Real Name: Jim Osterndorf
Member Since: June 24th, 2011
I'm just your average, friendly, neighborhood Shy Guy.
I enjoy being contacted by people.
I draw, for free. (Contact me)
And I often show off recent literary works.
Mr. Diggory paced the small waiting room, checking his watch. 15:13. â€œBlast.â€ He muttered. He still had a twenty minute wait, as his appointment with this Thomas Oak chap was at, obviously, 15:33. He paced the room a minute longer, sat on the hard wooden bench and looked up. The ceiling was quite high; about 80 feet with light- artificial, he suspected, shining like sunlight through a narrow window. He smirked and thought about a book from his childhood. â€œHumans always seemed to need to state the completely obvious.â€ He twiddled his thumbs. Technological devices werenâ€™t allowed in the waiting rooms. Otherwise heâ€™d be lit up like a Christmas tree with all his normal devices. But not today. He sighed. He understood, of course, why the IDA center would be so heavily protective. What, with the â€œSons of the planetâ€ cessoribus. They occasionally would fly over and bomb the base with low flying, several hundred year old MIGs while being picked off by the automated high intensity lasers surrounding the base. The cessoribus, he knew, did this because they were part of the often fanatic believers that believed that Space Travel of humans was not intended, that it opposed religion. Which is entirely a ludicrous way of thinking created by a backward, foolish people- yet, even so, the cessoribusâ€™ numbers grew annually. He knew all this because he had lived on the giant grassy crater near the base in New South Wales for most of his life. Used to be, back when his father was younger, there was the occasional test rocket now and then, the odd plasma rocket- that kind of thing. But then the government started to pay more and more attention to it. It grew rapidly and soon there were rockets shooting up all the time- sound dampeners- thankfully- had been installed on them rockets. Surely there was the occasional failed launch where the all-too-familiar *POOM* noise would echo through the huge valley, but honestly, through the years it had became more of a comforting thing to him. Then the larger, manned rockets went on, as the â€œnew space raceâ€ heated up and populating the most space possible became a priority. Then the occasional *POOM* noises made the population rather more despondent, as it bore the signs of loss of life. However, despite the dangers, the new space race continued to heat up, each company grabbing as much interstellar land as they could; each taking more and more asteroids and moons, while at the same time growing increasingly more enemies to each other. Fortunately before a war started between the two major companies in space, the new, recently consolidated Earth government came along and purchased every single company in the market, and compiled them into the IDA; He remembered the news projections on his familyâ€™s television. And so, with the creation of the IDA, a new age of prosperity grew- on the backbone of the asteroid belt miners.
That is, until the miners rebelled in the aptly named Asteroid Revolts and the economy faced the worst collapse in hundreds of years- which meant years of empty stomachs for almost everyone involved in outer space business. Like his family. Although he was an only child- which meant they had to provide less, both of his parents worked with the mining establishments of the day- his father, Colin- a minerâ€™s attorney- was left with no clients, and his mother, Rose- a miner suit designer- left with no one to buy any suits. The revolts did eventually end and life went on. Rockets that werenâ€™t military purpose started going up again, and slowly life returned to normal. His entire life, he had realized after schooling, was based on space. (Certainly, this fact would preclude a certain ignorance of Diggoryâ€™s) His mother and father had met on a sight-seeing trip to the moon, and he had been born on a trip back from one of Marsâ€™ moons- Phobos- back when his father was a space construction attorney. A nice little mining colony was still there, in fact, with a thriving â€œMatheson and Diggoryâ€ Law office. He was pulled out of basic schooling when he was 16 for an aptitude in Engineering. And at the â€œScotland Space Instituteâ€ he received an education in it- specializing in core anti-matter propulsion. He was now forty years old and decided to go into space for the IDA- if he could ever get in- even after his acceptance above 1,397 other applicants. He glared at the sealed door, its constant state of it being sealed a very irritating thing to him. â€œBloody stupid thing.â€ He growled. He considered kicking the door, but heâ€™d probably get that sadistic little robotic voice again. â€œDue-to-your-non-compliance-you-have-been-required-to-wait-twenty-more-minutes-thank-you-for-your-patience.â€ He had yelled and swore at that bloody thing for what seemed like hours before he calmed down enough to hear â€œWould-you-like-a-cup-of-tea?â€ from it.
Oh, he had had the stuff and almost disgorged his small lunch of cheese and crackers into the garbage chute. It tasted like a horrible concoction of waste water and tea, and after the third serving of the sickly liquid he smashed the cup into the computer and- he hoped with the hope of hopes- broke it. He was then required to wait one more hour. He almost died. But now it was 15:33, and he had twiddled his thumbs for long enough that a tall, thin midshipman with dark brown, wavy hair and an American accent had came in and introduced himself as â€œThomas Oak.â€ Mr. Diggory looked up from the shards of the computer. â€œGood day. Can I get out of this box now?â€ â€œOf course, Mr-â€ the intern consulted his static paper. â€œDiggory. Right this way.â€ Diggory noticed happily that Oak had no concern of the computer.
Mr. Oak led Mr. Diggory into a small hall with glass panels on the right side. Rockets of all kinds towered above them- he thought he saw a Saturn rocket there- but all too soon he was hurried on to the processing center- young Oak by his side as he escorted him through the stainless steel tunnels and bridges encompassing the massive cylindrical center. How Oaks could navigate through the labyrinth- Mr. Diggory couldnâ€™t know. But he somehow got to where he needed to go- wherever that was- and was promptly greeted by an elderly lady. The midshipman who had escorted him seemingly instantly disappeared into thin air. â€œYer mister Diggory?â€ He looked at her uncertainly, for he had been expecting an automated system. â€œErrâ€¦yes?â€ Clearly there was a high demand in the human workforce. She tapped a button on her holoscreen and turned back to him. â€œRight. Step to the side, Hun.â€ He did so. â€œOkay. Have fun, Hun.â€ Pressing a button, a trapdoor opened, and he fell down a chute into darkness.
He fell into the chute- which led to another chute- which led to another chute. Eventually he lost track. After he had stopped yelling, he approached the situation logically. Someone, he remembered, had mentioned an unconventional way of placing applicants in the IDA. Perhaps his father. The chute journey ended suddenly when he landed suddenly in what looked to be the exact same chamber he had waited in. Fortunately, he had little time to wait. He looked up from the door just in time to see a tall, fairly pretty woman with brown hair dressed in what appeared to be a simple white laboratory coat walk in. â€œMr. Diggory.â€ She said curtly. â€œCome with me.â€
He walked out thinking to himself â€œAll these Americans! Do they own this?â€ He discovered he was trailing behind and hurried to keep up with her brisk pace. He elected not to converse with her- heâ€™d met too many odd people already, here. He walked down the hall with her, but instead of going up a lift like he had before; she turned right abruptly and led him down to a secondary lift. He stumbled down a row of stairs to the secondary lift and smiled meekly when she turned back to him. They stepped in. The doors closed as she pressed the lowest button on the display. The lift lurched and off they went. She turned to him â€œThis should take about 10 minutes- for security reasons.â€ He groaned inwardly. Outwardly he managed a smile and said â€œSplendid.â€ She missed the sarcasm.
Ignoring his previous resolution, he tried to make conversation. â€œErr- your name is?â€ â€œJulia.â€ She answered curtly. â€œJulia.â€ he repeated. â€œAnd youâ€™ll be a scientist?â€ He asked- perhaps foolishly- for it was clear she was. She rolled her eyes. â€œNo. Iâ€™m an Army chef.â€ She said sarcastically. Turning red, he shot back. â€œMy apologies, Queen Julia.â€ She ignored this- as he noted again how pretty she was. They waited the last minutes in silence. He was about to say something to her when the lift doors opened and they had to step out into a bustling center of action. People walked around him so quickly he almost got lost in the flow. More than once, Military-looking men with blue helmets barged through the crowd- ignoring sounds of protest by people knocked down- An older man carrying a bundle of static paper included. He rushed to help him, ignoring the woman accompanying him. â€œYouâ€™re all right, sir?â€ He asked. The older man looked up, chuckled and replied with an English accent. â€œQuite. Thank you, Mr-?â€ â€œAlexander Diggory. Always happy to help a fellow countrymanâ€ the older man smiled. â€œWell thank you, Mr. Diggory. The nameâ€™s Arthur Enpine. Iâ€™m an- errâ€ He looked around â€œAn astrobiologist.â€ They shook hands and stood up. Mr. Diggory noticed Dr. Enpine had a visage quite like his fatherâ€™s. A voice next to them said impatiently â€œAre you done now?â€ His accompaniment asked them sourly. Mr. Enpine replied kindly; â€œIndeed we are, Miss. Iâ€™ll be on my way.â€ As he passed he clapped he hand on Diggoryâ€™s back and muttered benignly to Mr. Diggory; â€œGood luck with that one.â€
And was soon lost in the rushing crowd- â€œCome on, Mr. Diggoryâ€ He heard his accompaniment impatiently call. He followed her into an open door which closed behind them. He heard the murmuring of people around him and realized this was something like a theatre. Dim lights turned on throughout the room and he realized he was in a huge room of people, all sitting in plush velvet chairs oriented circularly opposite to him going down to a podium. â€œSurely there has to be 5,000 people in here.â€ He thought. He was ushered quickly to a seat one place away from the central pathway where they had come- midways in the great amphitheater. His accompaniment sat next to him as the crowds waited expectantly for the speaker to come out of the chrome door on the stage behind the podium. Soon someone did, to tremendous applause.
And as he applauded with the rest of the crowd, he couldnâ€™t help but feel just a little surprised by who was there. The same disheveled man who had been knocked over- Mr. Enpine- was standing on the raised podium. Â
* Â Â Â Â * Â Â Â *
As the applause died down, Diggory considered how Mr. Enpine could be mistaken by him as an ordinary member of the IDA. He assumed it was logical, of course, to think of him as one- he bore no usual signs of ranking above the average IDA member, including the dignified, expensive clothing that only high-ranking members could afford to buy- yet, a high-ranking member of the IDA could surely not be abused in anyway by any Security as Diggory had seen in the Hall. Furthermore, when Mr. Enpine had told him he was an Astrobiologist; he was being deceptive purposely, which Diggory thought was fairly odd. Further consideration of this subject was brought to a close as Mr. Enpine began his speech:
â€œFirst of all, I would like to personally welcome you to the Interstellar Defense Agglomeration. This momentous creation that is the IDA could not be possible without the members who join every day, such as you lot- who are the builders of a new age of Humanity, a prosperous age. I mean not to sound like a propaganda tape either, though, so without further ado, I will leave that aspect of recruitment to them.â€ Diggory noticed that Mr. Enpine was gesturing towards a large, glowing screen that he had not noticed before. A fanfare sounded and the symbol of the IDA, a white silhouette of the Milky Way galaxy on a black background, shone upon the audience, as a male speaker announced: â€œWelcome to the Interstellar Defense Agglomeration.â€ The screen changed to a picture of the main fleet, the pride of the Governments of the colonized systems, in front of Earth. The speaker continued: â€œThe Interstellar Defense Agglomeration is a joint effort of the Governments of the Sol, Proxima Centauri, Rigil Kentaurus, and Barnard systems to protect and serve their Governments in defensive, militaristic, and humanitarian aid, as well as vital scientific research. The IDAâ€™s main ideal is to defend humanity from any threat posed by any life forms, phenomena, entities, or any other possible occurrence.â€ Â â€œSeems a bit generalâ€ Diggory thought. As the display continued, Diggory briefly wondered what he would assigned to onboard one of the vessels of the IDA fleet. Given his education was focused on engineering; he imagined that his assignment could be to that particular one on the vessel. However, he did hope that it would be one close to the action of the ship- perhaps posted to the bridge or weapons maintenance.
â€œWell, Perhaps I shall get what I wish for.â€ Diggory turned his attention back to the display. Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â
â€œThe IDA fleet consists of three classes-â€œ. The screen changed to display a photograph of an IDA issue static paper being retrieved from a tray in front of the velvet chairs the audience were sitting upon. He reached for the identical tray in front of him and took one static paper, turned it on, and saw a diagram of the smallest of the three classes of Starships, while the voice narrated from the text on the static paper: â€œ-the Amegeaus-class Starship is a scouting and scientific research vessel manned by a compliment of 250 personnel.â€ Diggory overviewed the vessel. It was cylindrical in shape, covered in a material that Diggory surmised was the relatively common alloy from the Alpha Centauri system- Iridium/Platinum- which created a silvery bluish hull coloring. He had to wonder what the shielding could be- perhaps a strengthened plasma shield for possible interstellar objects that would otherwise damage the ship when traveling at .5 Cs, with the use of a deflector shield for energy and projectile weapons utilized against the vessel. He wondered if it would be possible to get schematics of the vessel- for it reminded him of one of his own ideas for a vessel- though, admittedly, his had been designed for a cargo carrying purpose. The slowly rotating picture showed a basically unadorned cylinder with a gently tapering front, a central command tower midways between the two large engine pods in the back of the vessel, and a few signifying features- the name and designation of the ship, as well as the colors of the IDA as strips on the sides and around the exhaust funnels. The vesselsâ€™ name he approved of- the Spirit of Australia, with the designation of Solar Created Vessel-201, which would be SCV-201 for short. As for the name; Spirit of Australia, all countries were given vessels to name as they wished- with the smallest and least active countries getting shuttlecraft and other small ships and the larger and more active countries receiving the main fleet vessels. And while the governments did not exist anymore- at least in the fashion they used to be in, national pride still did. He resumed viewing the display, accompanied by the voice giving more technical aspects of the Amegeaus-class Vessels. â€œAmegeaus-class vessels are equipped with two Excelsior IV beam core antimatter rockets, each capable of producing velocity equal to 50 percent the speed of light, and the capability to speed products from the effects of Matter/Antimatter annihilation to 99.50 percent the speed of light. Amegeaus-class Vessels are also equipped with four Durammix Railguns; the busbars fired from these are equipped with an incased nuclear explosive which has a yield of 10,000 megatons. The Railguns are able to reach a distance of 10,000 Kilometers, firing projectiles at a speed of 200 Kilometers per second, on average. The Amegeaus-classâ€™ are additionally equipped with two torpedo bays firing IDA- specification Hydrogen Fusion torpedoes; their range being up to 30,000 Kilometers with a yield of 100,000 megatons. Â