Authors: Christine Gasbjerg
Millie Hunter wants to leave Earth and escape the pain of her broken heart. By freakish luck and playing the few strings that she’s got available to her, she gets on a space shuttle going deeper into space than any human has ever been before. Heading for the stars and the new frontier, she counts herself lucky and is relieved to get away.
Onboard the spaceship she meets Kurt, who’s a different kind of guy than the types Millie’s used to. Kurt is a fellow crew member who shows considerable interest in Millie, and yet leaves Millie unsure of his intentions. It doesn’t take long before Millie feels helplessly attracted to Kurt - but how can she trust her own instincts that have let her down in love before?
Getting closer to the new frontier in space, Millie discovers that there’s a conspiracy holding Earth in an iron grip, controlling and suppressing mankind. Her life is suddenly in danger, and soon she finds herself all alone and left to die on an alien planet, and her oxygen supply is running low...
My Star is the first of a three-part series, available as ebook on amazon.com. The second book in the sci-fi series about Millie Hunters adventures in space, is scheduled for release in the beginning of 2013.
Table of Contents
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This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents either are the products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and are purely coincidental. Any resemblance between persons living or dead, establishments, events, or locations is entirely coincidental.
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Copyright © 2012 Christine Gasbjerg
To my mother and my father—for the love and support they give me. To my brother—for buying into my dreams. And to Aaron—for always being there for me and letting me bounce my crazy ideas off him.
Hi, my name is Millie.
I was fine until I lost my cool.
I lost my mojo because I surrendered to a man, Jag, who wasn’t worthy. He was the only man I ever truly wanted to share my life with—unfortunately, he didn’t share my dream. He wasn’t sure if he liked me enough to be with me.
The only thing worth living or even dying for—is love.
Love is the single most important reason to exist. If you don’t have love, and don’t pursue love, then nothing is what you’ve got, and all you’ll ever get.
Now, I feel homeless and aimless here on Earth. I don’t see love on Earth anymore. There’s no love for me.
here, but doesn’t want me, so there’s no longer anything left of true value for me here. Pain may be inevitable when you reach for the dream of finding true love, but suffering is optional.
Staying on Earth seems to me like dwelling on my lost love, and just asking for more suffering. I’ve got to get far away from Earth, far away from heartbreak. So, I’ve decided to look among the stars instead… literally. I’ve signed up with a crew of space explorers going deeper into space than humankind has ever been before. They say it’s a dangerous mission, but since I can’t find love on Earth, I reckon it’s worth giving the stars a closer look.
Hence, I’m shooting for the stars.
far far away
“Are you aware of the perils of this mission?” The skinny bald-headed man has a shrill voice. He’s the recruitment officer, the king of HR at E-corp, reigning his ‘kingdom’ from his little desk in this small recruitment office I’m being interviewed in. I loathe E-corp. They’re using all their power to monopolize and dominate the world’s energy supply, and have only one remaining competitor. My being here feels like fraternizing with the enemy, but it’s the only way I can get off this planet.
“Do you mean the fact that my life is at risk by going on this mission?” I can hear the obnoxious tone in my voice, but that’s how I feel. I feel obnoxious and cocky and know it has to do with me spiting life right now. Life showed me the object of my dream—true love—then yanked it away from me.
“That’s one way of putting it.” The guy clears his throat and appears nervous for a moment.
“Yes, I’m aware of that peril, Sir.” I feel the spiteful sarcasm grow in my chest.
“Very well, in addition I must inform you that by signing on with E-corp, you’re agreeing to adhere to the strictest code of confidentiality and silence. Everything you see, hear, and experience on this expedition must be promptly reported to your commanding officer or our headquarters, and otherwise kept strictly confidential. Absolutely none of what you experience must leak to the public or anybody else—not even to close friends or relatives. Do you understand, and agree to abide by this policy? The documents you are signing are legally binding. You are sworn legally to secrecy on this mission.” He looks intensely at me without flinching, awaiting my response.
“Yes, Sir.” I nod and feel my eyes escape the stare from his piercing gaze. I don’t feel like giving any promises about anything to anybody—certainly not an all-engulfing solemnly sworn promise like that, but there’s little choice if I want to get off the planet—and I do.
“As I understand it, you are to fill the position of…” The guy lets his index finger travel down a list until he reaches my name “…Recording Officer… So you will be documenting the events for the log about the expedition… Really you’re just a log-keeper... Why that insignificant task can’t be done as a side-task by one of the actual scientists that have other real duties to carry out, I really can’t make sense of... How superfluous...” The guy mumbles the last part under his breath and seems annoyed. “What's your background that makes you qualified to perform this measly task? You’ve barely reached adulthood. What kind of expertise can possibly justify sending you into space?”
“I’ll be documenting everything that happens on the expedition. I come with a vast amount of expertise and the warmest recommendations. I’m a highly respected, qualified and well-connected scientific writer and a scientist in my own right—even if I am just over twenty. I’ve extracted energy from algae. Perhaps you’ve even heard of my research?” I pause to watch his reaction before I continue.
“Now, I’ll be the Apollo’s very capable human black box, and my words will pass into history.” I feel like I’m lying through my teeth, as I repeat parts of the hot air speech I gave to the recruitment committee. The truth is, I’m not a scientist–neither by trade nor by education. I never even went to university. I only ever performed one officially recorded experiment in Applied Physics back in school attempting to extract energy from algae based on a crazy idea I had. The results weren’t stable enough to prove anything, and yet the experiment managed to attract attention. I wrote a couple of articles about my unreliable scientific algae results in the student magazine, which not even the students could be bothered to pick up to read. Still; my articles resulted in two men in suits appearing one day at school, claiming to be government officials. They wanted to know everything about me and my experiment. I guess they realized in the end, that I didn’t know what I was doing, and nothing ever came of it.
That was several years ago, and apart from a few further experiments with energy-extraction from algae in my kitchen, I haven’t touched anything relating to science since then. I’m not going to tell the HR officer that. The only truth behind my lies, is that for as long as I can remember, I’ve dreamed of everlasting love, as well as accomplishing something extraordinary, like solving the energy crisis on Earth. The crisis has split the world’s population into two distinct groups: a small elite who holds the power, wealth and resources, and a very large group living in extreme poverty. There’s no longer any middle class, and there hasn’t been for decades. But I never dared to pursue the dream. I guess I was afraid to find out that I really wasn’t good enough to ever become a scientist, so I refrained from even trying. At least then I could keep the dream of the probable possibility intact. So I embraced conformity. I took a secure job my parents would approve of at a nursery for garden plants. Thus, I denied myself a shot at the possibility of achieving greatness—out of sheer fear of the risk of facing failure. How feeble and lame! I was living my life according to others’ expectations. I was letting myself down. I was betraying my soul. But no more. I’m no longer depriving myself of the joy of pursuing my dream of science. I’ve come to realize that my life contains no meaning, no true value, if I don’t pursue my dreams. So I now face my dream and see it clearly, I'm finally allowing myself to aim high and follow my dreams.
If you think about it–who's going to love you and give you freedom to aim high, aim for fulfillment in your life if not you? No one, I'm sure. First and foremost, I'm the one who's got to love me and set me free, give me freedom to fly high. All or nothing. Save nothing for the return. Aim high. Aim for having true love and live true passion. Life's too short to waste even for just one moment. Take off for the stars!
“‘Your words will pass into history’… How presumptuous… hrmph!!” The guy is clearly agitated, and his face has now turned delicately pink. His movements are suddenly jerky and annoyed, and he gives off a surprising air of upset diva. If my ‘gaydar’ (Gay + Radar…) is working at all, then the skinny bureaucrat in front of me is 200% homosexual.
“Sign here.” He sneers at me, and looks at me with obvious disbelief as he hands me a thick contract flipped open on the signature page at the end.
I sign the contract and don’t care that he hasn’t given me a chance to read it. All I care about is reaching for the stars, pursuing my dream of true love and passion for science.
“In any case, now they own your ass… Neeext!” His shrill voice sounds slightly triumphant, as if he’s just won a pissing contest... or rather a cat-fight.
I move along with an ominous feeling that I’m holding a double-edged sword. I have made it through to the star crew as a Recording Officer without getting caught lying about my lack of experience—hurray! Still; I’ve got a strange feeling in the pit of my stomach. Granted, E-corp is a scum-company run by heartless megalomaniacs. But surely E-corp isn’t bad enough to be compared to the devil, right? Or have I in fact just sold my soul to the devil?
* * *
It turns out to be a quite large crew. Head count fifteen. And the ship is gigantic too. But then again, I’ve only ever seen spacecrafts on TV at a distance. I’m increasingly surprised they’ve taken me. The other crew members appear to be science experts of all sorts without exception. I’m not an expert in anything… if anything, I’m a non-expert… a ‘noxpert’… I love doing that – creating new words for comedic effect. Take for instance the word brunch. They started serving breakfast at lunchtime, and needed at new word for it. The new word became a combination of the two old ones – ‘br’ from ‘breakfast’ and ‘unch’ from ‘lunch’—hence ‘brunch’. So in essence, one should be able to invent new combination words according to the same principle, right? Though I doubt my invention of ‘noxpert’ will catch on…
In general, I’ve been quite disinterested in the preparatory tests and briefings they’ve held during the past few months. The only thing that caught my genuine attention was the personal device they gave each of us. It’s a pocket size computer that can access the main hard drive on the ship, and works as a telephone, intercom, internet, camera, voice recorder, stereo, etc.—everything you can possibly desire in one device. It’s very small, but has a virtual screen and keyboard function, so you practically have full computer capacity with as big a screen as you like—virtually. Apart from learning to use the device, I’ve not paid much attention to anything or anybody really.