The roof doors of the Black Rock Laboratory retracted with their familiar electronic whine, bathing the interior with golden afternoon sunlight.
From his position behind the console at the side of the room, Professor Popkiss gave a small wave and spoke into the microphone.
“Alright, time to be on your way!”
From inside Supercar, Mike Mercury, Doctor Beaker and Jimmy Gibson waved back.
Jimmy sighed, “Gee, I sure wish Mitch was coming along.”
Mike smiled, “I know, but the Professor will take real good care of him and we won’t be gone long.”
Doctor Beaker nodded absently, “Mitch’s curiousity often causes enough problems in standard gravitational conditions. I…er…would not like to guess how he might fair when they are lessened.”
“Right Doctor,” Mike replied, “So how about we get to it? Stand by, switching to full boost.”
With a roar of jets, Supercar rose majestically from the floor of the laboratory and out through the open roof doors, which slid closed after the craft was clear.
“Okay, so you both know the drill.” Mike said, “Doctor Beaker’s got the flight plan all set up. Jimmy, are you ready with the experiments?”
“Sure am, Mike!” Jimmy patted the equipment box beside him on the rear seat.
“Great. We’ll take Supercar through a couple of parabolas to get us all used to the sensation and then we can make a start on the scientific part after that. Make sure you’re strapped in tight, I’m going to begin the first parabola in a few moments.” He turned to Beaker, “All set, Doctor?”
“Ready, Mike. You may proceed.”
Mike set the throttle to the desired speed and pulled back on the control yolk, sending Supercar into a 45 degree climb. The engine pitch was high, but still barely a strain on the craft’s fantastic motors.
About halfway though the climb, all three occupants began to experience the first sensations of weightlessness.
“I say!” exclaimed Beaker as a marker pen floated free from his blazer pocket and bounced casually against the transparent canopy.
“Very uplifting, Doc. How you doing back there, Jimmy?”
“This is great! How long is it gonna feel like this?”
Doctor Beaker recovered his errant stationary before replying, “I estimate between 20 and 25 seconds.”
Mike throttled back and pushed the control yolk forward, pitching Supercar so that it ended up in a 45 degree dive.
As the ground began to loom large ahead, Mike nodded with satisfaction, “Supercar’s holding up just fine. Okay, we’re approaching the bottom of the parabola. Brace for positive G-forces.”
The red streak of Supercar’s hull zoomed towards the desert plains before Mike pulled it out of the dive and straight back into another 45 degree climb.
Jimmy laughed, “It was like being pressed by a giant’s hand!”
Mike grinned, “Not too much for you to handle?”
“No, Mike, I’m fine! Let’s go again!”
“And how about you, Doctor, doing okay?”
“Remarkably well. The…er…airsickness I anticipated does not appear to have…er…manifested itself as yet.”
“Okay folks, here we go again!”
Once more Supercar soared upward as if determined to leave Earth behind. Then there were the 25 seconds of weightlessness and then back into positive gravity once again.
On the third parabola, Jimmy opened the equipment box and began noting down the effects of the reduced gravity according to Doctor Beaker’s instructions.
They continued their work through a total of 40 parabolas.
Then finally Mike said, “I think that’ll do for today. Did you get enough details, Doctor Beaker?”
“Indeed, a fine days work! There’s just one problem. I can’t seem to find the egg I was observing in the last experiment.”
As they crossed the threshold from reduced-gravity to normal flight there was a small crack and a splat sound.
Jimmy gasped, “Oh Doctor Beaker, it was floating just above your head!”
“Well,” Beaker exclaimed as he mopped the runny egg from his brow, “Now who’s a fool? I was going to boil it for supper!”
They all laughed as Supercar wheeled in the sky and headed back for base.