The Lombda Scheme

Doctor Krane reaches what no man has ever gotten to before...

Doctor Krane
calmly and routinely activated the recorder located on top of the space ship’s
main control board. Checking to make sure all systems were still working as of
normally, the doctor began to compose his one-hundredth documentation of his
exploration.

“September
16th, 2134, 4:30pm. I am close to entering the unmapped area of
space which is the Lombda Scheme. Traveling for more than two months, my
destination is approaching fast on the horizon. I hope to make it to the said
location in a matter of hours. Once there, I will begin to observe the
surrounding area and map it for future use by explorers. Doctor Krane, until
next time”.

The man
piloting the space ship had been preparing for this moment all his life. As
soon as he secured a position at the Brouman Space Exploration Corporation, he
began to construct a vessel that was crafted with the specific task of going
long distances into the depths of space. This project was soon fueled by the
mysterious Lombda Scheme, the only section of space that astronauts had not
approached yet.

He activated
the warp speed function installed onboard his vehicle; it had finished
recharging. With this boost, the doctor aimed to bring himself an hour or two
before the Scheme. After a small countdown, the ship suddenly jolted forward in
a blaze of white lightning.

Recovering
from the initial trauma of traveling at light speed, Krane pressed a pressure
stabilizer button which helped minimize the effect of the after-effects of the
speed increase. He straightened himself up in his chair, pushing his glasses
back on his sweat-covered forehead.

This was as
close as anybody had got to the Scheme. The doctor’s hands were shaking from
anticipation, wondering what exactly he would bear witness to upon entering the
ominous segment of space.

“The Final
Frontier… I doubt it” Krane commented to put his small sense of loneliness at
ease. “This will show there’s more to space then we have previously believed”.

Eager to
discover the area, Krane tried once again to trigger the broken radio which
would contact the BSEC. ‘Broken’ was the key word, though the man refused to
digest this horrible fact. During the initial take-off, the radio faced a
serious malfunction from the force of the ship being propelled into space. He
could only hope the BSEC were still tracing him. The systems dashboard assured
him that the tracking beacon was not harmed.

“No matter”
the doctor guaranteed himself, “this will not hinder me in the slightest
manner. With or without this way of communication, I will endeavor forward”.

The sudden
blaring of a siren rang in the doctor’s ears. Giddy with excitement, Krane
unlatched his protective seatbelt harness and jumped up in down in place. The
siren signaled that he was in range of the Lombda Scheme. After so many years
of hard work, he was just about to put it all into the lottery and receive a
glorious reward.

The minutes
ticked by, quickly morphing into seconds to seemingly calm the doctor’s growing
impatience. It was in a way related to being an hour away from your favorite
vacation spot; you just wanted to see the house appear right in front of your
eyes to save yourself the trouble of a long trip.

Even though
it went against his time intervals that he established, Krane initiated the
recorder once again.

“Same date,
same year, at 6:05pm. The Scheme is so close I can almost reach out and touch
it… I can only imagine how it will look like when I arrive at it. I am bursting
with happiness, the feeling of finally completing my longtime mission brewing
inside of me. I cannot wait for-“

A small,
almost unnoticeable shaking of the spacecraft took place. The doctor’s keen
senses picked this up instantly however, and his instinct told him to check the
clock. The numbers were moving erratically; it showed 24:56am at one point.

“What in the
world?” the doctor said in the confusion, a slight stutter taking control over
him. His eyes immediately shot in the direction of the systems dashboard; it
was flashing a very bright red, the message ‘All Systems Down’ highlighted in
yellow.

The doctor
stumbled in his daze and quickly regained his footing. His hands ran across the
vehicle’s controls like he trained himself to in a situation like this. None
of the buttons seemed to have any effect.

“God damn!”
he shouted, slamming his fist on one of the controls so hard it crumbled under
the force, electricity shooting out of it, wires protruding like rattlesnakes.

There was a
failsafe switch installed, and Krane decided to use this as a last resort
method. He reached down to pull it, but to his surprise and ultimate fear, the
switch had been twisted in an unusual manner and far from being considered
functional.

“How… what?”
the doctor muttered to himself, sweat dripping off of his hair and staining his
white lab coat. His arms were shaking to the point of not being able to be used
properly. Krane’s hands slipped over buttons and switches, his hands too wet to
get them to work.

Caring immensely
for his own safety at this point, the doctor strapped himself back into the
seat. He was able to press one button which surrounding him with an emergency
air bubble in case of a breach in the spacecraft’s windshield.

A crunching
sound echoed inside the vehicle. The doctor spun around to see a sizeable dent
in the vessel’s frame; incredibly large as though caused by an asteroid.
Turning his attention back to the windshield area, the doctor let out a
high-pitched scream.

The space in
front of Krane’s eyes was covered with giant asteroids, the black emptiness
barely visible. He panicked and jerked the steering wheel of the spaceship
through the massive crowd of rocks, only succeeding to avoid the objects on
rare occasions.

He reached
out of the recorder and found that it was still functioning. He shouted into it
another documentary on what he was doing, along with it a desperate and useless
cry for help.

“Doctor
Krane here, and I don’t give a damn what the date is! Everything has gone
haywire, there are asteroids everywhere! This cannot possibly be the Lombda
Scheme! I can’t activate anything, the ship seems to have malfunctioned!
Please, someone, get out here and save my ass!”

Tears
streamed from his face, the only thing evident in his eyes being death. The
ship wouldn’t withstand any more direct hits before it crumpled under the
stress. He couldn’t wrap his mind around the sick reality surrounding him,
boxing him in, suffocating his life.

Krane became
slightly insane. He could’ve fought the inevitable like anyone with some life
force in them would do, but he just curled up into a ball and began to whimper,
any sense of survival abandoned for this one feeling of knowing death was
coming around the corner.

Strong
movements from outside the spaceship began to twirl it around, making the
doctor feel very light headed and nauseous. The world was spinning around him,
the apparently invisible force making the vessel nothing but a mere toy.

Dent by
dent, the asteroids began to pierce the hull of the ship. Another, stronger power
joined in with the rock’s bombardment, making much more visible damages to the
spacecraft. The doctor felt as though he was about to go unconscious. He tried
to scream once again, but found his voice was no longer present.

With a
sudden violent vibration, a piece of the metal that made up the outer plating
the vehicle collapsed on the floor, slightly wobbling on the floor. What came
in the opening struck immediate fear into the heart of Krane; a multitude,
possibly fifteen long, thin, black tentacles entered.

His insanity
slated this down as an extraterrestrial assault, causing the doctor to panic
even more than before. He found himself unable to open the harness, thinking
that if he managed to succeed in this endeavor he would be able to evade the
black mass. He teeth tore at the strong rubber material, desperately trying to
free himself.

“Oh God,
please, Oh God” the man pleaded as though it could assist him in his futile
task. Krane didn’t consider himself a religious man; but as the tentacles
seemed to home in one him and approach his figure, he muttered a silent prayer.

The
mysterious, villainous-like tentacles continued their slow, steady advance as
though biding their time just to see the doctor’s fear and think it to be
amusing. Space was, and still stands to be, the Final Frontier, Krane reasoned.

Everything
had begun to fall apart; with part of the ship’s hull exposed, more parts of it
began to slowly tear away and go twirling away into the bottomless pit of
blackness that was space. The windshield had finally given away, the glass
flying away, their purpose to protect the poor individual inside forgotten.

The
tentacles wrapped around the doctor tightly, and they slowly forced him out of
his harness. His struggling only caused the deadly grip to become tighter until
the man could feel all of his bones close to being broken all at once.

The doctor
believed that his scream would be the last thing he heard… the last thing he
saw being the pure black manacles that now encased him, the onslaught of the asteroids,
and his precious, costly spaceship slowly falling to pieces, his project to
uncover the Lombda Scheme going with it.

Another
sound played in his ear though; one critical sound. For years he had dreamed of
coming out into outer space and hearing this sound; the blare of a siren and an
automated computer message.

“You have
now reached destination: Lombda Scheme”.

Years of
planning, research, building and overall preparation had brought Doctor Krane
to his death. But, it also brought him to the Lombda Scheme… and he now knew
the terrible truth that lied in its black depths.

As the
tentacles slowly squeezed the life out of him, dragging him ever so slowly out
of his now completely decimated spacecraft, he was able not only to embrace his
demise, but the feeling of accomplishing what he had desired to for years…

The last
sound the doctor heard was his own laughing.

The End

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