Escape Trajectory


“I will, just let me have a think about it first okay?” said Adam, fiddling with the small bundle of cables and LEDs nursed between his fingertips.

“You said that last week” replied Beth. “This problem isn’t going to go away.”

“I know, I know – just give me some time to look at all the facts.”

This was word for word what he had said last week. Adam meant it though – he needed to add up all the figures, work out all the risks. Maybe make a spreadsheet. He just hadn’t got round to doing it, kept letting himself get distracted.

Beth sighed. “Sometimes I think you’re more interested in that stupid spaceship than how we’re going to pay for food.”

“It’s not stupid. It’s a complex piece of equipment.”

She was right though – he was more interested in his little project. The Exodus didn’t force him to make difficult decisions. The sort he might end up regretting for years to come. He missed the days when all he had to do was lend his opinion on which curtain fabric he preferred or what set of cutlery to purchase. There was no wrong answer with those, not really. When did it all get so complicated?

Today Adam – we need to get this sorted today.”

Adam had managed to seal the little circuit-board into a rectangular, metal casing – two lights showing at one end. This little baby was the binary logic unit – it may not look much but it would be able to make split second navigation decisions. The idea was based on the tiny sensors in the brains of fruit-flies. It was all pretty remarkable stuff.

“You’re not even listening are you?” said Beth, leaving the room.

“Today!” Adam called after her. “Later today we’ll talk some more!”

Excellent, he had bought himself some more time.

* * *

The lights flickered on, revealing the metallic mass that occupied most of the garage now. The Exodus. He had spent the past two years crafting her from bits of kit he’d bought of the internet or from research articles.

Adam opened the access hatch and clambered inside. The interior was a cramped array of buttons, dials, digital displays and small indicators. Amongst these was one final, vacant slot – where the binary logic unit belonged. Once he had slid the small, silver box into place, the ship came alive around him. Capacitors began to charge and hum, arrays of lights flickered and somewhere beneath him the convection engines started to purr.

At last his creation was complete. All he had to do now was push that flashing “ignition” button and within minutes he’d be up amongst the stars. Up there no one would trouble him, his only decisions would be where to explore next.

* * *

Beth paused giving the baby her feed. The entire kitchen has started to vibrate and rattle. Somewhere there was a deep rumbling. Probably Adam just running away from his responsibilities again.

Title image courtesy mugland

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Published in: on September 22, 2011 at 7:58 PM  Comments (8)  

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8 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Hmm. This is sad. I totally sympathize with Adam… but… at some point you have to put the spaceship down because your family needs you.

    I mean, if you replace “spaceship” with “writing” this could be me: afraid to make the big, important decisions, petrified when things get complicated. Complexity is for stories! Real life should be simple. Except, it isn’t. And that’s hard.

    • You’re bang on the money there Stephen – this is, of course, semi-autobiographical.

      “David, we really need to talk about this mortgage.”
      “Okay definitely, but first I’m going to think a little about what would happen if a vampire was trapped alone with his memories in a cave for a day.”

  2. Brought to mind the line from Invader Zim – “It’s not stupid. It’s advanced.”

    If only the world-ending drama were the autobiographical part! I enjoyed your paralleling with the mundane waiting outside the dire.

    • Oh no – the spaceship bit if the autobiographical part, I just introduced some domestic drama to make it feel a little more believable for people. Tee hee. (;

  3. Interesting parallel between the domestic concerns and his space ambitions. It does seem a little like he is running away instead of facing his problems, but solving problems is just so boring!

    • Yes, he is a terrible, terrible coward… but at least he’s being so in an interesting way!

  4. For a moment there I thought it was about boys and their toys, but it was about facing the mundane and putting one’s dreams on hold in order to deal with life in general.

    A good parallel between knowing what you should do and doing what you want to do.

    • Very well summed up Helen. I did have to do a few rewrites to make Adam a bit less of an arsehole!


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