Excursion                     
                        Prologue
 
   On October 19, 1989 NASA launched the Galileo spacecraft to study the violent atmosphere of Jupiter. On December 7 1995 it arrived traveling a distance of 2.5 billion miles. A detachable probe from the main orbiter was launched, and during its decent, relayed its data back to Earth.
   After 14 years of Galileo orbiting around Jupiter, NASA decided to crash it into its surface. They justified their decision based on the nearby orbiting moons of being contaminated by micro-organisms, especially on the ice surface of Europa.
   The real reason has been kept top-secret for 120 years. The orbiter was never crashed into the surface of Jupiter, but programmed to fly by the moon of Ganymede and use its gravity to be sling-shot toward Saturn, to study its rings. While traveling at 32,400 mph, by some unknown reason, Galileo stopped dead in the middle of space. 
   In 2124, the first manned flights of three large interplanetary ships was secretly launched. Their names were the Enterprise, the Obama, and the Washington. The Enterprise was tasked with retrieving the Galileo spacecraft as the other sister-ships were on standby. The Obama was positioned half way to Jupiter, and the Washington was in a geosynchronous orbit around Mars.

                     Chapter 1

                  The Awakening

   The ship was cold and dark, emanating a haunting feeling as the sound of the distant rattling of air vents echoed down its empty bays.
   The Com abruptly came online and initiated with minimal power, the ship’s life support and emergency lighting to slowly and systematically illuminate. It was a separate operating computer system that was designed to socially interact with the crew and follow only the Captain’s orders. 
   The Enterprise was two hours from its target as Captain Rosen’s sleep-stasis Cryo-chamber blinked red and then to a steady green. The over-head glass cover of the chamber slowly rose. The Captain took a sudden deep breath as her back slightly arched, and then exhaled a vapor trail of cold air that shocked her into quickly opening her eyes. She tried to sit up in the weightlessness as the support straps across her waist hindered her efforts. She then rubbed her cold face with both hands. “Com, raise the temperature to 77 degrees,” she ordered. There was a beep and then a three second steady tone.
   “Sir, the PG’s (Power Generators, Solar-Startup Batteries) are not at full charge,” vibrated an electronic synthesized voice from all directions. 
   “How come?” asked the Captain while, with considerable effort, sat up and disconnected two fluid hoses from her implanted connectors just above her right hip. One emptied urine from her bladder during sleep stasis, and the other replenished a nutritious liquid into her upper intestinal tract. 
   “There was a ship wide power failure at 1900 hours on May…” 
   “Just initiate the heaters for fifteen minutes at the top of each hour,” interrupted the Captain. “That’ll allow the PG’s to recharge.” She then began rubbing her numb legs while wiggling her toes.
   “Yes Sir.”
   “I hate when that thing calls me sir,” she whispered.
   “Would ma’am be appropriate?” asked the computer startling the Captain.
   “That would be fine.”
   “Yes Ma’am.”
   “What is our current position?”
   “We are two hours, ten seconds from the Galileo spacecraft. I initiated a ten second aux-burn at 14:23 hours.”
   “Why?”
   “Forward motion was inept.”
   “Clarify?”
   “Reason…unknown.” The Captain seemed baffled and then concluded that the ship experienced what had happened to the Galileo spacecraft.

                    1 of 3 ships on Galileo mission.
The Washington on standby in case the Obama and Enterprise needs assistance. 

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