From Chaos To Cosmos
How Zommie, a young unicorn from a farm, became the first of her people to discover a way to make space travel a possibility.
From Chaos to Cosmos
"Come on, Zommie, it's about to start!" Hearing her mother's voice, Zommie put down her father's prized possession, his rosewood guitar, and ran down the stairs.
"Any minute now. Do you want some lemonade?" Zommie's mother asked.
"Yes, please!" She grabbed a glass. Her mother filled it with the sweet and tart beverage, and Zommie took a big, refreshing sip that made her lips pucker and snap after every drink.
"When will you tell me the secret ingredient?" she asked her mother.
"All in good time. Tonight, we watch the sky." Her mother replied. Zommie looked at her mother, a majestic, snow-white unicorn with an elegant, luminous horn. Once a female unicorn reached maturity, its horn would start absorbing photons from sunlight and emitting this beautiful, soft light through bioluminescence.
As she sat and waited for the show to start, Zommie contemplated where her life would take her after becoming a full-grown inhabitant of their home planet Yoriara (yoor-ee-ahr-uh). Her family was part of a long line of farming clans, and it was expected that Zommie would take over the farm one day. She knew this from a young age and fell in love with the ranch and their farm. Still, she often contemplated what it would be like to travel through space.
Her father interrupted her thoughts by stepping out onto the porch. Zommie's father had a bluish-black coat, dark, piercing eyes, and a thick, silver mane. His horn had rough rings from top to bottom, and the color transitioned from dark brown at the tip to a bone color at the base. He seemed to tower over Zommie's mom, standing almost a foot taller. Zommie wondered if her mom was ever a little envious because he was twelve inches closer to the stars.
"Oh good, it hasn't started yet," he said. Zommie sat next to her dad and leaned her head onto his shoulder.
"Any minute now," she whispered in anticipation. They all looked up to the colorful night sky and waited for the main event–the annual Monocerids meteor shower to begin. Then, bright dots of galactic wonder started darting across the colorful night sky like on cue.
"In the outermost edges of the Local Arm of the Milky Way, you can find a particular constellation. The Monoceros Constellation," her father said, touching the tip of Zommie's horn and pointing towards the sky. Her eyes grew wide, even though she already knew the story. It was her all-time favorite. Zommie's dad continued.
"In the galactic centre of the Monoceros Constellation lies a red, giant star that governs all the natural wonders we are fortunate to see. What was its name?" He pretended he couldn't remember, waiting for a response.
"Alpha Monocerotis, Alf-Mon, of course!"
"And why do we call it that?"
"Because Monocerotis means a single horn," Zommie said as she patted the base of the elegant horn on the center of her forehead and glanced towards her mother's, sparkling in the dark.
"We are blessed to be at the perfect distance from our star. This equilibrium allows for a perfect balance of energy exposure and sunlight for our life-giving, terrestrial home planet. This wonderful world around us is abundant with plant life because of our hydrogen-rich water. But, there are so many other planets in this universe full of wonders!" her father exclaimed as the glistening stellar objects kept falling like glittering raindrops across the sky," He continued.
Zommie's dad took a huge drink of lemonade. He kept explaining, "The way of life for our people has always been simple and aimed at harmoniously enjoying everything that nature provides, both on individual and global levels. During the day, we work our land, and at night, we turn our heads and telescopes toward the skies. These meteor showers have always been our favorite, right Zommie?" Zommie nodded.
Zommie then tilted her head and asked her parents, "What do you think meteorites look like up close after they crash? Is it true that no one has ever found one?"
"No, sweetie, they always seem to crash into the ocean." Her mother replied.
"Oh, how I wish I lived the life of a meteor so I could travel across the universe! Perhaps I could achieve space travel then!" Zommie said, laughing.
"Although Yoriaran's love of astronomy and astrology shaped our civilization, no unicorn has explored outer space," Zommie's mom said, her voice sad. Zommie turned towards the meteor shower, watching the tails of dust and gas finish their descent into the distant oceans of Yoriara. A resolve awoke in her heart, and she knew she had to do something.
Later in the evening, as she prepared for bed, she began brainstorming. This process continued while washing her glass, brushing her teeth, and even as she laid down in bed. She pulled her comforter over her belly and looked out the window to gaze at the orchards surrounding their house. The rows of lemon trees were always so pretty in the moonlight. Even at night, the bright, yellow fruits stood out vividly against the dark-green color of the leaves. Her eyes turned to the sky again. There has to be a way to reach the stars.
"A universe full of wonders. Oh, just how much I want to see them all, up and close!" she thought and made her wish as a single shooting star fell across the celestial sphere.
One year later, just before the annual meteor shower, Zommie returned from her martial-art studies in the afternoon. Zommie's family owned a farm with large orchards filled with many appetizing fruits that served as food for the entire clan. She was raised on her family's farm and, since childhood, had always helped her parents with household chores and the rigorous work on the farm.
She walked down the long path towards the cream-colored, brick farmhouse where she lived. She loved looking at their home. The trim and column of the wrap-around porch were white, the roof was dark grey, and the windows looked over the orchards surrounding the farmhouse. Looking over toward the orchards, he saw her fellow clan members packing for the day. Their collaborative tools and supplies were loaded into different wheelbarrows from the fruit. Many already home started pulling out their star maps and assembling their small, communal telescopes. By day, most Yoriarans can be found tending to their farms, developing their passions and skills, or exploring the nearby wilderness.
Unicorns loved researching agriculture, botany, chemistry, zoology, and astronomy! The people of Yoriara organized themselves into clans, living close together on large communal clan farms, each family having its own home. Inspired by their love and fascination for Alf-Mon, the Yoriarans studied the stars and the universe, diving deep into astronomical and astrological knowledge, which became an essential part of their culture and beliefs.
The harvest season occurred during the time of year when their planet was closest to their star, Alf-Mon. The annual Alf-Mon festival takes place on the night of the summer solstice. In addition to making the orchards grow a surplus of fruits each harvest season, it gave them energy, light, power, and warmth. Long ago, gold was said to be from Alf-Mon's tears and developed both spiritual and ornamental value within their culture. Her people now recognized celestial bodies in the context of the creation of the universe.
The reverence they gave shifted attention from visible objects in the sky to the Creative force that put them there and set them on their orbital paths thousands of years ago. All of this combined allowed the advancement of technology to bloom. They had philosophies and laws defined by the deep respect and love they held humbly for the natural phenomena governed by the Alf-Mon star and its greatest blessing, light.
Masters of the world beneath their feet, there was not much on the planet they didn't completely comprehend. Their curiosity turned celestial as they expanded their knowledge of the planet's flora and fauna. Nighttime provided them the opportunity to turn their attention to the stars, to delve into and contemplate another passion of theirs-space.
Zommie entered her house, only to find her mother feverishly going through the drawers.
"Hello, dear. How was your training?"
Zommie enjoyed playing the guitar and stargazing, but tiring her body with physical exercise was yet another thing she loved to do. Even after studying, doing her farm chores, and practicing on her father's guitar, training still felt excellent. The ability to defend others (and herself) gave her confidence in her step.
"It was good. What are you looking for?" Zommie asked.
"Oh, just… Here it is!" Zommie's mother replied as she pulled out their family's cookbook from one of the drawers. "The trade market opens again in a couple of days, and we must prepare. Our clan is hosting it this year."
"Can I help?" Zommie asked her mother.
"Yes! We will need all the help we can get, especially with picking and wheeling in as many lemons from our orchard as possible. We can start early in the morning. For now, get some rest." Her mother said and gently touched Zommie's soft cheek.
Bringing in the seemingly never-ending pile of lemons turned out to be very tiring, but Zommie enjoyed spending her energy productively, especially if there was lemonade in the end! As she was transferring lemons from her basket into the crates in the large kitchen, she was thinking about everyone she would meet at the trade market. Who will they be? Will they like their lemonade?
Her mother tasked her with assembling a big, red mechanical citrus juicer they would use tomorrow to make the fresh beverage. After finishing her chores, she sat down to practice some guitar with her dad on their porch. He was always busy with his administrative role in the clan, managing the big, fruitful farm and its people. Zommie usually spent her days studying her books intently and training in martial arts. She cherished the times when her father would give her lessons on playing. Farm duties took up most of her parents' days, so the three would often get together to watch the beautiful sunsets when it was time to finish up for the afternoon. They would eat dinners and stay out, late into the night, to have discussions about distant places that were said to exist amongst the stars.
On these occasions, Zommie was especially happy to drink her mom's delicious lemonade. Besides lemon being the most abundant fruit on the farm, it was excellent for quenching everyone's thirst after a long day of work and for evenings like these. They would spend hours outside watching the moons and stars make their way across the night skies colored with rich indigo, pink, blue, and purple shades swirled in the most beautiful patterns.
Zommie's father looked at the sky.
"You know, Zommie, these parts are the outermost edges of the Local Arm of the Milky Way. This part of the sky has several areas of active star birth, and given its expanding nature, there never seems to be a dull moment in the space between the planets, the stars, and the galaxies."
"It's a universe full of wonders! Who knows what else exists to discover?" she asked as her mother joined them.
"There are great astronomers on Yoriara, and they get to use phenomenal telescopes to research the parts of the sky we can only dream about seeing through our small, communal telescopes. They have engineered massive observatories in the high mountain ranges of Unia and work every day to unveil even more secrets."
"Wow!" Zommie exclaimed, already imagining what the observatories and their telescopes might look like.
"Still," Zommie said while watching her father's fingers pick the guitar strings, "I think the Monoceros constellation will always be my favorite. It is our constellation, a 'single horn' constellation."
Her parents smiled at her. They spent the rest of the evening listening to Zommie playing the guitar before going to bed, ready for whatever the trade market will bring tomorrow.
Zommie's favorite part of the year was the harvest season's height because her family could use the bounties of their harvests to sell and barter in the trade markets with neighboring communities.
The trade market was as busy as ever! Their lemonade stand was one of the most popular ones. Zommie's mother dyed their tent's cloth a lovely purple color by chopping up red cabbage, adding lemon juice, and boiling water! The back 80% of the tent was sectioned off, so all that was visible was the front portion. Her mother kept making trips back and forth to the back, only grabbing a few pitchers at a time. Zommie wondered why her mother did not simply bring out all the lemonade pitchers at once, so she pulled her aside to find out what was happening.
"You see, Zommie, if they think there's not much more lemonade left while our previous customers are enjoying and raving about its flavor, the others will be more eager to buy it," her mother said.
"How does that work?" Zommie asked, looking quite perplexed.
"It's simple supply and demand. If the people in the crowd think the beverage we supply is limited and special, they will be eager to demand and pay more for it." Her mother explained. Zommie nodded knowingly and watched as her mother went to fetch six more pitchers of lemonade.
The other unicorns loved chatting with Zommie because she was brave, thoughtful, and friendly. They would ask her about the fruits that grow on their farm or start discussions about astrology trivia. One tiny unicorn girl approached their stand with her father, who was dressed in a tailored black suit with a red tie. They purchased two glasses of the famous lemonade.
"What is your favorite constellation?" the little girl asked. Stunned at such a big question from such a little girl, Zommie replied instantly.
"Why our Monoceros constellation, of course! This means a '"single horn,"" Zommie pointed towards the little girl's tiny horn.
"The Monoceros Ring is a vast galaxy filament of stars that wraps around the Milky Way three times! It forms boundaries between the voids of space in between the larger galactic objects."
The little girl's eyes widened and glistened as she listened in awe.
The girl's father cleared his throat with a cough and said, "You seem to know a lot about the cosmos, and that's pretty impressive for a young unicorn such as yourself."
Zommie stood proudly and said, "Thank you. I have just passed my 15th solar cycle, and I adore everything connected to space!"
"Well, young lady, my name is Professor Koios, and this is my daughter Phoebe. I teach at the university, in the mountains, near the megacity of Unia. I have studied constellations at the university's observatory since I became a student. I think you will be a great candidate for our Space Studies Curriculum and that you should highly consider applying for our program once you're of age. What is your name again?" he asked as he extended his hand to her, holding his business card.
She was in shock that this was the famous Professor Nikola Koios. Her eyes locked onto the card, and her brain felt like it shorted out for a second. Once she returned to reality, she took a deep breath and grabbed his card, still in disbelief that this was all happening. "My name is Zommie."
Not a second after Zommie took the card and said her name, a random group of small meteors appeared to crash land just beyond the horizon into the great ocean. Everyone in the trade market cheered as this had never happened off-schedule before, not a single group like that at least. Was this a sign? Did this bring good luck? Is this finally a chance to pursue her dreams?! Zommie closed her eyes and wished, in a whisper, with every cell of her unicorn being.
"I wish to go to Unia to find a way to travel through space! I can see it. I am an astronaut on the greatest galactic adventure there could ever be! Please, Universe, let it happen to me."
The subsequent few solar cycles came and went by. Zommie filled her days with studying, martial arts training, farm work, and practicing on her dad's acoustic guitar. As she greeted her 21st solar cycle, her horn started giving off its soft light. She was fully mature!
Starting from the night she met Professor Koios, Zommie's dream of Unia never disappeared. Around this time, Zommie realized, despite loving her time with her family and farm life, that she would pursue her dream of going to the University near Unia to study the stars. She had taken the appropriate steps to apply for the schoolyear that was about to begin. Her acceptance letter came back quickly, and her registration was confirmed.
Around the middle of the day, she gathered who she could to announce her decision to research at the university. Her decision saddened the entire clan. Some relatives even tried to convince her to stay. Her parents seemed quiet; their silence made her worried that they didn't fully support her decision. She decided to talk to them in the evening and went for her martial arts lesson.
Upon returning home from training, her parents were home from the work day early and already sitting on the porch with three glasses of lemonade in front of them.
"Zommie, sit with us," her father said earnestly. She listened to his request and had a seat.
"Our darling daughter," her mother said. "We have always known this day would eventually come since your dreams have always been much bigger than this farm. Now that you are your own person, it's only natural for you to listen to your heart and pursue those dreams. Your father and I have some gifts for you to help you always remember where you came from, no matter where you may be."
Zommie's eyes started to water.
"I know our lemonade is your favorite. Remember, this is our family's secret recipe book. Protect it, and use it wisely. There are plenty of other recipes here, and I hope they bring you a taste of home if you get homesick." her mother said while visibly holding back tears.
Her mother handed over the precious notebook with all their family's culinary and mixology secrets. Zommie noticed a bookmark and opened the saved page. It was the lemonade recipe she had been asking about since she could speak. Lavender and juice from monk fruit pulp were the answer to this lifelong question!
"I know how much you love music and playing the guitar. Honestly, this is more yours than mine since you've been playing and practicing daily. This is my gift to you." Zommie's dad handed her his rosewood guitar. Zommie's heart blossomed, and her jaw dropped at the same time.
"The song we have been practicing together the past few weeks is also part of my gift to you. I wrote that song for you the day you were born. You'll be out in the world and away from us for the first time. You can play this song whenever you miss home or feel alone. It won't matter how far away you might be; anytime you play this song, I'll be right next to you."
"I love you so much. Thank you." Zommie said as she started to cry and rushed forward to hug her parents close.
The rest of the week seemed to pass by quickly, and the time to leave swiftly approached. Zommie's parents went with her to the train station to see her off on her journey. They had a great conversation about old memories on the way there. Once the three saw the maglev, high-speed rail train approaching, it was finally real that this was all taking place.
"My darling Zommie, you're all grown up, and you'll be off to start a new adventure in your life," said her father, trying to hide the apparent knot in his throat. "I'm so proud of you for having the courage to grow up and become who you were meant to be. Your bravery can't see around the corners to come, yet you approach them anyway. Live life knowing that if the next step you're taking doesn't scare you a little bit, it's not a big enough step."
"You're going so far away, my baby girl." Tears rolled down her mother's cheeks. "I always imagined what this day would be like. I just didn't imagine how quickly it would come. It feels like it was only yesterday that you were the tiny little girl I held in my arms. Here you are now, an adult about to leave. Be brave, like your father said. You will only continue to blossom and grow into your best self."
With the train getting ready for departure, they embraced one final time. Zommie entered the train and took a window seat. Her mother and father put a hand on the window next to Zommie's chair.
As the train began to pull off slowly, her mother walked and sped up to run with the train, crying her eyes out until she couldn't keep up.
"Don't forget us, Zommie!" her mother shouted, out of breath and sobbing.
Zommie's father walked over and pulled her to him to hold her close. She turned and cried into his chest as the train sped away. It was beyond the horizon and out of sight in what seemed like a flash.
The sun had gone down when Zommie arrived at the train station, located deep in the heart of the vast city. The megacity of Unia was everything she expected and more. Grandiose cityscapes surrounded her, and the lights they emanated at night were the only thing that even came close to matching the mystical awe of the stars above. The fires of optimism started to warm her heart.
After getting some basic directions, she decided to head straight to the University's Observatory and Planetarium. The university seemed to be built quite far from the city. To get there required a ride through the heart of the megacity, through a beautiful, green, rural forest, and then up a tall mountain. The ride through the city was so breathtaking and filled with life. The massive structures and the density of people there were things she had never conceived of, so she loved every minute of being able to discover new sights. As they got further away from the dazzling lights of Unia, more of the colors and stars from the sky became visible.
"The atmosphere scatters city lights, making it impossible to see faint objects in the observatory telescopes. That's why the university was built as far away as it is," explained the driver from the front seat.
Zommie thought the driver seemed cheerful and happy, which made for a pleasant ride. Once they arrived, she paid the driver and spent the next few hours looking through the observatory's small telescopes open to the public during the night. She was instantly captivated and wanted more. She found a place to rent a room for the evening to rest.
Zommie was up at dawn the following day so she could get to the university to start her first day of courses. The professors and administrators helping everyone were efficient. This made getting checked in, accessing her schedule, and collecting her books seem relatively easy compared to finding her classes. She was excited to find out what prerequisite courses she would need to study in the primary research facility.
The administrator helping Zommie get a status update for acceptance to the space studies program began checking over Zommie's file, "Professor Koios informed our department that you might be applying this year. Welcome, Zommie. You have been accepted into our university and the space studies program." Although Zommie had been accepted into the Space Studies Program, it confused her when she discovered that her request to access the observatory was...
"Denied? Why?" she asked the administrator.
"Female unicorns are not allowed in the primary research facility," she replied.
"Surely, that can't be true! Plenty of astronomers and astrologers have access to the facilities!"
"Yes, dear, all of them were male unicorns," the administrator said. Zommie noticed the sadness in her eyes. Zommie began listing all the famous astronomers and astrologers in her head, everyone she could remember, and realized that this was, unfortunately, the truth. All of them were male unicorns.
That moment was the first time she had felt even an ounce of self-doubt; her physical energy sank like a rock in the ocean. However, at that exact moment, she remembered the meteor shower and the wish she had made under the shooting stars years before. Giving up on her dream of traveling through the galaxies she watched and studied was not an option. Before doubt had a chance to dim any more of the flames in her heart, that old, pure resolve fired up in her belly, and she knew she had to overcome this obstacle. The observatory was so close that she refused to give up. She went to her room with renewed vigor and started strumming gently on her guitar. Creativity opened her mind and allowed her to view and solve problems more openly and with more innovation. All ideas were blazing with the speed of light through her mind. What was the best option? How can she achieve this goal?
"I know! I will butter them up with my mother's recipes! Time to make my mother's supply and demand lessons supply me with observatory access!" she chuckled at her joke.
Every day, Zommie would make three servings of three recipes and leave them in the Professors' lounge with a message, "Here are nine yummy treats; please allow me to learn why I can't help with research in the observatory. Kind regards, Zommie".
The professors' problem was that all the dishes were delicious, yet there were never enough servings for all thirty-three people. There were lemon cakes with lemon custard, spaghetti squash with fragrant pesto, and quiche bites that would melt in your mouth, all enhanced by her mother's secret ingredients. The professors grew restless and decided to reach out to Zommie. They sent for her early the following day, and shortly after that, she arrived.
"I will gladly make you more servings of your favorite dishes if you explain to me why I, a student like everybody else, can't enter the observatory." This request would make the professors quiet and go back to their offices. But, Zommie was patient. Like in chess, she positioned her moves and waited for the expected response. From the other side of the room appeared a familiar face.
"It's Director Koios these days. I have been expecting you all morning," he said with a smile.
"Congratulations! How did you know to expect me?"
The Director walked over toward Zommie, "Well, it was brought to my attention that a very persistent unicorn has been tormenting university professors with the offer of delicious dishes in exchange for answers about the observatory. I was also informed that his unicorn wouldn't give up, even though Female unicorns in the primary observatory are against the rules."
"Yes, because that's not fair! What makes female unicorns unwelcome in the observatories? Our horns absorb light from our main star. If you think about it, we should be encouraged to help research the sky and its effects on our biology and anatomy too."
"Zommie, it is precisely the energy that your horn emits that could potentially interfere with, or even damage, the sensitive equipment in the observatories," Director Koios said with a solemn expression on his face. Zommie was heartbroken and speechless. However, director Koios began to smile.
"Lucky for you, the head of the engineering department owed me a favor. I have them developing a helmet that will conceal not only the bioluminescent glow of your horn but any energy it emits. This attachment will be designed to be removable and would really only matter while you're in the facility.
"In the facility?" Zommie started to repeat.
"Congratulations, you have been approved!" he said.
Zommie shouted, "YES! THANK YOU!" and started jumping across the room. "How can I ever thank you?"
"For a start, one pitcher of that famous lemonade will do." He smiled.
Zommie was very involved in creating her helmet, full of energy and excitement because she couldn't wait to enter the observatories. And finally, her research was allowed to begin. Soon, she began her apprenticeship to learn about the stars. The universe was genuinely filled with wonders, and her wishes seemed to be coming true.
Within three short years, Zommie's knowledge of the solar system had far surpassed anyone's expectations. Several versions of her helmet had been upgraded and adapted for her work in the observatory. She excelled at solving advanced calculations and understanding all the physics behind how the universe seemed to operate.
During a long day of research, Zommie went down to the basement of the observatory to gather some archived experiment notes. She knocked over a box of files and folders as she moved around. While putting everything back, she stumbled upon some blueprints and field data tests for…
"A spaceship?" she wondered. The blueprints showed a large craft with a vertical design resembling an upside-down horn. The central bay sat at the top-front portion of the ship, and two circular disks swept vertically through the ship's middle. It was tall and long, with a narrow front profile that gave it a sleek design. A sudden inspiration burst in her brilliant mind, and she ran to Director Koios as fast as possible.
"Oh, I completely forgot about that project! Parts of it were disassembled for testing," he said as he started going through the papers. "The ship was engineered to have dual-functioning modes of transportation. One is electromagnetic levitation."
"Electromagnetic!? I thought a static system couldn't levitate against a planet's gravity, Professor?" Zommie asked in mild confusion.
"Ahh, young Zommie, that is absolutely correct, and for that reason, our growing efforts were continuously met by a deep chasm. We were forced to expand how we thought about harnessing energy. We have since risen out of this chasm with this expanded awareness."
"It's my understanding that the high-speed trains use magnetic levitation, but that's limited to a short distance from the material of the rail. How can you overcome the planet's gravity?" was Zommie's next question.
"Allow me to explain," said the Professor. "I have focused additional studies into magnetic fields for a long time, culminating with the invention of an energy regenerator called Utron and a levitating device capable of overcoming the planet's gravitational force. The central component of the device are these Utrons that consist of metallic bicones; think of two ice cream cones with open, circular ends together that turn in high rotation. They have hollow interiors with a spherical shape, as each cone contains a semi-spherical hollow space.
Zommie's ears twitched, and her mouth watered a little when she heard ice cream cones.
The Director pointed at the central part of the craft, "Here we have two large, counter-rotating wheels. One moves clockwise, and the other moves counter-clockwise. One is a huge battery that rotates in direct rotation, clockwise, with the central battery and is recharged by its own movement. The other is where the six capacitor plates are equally spaced and interspersed with the six regenerating accumulators that rotate in counter rotation or counter-clockwise. Together with twelve horseshoe-shaped electromagnets equally spaced and distributed in the external perimeter of the wheels. This means when the wheels start rotating, and counter-rotating, the Utrons going through this field would act as regenerators and capacitors in themselves," he stated as he took a seat.
"The current system has allowed us to navigate flying missions successfully, but none of the plate materials that have been tested have generated enough power to climb beyond a maximum altitude of 25km off the ground. Our alleged spaceship has never made it out of the planet's stratosphere. Our spaceship design is currently only functioning as an electromagnetic plane!" the Professor proclaimed in slight defeat.
"How would space travel work if you did get material with the proper conductivity and potential energy density, Professor?" Zommie inquired.
"Once enough electromagnetic power is generated, you begin to resonate at the frequency of your surroundings, and that cancels everything out, allowing you to go to zero point. Here, free energy immediately activates the craft, and the craft then acts as an independent force. You become weightless and will escape the immediate attraction of gravitational forces. At that point, there is an energy field around the craft, and you can go wherever you want. In a nutshell, we create a quantum vacuum to contract space in front of the craft while simultaneously expanding space behind the craft, allowing the spaceship to warp travel," answered Professor Koios.
"Wow!" she exclaimed as she continued to look over the blueprints. "The craft has an anti-gravity generator for maintaining a source and a standard amount of gravity inside at all times?
"That is correct. No matter the craft's position or orientation at any axis, a source and a standard amount of gravity will be generated inside at all times," he replied.
"How exactly will we make these blueprints a reality?" Zommie asked herself, deep in her thoughts. She took a deep breath and looked him in the eyes.
"We will make it work," she said. The memory of the meteor showers, the strong pull she's always had to explore the universe, and recalling all the wishes she ever made underneath shooting stars gave her confidence. She just had this feeling in her heart. "I know we'll make it work," she said and left the office.
Director Koios and Zommie constructed a plan for rebuilding the ship and new research about space travel. Zommie was getting closer to her dream with every step and decision made.
A long wait for the ship to be rebuilt was ahead of everyone, so she decided to use some time off to visit her parents on the weekend of the upcoming meteor shower. She missed the chess games with her dad, playing the guitar on the porch underneath the star-filled celestial sphere, and sipping lemonade after her mother's delicious dinners. She looked forward to a few days of rest and quality time with her loved ones.
The first day back home went by precisely as Zommie expected. She even managed to visit her martial arts sensei and take a class. Her unicorn body was grateful for the physical exercise. The night went by as it always had on the farm: dinner, guitar, lemonade. They were waiting for the meteor shower with the same excitement they always had. Nothing could ever dim the spark of joy these nights of stargazing ignited.
"It begins," she said and watched. Her eyes traced the glittering sky, and… Do they seem to be descending quicker than usual?
"It looks like they are falling near the mountain edges!" her mother exclaimed. As her mother finished speaking, the ground shook. Her mother became frightened and hurried to be close to her father.
Her father placed his arm around her mother and held her close, "This has never happened, not in our recorded history,"
"I must notify the university; we have to look into this," she said and went to her room to contact her university colleagues about the matter. She requested they bring her special equipment too.
The next day, she met with her team and explored the mountainous areas where the meteors appeared to be landing the night before.
"I assume we're looking for impact craters, right Zommie?" asked one of the exploration team.
"That is correct. We will be searching for and assessing the impact sites," Zommie answered.
After forty-five minutes of hiking up the steep and dangerous mountains, news came in over the radio.
"Twilight, Twilight, this is Charlie. We have spotted multiple impact sites to the northeast. Repeat, we have spotted multiple impact sites to the northeast. How copy? Over," came someone's voice from the radio.
"This is Twilight. Solid copy Charlie," answered the radio operator on Zommie's team.
As the group approached the first site, they noticed chunks of something shimmering in the light. With every step to the first impact sight, the team saw an increasing amount of the material.
"Zommie, this material has such a beautiful metallic emerald iridescence!" shouted one of the team members.
"It is quite luminous, isn't it?" Zommie replied.
Assessing the trajectory of how it had spread, it seemed apparent that the icy comet material was ejected from the meteorite's impact crater.
"Please collect some samples, and let's get them sent to the lab for identification," Zommie requested. She figured it would be easy to identify what the meteorite was made of with the mass spectrometer back at the university's lab. Testing the crystalline samples they had gathered would take 2-3 days. Zommie returned to the farm to enjoy the next few days with her family.
She arrived back at the university a few mornings later. She entered her room, and as soon as she put down her belongings, there was a knock on her door, so she answered it.
"Z-Zommie, the identification process finished last night! Please come quickly. The Professor would like to review the data with you!" said the out-of-breath lab assistant that came to the door.
"Thank you. I'll be right there," Zommie replied. She paused her process of settling in and made her way to the lab.
"Ah yes, please come," said Professor Koios as Zommie entered the room.
"Zommie, the mass spectra produced by this iridescent material doesn't match anything currently identified. This meteorite is made of an unknown material," the Professor said.
"Well, that's exciting! Professor, I would like to dedicate some time to running additional tests on the meteorite material. I should have more information available later this afternoon!" announced Zommie.
"Brilliant idea, Zommie! Thank you for taking the lead on such a demanding task."
Although she knew lots of work was ahead of her, Zommie was exhilarated to learn more about these shimmering pieces of the meteorite. After many hours, Zommie discovered some fascinating traits about the material.
"We all had gloves on when taking samples, but the material is cold to the touch because it has an exceptionally high thermal conductivity. It can also be cooled to -350°C, whereas the vacuum of space is only -270°C!" Zommie started to explain.
"Zommie, what about its electrical conductivity?" The Professor asked as his eyes opened wide with excitement.
"You never seem to miss a beat. I saved the best for last. The material is super-conductive, Professor. It is nine times more conductive than anything else currently available!" she excitedly responded.
They both knew there had to be a way to use the intense potential energy of these crystals to power the ship. The Professor requested the university's most skilled engineers, and they planned out something that would change Yoriara forever.
After weeks of intense research and development, the engineering team managed to craft plates made from the crystal to use in the rotating and counter-rotating wheels of the ship. The day had finally come for Zommie to test the flight abilities of the updated vessel.
She entered the hangar bay and approached the launch platform where the craft was currently docked. The platform framing was supporting the weight of the vessel at that point. The blueprints she looked at did the ship no justice. In-person, this thing was spectacular, to say the least. The craft sat four stories tall, and being much longer than it was wide, it had quite a sleek front profile. The cabin sat at the top center of the craft. She climbed up a portable set of stairs and entered the ship at the bottom to access an elevator. She took it to the cabin at the top. Exiting the elevator, she saw that the wall and ceiling panels seemed to project panoramic views of the other sides of the panels. It was almost like looking through glass instead of the solid metal plate that it was., "Now that's impressive!" She made her way through the cabin to the cockpit and went through the launch sequence. A powerful hum began coming from outside the craft, and there was near-silence as it began to levitate off the frame supports and exited the hangar.
"Time to see what this baby can do!" exclaimed Zommie.
When she adjusted the controls to gain altitude, the ship zipped away from the ground and began to gain elevation.
Zommie yelled, "Whoa, that's fast!" in great surprise since she had barely increased the throttle. With the craft's Utrons acting as perfect regenerators and capacitors, the vibrational energy the ship seemed to generate was phenomenal!
The vessel reached 10km quickly and didn't seem to slow down as it approached the previous limit of 25km. Zommie shot past 100km and was officially in space. Being this far up, Zommie increased the speed and traveled through the mesosphere and thermosphere with great ease. At 800km up, she entered the exosphere, and once beyond 3000km, she was entirely out of Yoriara's atmosphere and in the vacuum of space. The engineering team had used the meteorite material to enhance the raw power of the crystals and successfully transformed their previously failed project into the first fully-functioning spaceship in the history of Yoriara!
Upon her return to the base and successfully going through the landing sequence, she ran out of the craft in great excitement.
"We did it! The ship can exceed an altitude of 3000km and is fully capable of space flight," Zommie yelled while exiting. She and the ground team ran toward each other to embrace in exhilaration and celebration. The group agreed that Zommie should be the one to name the ship, and she excitedly bestowed it with the name "The Luminous Horn."
Excited by the new prospect of future missions, Zommie looked over at her ship and whispered, "I'm finally going to see it up close… A whole universe full of wonders!"