Deep Space - Aboard the X-4 - March 3, 1982 09:05

Deep Space - Aboard the X-4 - March 3, 1982 09:05

The forward monitor showed the tail of the X-1 as she pulled closer to the huge body of the first meteor with X-4 a close second.

“X-1 will have contact in 20 seconds” Thompson called from the navigator station.

Morris switched to ship’s comm. “Crew. We are 2 minutes out. Engine room, full power to the atomic beams. I want to punch a big hole in that thing.”

In the monitor, three extremely bright beams arced out from the X-1 and struck the rock with a bright explosion. A big chunk of the meteor evaporated and a deep gouge was carved into the black surface.

With a crackle, the comm unit came to life, “X-4, this is X-1”.

“Go ahead, X-1” Morris replied.

“See if you can drop a bomb in that hole we carved.”

Morris glanced around the bridge to see what the others thought. Thompson shrugged while Taylor looked a bit nervous about what would be involved.

“Roger, X-1. We will line up a bomb run.” He switched over to internal comm. “Ok, boys, we’re going to make a bomb run on the rock. Put on your goggles and prepare for blast.”

“Thompson, plot us a bomb run. Engines, once we release the bomb, I want to make sure we get clear. Ward, open the bomb doors and prepare for release. Guns, keep hot, we can expect debris.”

Morris reached for the key hanging around his neck and inserted it into the locked panel on his console. Inside housed the controls for the two nuclear bombs carried in the rocket.

“Nav, do we have a plot?”

From his navigation station, Thompson flipped a couple more switches before acknowledging. “Roger. Taylor, turn us 3 degrees. After the drop turn back to 25 and go full throttle. We should drop in 35 seconds…. mark!”

Morris quickly went down the checklist printed on the inside of the panel, turning knobs and switches to set the bomb detonation. Finally, his finger poised over the big red button labeled DROP.

Thompson calmly counted out the remaining seconds. “6… 5… 4… 3… 2… 1… DROP” Morris pushed the button and a solid thump rolled through the ship as the bomb detached. He watched the detonation timer count down as he was pushed into his chair while the ship strained to get away from the blast.

“Goggles on!!!” He called, moments before the monitors all went white and the world erupted in a flash too bright to see.