Story Time With Tim: The Day The Laser Died Part Seven

Welcome back to the blog! I’m Timothy Scott Purvis and this is Story Time With Tim! An ongoing series where I share my old writings and writings that don’t seem to be doing anything more than gathering dust! I have some new offerings that should cover much of this year and am working on new material as well. Maybe this will be the year I get an official publication beyond self-publishing! Or, not. You never know. Gotta keep trying though.

Anyhow, this story is a novella I wrote back in 2019-2020. It’s all about a ship being propelled through space to the nearest star system of Alpha Centauri… I think. I based the plot off of a plan scientists currently have utilizing lasers to push small swarm satellites to one fifth the speed of light in the hopes of reaching Alpha Centauri within twenty years. I thought the concept was fun and came up with a sort of deep space mutiny involving solar sails and stupid people. Just like all great stories do!

Since I have so much going on, I am just going to copy paste these intros and outros. Sure, it’s a little lazy, I suppose. But, I will add some extra thoughts here and there. So, stay tuned and thanks for dropping by, folks!


Check out Part One here –> The Day The Laser Died Part One

Check out Part Two here –> The Day The Laser Died Part Two

Check out Part Three here –> The Day The Laser Died Part Three

Check out Part Four here –> The Day The Laser Died Part Four

Check out Part Five here –> The Day The Laser Died Part Five

Check out Part Six here –> The Day The Laser Died Part Six




IF THERE WAS a such thing as chaotic, this was it. Doug stood at the edge of the rec room staring at the crying, screaming, panicking, angry congregation around the table in the middle of the room.

  Coming up the stairs behind him was Amiko looking scared like a child in trouble while Derrick Mills stood beside Doug and Colleena.

  “You really had no idea about this?” Derrick asked.

  “About waking everyone, no. About losing contact with Earth, trickier.” Doug braced his hands on his hips and scowled. “And now our problems are multiplied. There was no reason for this.”

  Derrick pursed his lips. “I understand your predicament, our predicament, however, having a few more minds at hand might have been more beneficial.”

  Doug looked to him. “Right now, we’re in the middle of affixing extra solar panels to the transit arms. Increasing our solar input by a quarter speed of light isn’t the best we could hope for but better than nothing. Outside of that, what would you suggest?”

  “Well, I, I honestly don’t know.” He tapped his shoe on the floor looking down. “My primary task assigned was architectural layout. I can help find the most efficient construction of habitat, but I couldn’t say a word on how to solve this issue. Are you sure there’s no contact with Earth?”

  “There hasn’t been a peep in the last five years,” he replied with a heavy sigh. “We’ve verified that the onboard receivers are functioning correctly. Only a few bursts of static and uncertain transmissions were recorded. All further transmissions seemed to have ceased from any nation roughly seven years ago. We haven’t gone through all of them. There’re a few hundred thousand records in archive which might tell us more, but I’d much rather concentrate on getting us going again. I’ll worry about what happened later.”

  Several of the crew including Fredrick and Guile marched over to the three as Amiko stopped beside the small group.

  “I’m sorry, captain,” Amiko said quietly.

  Doug barely glanced at her and frowned as the group came up angrily.

  “Why is this happening!” a woman yelled, he wasn’t sure of her name as he didn’t have the manifest on him. “What are you doing about this!”

  The group concurred in howling volume creating a loud, almost barking cacophony. There were five altogether with the others consoling themselves at the table. Guile had his arms crossed and a tight smile across his face. Doug raised his hand.

  “Calm down. I’ll address this problem in a while. For now, please just stand by. Sit, eat, stay calm.” He cut off further rebukes. “No. The problem is being addressed. You three, come with me.”

  He pointed at Guile, Fredrick, and Amiko while Colleena looked around those gathered.

  “Where’s Tyra and Sela?”

  Doug looked at her as Guile chuckled. “Sela refused to do the right thing and is staying in our room. Tyra is sleeping off a tranq.”

  Doug glared at him. “Let’s go.”

  Colleena followed close behind while Derrick followed the three other crew back to the table.


“WHAT THE HELL were you thinking?” Doug howled trying to contain his temper. The only one cowed was Amiko.

  Fredrick crossed his arms and offered up a smile. “We were thinking that since you refused to make the call, we’d wake up the rest of the crew so that they had a say in these events.”

  “Fitzgerald, this is not a democracy. There is no say to be had. We have one option and one option alone.” Doug scrunched his brow, his face reddening. “Panicking the crew needlessly helps no one and solves nothing.”

  “We disagree, captain,” Guile said leaning against the comm station on the bridge. “This is a life and death decision. We’re not back in the barracks on Earth. Like you said, we’re on our own.”

  “The only thing this will do is drain resources,” Doug took in a deep breath to calm himself. “Even a day awake for twenty people altogether will tax our water and food supplies. We don’t have the facilities to accommodate them until landing when we start construction of the colony. And now I have to convince everyone to go back into hibernation after being prematurely awakened. There’s no way they’ll want to do that knowing there’s a chance they won’t wake back up. With your actions, you three have endangered this task to the nth degree. I would recommend write ups and demotions but who’s here to take it?”

  “I thought… it’d just be like an in-and-out situation,” Amiko said looking to her feet. “Sort of inform the crew and that’d be it. I never thought about resource management.”

  “No, you didn’t,” Doug agreed.

  “Relax, Holland,” Fredrick waved his hand. “We have enough supplies to get us through for months. We had to do this. You need to confer with everybody and listen to their suggestions.”

  “You’re really chafing my ass, Fitzgerald,” Doug scowled.

  “I’ll address the crew. And when that’s over, you’ll help put them back into hibernation.”

  “Unless they have a better idea, of course.”

  “Freddy, just cooperate and keep quiet, will you?” Amiko glared at him hard, hands in her pockets.

  Fredrick looked at her and said nothing. Doug sighed. “For now, let’s get back to the crew. We’ll deal with this little insurrection later.”

  He walked past them and towards the stairwell. After a moment, all three followed.


THEY ALL STARED up at him expectantly. Doug balled his hands and placed them on his hips. Nineteen people sat encircling the table in the mess hall waiting for him to tell them everything was going to be alright. Despite his anger, there wasn’t really any blame that he could give to the three, but there were still protocols to be maintained. It’s not like he wanted to be here anymore than any of them. However, nothing had changed in the dynamics of their situation.

  “Nearly a week ago, we were brought out of hibernation,” Doug started, looking each in the eye.

  The seven bridge crew were in various states of anger, unease, and irritation. Particularly Tyra who was nursing a coffee and glaring heavily at a smiling Fredrick. The others as the manifest showed, were:

  His old associate, Derrick Mills—structural engineer;

  Jamala Wan Qiān—astrobiologist;

  Powell Jabari—botanist;

  Nuru Jabari—agriculturalist;

  Zia Utkin—energy engineer;

  Shura Utkin—geospatial technician;

  Charles Emmett—surveyor/cartographer;

  In-Su Gim—Earth Studies teacher (and extra laborer);

  Ignacio Loyola—explorer (extra laborer);

  Natalie Kingston—explorer (extra laborer);

  Prentice Soler—astrophysicist;

  Dreki Siggurdsson—construction worker (extra laborer);

  And Meredith Bower—medical technician.

  “It is true, we’ve lost contact with Earth. This means we’re on our own,” he continued. “There are indications of a war that broke out, but my primary concentration has been on getting us all safely to Therseus.”

  “Fredrick says you’re rigging up the solar panels for extra power,” Zia Utkin said, her body shivering. Though Doug didn’t think it was because of the cold.

  “That’s correct. The solar energy out here is limited. I already added panels to the starboard. I just need to complete the portside. The sensitivity receivers will be dialed all the way up for maximum energy retention.”

  “The only way to reach quarter light speed under those conditions would be to go into low power mode,” Zia responded, a look of dawning horror crossing her face.

  Doug held her eyes offering up a sympathetic pursing of his lips. “Also, very true. It’s why I wish you’d never been woken. I’ll need to shut down all nonessential systems and reroute to the solar arms. Only basic life support and hibernation will be functional.”

  Her face nearly turned white and the room exploded in people talking over one another and screaming at him. Fredrick yelled loudest trying to get everyone’s attention with repeated ‘heys’.

  “Zia is the energy specialist, Holland! She has to have a better idea!” He looked over to her hunched shoulders. “Go ahead, tell him.”

  She turned her head towards him after a long moment and shook her head. “Captain Holland is already doing all he can in those regards. I can’t offer another solution. The Starmancer isn’t designed for anything else.”

  A crestfallen expression crossed his face. “That’s… that’s not true. Come on, guys! Anyone?”

  “How’s this going to affect the crops already stored?” Nuru leaned forward onto the table, braced herself on her elbows. “Surely, some have already come in?”

  “Tyra, you want to take this one?” Doug asked.

  She cleared her throat before beginning. “The treeholds will stand, I believe. We have seeds and freeze-dried goods that should manage and still be good. The crops will be lost, though. There’s just too much time between now and then to figure out a viable workaround. The water and oxygen supplies shouldn’t be affected, though. With some creative timing, though, we should be able to have crops being produced in the ballpark of our arrival at Therseus. Give or take a few years’ worth of product.”

  Jamala suddenly lurched out of her seat falling to her knees and retching all across the floor. She got to her feet and raced out of the room before anyone could help her. She screamed the whole way.

  “No! I know what you’re suggesting! I never even wanted to be here!”

  “Jamala!” Tyra yelled after her and was on her feet in an instant chasing after her.

  It got deathly quiet in the mess hall. Doug cleared his throat, crossing his arms. The sound echoed violently.

  “I’m sorry. But—”

  “You’re sending us back into the hibernation pods,” Derrick said, a look of resignation in his eyes.

  “Yes,” Doug said hesitantly.

  ‘No’s’ and ‘I won’t go’s’ came back at him fiercely. Some argued that of course it was necessary. Others cried out that they’d just gotten out and it was all unfair. Dreki Siggurdsson just put a nub of his finger to his lips and took it all in. Doug sued for silence.

  “Look, I understand. I don’t like it either. However, if you want to survive the journey, there is no other option.” They all went silent again as he exhaled. “Here’s the deal, I’ll give you a few hours to work out the kinks while I consult lieutenant Merricks on how we’re going to handle this whole situation. Fitzgerald, Thandan, you’re now sequestered to your quarters until further notice.”

  “Excuse me?” Fredrick answered defiantly.

  “You heard me, Freddy. Get going.”

  The people sat numbly chittering as Doug turned to go check up on Jamala. Colleena followed. As did Guile who hurried to catch up.

  “I believe I told you to report to your quarters,” Doug said not slowing.

  Guile reached out and grabbed him by the elbow, stopping his forward gait. “You can’t fool me, captain. Sela and I saw the weapons. We know this isn’t just a colonial operation.”

  “What the hell are you talking about?”

  Guile got a look of uncertainty in his eyes. “In the crate in cargo that isn’t on the manifest.”

  Doug paused for a long moment. “Show me.”


TYRA SAT ON the edge of the bed, her hand rubbing Jamala’s back. Tears streamed down the dark-skinned woman’s face, her sobs wracking her body. There was little to be said and cooing words of appeasement would be of little comfort. So, she just sat there with a terrified Jamala.

  “It isn’t possible,” Jamala sobbed drawing Tyra’s eyes towards her. “We’re supposed to be on Therseus now! Not trapped in deep space!”

  “Captain Holland is doing everything he can to get us safely to Therseus.”

  “He wants us to go back to sleep like nothing’s wrong!” She glared up into Tyra’s eyes from where she hunched over her knees. “But I can’t go back in knowing the truth! I can’t. Millenia’s worth of nightmares… If we even make it. The chances are slim. So… very slim.”

  Tyra sighed. “I know. And I’m not going to pretend everything will work out in our favor. However, I trust Holland to do his very best. I believe we’ll make it to Therseus safely.”

  Jamala let her head drop and stared at the floor. “I… I can’t go back in…”

  Tyra felt the woman shivering and rubbed her back again. “Get some rest. I’ll come check up on you in a little while.”

  She got up and left the room Jamala had rushed into in her mad panicky dash. Several of the crew were finding rooms themselves as she entered the hallway and headed back to the mess hall. She stopped one crew member, Dreki she thought his name was. (Dreki, what an odd name!)

  “What’s going on? Where’s the captain?”

  Dreki raised an eyebrow and smiled his pale grin. “I believe I saw him heading for the stairwell to the lower levels. He told us all to take a few hours before heading back into the pods.”

  “The lower levels?” She furrowed her brows. “Okay, thanks.”

  Dreki stood aside as she made her way past him. Her first thought was to go talk to Doug. However, she was feeling a sudden nausea and thought it might be better to simply stare out into space for a while. She might not be able to escape all the implications of their plight, but she could get used to a view that went on into eternity. She hoped anyhow.


HIS OFFICE WAS small. Little more than a closet in the captain’s quarters. There was enough room for two people, though. If one were sitting and the other standing before the desk with enough maneuvering capacity to hobble around the right side of the desk. The other side was flush against the office wall. However, having room to move wasn’t on Doug’s mind. No, he needed the enclosed windowless room to do some hard thinking. Guile had been right. A whole section of a crate had been filled with weapons. For whatever purpose, he dared not guess.

  From what he knew about Therseus (and what had been determined) it wasn’t inhabited. At least by sentient life. All indications pointed to a tropical, Earthlike world thick with vegetation. It just didn’t make sense.

  ‘I don’t know what to tell you, Thandan. This wasn’t me.’ He’d looked to a wide-eyed Guile then. ‘Maybe the Ministry loaded it just in case we needed them?’

  Did they know something I didn’t? Doug shook his head and frowned. Of course, they did. That’s why you’re on this fool’s endeavor, numb nuts.

  A scream rang out pulling Doug from his thoughts. He was on his feet in a flash and racing out of his office through the captain’s quarters and into the hallway. There was a group of six outside of Jamala’s room. He rushed towards them.

  “What’s happened?” he asked as the group parted allowing him entrance. “Oh no.”

  Tyra stood back to wall, hands to mouth, tears in her eyes staring at the bed where sat Meredith beside Jamala’s body. Jamala was on her back, eyes wide staring at the ceiling, her hands gripping a large serrated blade, maybe a hunting knife, sticking out of her belly. Meredith looked up at him, a wet stream caressing her cheeks.

  “She’s gone, captain.”

  “H, how did this happen? Where did she get the knife? Nobody heard anything?” Doug stammered.

  Tyra dropped her hands and looked away from the bloody body. “I was with her not even an hour ago! She was saying she couldn’t go back into hibernation! I never imag—”

  She turned white and hurried past Doug and the gathered crew. He didn’t try to stop her; could only stare helplessly at the former astrobiologist.


Thanks for dropping by and reading! Hope you enjoyed! Read to you again next week! Until then, take it easy!

~Timothy S Purvis


Since you’re here, why not check out the whole work available on Amazon right now? Just click the link below to be taken straight away to The Day The Laser Died novella! It’s cheap and a fun read if you enjoyed what you’ve read already! Please, support the cause:

The Day The Laser Died



I would appreciate if you have Kindle or even if you want some paperback goodies if you’d head on over to my page and maybe show me some love there. I mean, if you’ve been reading a while and see something you like, wouldn’t you like to have it in your personal library? I have some cool short stories available for cheap. Also Tales From A Strange Mind that collects my short stories (there’s also a Kindle edition but, for some reason, Amazon wouldn’t let me link them together) , Tales From A Strange Mind II which collects my old novellas, Red Star Sheriff (Which also has a Kindle edition but Amazon, am I right?) my first novel ever released, though, yes, it does have some grammatical errors and drags on for way too long, sigh. But I still love it and I will be writing a follow up sometime within the next few years. I have a collection of my poems called MisAligned: The Heart Waxes Poetic which collects my old poems but not some of my newer ones included those flash fictions! I’ll probably do that in the future as well. And if you love the perfectly inane, why not check out my Star Cloud scripts presented in book form? Star Cloud The Original Scripts. Another one where Amazon was being difficult with me in connecting the Kindle and PB versions. Still, the paperback they let me sale for cheap and it’s well worth a look if I say so myself. Or, if you don’t want to click on individual links (all of which will take you to my author’s page anyway), just click on my author’s page directly by tapping my name: Timothy S Purvis See for yourself what all I’ve published since I began this venture in 2016.

I mean, if you like my work, of course. No pressure. Just trying to find my way in this world without working menial tasks and suffering physical and mental issues as a result. If only I could merely stay home and write. That would be my most epic fantasy brought to life. Well, if you don’t want to do that, you could also donate to my cause down below after all is said and done. It would help. You know, if you liked what you saw and all. Up to you. I don’t have a lot of reviews on my materials because of low sales. I mean, very, very low sales. In the single digits. Right now, I have to rely on Pubby for reviews and those people only read your synopsis and recap it for a five star review. I want honest opinions. Not mean ones, but honest. So, if you ever find yourself buying some of my work, I’d certainly appreciate some feedback. Again, up to you.

Also, I’m selling my work for cheap over at! Check out that page here:


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