For those of you who have been following these occasional snippets from my latest Sci-fi novella and who love traditional science fiction as opposed to what the movie and television industries currently present to the world, which in reality is nothing more than soap opera in a space setting, here is another excerpt once again taken completely out of context, this time from the beginning of the chapter I am currently working on.
After each corvette docked within the vast automated shipyard where the process of break up would be carried out, its crew transferred via shuttle to Gogol. Five days later the CEDF now consisted of two Behemoth class battle cruisers – Gogol and its inanimate sibling Terra, named after our home planet by Glen. Both massive planet killers had their hanger decks modified to accommodate the squadrons of fighters formerly housed aboard the old corvettes, while both battle cruisers’ crews retro fitted the former fleet’s armaments to their respective ships to increase the firepower.
“What is the best way to blindside a powerful opponent intent on destroying you gentlemen?” Glen began, at the beginning of a council of war, held in Gogol’s command centre. “I’ll tell you – attack them where they least expect it! To that end Gogol has located the Avran’s home planet.”
“How far away are we talking here sir?” Major Moshe Jacob enquired.
“If you will allow me to answer Glen,” Gogol began, “the planet Maal is in the Vida planetary system of the Andromeda Galaxy’s inner spiral arm. I have calculated that even travelling at the maximum speed allowable within a wormhole, it will take us at least five months to reach the galaxy. Given that our people previously suffered after just one month travelling in this manner, we would need to stop from time to time to allow recovery. The one thing we must all be is fit and alert when we reach the galaxy’s outer limits. That also applies to Terra and I. Though we are not living breathing beings like you, even we need to rest occasionally.”
And so for everyone aboard the battle cruisers, a giant leap into the unknown depths of the universe began, not with a roar, more with a whimper. Totally preoccupied by what was about to happen, Glen and the men and women serving with him merely brushed aside the fact that according to the human calendar, the month of September had arrived, considering it as an irrelevance. Not so for Gogol. This important fact meant that the Andromeda galaxy was now to be found in the constellation of Pegasus, thanks to the precession of the equinoxes, first discovered by the Greek astronomer and geographer Hipparchus in 125 BC. To give you an example – as the earth rotates about its axis it responds to the gravitational attraction of the sun upon its equatorial bulge, so that its axis of rotation describes a circle in the sky over an enormous period of approximately 26,000 years. All this actually meant was that Gogol now had to calculate a path across the vast distance between Sekker and Maal in the Andromeda Galaxy via various stars acting as waypoints, based on Sekker’s current position relative to where Andromeda appears to be. By the third week of the month, Gogol was satisfied that it had calculated the shortest route possible. The reason for using waypoints was twofold. First of all, both ship’s crews needed to recuperate from the effects of wormhole fever, a debilitating side effect of this method of space travel. Secondly, even though both ships had the capacity to create a wormhole, each one formed had a finite length. In other words it was not possible to create one long enough, which would stretch across the mindboggling distance of 2.5 million light years from Sekker in the Milky Way, to Maal in the Andromeda galaxy.