Untitled

Mike Hilts

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            It was January 24, 2021; Brian was 34 years old and a native of Tampa Bay, Florida.  He was a very athletic man and played lots of sports.  Brian was a man everyone looked up to and very highly respected. Everyone around the community was leaving notes on his door saying to “Be safe and come back to all of us”. Brian was one of the top astronauts in the world and would be a major part of the next mission that would leave on February 1st.    This would leave Brian 1 week before he was suppose to leave for the 4 year journey to try to check out the of the Milky Way galaxy.  No one had ever been up that far in space and Brian and a few other members wanted to be the first.  They have heard that the biggest black hole ever exists in the middle of the Milky Way.  All the astronauts that wanted to go up there wanted to actually try and see this supermassive black hole.  The only big question about the mission would be for everyone to wonder if they could see the black hole and still be able to get away from it. Would it be possible to see the supermassive black hole and not die?

            Brain spent his last few days with his wife Lindsey and their two kids, Kelly and Jake.  There were many reasons he didn’t want to go on this mission, such it was going to take so long and it is no fun staying in a space shuttle for many years.  He thought about it again and realized that the positives extremely outweigh the negatives.  He couldn’t pass up the opportunity to go where no other astronaut had ever been before.

            The day finally came.

            Brian gets everything ready to go to the launching center and starts packing up his car.

            “Daddy, make sure your very careful up there, I know you really want to accomplish this so I want you to go.

            “Thanks Kids. I’ll make sure I get back to you, make sure you listen to your mom and do what she says, Ok?

            “Yes dad, we love you”  

            “Love you too and be good, Bye”

            “Bye”

Brian then gets to the car, where Lindsey is sitting there waiting for him.

“Just be safe Hun, don’t get hurt or do anything stupid, and try to get back to me as soon as possible”

“Don’t worry Linds; I’ll be back before you know it, take good care of yourself and the kids, I Love You”

“I Love you too, Bye”

“Bye”

With that and then a quick kiss, Brian was off for a 2 hour drive until he arrived at the launching center.  Once he arrived, he was acquainted with the other 2 astronauts that would be headed up to the Milky Way with him.  These 2 men were John and Dave. Everyone went and introduced themselves and finally got on board.  Once everyone got seated and ready to take off, the countdown began.

10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, 0… and they were gone.  The launch was a complete success.  There were no problems with the take off and everything was running smoothly.

“That was one of the best take-offs I’ve ever had” said Brian

“I agree”

“Me too, never once did it even feel as though we were going to crash”

The shuttle will take 1 year to reach the Milky Way.  It might take slightly longer if they are trying to end up in the center of it.  It is now January 20, 2022, with the projected arrival date of February 9, 2022.  As they approach the area they hope to end at, everything is still running smoothly and they have yet to have any major problems.  As the days go on, the wind starts to blow harder on the outside of the shuttle.  This gives the astronauts the idea that they are inching closer to the supermassive black hole.  It is now February 8, and the winds are gusting incredibly fast and force the astronauts to stop the shuttle and try to start their exploring from here.  So far the mission has been considered by the astronauts 100% success.

They are all getting their stuff together to head out and try to get as close to this supermassive black hole as possible without endangering themselves.  All 3 astronauts were given high powered that were capable of producing pictures even though there were be no source of light and jet packs to help get around outside of the black hole.

“Good luck with this one guys, we will have to split up and check out different sides, so we could end up hundreds of miles away from each other.  The shuttle will stay here so try to get back here after making any discoveries”

“Ok, but good luck to you and don’t do anything stupid. We will all see each other in awhile”

Then Brian and his crew were off on their way to the center of the Milky Way galaxy with only their cameras and jetpacks to help them move around.  The galaxy was completely unknown territory to them and everyone else since no one had ever seen it before.  John went out and started tracking towards what he believed was the left side of the black holes.  Dave went to the right side.  This left Brian; Brian went straight ahead on at the black hole.  The wind kept getting stronger and eventually after hours and hours of moving forward, he finally saw something.

What was it that he saw?

“I wonder what John and Dave have managed to see anything yet” he wondered this as he kept moving towards the black hole.  Eventually he witnessed a huge black circle in front of him quite a ways.  He figured that this was the supermassive black hole and finally found something he had wanted to see for a long time.  He got to see and then ended up taking his pictures like he was suppose to do if he witnessed anything.  He was supposed to take the pictures and then attempt to return to the shuttle which was miles behind him.  Brian’s one problem was that he always wanted too much.  Even though he knew he should return to the shuttle, he decided to get closer to the black hole and try to get a better look at it.  At this point he was within about 2 miles of the event horizon, the outside edge of the black hole where you have no chance to survive because you will get sucked into it.

Brian decided he would take a chance and move forward instead of retreating back to the shuttle.  While moving forward, he can see the swirling hole from a closer angle.  He has a much better view now and decides he wants to take more pictures.  As he kept walking, he felt more and more pressure pulling on him.  Eventually he thought he should try to stop, but it was too late.  He was in the process of being sucked into the black hole.  There was so much pressure being forced down on him and he didn’t know if there was anyway possible for him to survive.  There were many ledges before the event horizon was reached, and Brian was able to hold on to one of them just barely.

“Help, Help me, anyone, please” he would scream out but no heard him.  It was very difficult to hear around the black holes with the wind blowing so hard and loudly.

John and Dave had taken descent pictures of the black hole as both of them each got a good view of it also.  When they got back to the shuttle they were wondering why Brian had not come back yet.  They figured they would just wait for him for a few hours before they thought about going to look for him. 

Two hours had gone by and Brian was still no where to be found.  The 2 guys figured they should go out and try to start looking for him just to make sure everything was going to be alright.

While the guys were getting ready to go out to find him, Brian was getting slammed around of the sides of the supermassive black hole.  Finally he got a hold and was hanging on the edge of the ledge about ½ mile short of the event horizon.  He could look back and see the winds circling and swirling deep into the hole that was just waiting for Brian to fall into. 

“Brian, can you hear me?? Brian, answer me?”

“Where are you, this isn’t a joke, come out and come back towards the shuttle”

After all this yelling for him, they never got an answer.  Since they never heard anything back from him, they figured they better go farther in and start searching for Brian.  Brian was still holding onto some type of ledge outside of the edge of the black hole.  He was now yelling for help and John and Dave could hear his screams very faintly.  They knew these faint screams meant that Brian was in some sort of trouble so they ran to get as close as they possibly could.  After about 30 minutes of searching, they finally located him hanging on.

“Are you alright over there Brian?”

“Yes, but hurry, its hard to hang on, feels like I’m going to get blown right into that soon. (yelling)”

“We’re coming, how should we go to get to you but not get sucked in”

 “Crawl over that ledge and then slide down along the hill type of thing, don’t try standing up”

With this information, John and Dave finally reached Brian.  There was no way they could completely stand up though or they would be blown into the hole by the huge gusting winds.  The winds were being blocked slightly by something behind them so that made it slightly easier to move, but they still weren’t able to stand up at all.  The ledge behind them didn’t provide enough protection to not get blown into the black hole.

“Dave, try to come down here and reach my left hand (yelling), then pull up as hard as you can while I attempt to grab on to John’s hand.  Make sure you stay low and don’t pull so hard that it forces you to stand up or else you’ll be in my position.”

They both slide down so they will be able to grab a hold of his hand when necessary.  Brian then stuck up his left hand, and Dave grabbed a hold of it and pulled as hard as he possibly could.  Having to keep low, Dave and John managed to pull him out without letting any of them slide back into the black hole.

They were still not out of danger.  They had to find a way out of there without being pulled back into the supermassive black hole by the huge winds that were around them.  They had to find their way back to the shuttle without anything negative happening.  They crawled up the ledge they crawled over to get to Brian and then they just slid on their stomachs for about 100 feet before the winds were light enough if which they could stand up without getting knocked backwards. 

“How the heck did you end up getting caught inside of that thing?”

“I just wanted to get good pictures, which I did, and then somehow I got blown in. Oh shit, My Camera?  I have to find a way to get back in there to get it. I threw it before I fell into the hole so I know it’s still out there where we can get it.”

“You can’t go in there again; don’t you remember what we just went through?”

“Yes, but ill be safe this time; ill be back within an hour.”

Brian then left and this time was trying to track down the exact spot in which he threw his camera down so that it wouldn’t get sucked into the black hole if he did.  After searching for awhile, he located the camera in a little trough before the hole.  The camera was in a safe location from the wind but it was going to be kind of difficult to get to without getting blown into.  Brian was much more successful this time though as he was able to crawl down the sides and out without to much of a problem.  Now that he had the camera, all he had to do was find his way back to the shuttle. Sliding his way up, he felt a gust of wind tugging at his side.  He stopped and as the breeze finally slightly calmed down and he slid up and eventually made his way back safely.  John and Dave were just about to start looking for him to make sure he was alright.

“It’s good to see you made it back this time, did you get the camera?”

“Yes, I got it, now let’s get the heck out of here and get back home.”

“Definitely”

The three of them headed back to the space shuttle about 10 miles from where they are near the black hole.  With the black hole finally behind them, the 3 men hoped for a safe journey back to earth.  They got back to the space shuttle and everything started properly.  The journey back down had begun and everything had started 100% correct. 

“Since we all have our cameras, I think this mission will be considered a very productive one” said Brian. 

It is now May 29, 2024 and they were very close to being home.  This is almost 6 months earlier than they were expected to be home.  Brian was very happy to realize that he was home early because he knew that his daughter, Kelly, would be graduating from high school in about 1 week.  His family did not expect him to be there but there was no way he was going to miss it now.  The crew was at most only one day from being back to the launching center. 

“We’re going to be there in a few hours”, said Dave while taking a celebration drink for all of them making it back safely.

“This was a great mission guys, now let’s get these pictures developed and show the world just what we did over the last 4 years”

Lindsey, Kelly, and Jake were all waiting for their dad when he arrived home.  The space center had called the family and told them around the time when their husband and others would be landing on earth.  They were very excited at hearing this since they were not expecting him for another 5 – 6 months.

The landing was a complete success.  There were no problems in the landing, so that made the entire mission a success.  When Brian walked off the shuttle’s ramp, Kelly and Jake ran to him.

“Dad! Dad! Dad! You’re finally home.  We missed you so much”

“You’ll never know how much I missed you guys, but I promised you I’d get back as soon as possible”

After giving each of them a hug and kiss, he walked up to his wife

“I missed you babe, glad to see your doing ok”

“I’m fine; it’s just so good to see you again”

After all the little talk, Brian said goodbye for the time being to his fellow astronauts and then went on to go back home with his family.

The pictures went on to get developed and Brian and his crew became famous for their new information they provided with the pictures.  Brian and his crew were able to answer yes to the question about being able to get close enough to the black holes and still survive.  He had waited his whole life to be able to say that.

Brian never once went on another space mission in his life.

 

© 2003 by the author

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