gravitational strength. There is immediately nothing but darkness. Sensation returns in fits and starts, accompanied by strange screams and an omnipresent noise like fire being stoked by a bellows. You feel a powerful displacement, of being in other places in the station and beyond. For a second you see the shattered halls of Lachesis, with strange creatures roaming throughout, all eyes and mouths and pseudopods. Blackness again, then Damien Xerxes office as he receives a call, face darkening. Blackness, a jungle, overgrown and dim, a raptor cocking its head inquisitively at you. Blackness, then a strange room, with a ringed planet visible outside the window. Blackness, back on Earth, as a blindingly bright light bursts into view above a city you recognize. Always, these visions are accompanied by the deafening howl as of movement through heavy wind.
You snap into focus and calm for a moment. You are standing on a brown, sun baked plain that appears to go on forever. High above, the sky is orange, with a red sun sitting fat in the midday. Thirty meters away is a wooden table, around which are seated six figures, though they are too distant to make out details. The table is set with an afternoon service, and they appear to be conversing and enjoying a meal, though now you see some are decidedly non-human. Similar in form, but displaying a number of phenotypical alterations. However, only a few meters away is an luminous, angelic creature. “You are back,” the creature says more to your mind than with a voice, though it has a decidedly feminine lilt. “Or you have arrived. Or you are on your way. You call me the Watcher Who Waits at the End. I will be nearby, but I am sorry, so very sorry, you must play out what has been done.”
Then you are on the cold metal floor of your berth, with alarms peeling in your head. Some small amount of time seems to have passed, but you can’t be sure exactly how long.
Cazimir, who is in the Casino, is actually horrified to see the wall in front of him explode and the room decompress before this vision.
When they wake up it seems approximately 15 minutes have gone by. Cazimir grabs a fortuitous helmet floating nearby and collides with a solar panel boom that lets him crawl into an airlock. On the other side is the medical center, where Bai, Ai, Norm, Jorge, and Viktor, as well as dozens of others have set up a quick triage center trying to figure out what to do. Bai somehow miraculously heals a man that Cazimir had found floating in space with him!
Meanwhile, Norman and Adam are in the berthing halls. A giant man that looks like a disgusting mass of muscles with rebar sticking out of him is taking up most of the end of the hall and going on a destructive rage. They are mystified, and also see a number of injured people. Pibero is in the hall, and Norman runs to help him with his medic skills. Pibero opens his eyes, and they are onyx black. When he does, a large dining tray flies across the room nearly decapitating Norman. It seems that every time Pibero opens his eyes, things go flying! Suddenly the huge creature notices Adam and Norman and starts to chase them. Almost like an instinct their own powers suddenly manifest…