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A New Day In Time

By: Brian N.
Maine, Age 11

Prologue:
It was a mild February day at the Kennedy Space Center. In mission control John Mosinee, head of the project Global Warmer Retriever sat watching the monitor of the shuttle.

˘We are ready for launch sir,÷ the assistant project leader said.

˘Permission granted to launch the Space Shuttle Discovery,÷ he stated.

And so the countdown began. After the shuttle was launched Mosinee sat down again thinking of what a hard year it had been...


Then:

...As the Shuttle Mercury docked with the Space Station MIR it marked a new day in time; the first time humans had ever tried to drastically change the EarthĂs climate. The project began a year ago in 1998 when a Russian man wanted to change SiberiaĂs climate. Then, the United StateĂs NASA adopted the idea and teamed up with the Russians. They worked until they came up with an idea; they would send a big mirror into space. The mirror would reflect the sunĂs rays onto Siberia, warming the vast Steppe.

In a couple of months the mirror was launched. It quickly found its target and shot a brilliant beam of light at it. Siberia felt a little change in temperature.

The project worked fine until one day during a manual repositioning of the mirror. The monitors in mission control suddenly went blank, flickered, and came back on. The controllers tried moving the mirror but it would not respond to anything. Something was terribly wrong.
After the NASA scientists calculated that it was impossible to maneuver the mirror they started to think of other things. If they couldnĂt get it back in service they would have to capture it. The scientists started on the project Global Warmer Retriever. Its purpose was to seek out the mirror and bring it back to Earth. The Retriever would go up in a Saturn Five rocket, then it would follow the stage procedure, then release itself .

After it was decided to carry out the project Global Warmer Retriever, John Mosinee and his staff began to look for the cause of the incident. After a long discussion with Mosinee, the FBI agreed to help with finding the culprit. Their search went in two different directions: one was to assume there was a malfunction with the onboard computer and the other was to look for a terrorist act. They started with looking at some of the most likely countries for terrorist acts. At first they found nothing. Finally they found three people in Japan, Russia, and in Germany. The evidence they found would leave you with doubts to why they accused these people. All they had at their homes were every day ordinary things: a personal computer, TV, phone, piano, etc. Their background was very startling: One came from a wealthy family of computer distributors who were known for selling defective chips at low prices, the other was a computer programmer who quit working for NASA and is now living in Russia. He was also known to try to stay after closing hours and work. The one from Germany is a diplomat but also has affiliates in the US government.

While more investigating into these three men went on something strange began to happen in the US, particularly Florida. Temperatures began to rise rapidly. In 24 hours daytime temperatures were peaking at 130 degrees. Somehow information about the malfunctioned mirror reached the public. People were panicking. ˘The mirror is going to kill us!÷ they screamed. People were saying the mirror was being positioned exactly for this area. They did not know why. People panicked even more. Government officials were trying to calm them down, but they had no idea either.

But, in a small facility in a remote area of the Florida Everglades, a group of scientists knew exactly why the mirror had been positioned on Florida and who had done it. The government had no idea the facility existed and the scientists wanted to keep it that way. They were hoping the Global Warmer Retriever would be successful.

The three men accused of hijacking the mirror were proven guilty in a trial. The public had a major influence in the outcome. The jury was so frightened they would do anything, even convict innocent people. Everyone just wanted the heat to stop.

NASA was not prepared for this to happen.
The shuttle was sitting in a hanger/storage warehouse. They quickly got it ready to launch. And then the countdown began...


...But, John thought, I must not think of things like that now. There are too many things to do.

˘Sir, we have calculated that it will be impossible to connect up with the mirror since it has the wrong connecting adapter. But, we installed one missile onto the Retriever for emergency purposes,÷ one of the NASA technicians said.

˘ Why didnĂt you check the computer to see what the correct adapter was?÷
Mosinee demanded.

˘The computer said that it had a type 23-A adapter. So it is not our fault!÷ the technician said.

˘ That mirror was very expensive and I would have liked to have been able to repair it,÷ said Mosinee. The technician did not reply. The monitors showed that the mirror was coming up.

˘LetĂs see what we can do,÷ said Mosinee.

The retriever found the mirror positioned between North America and Europe. It targeted the mirrorĂs position and fired a missile. In mission control everyone held their breath. This was the only missile the satellite had and there was no time for another mission. Minutes seemed like hours as they waited for the data to be transferred back to mission control. And then it happened, an explosion, a lucky shot. The mirror was lit up in flames and then it was gone. The cause of so much destruction was now in a million pieces of floating debris.
Back on Earth, Florida was heating up to 135 degrees F. The forest fires and explosions continued. People were dying from the extreme heat. It could take months before life on Earth could return to normal. And still the FBI was not sure of the culprit. Was it the three terrorists or just a computer virus? Or was it something or someone else? The mystery could not be solved. The mirror was gone. Who was to blame? No one knows.

 

Author's comments

Brian, you've got a great adventure story, and I admire your imaginative details. I found your story very interesting. With a mystery story, though, you must have a mystery that can be solved. Think about it. Some mystery writers begin working out their plots by concentrating on the villain and the crime. I bet you could come up with 'whodunnit' and create a terrific ending for your story.