Finalist in the 'Imagine That! 1999' competition

It was the year 999999 A.D. The Milky Way galaxy had collapsed into a black hole 3,000 years ago. The Batleh seemed to drift endlessly through space, even though it was travelling at 30,000 times the speed of light. The Batleh was huge; about half the size of Mars. It housed the last survivors of the human race that spread themselves through the Milky Way. Three generations floating through space, looking for another planet to land on to keep the humans in existence. The computer had found many planets, but they had neither air, nor water.

Finally, the Batleh found a planet exactly like Earth. The humans called it Eden 2. The only problem was that there was a 'White Hole' on the best path. This could destroy a ship this big from half a light year away. The only choice was to go towards the centre of the universe.

For millennia humans have had a rumour about how there is a huge black hole sucking in the whole universe. That became a joke, then a theory, then a reality. The Batleh risked destroying itself and all the colonists inside. The other ways guaranteed getting destroyed, so it went through the centre of the Universe. As the Batleh came close it scanned the black hole. It was 1,000,000 A.U.s across. It could swallow half the Milky Way. As the ship got even closer it started to gain speed from the gravity. 400,000 times the speed of light and increasing. Everything began to slow down. The running race in the sports ground looked like a snail race.

Suddenly everything went black. Time sped up so much that it had already become 100000000 A.D. The whole Universe collapsed into the black hole, the Batleh with it.

A huge explosion broke the darkness. The Batleh was being shot out of the black hole about 30 times as fast as it was sucked in. Another Big Bang started another identical universe! By the time the Batleh had slowed to 30,000 times the speed of light, Jesus was only a year old on Earth. The residents held a meeting and they found that a time loop had been made. In the previous universe(s) the Batleh had gone to the Earth in the year 2004 to give them the secret of how to travel at or above the speed of light. They now had to return to Earth and send the message to Space Station Freedom. It would take 2 days on the Batleh but 2000 years on Earth.

As the Batleh was halfway through the Solar System it found a huge gas sphere. Jupiter was 30 A.U.s of course! Then the Batleh's computer discovered that Pluto and Eden 1 were 30 light years away!

The Batleh approached Earth just as the last section of Freedom was put in place. The ship decided to send 'linguacode' to NASA. One 'Trekkie' saw the message and saw that his dream of warp drive could well have come true...



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