DATE: OCTOBER 12, 2038
THREE HOURS UNTIL LAUNCH
Twenty-three year-old Charli Penskins looked at the Skeld through the protective glass, shifting her feet cautiously towards it. Around her were numerous ships, all arranged in a neat line. Her father, the famous John Penskins, found the key to travel through space faster than before. Wormholes that could transport the spaceship throughout the galaxy was easy for her father. After all, it was John Penskins that decided the name of the spaceship could be called the Skeld. In just three hours, Charli, and the rest of the crew, would be in space. The thought excited Charli. You better get your head on straight. Just because you know aerospace engineering doesn’t mean you don’t do anything. Your team is counting on you! Then, Jenny and Alex appeared across the hallway.
“Charli! C’mon! We’re gonna say our goodbyes to our families!” Both Jenny and Alex shouted at the same time.
“Alright, I’m coming!”
The trio trotted towards the conference room, where the crew would say their final goodbyes to their family and friends. Inside, there were loud conversations that echoed throughout the room. People of all shapes and sizes were talking, crying, laughing. Charli had never seen such a joyous, yet unmistakably sad, moment in her entire life. Even so, the crew would hold this memory in their hearts as they zoomed across space to complete their mission. One hour later, there was a message on the intercom, causing everyone to look up from their conversations to hear.
“ALL CREWMATES REPORT TO SPACESHIP. LAUNCH IN LESS THAN TWO HOURS.”
Charli turned around to see tears stream down her father’s and mother’s face. She couldn’t help but do so, too.
“Charli Penskins, you better come back home safe!” her mother declared with gusto, with tears still coming down.
Her father also joined in, “Don’t you dare take all of the space samples for yourself! We need it here to study!”
“Of course! Don’t worry, I’ll be alright!” Charli assured. “Now, I better get going. I love you, Mom and Dad.”
“We love you too, honey.”
Around her, the people in the room were also breaking down. Jenny and Alex were hugging their parents. Lance almost looked like he was about to cry, but somehow resisted the urge to. Finally, it was time to go. The crew headed over to their rooms, and changed into their suits. To make the mission seem unique, the crew could choose what color they wanted their suits to be. Charli sifted through her closet to find her cyan-colored suit. It stood out to her almost immediately, either its bright highlights, or that it was just her favorite color. After putting the suit on, Charli exited her room for the very last time. It was like a new stage in her life, finally letting go of the past behind her. Another crewmate, named Rosaline, carried her pink helmet as she strolled through the hallway. Rosaline’s thick-framed glasses were a sure sign that she was around computers a lot. Charli didn’t know Rosaline well, but she had seen her always talking to her friend, Darla. They were called the duo for a very good reason, since they never separated from each other at all. Even their rooms were side-to-side.
“Hey, Charli!” A voice called from a distance.
Charli pivoted her head towards the noise. There was Jenny, Alex, and Darla, wearing, in that order, yellow, orange, and purple. The crew was split fifty-fifty of both guys and girls. Suddenly, chatter came from the other corridor. Then came the other half of the crew. Lance wore the classic color of astronaut suits. Next to him was Henry, who had a dark green suit, and James, who put on a dark blue spacesuit. Following from behind came Tom and Aaron, wearing red and brown.
“You guys ready?” Henry asked, with Charli scoffing at his words. But still, he received a couple yeahs and sures against Charli’s wishes.
“Here goes nothing,” Alex said, unsure.
The crews boarded the ships, feeling uncertainty and excitement all at the same time. The entire world watched from their screens as Mission Control counted down those famous numbers. With one flick of the switch, the ships’ engines simultaneously turned on, blasting past the skies and into space.