The Immerse Education Essay Competition offered students from around the world the opportunity to benefit from their award-winning academic programmes. Muhammad's essay has been selected to receive a partial scholarship to attend the Immerse Education academic summer programmes in 2020, held in Cambridge University colleges in the UK.
Read his winning article below:
24° 28' N 54° 20' E
This was the current location of Admiral Clay on the large yet jagged planet of Breccia.
Stationed with a small band of ten infantry soldiers and a set of military equipment, Clay was tasked with defending one of Breccia’s many cadmium deposits from the dreaded interstellar empire: the Eartheners. Legend states that this ferocious empire can traverse between galaxies in months and construct Dyson Spheres in mere weeks. Breccia was their next target. Breccia was forced to divide their current active military the best they can, equating to only a handful of units for every significant ore deposit and mineral reserves. However, this would only slow down the inevitable.
“Any news, Admiral?” asked Lieutenant Ebsworth, Clay's second in command.
“The Eartheners have conquered our neighbouring planet, Diorite. Luckily, all of the researches stationed there have been evacuated. It is expected that they will construct a skyhook by evening and launch an attack at midnight,” replied Clay.
“And what are the government doing?”
“We have a plan.”
Sure enough, a large rod of metal was orbiting Diorite: a skyhook. This invention can launch hundreds of non-lightspeed spacecraft within a day. Unbeknownst to the Eartheners, Breccia had been anticipating this for a long time. Despite their lack of exploration beyond their own solar system, they have developed heat-seeking missiles that can travel up to a parsec’s distance. Across the Breccian horizon, Clay and Ebsworth observed an immense exertion of smoke, followed by the launch of thousands of missiles into the atmosphere. Eager yet anxious, Clay and Ebsworth watched the event unfold through their portable telescope.
What followed was a brilliant explosion of white, rapidly dismantling both the Earthen base and the now non-existent planet. Rejoice and triumph erupted all over Breccia.
But then, silence.
From beneath the smoky remains of Diorite emerged a single entity: an Earthen Dreadnaught. Capable of storing a million colonists and having the fire power off a white dwarf, the fear that it induced to poor Breccia was understandable.
Admiral Clay and his squadron lay down in shame. Even though the battle wasn’t lost on their behalf, they felt responsible and embarrassed for the planet's flimsy defenses. Through the government communication intercom, several voices were frantically arguing on what orders to give to each squadron. Alas, it was no use – the fate of Breccia had been decided.
Over the coming days, Breccia descended into a state of despair. While some fought with resistance, attempting to destroy the Megalodon with only a handful of puny jets, most did otherwise. The government decided to destroy all valuable resources in the planet, even bombing the very cadmium deposit that Clay and his squadron was tasked to protect just a few moments prior.
Of the ten members of the squadron, only one was killed during the onslaught. That, of course, was Admiral Clay himself, who sacrificed his future so that Ebsworth and his comrades could escape with the Breccian evacuation operation. At last, the Eartheners celebrated yet another successful expansion of their interplanetary empire, but little did they know, the war hadn't yet ended; Breccia will live to fight another day.
Muhammad, Year 10