The Flight of Icarus Act 1: Daedalus' Greatest Creation

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Taereyn, Dec 2, 2012.

  1. [​IMG]
    if they were painted there to decorate the inky darkness of the void of space, the stars gleamed down upon the solar system of our back yard. The maiden, our closest star burned away, producing the life given energy that sustained Earth. It was now that the race of homosapien had made their homes on other rocky planets and moons. It was the furthest planet from their place of origin that held something that all the science they knew to the present date had created.

    There she sat perched in the nest that was crafted of metal, plastic and rubber. Hidden out of side from the curious eye of man sat a starship like none other, one that would grace the heavens and beyond. Every detail put into the fledgling was that for the safety of man, from her 9 inch thick dual hulled walls composed of Grade 35 Titanium to the carbon air scrubbers that removed the CO2 along with other poisons from the atmosphere that would keep them alive. Icarus was larger than any starship built before, measuring well over three thousand feet long and five hundred feet wide. In all there were twenty-seven decks, and this included the three cargo decks. Each deck was a specifically designated area in the ship. The engineering decks were by far the largest, for it housed the Armstrong Drive as well as the Tachyon Field Generator. These two items had to work in harmony to produce the Tachyon field that encased the ship as it rode along the beams that were produced on fore and aft of the ship. The very front of her hull sat a massive amount if antenna and communication arrays as well as sensor equipment. Icarus had a fluid design about her, not one area on the hull was angled. The metal had been shaped to flow as if it were carved by water over millions of years. Yet the antenna and the communication arrays gave her that very human aspect. She was pleasing to look at as she drifted there in space. Hoses and tubes that were supplying here with water and air made her seem like she was a marionette in a sense. Yet this marionette was going to be the greatest puppet of all time.
  2. There was only eight hours left before flight.

    Ice shifted and clinked against the fogged glass sides of Imlay’s drink, it was his fourth rum on the rocks. He should have been hammered by now, but with the alcohol burner he took an hour prior, everything he drank just burned off. Eight hours and counting down. He sighed softly as he looked to the clock above the bar keepers head. The crew had already done the preflight checks leaving the final departing check left. He had that planned for the last hour before the actual departure time. Wanting another, he tapped the counter top beside his glass signaling to the Keep to refill him one more time. It was going to be a long journey, even with this Armstrong Drive it would take 460 years or less to reach this signal.

    He had doubts. There was no hiding that, this was the first starship that had ever been developed to travel faster than light, but that was impossible, nothing travelled faster than light. There had always been theories, but now he was actually going to be the captain of a private vessel, though he knew things about it that the rest of the crew didn’t. Looking out the window and beyond the dome to the heavens he chuckled, he heard Pleiades was nice this time of year. Yet why did the Dancer want to find this signal in the first place? Sure humanity now knew we weren’t alone, but isn’t that enough to say “Okay… Let them come to us and not us come to them?” Jonathan swatted the notion out of his head as he drained the cup one last time before placing a twenty dollar bill upon the counter.

    Heading out the door, he tugged his jacket on tighter and placed his cover on his head, even with the dome and climate control, the colony could never quite shake the cold of Pluto, because no matter where you went, this icy little planet always chilled your bones.

    Looking up again he caught the faint sunlight glimmer off of Icarus’s side. Might as well go pack his bags and hand the keys over to the guy that was renting it till he got back. That was if he came back. When he found out that he had been selected as captain for Icarus he nearly crapped himself in the middle of the street, now he wasn’t. He was renting his apartment that he owned out to some druggy that shot up for a living. Like he gave a rat’s ass anyways. The guy was an ass and deserved to be treated like dirt, yet he was a rich ass. He came from a wealthy family that had made a killing in the Jupiter metallic hydrogen harvesting rush. That must have been something to see. Jonathan thought to himself. He had learned about it in high school back on Earth, and saw pictures of it, but always wished he could see it for himself.

    Unable to bare the cold any longer he began to move, taking the shortest route possible. Cars were banned here in the North District of Pluto. The only two options were to bike or walk, Jonathan chose to walk. Reaching home, he found a note posted on the door from that asshole, the way Imlay knew was by the half legible writing that only a Shooter had. He wasn’t supposed to come already, so this better be damn important for him to leave a letter. Of course it was taped, couldn’t he have had just wedged it in between the door and the doorjamb? Being careful as not to rip the paper, Imlay peeled it away from the door, he was going to have to cut it off as well. It was also ironic that it was paper, not many used that archaic form of writing anymore, probably couldn’t afford a holoprint or the likes. As the key unlocked the door, Jonathan slipped in and reached for the lights. His place was fairly modest for what he was going to leave behind, decorated in warm hues of browns and reds with black accents and some places of teal colors. He had a fine taste for décor, and most that visited couldn’t believe that he had designed it himself. On the far right wall was a photo of him at his high school with a group of his closest buddies, Senior Orange High School the sign read behind them. Those were fun days, not a care in the world. Now look at him, 4.7 billion miles from home, and about to travel 460 Light years away to a speck of light. What a way to spend the day after a thirty second birthday, but this was for history and he would be a part of it.

    Seven hours and forty-nine minutes till departure.
  3. Seven hours, forty-nine minute till departure.


    June studied the little flute in her hand. She had only made it a few hours ago from a steel pipe and some copper no one in Building 7 had really needed. She couldn't play, not that she was overly interested. You couldn't play classical on a flute anyway.

    Her expertise in E-M Conversion had landed on Pluto. Pluto - of all the planets for her Latin blood! Other people could claim to understand conversion, but in truth there was no one better at actually doing it than June. That's because she preferred putting physics into practice, instead of just rattling off numbers on a board. She remembered that the other day she had come close to a breakthrough. The wooden chair she'd converted into pure energy back on Titan didn't explode after the transformation; she'd been able to successfully store it in a battery. And when she'd tried to revert it back to wood she actually got the energy to arc in the shape of the chair. She still couldn't figure out how to reverse the conversion process.


    She looked up at the ship she'd be working on, floating up above her. The Icarus. As if the idea of floating through the icy blackness of empty space, which wasn't truly empty, didn't make her nervous enough, she would also be floating through the icy blackness of empty space in an experimental starship named after a guy who made fake bird wings and flew into the sun. That really instilled a passenger with a lot of confidence as to how this voyage was going to turn out. She made a mental note that, once they got back (if they got back) to find whatever genius was in charge of that name and let him know just what she thought about it.

    Space was about as far from June's comfort zone as she could get. She preferred conventional matter over dark matter any day of the week. But she was a genius, and they needed someone like that. It was too late to return to Building 7 on Titan, anyhow. She certainly didn't want to clean up the mess from the party after her departure. June suffered no delusions of what they thought about her at the other buildings. She had tapped into the security system of her private little building so that she could listen in whenever one of them visited. These were scientists, sure, but she was dealing with the most dangerous science being studied, and no one wanted to be around someone burning hydrocarbons on a planet with a methane atmosphere. Not all the murmurings she had heard were necessarily negative, though. Some thought she was mad, yes, but others thought she was fast on the way to possessing the power of God.

    June wished she did have the power of a god. That would make the whole trip considerably less nerve-racking. No one knew if this ship would find life when it reached its destination, or what that life would be like if it was there. She'd certainly want to have a god on her side if they found life that turned out to be hostile. June doubted they'd find anything, and even if they did, that there certainly wouldn't be anyone looking at her like she was a god.

    Tweet-tweet tweeeeet.

    That one actually wasn't that bad. But she wasn't a musician. She was a master of applied physics. She'd probably give it to some passing kid or something when she got the chance. She checked the small plastic strip on her arm and touched at a darkened spot. A display of a clock projected itself out for her to see. She knew she could make it go digital, but the clockface was so much more appealing. Seven hours, forty-five minutes till departure. She wondered if she could cure jet-lag on a spaceship. She had only just arrived on Pluto last night, and she was already about to leave. She decided to head down to where the ship would be taking off, wondering if she could get something to eat before leaving.
  4. Imlay was well on his way to the port to take him to Icarus. The streets were quiet, the climate control was auditable, and the hum of electricity filled the air. Not many were up at this time of hour. Over his shoulder he had slung the last of his items he wished to take with him. Lost in his own train of thought he walked past a small two story house that had all the lights on and what sounded to be like someone was hunting for something. Out of the second story window a woman’s voice could be heard, like that of a cackling crow back on Earth. “WORST CASE EVER!” She bellowed at the top of her lungs as a thick notebook flew from the window on a trajectory that would intercept Imlay’s current course. At the same moment, the door to the house flew upon with such thunder that it shook the foundation. “Well don’t stand there looking like a moron, I NEED THAT SO BRING IT TO ME!” Still dazed by the striking of the notebook, Imlay pointed to himself with a quizzical eyebrow raised.

    “Me?” He asked. Her reply wasn’t all that kind, and heavily laden with sarcasm. “No, the Little Green Men standing behind you, stupid head. Yes you! Bring it now like a good little boy.”

    “Woof” Imlay replied with a scowl upon his face. Reaching with his unburdened left hand, he bent over to grasp the notebook, it was paper again. What was it with this place and the use of paper? On the cover of the note book was the woman’s name, M. Griffin PhD Case 199. Handing it back to her Imlay tilted his head to the left. “What no treat for the good little boy?”
    “None what so ever for you took too long.” She retorted.

    With that she stuck her tongue out at him, pivoted about and slammed the door in his face, barely missing his nose. “Yeah thanks lady, like I am your personal Golden Retriever,” Imlay spoke to the slammed door. With that he turned about and began on his way once more to the Port.
  5. "God damn." Drake looked around the hole in the wall of a bar he was in as many people shuffled out after the drinking contest ended. "Thirty shots you prick." Drake removed the opponent's wallet and put it in his pants. Slowly he moved out of the bar onto the streets. The hole in the wall bar was behind the mini-mart that was most likely the best looking thing around here. Drake lived in the worst part of Pluto, if you were to compare it to something it would be that bar. Drake moved past all of the litter, broken glass, and wood to the alleyway behind the bar.

    He sat in his usual spot, which was a pile of boxes that smell of piss and shit. The alley light barley lit the way to see anything so no one would notice him. In his slight drunkenness he knocked over a couple of things but he wasn't looking to keep the place tidy.

    Drake rolled around for a bit then pulled out his brown bag with that had peppermint vodka in it. On the bag he saw something written on it. He squinted his eyes until the writing came into focus. Eight hours until flight. "That's just my luck, I was thinking about taking a nap." Drake had obviously written on the bottle to remind him, because he would probably forget. His back popped as he stood up and began to stretch. Slowly he walked along the alleyways until he came to the road. All of the rats scuttered along the ground going into the drainage pipes. Drake was staggering as he walked. Maybe his "buzz" was closer to him being completely blitzed. He looked up and saw Icarus. "Aint she a beauty." Her formation and how well crafted it was bewildered him.

    Everything he had seen in his life was explainable but that thing. Drake didn't hate that fact but it bothered him. His uncle once told him it's better to drink than it is to think. Drake believed he was right. As he walked he took another swig from the seemingly endless bottle of sorrows. His boots became heavier and heavier until he came to a stop. "Damn." Drake looked around and saw some homeless men surrounding a barrel that was lit on fire. "Hmph." Drake moved with the bottle in his hand and touched one of them on the back. "Welcome stranger" said one of them. This was such a warming welcome to someone like Drake, and what he was about to do didn't help it.

    Swiftly he swung his bottle at one of the three homeless man standing by the fire knocking him out. Drake went into a rage and begun swinging at the men. In his drunken rage he knocked both of the homeless men out and kicked over the fire. He didn't really remember much about that fight, but it would come back to haunt him.

    "Eight hours, maybe I should get another drink." He then walked on toward Icarus.

  6. beep,Beep,BEep,BEEp,BEEEP!!

    "Son of a bitch..." Ryan rolled from his bed, his feet slapping against the floor at the same moment his hand smacked against the alarm shutting it off,"Geez. What in the world was that thing set so early for??" He sighed, his head shaking side to side in wonder. He would never set the alarm this early...

    "Hmm... maybe it was worth it." With a bit of shimmying he managed to slide the rest of the way out from under the covers without disturbing them too much, his eyes locked on the window. He smiled out on the world as the artificial sun rose over the city, light scattering across metal and glass and tile..."Magnificent." His voice had barely raised above a whisper but still he heard the rustle of covers behind him.

    A sweet, sultry voice called out to him," Ringo... come back to bed. These covers are cold without you." He grinned all the wider. Oh yes, the trip had been worth it. He turned back around, heading back to bed... at least until his PDA began to ring in alarm as well. This time with a message.

    The Icarus is launching.

    ..."Damn." Ryan turned his smile on the young woman in her bed," Well love. Its time for me to head out." He could see her deflate, her face falling into a cute little pout. As she slowly lifted the covers to hide her nakedness he couldnt help but lean in for one last kiss," It was fun sweetling. But I have to go. The unknown is calling, eh?" He turned from her, snatching his pants up from the foot of the bed and sliding them on.

    As he grabbed his duffel bag from its place beside the door he heard her call out to him," I'll miss you." He merely smiled at that, his lips playing upwards.

    He called out one last farewell before heading out the door," Give your boyfriend my regards when he gets home ok?"

    Jack was jarred from his shuttle side nap by those words spoken by the automated attendant. He quickly grabbed his suitcase and groggily slumped out of the shuttle. 'Alright,' he thought to himself, 'Where the hell am I supposed to go....' He noted the base's similar construction to the star base at Io where he'd came from, though it didn't help him in anyway to find the Icarus, until the overhead speakers announced, "6 hours an counting to Icarus Launch....." He started looking around, then he got an idea, he ran over to the viewing screen and took a look outside, he was looking for the docking port the Icarus was connected to, but couldn't see it. "Guess I'll have to try and tune to its IFF signal then....." he muttered, but, as he was walking to a terminal he could try to plug a ship tracer he built into, he ended up colliding with a woman who seemed to quite angry, but as he looked up and saw who'd he'd been knocked over by, his stared slack jawed at her. She was gorgeous, and his eyes couldn't help but scan her. "I uhh err...Sorry." He said, standing back up, "Oh uhm, you know how I can get aboard the...errr....The Icarus...That's where it is...." He got lost again, staring at her.
  8. June rolled her eyes as she watched the fumbling fool. He was completely dumb-struck by the woman he'd run into. In a way, it was kind of cute, and would have been even more so, had it not also been so pathetic to watch. The woman in question that he'd run into didn't seem to be discouraging him, or anyone else, from oggling. For a moment, June felt jealous, but then she reminded herself that she had more in her head than she had in her top.

    June had managed to find a small fastfood restaurant only a short distance from where she needed to board the Icarus. McDonalds - sometimes she couldn't believe the franchise had lasted so many centuries. She had heard the young man mention the Icarus and sighed. She was going to have to work with him? He hoped the woman didn't have to as well, or there could be some serious problems aboard that ship. She had finished her meal, though not her drink, and hadn't been able to get rid of her flute yet, so she brought it to her lips and Tweeeeeet!

    It had the desired effect and the young man turned from the woman over in her direction.

    "You're not too far from the Icarus," she told him. "I can take you in a couple hours."

    Should give you plenty of time with that girl, she thought to herself.
  9. Hearing a loud tweet, Jack turned from the busty broad he'd collided with and saw at the source of the noise another attractive lady standing there, the smell of fried potatoes filled his nose as he approached her, and amidst the loud bustling street like corridor, his stomach growled audibly, being a mutant was sometimes such a burden.

    "Errr, that's great, thanks but err, I actually kind of need to get there within a few hours, I have to check to see if my lab has everything I requested before I left Io." He said, his voice was jittery, masculine but not very deep, and kind of sterotypically nerdy sounding. "Oh my name's Jack by the way, could you point me to where you got that drink, and to the Icarus docking port?"
  10. June smiled at Jack. It wasn't just attractive women that seemed to fluster him, but women in general. It was still cute. And he was smart. No one gave a lab to a moron, and she wondered if he'd be working with her. Maybe she could work those nerves out of him.

    She jabbed her thumb over by the serving counter and told him, "Drinks are over there. You know, I've got a small spot set aside on the Icarus, too. I'm kind of working on E-M conversion. What are you going to be working on on board?"
  11. His stomach roared, and he quickly ran and ordered a large burger and fries, but n mere seconds the food was gone as if it had never existed. He returned to the girl wiping his face with a napkin, " Sorry about that, hyperactive metabolism." He said with a slight chuckle, "Ahhh the Mr. Fusion project, I tried making a weapon that converts solid matter into a photonic plasma projectile....the results of testing it were.....well let's just say there needed to be a stabilizing catalyst after deatomization so the floating particles don't go completely critical once they osmosed into the oscillator that conglomerates the particles into the weapon's discharge. I don't really have a set project, I usually just work on something whenever inspiration hits."
  12. June was completely dumbstruck. Jack not only understood what she was working on, he'd even dabbled in it himself. She was momentarily breathless. For so long she had been alone at Building 7 on Titan because no one understood her work. Here was someone she could have a long conversation with. She could talk with him for hours.

    "Converting matter to energy is the easy part," she said to him. There really wasn't anything easy about it at all, but she felt like showing off. "All you have to do is get the particles vibrating until they move up into a higher state. When you tried making your weapon, did you use hydrocarbons? Wood, organic matter, anything like that? I've learned that most arrangements where the matter can naturally release energy - generally objects that can normally be burned - tend to convert more readily. Your weapon might not have worked because your capacitor may have been insufficient. I've managed to store large sums of converted matter into something I made that's - well, it's not really special. It's basically a battery."

    June stopped herself. Just having someone to talk to about this was making her go a mile a minute. She wasn't sure if her excessive knowledge was drawing the boy in, or if her excited outburst was leading him to conclude she was mad, like everyone else did.

    "The hard part is converting the energy back into matter," she added more quietly. "I swear I'm getting close - I can make raw plasma arc into specific shapes, but the matter doesn't want to reallign in its original form. Maybe...during the voyage...we can work on it together? It'd be nice to have a fresh opinion."

    She could feel her hot Latin blood start to fill in her cheeks. To keep Jack from seeing, she quickly got out of her seat and said, "Port for the Icarus is this way. I've got the whole layout memorized. We should really get settled in before it gets too crowded."

    She started making her way to the ship, too nervous to look back and see if Jack was following.
  13. Jack listened to her but tilted his head at the mention pf organic matter, "I never thought of using organic matter, I synthesized a chunk of radioactive metal to use for the test. I figured if the rate of radioactive decay was high enough, the amount of floating sub atomic particles floating in the conversion accelerator would act as a headstart and give the weapon a higher rate of fire, if that test was successful, I was going to design the weapon to convert almost any old chunk of matter into a plasma bolt that would cause irreperable to nearly any target instead, I had to spend two months in a decon chamber getting daily doses of iodine vapor to fight radiation sickness, and yeah, I'll help you out, though it seems like you're lacking a sufficient atomic blueprint to synthesize the plasma back into, have you considered cannabalizing notes from teleportation test results and theories? In the early days of FuyaTech jump pad tests, there were issues in the atomic and molecular recombination fields, they were worked out by saving the molecular and atomic blueprints in a pattern buffer, to be fed into the transit circuit to rematerialize the subject." He finished, feeling as if he'd completely lost her as by the time he'd stopped talking she was already walking away, and he followed her knowing that she was headed to the Icarus to get settled in.
  14. June mentally kicked herself as Jack followed her. Atomic blueprints. She should have thought of that from the beginning. But no one else seemed to have. And besides, those things were expensive, and for the most part unreliable. Teleportation technology itself was unreliable. She knew it was illegal to conduct teleportation experiments on certain planets and in certain areas because of how tricky it could be.

    She stopped on her tracks and turned to face him. "Blueprints. If that's all I'm missing, than we could be on the verge of converting matter to energy and back again at will," then she laughed. "Won't the aliens be surprised when we get there?"

    Then she realized just how stupid that sounded and turned to walk on again. She thought about some of Jack's experiments. Some people, including herself, had difficulty grasping this; radiation actually inhibited conversion. "It took me a while to figure this out, too," she said as she kept walking, "but radioactive materials have a natural deterent to being converted. The fact that they shed energy already means that they have a way to keep their particles at the same energy density. I'm surprised you even got the metal you were working with to atomize at all. In fact..." June stopped speaking, though kept walking, as a revelation came to her. "The radiation you would have had to get the metal to emit before it successfully atomized would have had to have been more than 100,000 rads. Your lab would have become a varitable Chernobyl. A simple radiation treatment wouldn't have done any good. You must have been using spacecraft-level radiation shielding."

    For Jack to have had all of this meant he had to have people hopeful enough to offer funding. It occurred to June that she should best stay close to someone who get that kind of equipment. And with his intellect winning her over more and more by the minute, that hardly seemed to be a problem.
  15. He laughed a bit hearing her talk about the level of radiation shielding he'd have needed for the test. "I'll admit, being the son of the former and brother of the current CEO of FuyaTech certainly has its advantages.....for instance we were using shielding we were beta testing for an interstellar craft that the Armstrong Drive killed before it left concept stages. And it was about one hundred sixty seven thousand eight hundreeeedddddd fifty four, the radlevels I mean. I was lucky to get out with spending time in decon, the test ended up making four square miles on the dark side of Io completely uninhabitable even with the latest radpro suit. My roomate got herself so worried she stood outside the lab for thirteen hours before she saw me get dragged out of there."
  16. June felt a twinge at the mention of a female roommate. Well, so much for that idea. And she really shouldn't have been surprised that Jack was an heir to a billion-dollar industry. How else could anyone get that kind of equipment? She wished she had that - a rich somebody to provide her with all the materials she needed for her projects. She always got stuck with scrap. Still, if she stayed friends with him she might be able to get a few favors in the form of the latest materials.

    "So you're the one who irradiated Io? I should have known from the method you described," she said. "And you've got a roommate? And a girl, too? Why then were you staring so intently at the buxom miss back there?"

    June hoped she just sounded like she was teasing, but she wanted to know the man she would be working with.
  17. He sighed, she was right, Kyra would've stuck him in a crater for seeing him stare slack-jawed at the woman he smashed into. "Kyra would not have been amused by my reaction to seeing that woman, that's true. I guess part of the teenager in me never grew up, and still gets his neck broken when an attractive lady passes by, and I'm not the only one who irradiated Io, just one of the only living perpetrators. "Anyway, after that incident FuyaTech shelved the Mr. Fusion research, because of my obvious misunderstanding of the entire process, maybe when we get back you could give My brother reason to give your research funding, if we don't already crack the mystery in flight to the Pleides."
  18. June felt that twinge again. What was she so bothered about? If she didn't crack E-M conversion during the voyage, she still had him as a direct line to high-end technology. But she knew why this Kyra girl bummed her; the life of a genius was lonely, especially one working in the most dangerous field in the universe. Jack may tend to stumble over himself at the sight of a pretty girl, or not understand certain things because he had apparently just charged right in, but he was still very bright. She most liked the notion that she was still smarter than him. She had absolutely no patience for morons, but the idea of anyone smarter than her made June even more furious. Jack seemed to sit right in the middle, what she called the acceptable range.

    At long last their excersion paid off as she saw the dock and the massive side of the Icarus standing in front of her. The massive ship was truly a sight to behold. So much effort, so much studying and genius had been pooled together to make this behemoth a reality. June was actually humbled by the great giant. She was no good at whistling, so instead she put her little flute to her lips and went tweet - tweeeeet!

    "Impressive, isn't it?" she asked Jack. Then she shouldered her bag and headed into the dock.
  19. "Hooolllllyyyy shit...." Was all Jack could say as he saw the massive ship, of course it was partly hunger that left him with such a blatant lack of anything intelligent to really say, low food to energy conversion in his body meant his body including his mind would lose power gradually. "I wonder where the kitchen on that thing is....." He said his stomach already beginning to growl again, though to June it probably wouldn't make sense why he'd be hungry again so soon after a rather hefty meal.