I started this story a while back, but picked it up again recently. I think it would lend itself to a graphic novel format in the end. And yes, more rocketships; you should know I’m a bit of a sci-fi geek by now. There’s also a nice twist planned for the end that makes me wish the story was finished, but I really just want to share it now, so I am.
And then, needing a visual for the post, I thought I’d scribble up a title mark of sorts. I’ve been having fun with some hand lettering lately. It feels completely awkward right now, but I’m enjoying refining the curves and finding the right lines. That said, here we go …
PORT COLONY RADIO
The lasers melt the rocks at his feet as he runs up the path to find his wife. The hillside explodes. Smoke-filled air glows red in the setting sun. Distant screams from the city below.
2: One Week Earlier …
The city below is flourishing, a hub of the industrial revolution. Railroads spoke out from the city in all directions and the harbor is constantly busy sending and receiving huge cargo ships. Perched atop a hill on the city’s outskirts sits a small workshop. A young inventor named Jakub sits at his workbench—as he does most days—muttering over some electronic bits.
“So what’s this week’s invention, then?” asked his wife, Anneh, as she enters the shop.
“I think it’s big.”
“Big enough to change everything.”
“Really?” she said smirking, “Big enough to skip lunch?”
Jakub finally looked up from his desk and smiled, “Of course not.”
He held her hand as they walked up the path toward the small house. “What would you say if I told you we could communicate instantly across any distance?”
“I’d say, what’s the rush?”
3: Trial Run
The next day on a far hill, the shop on the horizon, Jakub sat on the ground turning knobs on a small box and twisting the receiver mounted on its top. He grabbed the attached microphone and flipped a switch marked “transmit”.
“Hello, are you there?” He paused and listened to the static coming from the small speaker on the front of the box. He turned a few more knobs and adjusted the receiver angle again. “Anneh, can you hear me?”
After a short pause, “I can, I can! Jakub, what have you done!?”
He laughed, “I’ve tamed the sub-aether! Haha!” He danced around the radio.
“Jakub, this is big! It’s huge! It’s …”
“I know, I know! What’s for lunch?”
That night, hunched over his workbench, Jakub mumbles to himself, “This should amplify the signal … refine the clarity of the … ” Their cat hopped onto the workbench, knocking the radio on its side.
“Dammit cat! I swear I will …” And he stopped himself short as the radio squawked to life, “Ssshhhht-essage. Thisssshhht Ark One ssshhhhht recorde-ssssshhhhht.” Startled, Jakub righted the box. The static-ridden message instantly cut out. He quickly set the box back on it’s side and the broadcast sputtered back to life. He adjusted knobs in an attempt to refine the weak signal as Anneh walked in, “I heard you yelling at the cat, what’s …”
He held up his hand, “Listen!”
The radio spoke, “This is a recorded message broadcasting from Generation Ark One—please respond on this wavelength. This is a recorded …” Jakub turned down the volume, but let the message loop. With his jaw slightly open, he looked over to Anneh.
“Who is it?” she asked.
“I have no idea.”
“Well, are you going to talk to them or not?!”
With a nervous laugh he turned back to the radio, picked up the microphone, and flipped the transmit switch.
5: The Messenger
Early the next morning, Jakub walked out of the house with the radio in his satchel.
“Jakub, where are you going?”
“I’ve got to tell the Constable.”
He mounted his motorcycle, lowered his goggles over his eyes, and kick-started the engine. He kissed his wife and tore off toward the city. She stood on the hilltop watching the cloud of dust billow down the path. The cat weaved between her ankles and sat at her side. She looked down and said, “He forgot to pack a lunch.”