A chirp finally broke the silence, and Alexander turned the communications system on.
“Beam me up ship.” Chris’ voice echoed slight.
A moment later, Chris was standing on the bridge wearing dark grey, knee length shorts and a red hooded sweatshirt. “How is everyone today? Anything cool happen while I was gone?”
His voice raced as he continued, “I couldn’t sleep last night. I was thinking about this ship. Does it have weapons? What about shields? How does the teleporter work? Does it rip me apart?”
His youthful energy filled the ship, and both Matthew and Alexander had a hard time focusing on their difference of opinion.
Alexander smiled at Chris, as he queued up information about the teleportation system in his mind. “It actually doesn’t rip you apart atom by atom. Instead, it connects where you are to where you want to go, and then slides you from the one point to another. It is like a tiny, controlled wormhole in space.”
Matthew laughter exploded from deep in his belly at the explanation, “that’s so much safer!”
Chris took his seat, but was noticeably still antsy and energetic. “Can we go to Mars?”
“Sure,” Alexander replied, and looking at Chris, he saw he was just shrugging in response. It looked as though Chris was trying to hold in his excitement over the suggestion, but he wasn’t doing a good job.
The ship shot straight upwards. Alexander knew it was a distraction from their plans, but he also felt that he needed more time to unwind and adjust to his new reality, and wondered how Chris and Matthew were doing with the strange realization that their world would be forever different, and they would be part of the cause of that change.
“I could get used to this” Chris said as they passed outside of the atmosphere of the Earth into the dark void of space.
Alexander changed the viewing area to show behind them. The beautiful blue, green and white marble that was the Earth quickly shrunk as the ship continued to speed away from the planet towards Mars.
Alexanders eight cousins were separated into two groups, the older set and the younger set. Chris was the youngest of the older set at seventeen. Because of his age, he was sometimes put with the younger set, leaving Chris, Alexander, and Alexander’s brother, Simon, as the older triad that always hung out. Chris worked hard to push himself into this group, especially because he shared more interests in common with the older cousins than the younger ones.
Alexander knew that it meant a lot to him to be included in this journey, and that as excited as he was, he must have also been concerned about making a mistake as he kept his hands far from any of the computer consoles.
The ship arrived in orbit of Mars within the hour, and the three men looked down on the planet through the view screen. The red planet filled the screen, and slowly rotated below them. Alexander couldn’t help feel a sense of awe, and as he slowly turned to look at his two cousins, he saw the awe reflected on their faces, and felt bliss.