Decimation- Chapter One

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Literature Text

Chapter 1

The room was somewhat dark, the vast majority of it lit up by the yellow artificial light of overhead fluorescent bulbs. All around, people spoke into headsets as they stared at screens, the feeling of anxiousness mutual among them. It was kept warm and at a comfortable level of humidity, for the sake of the men and women working there. The room was divided into rows of computers, trenches if you will. Up in the front of the room, on the wall there was a large screen, showing a Mercator map with a sine wave graph displayed upon it.

“Burn completed, the orbiter has successfully been inserted into orbit,” one of the workers said into their headset.

The room went wild, cheering, highfiving each other as they yelled in what was a mix of happiness and excitement. It had been a long day, and their mission was finally over. A man stepped out of a row, standing in front of the crowd.

“America- no, humankind, has accomplished something we had dreamed of 17 years ago, in 2014. We have finally sent a human into low Earth orbit and we hope to send them beyond, into lunar orbit. We’re not landing there on this day, but one day we will once again, and I have the utmost confidence in the fact that the men and women assembled here today have the right stuff to succeed in that endeavor.” The man spoke, smiling as he did so.

His black hair was neatly combed, his green eyes flicking around, staring at the crowd as he addressed them. His khaki pants and blue polo shirt were very well-ironed without wrinkles, his nametag polished and shining in the light.

It read Dean Burke, Lead Flight Director.

“Okay, people, go home for tonight, and be with you families. Your shift’s over, the others will take over for you. Good night to all of you, and may our good fortune continue.” Dean added, watching the dispersing crowd of excited individuals sign off of their stations, heading to the exits.

Dean looked back at his station, heading over to sign off. As he walked over to his desk, he felt a tap on his shoulder.

“Yes?” He asked as he looked behind him.

Oh, he thought, it’s just my assistant. He sighed, turning around. “What is it this time, Sarah?” Dean inquired, looking quizzically at the assistant.

“Sir, the….. the Senate’s given us a funding grant. The missions we had planned, they’re…. back in action.” The assistant, Sarah, spoke eagerly, smiling excitedly.

“We’ll discuss this in the morning, okay? We’ll discuss it as a team.” He muttered, fatigued as he was, heading towards his station to sign off of the console.

Tomorrow's going to be a long day, isn’t it? Dean asked himself in his head.
The wait is over- Yet nobody seems to care.
I released this on July 20th for obvious reasons- I HOPE you guys know where this quote is from:
"One small step for man, a giant leap for mankind."
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