Calypso coasted towards the tunnel’s entrance as Flynn ordered the rest of her sails furled. The golden-walled tunnel of the Slide didn’t look menacing like other celestial anamolies. Astrophysicists still struggled to understand the exact nature of the Slide. They knew that the Slide had certain rules.
First, anything that generated an electrical or magnetic field caused violent eruptions in the Slide’s walls that would envelop a ship.
Second, attempting to use gravitic propulsion in the Slide would create a gap, ejecting passengers into empty space, most of it uncharted and in a zone far from a star system or a decent dark energy current, essentially stranding the ship.
Third, chemical propulsion provoked an exponential opposite reaction in the Slide, essentially shoving a ship that attempted to navigate the Slide into its walls, breaking it apart.
Flynn had considered all of this and decided to go in anyway, despite knowing one of every dozen ships didn’t make the exit.
“All systems power down. Strap yourselves in, people, we’re going to be weightless. Kinetic struts set to passive.”
One by one Calypso’s systems winked out, rendering the ship completely quite. The ship reached the Slide’s entrance. The eighth force, its proper name was a ridiculously long eighteen syllable word invented by scientists for the force the Slide generated, sucked the ship in at incredible speed.
The Slide sped them along a corkscrewing path reminiscent of the amusement slides found on Old Earth.
Flynn gritted his teeth and closed his eyes. I hate the Slide. I’m going to be sick at least once in here. Twenty-eight hours until we reach the other side.
In front him, still at the helm, Anne cheered, “I love the Slide! Woooo!”