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Red Sun

By Michael J. Foy, Author of The Kennedy Effect

The galaxy is composed mostly of suns referred to as main sequence stars. These are stars

that still use hydrogen as their primary fuel source. Once a star has exhausted its hydrogen it then

moves on to the next stage of its life which depending on its mass can be a White Dwarf, Red

Giant, Supernova or Black Hole. In the formation of a Red Giant, a main sequence star will

expand, typically encompassing its inner planets and destroying any civilization on those worlds.

The following is well known story of a civilization bred to life under a red sun and an escapee

who comes to enjoy god like gifts of a yellow sun.

Irsa observed Colonel Jod make his landing just outside her window as the Red Giant sun

shown wanly on her sharp yet not wholly unattractive facial features. Her priorities, however, lay

in the sciences as opposed to the cultivation of beauty. She was most gratified that her generation

two combat chassis performed so well for the officer. The first generation was one of the most

durable and popular enhancements that the military had ever enjoyed. It was hard to imagine an

improvement. Gen One, as it was called, was known throughout the galaxy as the star troopers

ultimate weapon. With it a soldier was practically invulnerable. Any destructive energy that

threatened the wearer triggered the device to warp space time around the man. It virtually

compressed the surrounding field between the advancing force and its target into a two

dimensional singularity that no physical weapon could penetrate. Anyone watching a Gen One

soldier under fire would swear that the man’s skin was made of steel as it deflected projectiles.

The system also enhanced all the wearer’s senses. For offense it provided for energy projection

weapons that can be directed wherever the soldier looked, the beams seemingly coming from his
Red Sun
By Michael J. Foy, Author of The Kennedy Effect

eyes. Also by marshaling and channeling the space time continuum a wearer could achieve flight

at speeds only limited by his imagination.

How can one improve on such a device? You could make it more portable. Instead of the

bulky back pack that was now required a clever science lab could miniaturize even the nanobotic

components. That’s exactly what Irsa did for her second generation device. Now instead of a

backpack it could now fit into the palm of one’s hand. A great leap forward. Another

improvement was for the device to be able to recharge with solar power, although her world’s

giant red sun proved a little inadequate for that task. It would’ve been far better had they orbited

a main sequence star that was still burning hydrogen as its fuel source. A smaller yellow sun

would be far more effective at powering her generation two combat system. Still, most of the

worlds that they policed had the smaller yellow suns. Those that didn’t could still be handled

with troops on the first generation system.

Now, however, even the second generation was old news to Irsa. The latest tests revealed

the third generation to be a smashing success. With it a soldier didn’t need mechanical

complements. The system was entirely incorporated in the soldiers biological make up. One

could even be born with it if introduced to the mother during gestation. With that thought Irsa

looked around to see her assistant Lara taking some readings in the lab. Earlier in the day they

had just celebrated her engagement to an important member of the planetary council. A great

catch as he was also part of an influential family.

At that moment Colonel Jod entered the lab with his Gen Two combat chassis in his

hand.
Red Sun
By Michael J. Foy, Author of The Kennedy Effect

“A stunning success, doctor. I couldn’t have imagined improving the old model but this

lives up to your billing.”

“Thank you, Colonel. Although I hope you don’t become too attached. We might be

replacing it soon too.”

“I’ll believe it if you say so. I can’t wait to see what you have in mind.”

She accepted the compliment with a smile.

“So what can I do for you Colonel?”

“You’re the most informed person I know, doctor. So I wanted to get your opinion of this

young system theory that I’ve been hearing so much about.”

“You mean that our sun used to be smaller and with more planets in orbits now engulfed

by our larger red one?”

“Yes, that. But also that there was a civilization on one of those inner planets.”

“Oh, that was for sure. Our archaeologists have been picking up artifacts from that world

for centuries now. They had a relatively advanced civilization. Space faring too. They may have

even been capable of leaving this system. We think they had the technology.”

“What did they look like?”

“Quite a lot like us, actually. They would be able to walk among us and we wouldn’t

even know it.”

“That’s disquieting doctor.”

“I wouldn’t worry too much about it, Colonel. After all their world was swallowed up by

our sun billions of years ago.”

“And they couldn’t have survived?”


Red Sun
By Michael J. Foy, Author of The Kennedy Effect

“Highly unlikely but who knows. We could even be their descendants.”

That seemed to mollify the colonel who was always looking for military threats.

Years later, one of Irsa’s colleagues, Loki, consulted her about a project he was doing to

find this ancient world that had scattered artifacts throughout the system. She did nothing to

conceal her curiosity and wondered aloud at the possibility. They had rigged a small space craft

to breach the time barrier by billions of years. At that earlier time the inner worlds would be

revealed to the pilot and he could examine them with the instruments in his ship. Loki wanted a

recommendation for a pilot. Irsa said she would get back to him. Later that day she called Lara

El into her office and exchanged the usual pleasantries before Irsa broached the subject of Lara’s

son.

“How’s your son these days, Lara.”

“He’s grown into a fine young man. But you knew that already.”

“I know. I just like to check up periodically to see if our little secret hasn’t caused any

problems.”

“Thanks to you there’s no trace of the prenatal syndrome that I discovered while

pregnant. Not only did the procedure help deliver a healthy baby, he’s also a healthy well

adjusted young man. He’s in the service now, the exploratory branch, which he loves.”

“That’s great to hear. Particularly in light of what I’m about to propose.”

Irsa relayed the conversation she had with Loki about their attempts to locate the original

lost worlds. To her delight Lara was excited for K, as she called her son, to be chosen for the

mission. With Lara’s permission Irsa would have Loki contact K about the special assignment.
Red Sun
By Michael J. Foy, Author of The Kennedy Effect

After Lara left, Irsa wondered if Lara ever told her son their little secret concerning him. She

decided not to ask.

K excitedly packed a small bag for his time travel journey. He looked forward to seeing

the planets that had been engulfed by the sun long ago. It was a romantic passion of his to

discover the people that left behind so many of their artifacts. He still possessed a young boy’s

wonder at what kind of people they were. Their mysterious existence certainly inspired his

curiosity. Imagine finding a lost civilization on a world lost for billions of years. At that moment

his mother, Lara, entered the room.

“I hope you’re packing enough warm clothes,” she chided.

“Mom,” he countered scornfully.

“Sorry. You’ll always be my little boy, you know.”

He gave a half smile and continued packing.

“K, before you go there’s something I’ve been meaning to tell you and I think this is a

perfect time considering where you’re going.”

That got his attention. He stopped packing and looked her square in the face.

“That sounds serious.”

“Perhaps so. Its up to your interpretation.”

He sat down and waited for her story.

“When I was pregnant with you I submitted to a precautionary test to see if I had a certain

prenatal syndrome that runs in my family. It could have meant that you would’ve been born with

certain deformities.”

“Aren’t there cures for all of those conditions these days.”


Red Sun
By Michael J. Foy, Author of The Kennedy Effect

“That’s true for all prenatal abnormalities except for one, Rayus Syndrome. Its an

insidious disease that makes the offspring susceptible to our own home world’s background

radiation. Suffice it to say you wouldn’t be walking around as carefree as you have been for most

of your young life.”

“So I didn’t have it then?”

“Actually, you did.”

“Then how...”

“I consented to an experimental procedure which still isn’t approved even today. While

you were in the womb I allowed Irsa to inject you with Gen Three.”

“A combat chassis? I thought Gen Two was the latest.”

“It is, officially. But Irsa wanted to take it to the ultimate human interface. Gen Three is

practically the same device as Gen Two except that it works totally off biological components.”

That made K stare in wonder.

“If I’ve got Gen Three as part of my biological make up, why haven’t I ever manifested

any of its capabilities. You would think by now I would’ve stumbled across something.”

For answer Lara pointed to the ceiling and manipulated controls on the walls that made it

transparent. The sun was setting, their red sun.

“Our Red Giant sun isn’t as good at powering it as a smaller yellow sun would be. That’s

why I had to tell you now. If your time travel ship works the way Loki expects you’ll be exposed

to the younger sun’s rays. It was a smaller yellow sun capable of fully powering your Gen Three

enhancements. Now you see why I had to tell you now. It wouldn’t do for you to start punching

holes in your ship given your ignorance of new capabilities.”


Red Sun
By Michael J. Foy, Author of The Kennedy Effect

“Wow. That’s one heck of a going away present.”

“You’re not mad.”

“Mad? Why should I be? You did what you thought was best.”

With that Lara came over to give her sun a hug and wish him well on his journey.

At the launch bay technicians were doing a last minute inventory and check list. K

donned his suit and started reviewing his own check list.

“What’s all this red material for?” He asked the technicians through his suit’s speakers.

“That’s in case you get cold.”

Only after that answer did K recognize that it was a blanket. He was going to ask if they

had been talking with his mother but thought better of it and continued his preparations. After a

while he sat at his console in the cramped one man ship.

“You good to go?” said Loki through the ship’s speaker.

“Good to go,” confirmed K.

“Don’t forget to make several orbits around the sun first. That’ll help build up speed as

well as provoke the temporal response in your ship. From there you’re training will come in

handy.”

“Will do.”

“Wish me luck.”

“Never mind luck, just do your job. And have fun. I wish I was going.”

K smiled and started the ignition sequence. In a few seconds his little ship was piling on

several g’s of acceleration as it rose above the capital city of his world. The spires and the
Red Sun
By Michael J. Foy, Author of The Kennedy Effect

soaring arches around them still awed him and he wondered if any of the worlds he was visiting

would have similar architecture.

After a minute he could see the curvature of his world and the space beyond it. Soon

thereafter he escaped its gravity and rocketed toward the sun while still accelerating. K expected

to exceed the speed of light many times over before his journey was complete. Typically, one

never travels at such speeds inside a solar system but this ship was especially designed for

avoiding the hazards of running into material at superluminal velocities. The matter would pass

through the ship without damage due to its phasing technology.

Circling around the sun K looked at the back of the star that was so familiar to his world.

As he came around it he could make out his homeworld again. Now he was into his second orbit

of many. His speed increased as he made several circuits of the sun. An indicator showed that the

temporal effects were beginning. If all went well he would start to notice the sun shrinking as he

went back in time.

As if on cue the sun did shrink. It was not a gradual effect. By K’s perspective, it

collapsed abruptly into a small yellow sun. And just as expected planets appeared, four of them.

The ship’s instrument's indicated that all were lifeless but one. K steered the ship toward it. Once

the course was locked in K relaxed. He observed frenetic space traffic between the third planet

and the fourth. Other vehicles moved beyond the orbit of the fourth planet but not nearly as

frequently. He conjectured that most of them were still unmanned exploration drones. As he

moved further back in time this traffic slowed and ceased as he entered an age before space

flight. Moving toward the third planet he noted on long range cameras the buildings in their
Red Sun
By Michael J. Foy, Author of The Kennedy Effect

various cities. Not as magnificent as his own world’s but still awe inspiring considering their pre

space flight culture. The rate of his time descent slowed and he could now make out individuals.

K lost himself in his observations. The people were truly humanoid like himself. A noble

race building to something that even they wouldn’t guess at. If they hadn’t escaped the system or

planted the seeds for life on his world it would be a shame if they simply met their end as his

scientists conjectured. With that thought the spell was broken and K’s attention turned back to

the interior of his ship.

Something was strange. For the first time he noticed that he had to sit forward to reach

certain of the controls. What the... Abruptly he realized he was shrinking. He thought he was

prepared for all contingencies but this was a strange one. How can this be? And then the answer

became painfully obvious. He wasn’t shrinking. He was growing younger. In his flight into the

past the temporal bubble surrounding his ship must’ve leaked. Pretty soon he would be too

young to pilot the ship. With less and less time as a thinking adult he programmed the ship for a

desperate landing on the surface of the planet he was observing. It was a long shot but perhaps

his younger self would be protected by the natives until he figured out how to get back home. Of

course he realized that knowledge of his adult life may not survive the devolution process but it

was the only option he could come up with.

The controls set not a second too soon for all knowledge of his life stripped away with

the anti aging process. Even in his advanced youth he knew enough to just lie back and enjoy the

ride with nothing else to be done. K’s craft entered the outer atmosphere of the planet and

screamed down onto a continent in the temperate zone.


Red Sun
By Michael J. Foy, Author of The Kennedy Effect

Farmland spread out on either side of the road that a rumpled man and wife drove. Their

destination still lay many miles ahead of them yet their eyes and ears were directed skyward as

they sensed the approach of an airborne object. With several sonic booms the object demanded

the attention of the couple at the expense of the man’s vigilant driving habits. Somehow, he

remained on the road, however, at least until the object screamed overhead. Finally losing

control of the old truck he plowed into a shallow ditch just in time to witness the impact of the

thing they were watching in a field now straight in front of him.

Unhurt, he got out of the truck and helped his wife do the same. They exchanged looks

too stunned to say anything. Eventually, they set off toward the impact site. The object had

plowed a scorched ditch that deepened as they approached ground zero. Upon reaching the rim

of the crater they peered down to make out the unmistakable shape of a flying craft.

“What is it Eben?” said Sarah finally.

“I think its some kind of flying saucer. Like what you might read about in those fantasy

pages.”

“Is it safe?”

“Seems too busted up to be otherwise, Sarah. I think I’ll go have a look.”

“No, don’t Eben. Let’s call the sheriff.”

But as they both started back to the truck a sound from the craft made them stop in their

tracks. It was crying. It sounded like a baby crying. At that Eben slid down the wall of the crater

and went over to the craft.

“There is crying coming from inside,” he yelled back up.


Red Sun
By Michael J. Foy, Author of The Kennedy Effect

He threw some dirt on the minor flames that still licked at the fuselage. When they went

out he examined the craft for any kind of entry. Touching the various panels while looking for a

locking mechanism a door automatically opened. Eben would’ve been hard pressed to say how it

happened but he reached in as far as he could and extracted a baby. By this time, Sarah had

scrambled down the bank and grabbed a red blanket out of the portal that Eben just withdrew the

baby from. Quickly she wrapped the infant up in it.

“Its amazing he’s not hurt,” wondered Eben. “Must have an awful strong constitution to

have survived this wreck without a scratch.”

“Oh Eben, he’s beautiful. What should we call him?”

“Now Sarah Kent. I hope you’re not entertaining the notion of keeping this baby.”

The look she gave her husband melted any further protests.

“His name is Kal-El,” he finally said.

“How do you know that?”

“That strange writing in there. I know its not English but those figures look like Kal-El.”

“That won’t do for here in Smallville, Kansas. Let’s call him Clark, Clark Kent.”