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An Invasion of Earth around 3500AD
Friday, 16 February 2007

Part 1

 
Earth has recently completed construction of a massive fleet of spacecraft – starships. This fleet of starships was primarily for defense of Earth and its colonies, and so had little capability for exploration - limited speed and range. In the hopes of rectifying this problem, three scientists decided to work together and develop a new means of starship propulsion. These scientists are Steve Waxer, Adrian Walcott, and Robert Sar.

After many years of research, the three scientists develop a prototype for an ion powered propulsion system – the ion drive. This system allows an unheard of energy efficiency which yields the capability for long range space exploration, while providing speeds of travel previously thought impossible. Three special starships are built to allow further testing and development of the new ion drive, each with three pre-production models of the latter. The ships are named IPV Waxer, IPV Walcott, and IPV Sar, after the scientists. (IPV is an acronym for Interplanetary Vessel) The scientists are given command of the ships to continue their research and testing. Dr. Waxer also expands his research to include weapons systems, and outfits all three ships with his new weapon prototypes.

The three scientists decide to test the actual range and maximum speed of their starships. They plan to travel at top speed for about a week, run tests for another week, and then return at top speed. They conclude that these tests will be adequate for the field testing required before their ion engines can be mass produced. Of course, Dr. Waxer will also be conducting weapons’ tests on some random asteroids. Dr. Walcott and Dr. Sar also work together on improved energy shield technologies. Dr. Waxer happily offers to test his new weapons on their new shields.

One week passes. The three starships have traveled farther than any human has ever dreamed. The scientists perform extensive tests of the ion drives. Everything seems normal, and no further testing is needed. The scientists turn their attention to weapons and shields testing. Dr. Waxer proceeds to disintegrate nearby asteroids while using very little energy, an amazing technological feat. Doctors Walcott and Sar put the finishing touches on the new shield technology. For the live weapons test with the new shields, a target probe is constructed using a low power version of the new shield technology.

For the shielding test, the three starships have assumed a formation consisting of the IPV Waxer offensively facing the shield probe, which is in turn flanked on either side by the IPV Walcott and IPV Sar.

“Okay, our ships are in formation.”

“Target probe in position, proceeding to power up shields. Robert, what’s the status of the tractor beams?”

“Tractor beams are in place Adrian. That probe isn’t going anywhere.”

“Okay guys. Powering up main cannon to maximum level.”

“Shields are at maximum strength, Steve. You can fire any time you are ready.”

“I’ll need another minute or so before the cannon reaches full power, Adrian.”

“That’s a pretty slow weapons charging system you’ve got there Steve. What’s up with that?”

“Well, it’s not so much a slow charging system; it just has very high charge capacity. But I’ll work on making it charge faster in the future.”

“What the …? Steve, how high a capacity are we talking about?!? You said that it took very little power to destroy those asteroids! Why do you need such a high power reserve?”

“Well, the destructive power of the main cannon increases exponentially as more power is applied. Even with the high power reserve I currently have, I have yet to reach the energy limit of this particular design. I intend to continue developing this design until I reach its physical energy limit. Then I’ll make a new design.”

“Crap. Okay, Steve. Hold your fire; I just need to make a few adjustments. Robert, program our ion drive systems to automatically provide reverse thrust to hold our current positions. Regardless of the shield’s ability to withstand that blast, the force may well pull us with it. I don’t think the mass of our ships alone will keep that probe in place. Program in the emergency protocols as well, in case the force exceeds our ion drive’s capacity.”

“Gotcha Adrian. Program completed. We are ready for this experiment. Steve may fire at will.”

“Did you hear that Steve?”

“Got it. Firing now. Make sure you guys hold on tight!”

A huge flash of light appears in front of the IPV Waxer, which then forms into a huge energy beam, directly impacting the shielded probe. Almost immediately, the ion drives of the IPV Walcott and IPV Sar engage at 95% of reverse thrust, just barely keeping the ships and probe in position. The IPV Waxer’s ion drive does the same but in forward thrust, to barely hold its own position.

“Steve, what in God’s name have you created?” thought Adrian.

“Adrian, at this rate, the emergency protocols will be tripped in a matter of minutes.” said Robert.

“Good thing we instituted those emergency protocols, Robert. We could have been knocked light years away, or worse, completely destroyed. You hear that, Steve?!?”

“I hear you. But you won’t have to worry about tripping the emergency protocols. Check out the data stream from the probe. It has been withstanding the cannon for about 25 seconds so far. It won’t last much longer.”

“What!!!” exclaimed Adrian.

At the 28 second mark, the probe’s shield failed, and the probe was instantly dissolved by the cannon’s energy blast. The cannon then ceased its assault, and the ion drives of all three ships returned to an idle state.

“Crap!!! The shield lasted only 28 seconds! What went wrong, Adrian?” asked Robert.

“I’m not sure…” Adrian murmured.

“Adrian, Robert, your shielding technology is excellent. I will be applying a full scale application to my ship; I recommend that you two do the same with your ships.”

“What!!” Adrian and Robert shouted in unison.

“I didn’t think your shields would last longer than 1 second, let alone 28 seconds. I ran simulations with the main cannon versus current shielding technology, and there was no resistance whatsoever. In other words, our normal shields are useless against the main cannon.” Steve rambled.

“But it only lasted 28 seconds…” said Robert.

“I don’t think you understand the magnitude of power your shield stood up to. I had to create an entirely new scale to measure the levels of energy we are dealing with here. The Waxer Scale! Your shield withstood about 1000 Waxers of power for 28 seconds! If we continue developing this shielding technology, we will soon be able to safely explore high gravity gas giants, the insides of stars, or even black holes!” Steve continued.

“Okay Steve. This is then a great discovery for mankind. Let’s install the new shielding systems, and head home. Everyone will be proud of our work.” said Adrian.

“I think a celebration is in order, gentleman. After we install the new shield units, let’s have a huge dinner on Adrian’s ship, in honor of our accomplishments!” Steve suggests.

“Sounds good to me. We’ve been working almost non-stop. We deserve a break. What do you say, Adrian?”

“Oh, I suppose so. I’ll arrange it after the shield units are installed.” responded Adrian.

“Wait a moment guys,” interrupted Steve. “Aren’t we also going to upgrade your ships’ main cannons as well? To match the power output my upgrades have yielded?”

“That can wait Steve. I would rather finish up the shielding work and our celebration, and grab some sleep on our way back to earth. Besides, I doubt we’ll need that kind of weapon power at all. I know you like to be prepared, but… I think it’s a bit much.” said Adrian.

“I’m with Adrian on that,” said Robert. “It’s not really a priority right now.”

“Okay guys, I guess you’re right.” sighed Steve.

After successfully installing the new technology shield units on each ship, the scientists met on the captain’s dining room on the IPV Walcott. They ate, drank, and enjoyed each other’s company. They were friends since childhood, but had each gone their own way, until they were finally reunited by the Ion Drive Research Project. They enjoyed working and eating together, and were happy in the completion of their combined research. There would be even more celebration when they returned to earth. Late into the evening, they parted ways and returned to their own ships. They set course for earth, and went each to their own captain’s quarters, and drifted off into a deep sleep. They would be home in about a week.

 

To be continued…

 

 
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