Chapter 3: The End of the Hole
The wormhole swallowed the shuttle like a whale swallowing a minnow. A heavy darkness pressed down on Eroka and Raven. They felt as if they were inside a tiny capsule that was hurtling along a scary and wild roller coaster ride. Minutes later, the shuttle burst out of the darkness. The hole blinked once and then vanished. Unfamiliar stars greeted them, pinpoints of brightness sprinkled across a strange night sky.
“I don’t know were we are but we aren’t in our solar system.”, said Eroka in a worried voice.
Raven nodded his head, “No we aren’t. There are too many stars and too many belts of darkness cutting across them. Maybe we are close to the centre of our Milky Way galaxy.”
“I think you're right, Raven. From the centre of our galaxy,we would see a sky filled with stars and thick clouds of dust that block the distant starlight. What do we do? This shuttle can never take us back to our solar system at the edge of the Milky Way galaxy. Even if we had enough food and fuel, we would die of old age long before we reached Earth.”
Eroka and Raven hugged each other. Trickles of tears slid down their cheeks. All seemed hopeless until the mechanical voice of the flight computer broke the silence, “Alert, alert. Planet detected. Awaiting instructions.” Eroka rushed to the computer keyboard and rapidly entered the words, ‘GO INTO ORBIT AROUND PLANET’. The shuttle’s thrusters burst into action. Some time later, they were staring at a greenish surface crisscrossed with dark lines and curves. They were in orbit around a planet that did not look like Earth.
Eroka and Raven thought the same thought, “Can we breathe the air?”
As Eroka typed the words, ‘INVESTIGATE AIR OF PLANET’, Raven crossed his fingers and hoped for the best.