Defender's "Hidden Perfection"
Chapter 17 - Essence Of Agony,
Copyrightę 1992-2006 By:
Larry K. Hockman, "All RIGHTS RESERVED"
Essence Of Agony
The radiant red, blue, green and yellow beacons advertising the New Hope slowly materialized in the murky blackness of the eclipsed space. The prominent, blood-red danger signal was activated by the sophisticated computer only in the case of an onboard emergency. Had Abe been able to utilize the scanners, an electronic distress code would also be received. Time seemed to hover on infinity, and Babe's eyes uncontrollably misted over with salty tears as a new threshold of horrible possibilities nested within the dark recesses of her troubled mind. Abe tenderly squeezed her trembling hand sympathetically, but urged a state of mental override in order to assist him with the solution of the new dilemma about to confront them.
The distraught pair was already unbuckling their safety harnesses when the shuttle entered the landing bay and Abe applied the brakes. During the last quarter mile, he had reduced power, reinstated the computer, and relayed a command to the main control to pressurize the airlock with main-line oxygen to cut entry time by half. In addition, all corridor seals were to be wide open. The airlock door was already on its way down when the shuttle made its noisy entrance amid the blast of the braking retros. The thick panel sealed and the high-pitched hiss of forced pressuring was evident as precious seconds ticked by, . .
Impatiently, Abe opened the hatch a mere fraction of a second too early and popped their ears from the unequal pressures. The pain seemed minor as the pair sprinted flat-out for the endangered growth room. Basic emotions were jumbled upon entry, and the couple almost ran headlong into the control panel in their haste. They frantically scanned for an indication of the problem on the output grid without noticing their peers had attained an age level surpassing their own! Babe ultimately discovered the problem. They had reset the computer to compensate for the last acceleration rate after it had stabilized, but it had escalated again while they were busy on Hydrocryst. All of the "adult" embryos were starving for nutrients and painfully asphyxiating from oxygen deprivation!
Praying that it was not too late, Abe and Babe quickly ordered the computer to calculate the present rate and adjust the nutrient levels, plus add an additional measure of oxygen to minimize shock and stress. Instantly, oxygen valves hissed, and the nutrient servos opened to feed the starving bodies. Once again, they were helpless to do anything more than wait for the final outcome of their frenzied efforts.
Babe could not stop the tears welling up when the full impact of their mistake became uncompromisingly clear in her burdened mind. Abe embraced her, hoping to override her haunting dismay, but he felt she was justified and eventually shared the guilty, emotional stress with her. They silently prayed for forgiveness. For all of their extraordinary mental powers and acumen, they had grossly misjudged a potentially life-threatening situation by locking an absolute into the life-supporting computer when evidence of radical changes had already altered the normal status once! One more simple command allowing for future alterations in procedure would have prevented this present catastrophe. The computer would have quite simply readjusted itself, regardless of their immediate whereabouts.
The intellectual pair had never experienced the mental anguish associated with the guilt following an even unintentional, honest mistake. Blatant, over-confidence can be a devastating human trait, totally blinding the conscious mind to the simple solutions involving prevention. For the first time in their relatively short existence, Abe and Babe realized the monumental extent of non-physical pain their ancestors must have lived with, constantly connected with errors which ultimately spawned the final destruction of their entire planet! Abe and Babe jointly surmised that total "perfection" was not humanly possible.
The couple prayed intensely for the lives they had almost lost, knowing that only God could alter the pitiful situation they had humanly created. They would not leave the nursery until positive evidence of the eventual outcome presented itself.
Countless hours dragged by before the feelings of impending death radiating from the growth chambers slowly waned.
Babe's sad tears changed to joy as the ominous, red growth chamber life-support stability lights hesitantly blinked back to safety green, one by one. With the aid of God's healing hand, the future additions to their new society would survive!
Abe and Babe had weathered the agonizing hours by tediously compiling an educational tape of all the recent data they had gathered during their occupation of the new solar system. Should their peers be capable of absorbing the knowledge, they would be up to date upon their awakening. Abe and Babe agreed on rerunning the theology tape along with it, as all of the other tapes had sequenced. Abe locked them into the educational access of the computer control. Abe calculated the present acceleration rate for his own knowledge. It had miraculously exceeded the fatal 24X growth barrier experienced by their ancestors resulting in fully developed, mature adults sporting the equivalent ages of twenty-six years! The astonished couple's new peers turned out to be accidentally older than themselves! The growth process would have to cease within the next twenty-four hours.
Old fears returned concerning the education factor. The exodus of reckoning was near at hand. Abe and Babe jointly agreed to a meal and a sleep period before executing the delicate awakening procedure. All of their advanced mental prowess would be required for the task. They ate in reverent silence, each wondering about the status of the immediate future. Both mentally and physically exhausted, they spent a restless night sprinkled with strange dreams.
Author's Note: Feel free to copy/paste the text contained herein to build your personal copy of "Hidden Perfection". However, as this is COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL by ME, the ORIGINAL AUTHOR, please DO NOT copy for UNAUTHORIZED DISTRIBUTION in any form or fashion. "ALL RIGHTS RETAINED & RESERVED" by Larry K. Hockman! Please don't hesitate to E-Mail me for permission to use my works in the classroom, etc. ThanX for Visitin'! I hope you enjoyed the story and pass it on to your friends. LKH
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