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Orson Scott Card's trip to Jakarta, Indonesia

Stories from students at Jakarta International School

[This story was written by a young Indonesian girl not associated with JIS Middle School]

 The Failed Expedition
by Ary Savitri

In an instant, I am in the middle of the school playing field. The darkness of the night is nearly defeated by the brightly gleaming lights in every corner of the field. The stars glimmer. The moon seems to be smiling hospitably, as though it is about to wish a successful adventure to our national heros.

Firmly standing in front of me is the Apollo space craft, type Semar Mesem, that was assembled by me and my friends. With complete uniforms, just like the astronauts from NASA, I and two other astronauts walk in a line to the Apollo Semar Mesem (ASM). A white ladder is ready at the door of the ASM.

I go up the steps of the ladder one by one feeling full of pride. Now I am inside the ASM. Fresh air comes through the open door. From there I can see my friends and other schoolmates crowded around the field to watch my departure. I wave my hand. Hysterical shouts suddenly come from the crowd. Maybe this is their response. A few seconds later, the door is closed. I quickly go in to the cockpit and take my position for take-off.

I press several switches in front of me and ASM takes off, breaking through the clouds and proceeding into outer space. Smoke is visible billowing behind in the cloudy night. It is so white, almost like cotton.

"Yuhuuu, success," we shout, raising our fists in the air. The first objective of our expedition is the planet Onde-onde that is about six million light years away. But because Apollo Semar Mesem is very sophisticated and is built from the highest quality materials in the nation, we are able to reach the planet in only two hours.

My body feels a jolt. Oh, certainly this is because ASM collided with a meteoroid. In front of me thousands of stars smile a greeting. This really surprises me. It's difficult to explain this in words. Now ASM begins to enter into an orbit of the planet Onde-onde. In just a moment, I will land.

From a distance, the planet Onde-onde looks almost like the cake called Onde-onde. Maybe that is the reason why the planet is called Onde-onde. Hey, the distance to the planet is only 500 kilometers more.

"Prepare equipment," says Captain Udin with a clear voice.

"Ready," we answer in unison.

"Jgz... toeet... jgz.... toeeet.... dung... pret!" Strange sounds are heard in succession. What is happening?

"Apollo Semar Mesem will explode!" shouts Butet. We three got out of the ASM in any way possible.. A few seconds later, "duarrr...."

We were tossed about the vacuum of space. The view is beautiful, but now is not the time to admire it. I switch on the connection to the telecommunication satellite that is attached to my space suit to contact the people on earth. But too late, a comet attacks us from behind. I quickly shout, "Help!"

"Jduk. . . ouch!" I've fallen out of my bed. Huh . . . in reality I am only dreaming. I grope my head, "Ouch, what a bump!"

The End


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