It was the first month of the year 4245, and St. Matthew Parish was holding a going away party for the pastor of the parish. The pastor's name was Fr. Ropet. He was named after St. Ropet, who was a famous saint that lived on Undemereth. He had short orange-brown hair and brown eyes he was 31 years old. He had a very cheery and kind attitude, which made it easy for many people to like him. He was currently talking to his friends about where he was leaving to.
He was leaving Undemereth for about a year and a half to go to a newly discovered planet which was called Togurn. The planet, according to the satellite that found it, could and did support life. So the head astronomers and scientists decided to send people there to see if it seemed livable. Since the satellite that discovered Togurn was funded for the most part by donations from the people of Hopeton, South Daker, it was decided that the people of Hopeton would be the first to go there (only if they wanted to of course). That was why Fr. Ropet was leaving for Togurn. Many of Fr. Ropet's friends were going to Togurn as well.
After a final goodbye to all those at the party Fr. Ropet took the road train to the spaceport. The road train was a car-sized vehicle that went on tracks so that it wouldn't go off-road. Since road trains are very fast he was at the spaceport very soon after he left the party. He got off the road train at a wide path which led to the spaceport. The spaceport was full of people who were either going to board the ship to Togurn, or trying to help the people who were going to Togurn find their way around. The path that Fr. Ropet was on was very crowded with people going to the spaceport. After about an hour he reached the spaceport.
The spaceport was a very large dome-roofed building; it had many restaurants, money exchanges, waiting rooms, and little shops. It also had a very long counter where there were many long lines of people waiting to sign in for boarding the spaceship. Fr. Ropet got into one of the lines, and after waiting for several minutes he signed in and was told he could wait to in one of the waiting rooms or get something to eat. He went to a waiting room and sat and waited on a chair and set his luggage down beside him and pulled out a book. After reading for some time he heard someone say to him, "Hello Father"
It was Pete Bartholomew, one of Fr. Ropet's friends. Pete Bartholomew was 59 years old, and had had brown hair and brown eyes, and he wore a tan hat with a matching tan jacket
"Hello Pete, how are you doing" Fr. Ropet asked, putting down the book.
"Well I'm excited and nervous, both at the same time."
"Me too, but I don't think there's too much to worry about."
"I guess you're right, oh and we're going to board the Star Sailor right?"
"Yes I think that panel on the wall over there will tell you."
Pete went over to the wall where the panel was. There was a lot of information concerning when ships were supposed to come and go, but it very easy to find the ship they were going to board because it was in bold at the top of the panel. It read: The Star Sailor: Leaving for Togurn in 3 hours, it will return 4246; Month 6. There is room available for 3,782 more people with luggage. Pete went back to Fr. Ropet and told him what the panel said.
"Well it shouldn't be too long then." Fr. Ropet said.
"Oh!" said Pete excitedly. "Did I tell you that I am going to write a book about this?"
"Well I decided to write a book about us exploring Togurn; I hope people will like it."
"I hope so too. By the way are you hungry?"
"Yes! I'm starving!"
"Then why don't we go get something to eat."
So they both went to a restaurant that served sea food. The food was fish from Undemerethian oceans, cooked and spiced in various ways. The fish tasted very good, so Fr. Ropet and Pete Bartholomew finished them very quickly. When they finished their food they went back to the waiting room.
The panel on the wall said they still had 2 and a half hours before they would leave. They both chatted with each other until they heard a loudspeaker announce that it was time to board the ship. Then the crowd moved toward the door to the path to the ship. It was 20 minutes before Fr. Ropet and Pete Bartholomew got to the gate that surrounded the lift-off area.
Inside the gate was the ship. It looked kind of like a giant egg with wings and thrusters. The ship was on its side with the thrusters facing out sideways. There were words on the wings that said: Star Sailor 0136707. There were also very many windows, some had people looking out of them.
When they finally got into the ship they were escorted to their rooms. Fr. Ropet's room had a window, and it was just across the hall from the ship's chapel. Pete's room was a few rooms down from Fr. Ropet's room; his room also had a window. The rooms had a bed, a bathroom, a table, a closet, a light, an emergency light and a screen that had a map of the ship.
On the map it showed all the passengers' rooms, it also showed where the kitchen, the gym, the chapel (which was actually very large), the eating room, the control room, and the security guards' office were.
The ship was filled with 4,634 passengers, which were the most people The Star Sailor had ever carried. When the last person boarded the ship, the emergency lights flashed to signify that the ship was going to lift off. The ship slowly turned upright so the thrusters were facing the ground. As the ship moved the passengers didn't. This was because the ship had a gravity system to hold everything down. When the ship was fully upright the thrusters rocketed out extremely fast air. The ship slowly lifted itself off the ground and then sped up a little, and eventually it was in space.
For the first few hours the passengers watched out the windows, or if they didn't have a window they would see what was out the windows on their screens. When most of the people were tired of watching out the windows, they went to sleep, went to the eating room, or went to one of the other rooms. For the next two months everything was going smoothly, Fr. Ropet offered many of the masses (he wasn't the only priest on board), Pete was working on his book, and everyone else was enjoying the trip.
The pilots left the control room after they had set the course for Togurn. But, one day someone noticed that they were going in almost the exact opposite direction of Togurn. One of the security guards decided to check the control room and see what the matter was. When they got into the room it was dark they pulled out a flashlight and shined it on the controls. The course had been changed and the controls had been destroyed. They ran to tell the head pilot (who was more or less the captain) what happened. Then they sounded the alarm, and Fr. Ropet woke up with the emergency light flashing.
Fr. Ropet was very startled to see the emergency light going off along with an exceptionally loud alarm. He knew something was wrong, so he said a prayer for people's safety. He looked at the screen in his room to see if it would tell him what was happening. The screen said:
RED ALERT! Code 3641907, Security guards' report: The destination has been set to another location, and the controls have been destroyed. Please stay calm and pay close attention to future reports and warnings.
A short while later the alarm was turned off, but the emergency light was still flashing. Everyone on board the ship was extremely scared (although Pete couldn't help but think if he survived, it would make his book far more exciting). Fr. Ropet went to the chapel and put up a sign that said "confessions available".
Most of the people on the ship were Catholics, which was not a coincidence since 83.7% of Undemerethians were Catholic.
Because most of the passengers thought they were going to die, there were a lot of people wanting to go to confession. About one thousand people were at the chapel either praying or waiting for confession. Although Fr. Ropet loved freeing people from their sins, having to hear the confessions of hundreds people was tiring. Eventually the other priests came to the chapel to help Fr. Ropet.
When everyone had gone to confession that wanted to, Fr. Ropet offered Mass. His homily was about courage and that God was in control of everything. When Mass was over many people left to go back to their rooms. But many of the other people stayed and prayed for a while. After he had prayed a rosary and other prayers, Fr. Ropet decided to go to the security guards' office to see if he could help them with anything, but he was also curious to see the control room.
There was almost no one in the halls; the few people that were in the halls were mostly people leaving from the chapel. The security guards' office was near the control room, Fr. Ropet knocked on the door. One of the security guards opened it, and said, "Hello Fr. Ropet, do you need anything?"
"Well I wanted to see if I could help you with anything."
"The only thing we need help with is finding who destroyed those controls," one of the other security guards said.
"We wish we could've had a detective on board!"
"Is there anything I can do to help then?" asked Fr. Ropet.
"Um, you could look at the control room, if you want to, just don't get your fingerprints on anything."
"I'll be sure to tell you if I find anything." Fr. Ropet responded. He didn't think he was being useful, but he decided to have a look at the room anyway out of curiosity.
The control room was a circular room that used to have controls going around it before they were destroyed. All the lights in the control room were smashed, but the door to the room was opened, so that the room was just barely bright enough to see the things on the floor.
The control room's floor had wires and smashed pieces of glass and metal, which were once controls and screens. There was a repairman trying to fix the main controls; he was making some progress, but not very much.
Fr. Ropet looked around the room to see if he could see anything that the security guards might have missed. He pushed through the things on the floor; he then caught sight of something that looked like a hammer. He went over to it and picked it up, and sure enough it was a hammer.
The hammer was largish but not very heavy; it could have easily been the thing that was used to destroy the controls. He looked at the places where the controls were, to see if he could find any circular dents. He wouldn't be able to in the dim light, so he asked the repairman if he could borrow his flashlight.
"May I borrow your flashlight, sir? I think I may have found the tool that was used to destroy the controls."
"Sure, I guess you can have my flashlight. What was the tool?" The repairman seemed very curious to know what Fr. Ropet had found.
"I think it was this hammer; I found it on the floor. I'm looking for circular dents that would have been caused by this hammer."
"Okay, well here's my flashlight." He handed his flashlight to Fr. Ropet. Fr. Ropet shined the flashlight at where the controls were, where there were circular dents. The hammer fitted the dents almost perfectly.
"This hammer was definitely used to destroy the controls." Fr. Ropet said to the repairman, handing him his flashlight back.
"I didn't know priests made such good detectives!" The repairman said, "But how could the security guards have missed it?"
"They probably just didn't notice it. I'll go show it to them."
So he left the control room and went back to the security guards' room. When he arrived there the security guards were looking at a dirty pan.
"I don't know, it seems like someone just shoved it on the shelf, it's obviously dirty. They would have known it was dirty, so why would they put it away as if it was clean?"
"I don't know. I still don't see how it could be correlated with the controls being destroyed."
"That's just it! It doesn't make any sense, that's why I'm trying to--"
"Excuse me," Fr. Ropet said, "I think I found the tool that was used to destroy the controls."
"Wait, you what? Did you say you know what was used to destroy the controls?!"
"Yes, it was this hammer here." As he said this he lifted up the hammer.
"Where did you find that?"
"In the control room, it was under broken handles and screens and wires and other stuff. Here, you can inspect it." He then handed the hammer to the security guards. One of them, a man in his mid-hundreds (Most Undemerethians live to be about two-hundred) took the hammer and looked at it closely. On the handle there was a small etching. "Hmm... The American Leg on Forkers, I wonder what that means."
"What! Let me see that!" Another security guard took the hammer from him. "It says American Legion of Workers! George, when are you ever going to get glasses!?"
"I've told you a zillion times, I don't need glasses, Robert; but I think you need a hearing aid!"
Robert was about to make a comeback when Fr. Ropet calmly said, "Now, now, let's not start a fight, there's already enough to worry about. Since the hammer says American Legion of Workers, it's probably an American brand, so whoever used that must know someone who went to Earth, or they went there themselves."
"You're probably right about that. Well, now we know what was used; we just need to know who used it."
"Well I'll pray for you to figure out who destroyed the controls. Oh, and do you know if they're on board or not?"
"Um, well there's not really any way of telling..."
"Did you check to see if an escape ship was missing?"
"No, but I can check right now (how did we not think of that)."
The security guard went over to a screen and typed something, and then he looked at it for a while and then said, still looking at the screen, "It says that an escape ship was launched two days ago, and the screen doesn't say anything else."
"That means that whoever destroyed the controls isn't on the ship anymore!" another security guard said, with fear in his voice. "That means they left because the ship was going to crash!" Then the other security guards started saying things at once, making a loud clamor of voices.
Just then the repairman who had been working on the control room came into the room.
"I fixed the destination screen; it says we're going to an unknown planet! I already told the head pilot, he's in there looking at the screen."
The security guards instantly quieted down and went with the repairmen to the control room, but Fr. Ropet stayed behind in the security guards' office.
Fr. Ropet looked at the room, and then he noticed a dirty pan sitting on a table. He wondered why the security guards had it in their room, but then he remembered hearing them talking about a dirty pan when he came to that room with the hammer. He decided to look at the kitchen to see if he could figure anything out about the dirty pan.
When he came back to the security guards office Pete Bartholomew was sitting in one of the chairs.
"Hello Fr. Ropet, what are you doing here? And where are all the security guards? I had hoped to get some information from them for my book."
"Hello Pete, I am here because I asked the security guards if I could help them, and I have been helping them. The security guards left a few minutes ago, they will return soon, how's your book going?"
"Very fine, thank you. Say, what's this dirty pan doing in here?" He asked curiously, holing up the pan.
"While the security guards were inspecting the kitchen they found this pan shoved on a shelf, dirty. I think this has something to do with the controls being destroyed, I had a look at the kitchen to be sure, but I'm still not completely sure. Here, I'll show you my theory in the kitchen right now." And with that he left to go to the kitchen, and Pete followed him there.
The kitchen was right next to the control room, but the kitchen could only be entered through the dining room so Fr. Ropet and Pete had to go to the dining room.
The door to the dining room was not far from the door to the control room. They both went into the dining room. The dining room was very large and fancy with many tables, each with fancy tablecloths that reached the floor. There were a few people there and one or two chefs waiting on them and cooking food for them. Fr. Ropet asked one of them if he could see the kitchen again, and they said yes.
The kitchen was about half the size of the dining room. It had several stoves, sinks, ovens, dish shelves and dish drawers, and a door which led to a huge pantry. Fr. Ropet went to the dish-washing section of the kitchen, which was near where the dishes were stored. He went to one of the shelves.
"Now I'll explain what I think this is all about." Fr. Ropet said to Pete.
"You mean the dirty dishes?"
"Yes, but remember I cannot take credit for this because I asked God to give me or someone else the wisdom to figure out what happened, and I think He did. You know what happened to the controls in the control room, right?"
"Good. This incident is, I think, actually correlated to that. Now, I'll explain why I think so. What happened, I'm almost certain, is the person who destroyed the controls came to the control room through a hole they made on the kitchen wall. I know that the person who destroyed the controls was not a woman, I asked the chefs if who they had seen near closing time. They didn't know who was there but they did know that they didn't see any women. Now, this is how I think the controls destroyer was able to destroy the controls: The kitchen closes around 31:30 E.U.T.," (E.U.T. stands for Eastern Undemerethian time. There are 36 hours in a day on Undemereth) "but they don't make the people that are eating there leave until they're done eating. So this person, whoever it was, came in shortly before closing time. He was probably pretending to be getting a last minute snack, or a meal. When it was served to him it was probably already closing time. He ate it and then hid under the tablecloth, pretending to have left. He must have stayed under there for several hours. When he thought that all the chefs had left, he crept into the kitchen to make a hole in the kitchen wall to the control room, because the control room's door was locked. The lights in the kitchen and dining room were not turned off, but he probably thought that the lights wouldn't get turned off. But there was still a chef in the kitchen; the chef was washing dishes. The person who destroyed the controls didn't notice that a chef was still in the kitchen. I think somehow the chef left for a moment or so to get something, but when he came back there was a person breaking a lower part of the wall out. The two must have had a fight, and the one who destroyed the controls won. The dishes were not done yet, and the automatic dishwasher was full, so the control destroyer hastily shoved the dirty dishes on the shelf, to make it look like the dishes had been done. Then he finished making the hole, he crawled through it and destroyed the controls. Do you have any questions?"
"Yes, I do." A security guard said. The head pilot and the security guards had come into the room while Fr. Ropet was telling his theory. They had heard most of it.
"What is your question?" Fr. Ropet asked
"May you repeat the beginning part? I didn't hear it because I was in the control room."
So Fr. Ropet told the part of his theory that they had missed. When he was done he asked them what they figured out from the screen.
"Well, the screen says that we're in danger because the ship won't have anywhere safe to land, and we can't move this ship because the controls were destroyed. We were talking about what we're going to do, we decided if we couldn't get the controls fixed tomorrow we'd let the people escape in the escape ships. And if we couldn't use the escape ships for some reason we'd have everyone go to the innermost part of the ship. And this ship is supposed to be crash proof but no one has proved that."
"Oh, before we all leave, where is the hole?" One of the security guards asked.
"The hole is behind this oven over here." Fr. Ropet went over to an oven and scooted it aside. And there, sure enough was a hole.
"How could we have missed that?" One of the security guards said almost to himself.
After a time Fr. Ropet went back to pray at the chapel, Pete went to his room to work on his book, but the security guards stayed for a little while longer to dust for fingerprints.
A few hours later while most of the passengers of The Star Sailor were asleep, the rest of the escape ships were launched, with no one on them.
The head pilot was going to give orders to start boarding the escape ships when he noticed that the escape ships were gone. Since the escape ships were gone he had to have everyone go to the innermost part of the ship. It didn't take long to get the passengers where they were supposed to go. Fr. Ropet made sure to bring all the things from the chapel to where he needed to go. Everyone was praying very hard for safety, except the people that weren't Christian. Meanwhile The Star Sailor was hurtling toward the surface of the unknown planet.
The ship was only a few seconds from crashing into the surface of the planet. They knew it was going to crash because the landing gear was not programmed to land on that planet; they couldn't program it to land because the controls had been destroyed, and The Star Sailor didn't have an emergency landing system.
The innermost part of the ship was mostly storage. The storage consisted mostly of objects such as cans, cleaning materials, spare memory chips, tools, etc. All of the objects were strapped onto the shelves so that they wouldn't fall.
All of the passengers were crowded into the hall and the rooms.
Fr. Ropet was in one of the storage rooms. Religious items from the chapel were carefully placed in bins and bags which were next to him. He was praying very hard for the safety of the people on the ship. Suddenly there was a jerk, the gravity system stopped working, the lights went out, and it was completely pitch black. Apparently the ship had crashed into the ground at a slight angle because it felt like they were on the side of a hill.
After a long time the head pilot called out, "Is everyone alright?"
Most of the people responded, "Yes I think so," or, "I'm alright," or something like that. Then he called out again, "Check the shelves for flashlights, everybody."
So they did, but it was difficult trying to feel around for a flashlight in the dark. When someone finally found one, it made it very much easier to find other ones. As more were being found they were spread out among the people. There were not enough flashlights for everyone, so the people without a flashlight had to be guided by the people that did have one.
The security guards found each other and were discussing how to escape. The head pilot (who knew The Star Sailor better than anyone else on board) was trying to remember an escape route from the middle floor. He couldn't remember any. He went toward the security guards,
"Um, I couldn't exactly remember the escape route for this floor," he said, "or even where to go to get out. I was hoping one of you might know."
None of them knew the escape route for that floor, and they didn't know where they had to go to get out (The entrance\exit didn't open without electricity). They were all silent.
"I can't remember... The escape routes were shown on the screens in the passengers' rooms, right?"
"No," said another security guard, "Only the routes on their level were shown, and this level is a storage level."
"Wait!" said the head pilot "Who can remember an escape route of another level?"
"Well let's see... Ah! I remember the escape route for the level above us."
"Very good!" said the head pilot, "Let's lead the passengers to the level above us and use the escape route for that level! I don't think it's damaged up there."
So he told the passengers his plan and soon everyone was following the people with the flashlights toward the level above them. It was like going up a hill because of the way the ship crashed. Many people brought as many things as they could. Fr. Ropet and the other priests carried the religious items from the chapel.
The elevators didn't work, but there was a ladder which went to the level above them. It was hard to climb the ladder in the dark, with tons of people crowding up it, but it was especially hard because the ship was not straight.
When everyone was safely up the ladder (Many people had bruises), the head pilot and the security guards made sure they knew where they were going to go, and then kept on going.
For a long time the people walked through that level's main hall. The main hall kept on going straight for a long time, and then it stopped at a door. One of the security guards who had a flashlight shined it on the door. It said in bold letters "Regenerater room".
Regeneraters were Undemereth's main power source. They were machines that used a rare type of rock that needed energy to produce energy, but they produced more energy than they used.
The security guards opened the door, and cautiously stepped inside. There were actually several regenerater rooms because the Star Sailor's regeneraters were too large to fit into one room.
"There's no damage in here," said one of the security guards, "I guess that means the regeneraters were damaged lower down."
There was a door at the other end of the regenerater room, it read: Emergency exit only.
They opened the emergency exit door; it led to a long hallway and on the other end of the hallway there was an airtight door.
When they reached the door, the head pilot said "This door must lead outside, and I think that means that this hall is between the thrusters. Should we open the door, just to see what this planet looks like? There probably isn't any oxygen where ever we are though."
They were too scared to look out of one of the windows because they thought they might be broken.
"I have an oxygen mask," said a security guard, "you could put this on and open the door, we'll go back to the regenerater room while you do that."
The head pilot agreed and slowly opened the door after the other people went back.
He was very startled when he saw the planet on which that they had crash landed. There were plants, trees, grass, a sun, clouds, and huge mountains in the distance. He removed the oxygen mask and discovered he could breathe.
"Come quick!" he called, and then he climbed down a ladder that went to the ground from the doorway. The rest of the people went to the doorway, did the same, and everyone was just as amazed as the head pilot had been when they saw the planet.
After a while the people got hungry, so they searched for food. They found nuts and fruits and everyone had a delicious meal. Pete wrote as much as he could remember, and was pleased. Fr. Ropet set up a little altar and offered Mass. Some of the security guards went back to the ship and brought back supplies. They talked about trying to build signaling devices to try to contact other ships. There seemed to be no worries.
Twelve hours after the crash, which was two and a half days on the planet they were on, most of the things on board the Star Sailor had been taken out. The food that they found in the ship would last them about a year. Also the tools they found in the ship could be used for various different things. The pilots and technicians had completed a signaling device. And the other people were working on making little huts.
Sometime later they counted the passengers to make sure that no one was missing. When they counted everyone, they found that one person was missing. The head pilot panicked and told the pilots and security guards to count everyone again, but it still came out to be 4,633 people, instead of 4,634.
The head pilot told the people that one person was missing, and asked them if they knew who was missing. Fr. Ropet went to the had pilot and said,
"I think I know whose missing."
"You do!? Who is it!?" he exclaimed
"I don't know his name, but I know he's a chef."
"How do you know that?"
"Remember my theory? Well, the control destroyer took the chef who was washing dishes into the escape vessel and sent him away, so that the chef wouldn't be able to say anything. The person who destroyed the controls came from where his escape vessel landed, and went to where the other people are."
"How do you know that?"
"I know because no one said anything about being attacked while they were doing dishes. That means the chef is not with the other people. Unless you counted wrong, or the passengers were counted wrong while they were boarding, the person who destroyed the controls was counted along with the other people."
Pete came up to where the head pilot and Fr. Ropet were standing.
"Excuse me," he said, "could you repeat what you were saying so that I can write it down in my book?"
"Okay, let's see..." then the head pilot repeated what he and Fr. Ropet were saying as best as he could remember. Then they continued their conversation.
"Where were we, ah yes, do you know who the person who destroyed the controls could be?" the head pilot asked.
"Well I know it's not a woman, I know he owns an 'American Legion of Workers co.' hammer, he is strong, he knows this planet, and he probably has friends."
Pete was writing furiously.
"One que-" the head pilot was cut off by Pete
"Wait! I'm not done writing what Fr. Ropet just said... Okay, keep on going."
"As I was saying, I have a question. How did he get the hammer into the ship? You're not allowed to have that sort of thing on spaceships. And the people at the spaceport thoroughly check your luggage too."
Fr. Ropet waited for Pete to finish writing.
"I'm not sure how he got it into the ship but... hmmm... Wait! I got an idea, maybe he used an instrument like a bass, he hid the hammer inside it, somehow, and so when they opened the case they wouldn't think that anything was hidden in it."
"Or he could've gotten past the luggage checkers entirely."
"That's also possible. Did you notice anyone with a large instrument or something like that?"
"Yes. He was the only person with an instrument. We found it in his room. I think I'll go figure out who it belongs to, since no one has claimed it yet," and off the head pilot went.
As Pete finished writing he said. "I'm going to do some exploration, maybe I'll find something interesting to write about along the way. Please tell me if anyone has an important conversation, good bye."
"Good bye," said Fr. Ropet as Pete walked toward a small forest about a quarter mile from where they were standing.
Pete was in a good mood, and as he walked toward the forest he whistled a little bit. When he reached the woods he noticed nothing strange about the trees, they looked like any other trees, except the leaves were shaped differently. As he walked further into the forest he was careful not to get out of sight of the group of people. The trees seemed to be getting bigger as he went deeper into the woods. It was rather dark under the thick leaves of the trees.
"I should've gotten a flashlight." He thought, but he didn't want to go back and get one. A few minutes later he decided to go back to where the rest of the people were. He turned around to go back but found that he could not see it from where he was.
"Oh no I'm lost!" he said to himself. He walked toward the direction that he thought he came from, but he just got deeper into the woods. He kept on walking and then he came to an opening in the woods. He didn't notice that it was the middle of the day because he was paying attention to a small hut. He snuck up to the hut and he heard two people talking to each other with low voices. He could tell from the accent that they were from Earth
"There's no way we'll find it with all those people, it's impossible!" one of the voices said.
"And what do you propose we do about it?" another one responded.
"Get rid of them!"
"You certainly don't think we would be able to do that, do you?"
"No I don't but we won't have to do it."
"What on earth could you mean by that?"
"Use something to scare them away."
"What would we use?"
"I don't know, but-" just then Pete slipped and fell onto the ground.
"WHO'S OUT THERE?!" one of the voices hollered. But before he finished Pete was on his feet running for dear life.
Pete ran looking over his shoulder as he did so, until he was certain no one was chasing him, and that the hut was far behind him. Then he walked for a while.
"Dear Lord please help me find my way back," he prayed. Not three minutes later he was out of the forest and walking toward the rest of the people. He told the head pilot what he heard, and hurriedly got his pencil to write down his adventure for his book. Meanwhile Fr. Ropet was hearing confessions.
Two hours later (By then it was evening on that planet) the security guards and the head pilot discussed what they had learned about the controls being destroyed and what the people were looking for. They were only a little ways into the discussion when Fr. Ropet came.
"Do you mind if I listen in on this conversation?" he asked.
"No, we don't mind," they responded.
"Thank you," he said.
Just then a man walked into the area where they were, and said
"I am the person that destroyed the controls, I went to confession with Fr. Ropet and he told me to tell you this as my penance. I'm very sorry for what I did."
"We forgive you," Fr. Ropet said before anyone could say anything else.
"Yes, we forgive you," the others said.
"May you please tell us what you did, how you did it, and why you did it?"
"Well I'd better start from the beginning," the man who destroyed the controls said, "My name is Davis Boldeiran, I was a fallen away Catholic, and the United States president Henry Harrison's most trusted friend. His second most trusted friend was Jakal Lakam."
"Harrison was one of the worst country leaders of all time!" one of the security guards blurted out.
Mr. Harrison only cared about money and power. Several times he tried to start wars to gain more territory and money, but he never succeeded. He raised the national debt by $500 million. Three years into his first term he was impeached for trying to make unconstitutional laws that would give him more power, but he was not imprisoned.
Mr. Boldeiran continued, "During his term Harrison and his personal group of scientists discovered this planet, but told no one about it, so that we could use it for whatever we wanted to. After Harrison's impeachment he squandered most of his money. He used the last money he had to leave Earth to go to Undemereth. Mr. Lakam and I went with him. In the spaceport on Undemereth that we came to when we left Earth, Mr. Lakam bumped into a brick wall, swore, kicked and shouted at it. But as he did that he noticed a crack in the wall that looked strangely like a small drawer. He pulled on a piece of brick that was sticking out and the brick came out of the wall. He looked at the brick. On the side that was inside the wall there was an opening. Inside the opening was a small piece of paper. It read: 'I have hidden King Timothy's crown inside a box in the Star Sailor's main oxygen vent. I have prayed that the ones who seek it for power and money will be gone from Undemereth when you find it. Please use it to give money to the poor, signed, Lojet Franklinson, head pilot of the Star Sailor 4178-4207'
"Mr. Lakam put the brick back in the wall, and showed the paper to us with an evil grin. We decided that I would try to crash the Star Sailor on our secret planet to give us time to find the crown. So Mr. Lakam robbed a bank and bought a three person rocket and stole three hand weapons from the South Daker army. I mapped out the best way to get into the control room, and I decided to break a hole in the kitchen wall to get into the control room.
"I brought a hammer that I owned, and snuck it into the ship by putting it inside my instrument case and lied that my instrument would get un-tuned if they messed with it, and for some reason they believed me.
"After I boarded the ship I waited for my chance to break into the control room. I brought my instrument case with me into the dining room. When everyone had left the room, I hid until I thought that the chefs had left the kitchen. When I thought the chefs were gone, I went into the kitchen. But there was still a chef washing dishes, he noticed me before I could hide again, so I tried to hit him with my hammer, but he knocked it out of my hand with a pan. Then we had a struggle, but I ended up knocking him cold in the end.
"I picked up my hammer and started whacking the wall behind a stove with it. I made a hole in the wall, and then climbed through it to the control room. Then I took the hammer and used it to smash the controls into tiny pieces. When I was doe I thought I heard some one coming, so I dropped the hammer and ran into the kitchen. I knew I couldn't leave the chef, because he might tell some one what I did. So I dragged the chef to one of the escape vessels, and launched it. I stayed on the ship until a short while before the crash, and then I launched the escape vessels with nobody in them, except for one, which I took to this planet."
"Then what did you do with the chef?" the head pilot asked.
"We found him and took to our hut. He's tied up in a room inside the hut in the forest that Mr. Lakam and Mr. Harrison built."
"That's the hut that Mr. Bartholomew found!" a security guard said.
"They're still there; I can show you to the hut," Mr. Boldeiran said.
"Yes that's a good idea," the head pilot said. "We have zappers. We can capture Mr. Harrison and Mr. Lakam."
Zappers were Undemereth's main type of weapon. There were many types of them; the type that the security guards used looked kind of like a small flashlight without a glass over the light bulb. The highest-powered setting could knock someone out, and the lowest powered setting would feel like a static shock. Zappers were not used very much. War was very rare on Undemereth, and few Undemerethian animals were hunted.
"Let's capture them tonight, before they do anything to hurt anyone," a security guard said.
"What are we waiting for then? Let's go!" another security guard said.
"Be sure your zappers are set to stun, everyone," the head pilot commanded, "And we'll need flashlights!"
Fr. Ropet got Pete and they came with the security guards. Mr. Boldeiran led the way through the forest, the head pilot and the security guards went behind him, and Fr. Ropet and Pete took up the rear.
Fr. Ropet told Pete what happened in the discussion that the security guards and the head pilot had, and Mr. Boldeiran's story. Pete wrote it all down despite the fact that it was very challenging to do it in the dark.
When they reached the clearing where the hut was located, they all turned off the flash lights they had brought and crept up to the hut.
The security guards had never used zappers before, except in training, since they never got into any dangerous situations.
They were absolutely silent. They could hear two voices shouting, inside the hut.
"That dumb creature! We'll never get it now!" said Mr. Harrison,
"Who needs Mr. Boldeiran? We can find it our selves!" Mr. Lakam responded.
"Not now! He's told everyone what happened! I'm going to kill him!"
No sooner had he said that, the head pilot kicked down the door and aimed his zapper at Mr. Harrison, who pulled the army zapper that Mr. Lakam stole out of his pocket and fired it at the head pilot. The head pilot ducked and fired his zapper at Mr. Harrison. Mr. Harrison was hit by the laser, dropped his weapon and fell to the ground. Then the head pilot turned and aimed his zapper at Mr. Lakam. Mr. Lakam shrieked thinking wrongly that Mr. Harrison had been killed, threw his zapper on the floor, and let the head pilot take him outside.
Then two security guards took Mr. Harrison's weapon and brought him outside when he gained full consciousness. A security guard went into a closet in the hut and found food supplies along with the missing chef. They untied him and made sure he was alright, which he was.
Neither of the villains tried to get away, but when Mr. Harrison saw Mr. Boldeiran he screamed at him and said the worst things he could think of to him.
When the group left the hut and returned to the rest of the people, they were welcomed with cheers and shouts. It was still dark, but few people were sleeping because Undemerethian days were much longer that planet's days.
Mr. Harrison and Mr. Lakam were kept in huts, but the head pilot said that Mr. Boldeiran didn't have to be imprisoned. Mr. Boldeiran said that he should get punished for his actions, so he was put in a hut too.
Several of that planet's days later, the signaling device that the pilots and technicians made received a static but human signal.
"H...o, th... is ...ilip ...pety ...d pi...t of t... ...ce ...avel..., is ...re any... th...?"
A pilot nearby who heard the message said, "May you speak louder? Your signal was very static."
"Hello this i... Philip Sempety head ...ilot of the Space Traveler and ... suppose someone is there."
"Do you have room for people on your ship, Mr. Sempety?" the pilot said
"I ...ve enough room for five...ousand people."
"Can you try to land, pick us up and bring us onto your ship?"
"I will try."
Then the pilot told everyone what just happened.
Three hours later a crew of men walked towards the small town that the shipwrecked people had built. The head pilot of the Star Sailor greeted the head pilot of the Space Traveler, it turned out they were twins. Nelson Sempety (For that was the head pilot of the Star Sailor's name) told Philip Sempety everything that happened.
"Sounds like you guys had an adventure! I bet you'll be famous for this when you get home, more famous than if you landed on Togurn. My ship is headed for Undemereth, so I won't be able to take you to Togurn. Our scanners figured out that the Star Sailor is badly damaged up to the floor right under the middle floor, and that floor has no damage at all. But from the way you crashed, that level should've been ruined too. I don't know how that could've happened."
"I do," Fr. Ropet, who came up to meet the crew of the Space Traveler, said "The Good Lord protected us."
"So, you had a miracle and an adventure!" Philip remarked.
"Yes we did," Fr. Ropet said, "but now it's time to go home."
The crew of the Space Traveler went through the luggage that everyone had and weighed it to see how much they were carrying. While they were weighing a four year old girl's luggage they found an ornate silver box.
"What's inside here?" a person who was weighing the luggage asked.
"A crown," the little girl said.
Her mother who was with her, realized that the box that her daughter found was not theirs.
"Rosie! Where did you find that?"
"I found it in the tunnel, mommy."
"What tunnel?" the mother said.
"Wait!" the little girl's older brother interrupted, "do you think that that's King Timothy's crown?"
Fr. Ropet over heard what the people in front of him were saying so he came closer.
"Yes, that's King Timothy's crown," he said.
The girl's mother was astounded.
"The Latin words along the side say: Timothy's crown. So I guess you found what the criminals were trying so hard to find." Fr. Ropet said. The person who was weighing the luggage opened the box and sure enough there was a crown inside it.
The girl explained to her mother that she unscrewed the screws on the oxygen vent, crawled into the oxygen vent, found the box, crawled back with the box, and screwed the screws back in while her mother, father and siblings were gone. Her mother was not at all pleased to hear that.
When everyone was counted (very carefully) and boarded on the ship, and the entire luggage was weighed and loaded, and then the Space Traveler went on its way back to Undemereth.
The people who were once passengers of the Star Sailor returned to Undemereth a month earlier than they would have if they had gone to Togurn. All of them became famous and their relatives and friends who had not been there felt famous, even though they weren't.
Mr. Harrison, Mr. Lakam, and Mr. Boldeiran were sent to jail. Mr. Boldeiran became a devout Catholic and spent much of his jail time praying, and his two friends converted to Catholicism.
Pete completed his book and it became the number one book of the year, and the year after that too. Fr. Ropet didn't want to be famous (even though he was the most famous of them all), and some times he was known to jokingly say, "If you don't stop interviewing me, I'm going to become a hermit."
That year Fr. Ropet met the pope. Many years later he became Bishop of Hopeton.
The planet that the Star Sailor crash landed on was known as The Star Sailor's Grave, and it was found to be even more livable than Togurn. And many people moved there, including a person who was on the Star Sailor when it crashed, who became the second leader of that planet, Nelson Sempety being the first.
Nelson Sempety gave up his job as a head pilot and designed a new type of space ship that could survive shipwrecks.
The wrecked Star Sailor was turned in to a museum, and many people from many different planets came to see it.
King Timothy's crown was sold to a billionaire for $54,000,000, but later he donated it to the Star Sailor Museum.
When the $54,000,000 were being donated to charity, old Lojet Franklinson was waiting in line to make a small donation of his own, and he knew what was happening.
LPH Writing Class stories 2012-2013