Game Name: Earth’s Entrance Exam
Objective: Take mankind’s first experimental and unfinished interstellar vessel through an exam laid out by an unknown captor!
You are a pilot for an experimental craft built by a space-enthusiast trillionaire and his scientist friend. Obviously, the reclusive scientist possessed a genius mind; but, more importantly, his mind had stumbled upon a daring, never-before envisioned faster-than-light drive design-concept.
The scientist was paranoid of the drastic implications of his faster-than-light drive, and not simply because such a scientific and engineering breakthrough would thrust him into the spotlight. The technology was dangerous, and currently outside the hands of men hungry for power and control. It would have been safer… to bury this discovery… but this idea, this revelation… had a mind of its own. It was one of those thoughts that demanded attention and fueled the fire of curiosity. In the case of this reclusive scientist, the fire burned hotter than his own paranoid nature, and maybe even his good judgment. He made his trillionaire friend promise to keep the project secret, safe, even from government eyes.
You were recruited without any pilot experience, or any real background for attaining such a perilous and skill-intensive responsibility as piloting humankind’s first interstellar spacecraft… all you had is a dream to be an astronaut, a love for space and what you could find… for all those tv shows and games about spacemen and explorers… why did they pick you? How do they know that you are even capable of becoming proficient in the skills necessary for… oh, I don’t know… not crashing into the side of a moon? That you don’t know… but you were willing to sign your entire life away for this opportunity, and they knew that when they approached you. Maybe that’s exactly all they wanted…
In the night… while you were sleeping in your reserved bunk in the secret testing facility that had become your new home for the last several months… you hear loud bangs, and are awakened by the scientist pulling you down to the floor, thrusting you up to your feet, while yelling “they’ve found us! Get to the ship! No time to explain! Launch now, right now!” She shoves you out the door. “Go go go!” she yells.
You run to the launch bay and grab your suit on the way. You have not yet completed training; you were supposed to have years! More shakes, thunderous booms, and you cover your ears as they are assaulted by the squealing of metal against metal. You know you don’t have much time… you slip your arm into the final dangling sleeve of your suit, the helmet deploys automatically, and the nanofibers contract within your suit, supporting your movements. You jump into the vessel, and search for the navigational control. “What??” You stare at unfinished consoles and hanging wires where monitors are supposed to be installed. You quickly find a working console and check the status of your vessel… Engines, maneuvering thrusters, the experimental FTL drive… all are installed, it seems, but the assisted navigation system is not complete. The only viable method of navigational control is an emergency system, entirely manual, rudimentary at best. “Screw it,” you mutter as you initiate launch sequence.
The launch was smooth… “at least the dampeners were installed,” you mutter under your stressed-out breath. You intend to head for behind the moon, a refuge out of range of prying eyes and weapons lock… Crap, weapons lock!! Alarms begin blaring loudly around you as missiles are launched at your currently defenseless vessel. The ship is fast, but not fast enough. You make it into space, but those missiles are catching up fast. They are clearly not your run-of-the-mill offensive weaponry. You have no choice… you power up the untested drive, jump coordinates pre-calculated for Alpha Centauri. The ship begins shaking violently, the portal opens, and your stomach turns as the whole cockpit stretches and contorts in your vision… suddenly, your whole body is slammed into the back of your seat, and the cockpit is inundated with a blinding light…
You open your eyes to find your vessel is floating down a long dark tunnel… your heart sinks into your stomach as you stupidly mutter “this doesn’t look like Alpha Centauri.” You reflexively scream in fright as you hear from no particular direction “Welcome, Pilot. Your presence is…unexpected… We believed we had several more years until your arrival. No matter… we can commence early. Your exam begins… now.”