It was mid-winter , December, and snow was falling lightly on the lands of Planet Vadican. Everyone was assembled together in the Capitol to witness the annual departure of the 14-year-old Launchers ( new Silvers). The Launchers arranged themselves in a line before the stage which was a simple raised metal platform. It was like Christmas, everyone gathered around and reunited which distant relatives, parents of this year’s Launchers coming together to brag and inflict much expectations on their children. Whom they might not see ever again.
A few minutes later, there was a blinding flash of light before a ship appeared in the skies of Vadican. It decelerated and docked at the edge of the Capitol’s starship platform. The ship was huge, pearly white and gleaming in the sunlight. A woman dressed in the formal attire of the Nova Fleets alighted the ship and gracefully made her way to the platform. Upon her entrance to the hall, all chatters halted and everyone hushed. Silence.
” Greetings Vadicans, I am the Commander of Silvers, Varsha.”
” We greet and salute you, Commander.” The chorus of voices resonated around the hall as the population before the commander stood at attention, before re-assuming their relaxed position.
At a glance, Commander Varsha could see that the 56th generation of Silvers were a unusually small group, less than 40 strong, she could safely assume. The commander gave the usual Speech of Departure and ushered the Launchers to the ship. As the 14-year-olds disappeared one by one, they looked back at their families to wave and say their final goodbyes.
“Move in, place your luggage’s in the compartments above and take a seat, strap yourselves up and get ready for launch. ” A robotic woman’s voice echoed through the chamber.
The seats in the chamber faced a single alleyway, with a row on either side. The Launchers sat down and pushed a button on the right side of their seats, which activated metal plates that buckled from the chair to their shoulders, across their chests and all the way down to their crotch area and back onto the seat. It held them tightly to the seats and the Launchers were almost immobile.
It was their first ever interplanetary launchoff and it was to be exhilarating. Some of the boys grinned to each other in excitement while others solemnly sat in their seats, waiting for launch. Some were so nervous that they started to whimper and one girl even started to burst out crying.
” We are ready for launch.”
” Roger. Launching in 3…2…1…”