Zoomer loved flying. She loved zipping through the stars. She loved traveling to different places. She loved learning about flying. But, more than anything, she loved being able to fly faster, farther, higher than she had gone before. So, it was especially good for Zoomer that she also loved to tinker.
In fact, the Applesaucer was her very own design, and it had made it all the way to Earth from Planet Z! Since landing on Earth, Zoomer hadn’t stopped inventing new capabilities for the Applesaucer, and she was very proud of her newest one: the Zephyr Drive. It had taken a lot of math and more than a few of the first tests had left her glad she remembered to wear her safety goggle. But, she didn’t quit. And now, she’d finally done it. Well, she hoped she had.
“It’s ready,” Zoomer said, sitting in the cockpit of the Applesaucer.
“Let’s go!” Liza answered.
Liza had been a big help with the Zephyr Drive; in fact, she’d given Zoomer the idea in the first place. When Zoomer first designed the Applesaucer, it was to travel though space, but space is empty. Earth is covered in air and that presented a new challenge for Zoomer. With Liza’s help, Zoomer learned how humans developed engines and shaped airplanes to take advantage of Earth’s atmosphere. Zoomer especially admired the inventiveness and determination of the very first human men to fly – the Wright brothers! That’s why Zoomer named it the Zephyr Drive. In human, it meant “wind.” Zoomer hoped it would fly like it, too.
Zoomer crossed her fingers. Liza clapped her hands with excitement. She loved reading about history but MAKING history was even better. “It’ll be great, I know it.”
Zoomer pushed the button to start the Zephyr drive. With a whir, it turned on. The Applesaucer bounced a little in the wind but held steady. She pushed the lever forward, and the Applesaucer took off!
“Engaging stage 2,” Zoomer called out. Liza could barely hear her over the wind rushing along the hull of the Applesaucer. Below them, the ground was just a blur.
“Stage 3.” Their seats were vibrating so fast their teeth were rattling.
“Stttage 4.” Zoomer announced.
“Arrrre you rreeeallllly gooinnng ggo all thee wwway tto 5?” Liza asked. No Zee Zee had ever gone this fast before! Riding along was amazing, but she had no idea how Zoomer could steer at this speed.
“Shhhe can haaandle it. I knnnnow she can.”
Zoomer pushed the lever all the way up to Stage 5 and they zoomed through sky faster than ever! They saw what looked like a hole in the sky and before they knew it, they had rocketed through it! They were still on Earth, zooming high high above a sandy beach.
Liza rubbed her head. “What happened?”
“Um, so, the Zephyr Drive—might—be a little faster than I anticipated.”
“What aren’t you telling me, Zooms?” Liza asked.
“Okay, so there’s this theory a human named Einstein came up with, that if you could travel faster than the speed of light, you could maybe…possibly…it’s really only a theory… I think we went back in time!” Zoomer pointed out the cockpit towards the long sandy, green hill in front of them and the Atlantic Ocean beyond. In the distance, they noticed a small crowd was gathered watching as two men spun up the propeller and a fragile looking airplane took off. It didn’t go far, no more than 120 feet before touching down again. But, the crowd started cheering madly.
“Are those the Wright Brothers?” Liza asked her mouth open in wonder.
“Yes, I think they might be!” Zoomer answered excitedly.
Liza ran out of the Applesaucer to get a better look. “Zooms, we just witnessed history! Real life, history. The Wright brothers took their first successful flight at Kitty Hawk, NC, on December 17, 1903. They invented the airplane. You used some of their theories when you built the Zephyr.” Liza beamed at Zoomer.
Not wanting to disturb the events of history by intervening in the scene, they watched from afar as Wilbur and Orville Wright took turns flying, and Liza, the Zee Zees’ buffiest history buff, got to see it. On their last try, a gust of wind caught a wing and flipped the airplane over, damaging it beyond repair. Liza and Zoomer would have felt sorry for the damage, but they both knew the brothers would go on to have greater successes and fame for their marvelous inventions and discoveries – and which would give Zoomer inspiration for the Applesaucer!
After the crowd dispersed, Liza turned to Zoomer, “Ready to go home?” Zoomer nodded, still smiling from their big adventure. They clipped in their safety belts and Zoomer started the Zephyr Drive.
“2018, here we come.”