by Jim Dove w/a Danlen James
All Rights Reserved
May not be used without the author's permission.
< >
Editor Note: 
     This is the Prologue to Leaving Home.  There is much more than is shown below.
     The story details the problems faced by an Interstellar Colony Ship and its colonists after leaving Earth for their new home world, and of discoveries made there.


 “Leaving Home”
  by Jim Dove w/a Danlen James
 All Rights Reserved

  Thursday, March 15, 2074:
    Standing before the UN General Assembly, A team of five scientists is being addressed by the Secretary-General, after an experiment they performed went terribly wrong.
    “What-have-you-done?  We told you--NO--the WORLD told you--‘Do not attempt making a black hole to study.  It’s too dangerous!’  But you chose to ignore the warning that public opinion and the UN Scientific Committee gave you.  You chose to go ahead and try making a black hole anyway.  Now, Earth is probably doomed.”
    Raising his voice, he continues; “Were the results worth it?  Will anything you learned help save the Earth from the black-hole you released into it?  Will anything you’ve learned lead to a way to stop the beast as it eats its way toward Earth’s core?”
    Sect. Gen. Dr. Nicholas Fentennaur stares at the gathered men, waiting for an answer, before finally shouting, “WELL?”
    Then, the entire council begins shouting questions and
accusations at them.
    The men standing before the council cringe at the anger of their accusers.  Finally, one of them steps forward and shouts, “I am Dr. Winthrop Washington.  I’m the lead scientist on the team that conducted the experiment.”
    The assembly quiets as all stare at Dr. Washington, who is now tugging at his collar, and sweating profusely.
    In a loud voice he begins, “All of our studies, and the conferences we held with other labs, indicated our procedures and precautions would be sufficient to prevent the release of the black hole.  All of our computer models indicated no problem with containing it.  We were convinced the experiment was safe.  Studies indicated it would simply dissolve once the fields were turned off.”
    Pausing now, and wiping his face and forehead with a handkerchief, he continues: “We felt the backlash from many in the scientific community, and the general public at large, was the result of unfounded hysteria and fear.”
    Pausing, and lowering his voice, “We were wrong.  Voicing regrets won’t help anything.  However, all of us on the team are dedicated to finding either a cure, or helping to develop a plan to save humanity.”
    Pausing once again before continuing, “But... the only plan we believe will save mankind is to begin searching for a new home world to relocate all mankind to, or at least as many as we can move in the time left for Earth.”
    Silence.  Deafening silence.  Not a word is spoken as those on the UN committee sit with scowls, or open mouths, or...  They look around at each other, and at the scientists standing before them.  Some bow their heads.  Some wring their hands.
    Finally, Sect. Fentennaur clears his throat, and, in almost a whisper asks, “Are you telling me there is NO chance Earth will survive?”
    Faintly, “Yes Sir.  That’s what I’m telling you.  There is a 100% probability of the Earth being destroyed - eventually.  And, before you ask, our best guess is that it will be 2-3000 years before that happens.  That should give us time to develop the technology to move mankind to a new world before the final destruction.”
    “And what, sir, is your certainty of that number?”
    Pausing, then very quietly, in almost a whisper, Dr. Washington answers, “Forty percent.”
    “I’m sorry Doctor.  I didn’t hear your answer.  Again I ask.  What is your certainty of that number?”
    In a voice barely loud enough to be heard, Dr. Washington repeats, “Forty percent, sir.”
    Continuing, “And just what, Dr. Washington, is the low estimate for when the Earth might be destroyed?
    Dr. Washington lowers his head and says, “The low estimate is 400 years, sir.”

Back a page Home page