“I don’t believe it. I don’t believe it!” Tony ran to his computer and began typing
furiously. “Of all the stupid, crazy, idiotic things for him to do, this beats all.”
Tie Li walked slowly to the spot where Voyager usually sat. “He stole it. He stole
Tony continued to mumble to himself as he worked. The computer screen flashed
numbers and symbols as he scanned for clues to the machine’s whereabouts. The activation log
indicated that Simon had left a full hour ago, and according to the information stored in the data
bank at power up, Voyager had been set on automatic. Tony allowed himself to relax just a little.
“At least I know where he went.”
“Where?” Tie Li asked, joining him. “Where he go?”
Tony pointed at the word blinking at the bottom left-hand side of the screen. “Ark?”
Tie Li questioned. “He went to ark? Then we find him?”
“We will if I can get Voyager back. Cross your fingers, little sister. I’m about to send a
recall command to the on-board computer. Let’s hope Simon didn’t drain the batteries. Tie Li
crossed her fingers, her legs, arms, even her eyes. Tony glanced at her and laughed out loud.
“You look like a pretzel.”
“That OK,” she said firmly. “I want Voyager back.”
“Here goes.” Tony pressed a key on the keyboard and glanced up at the screen. “It’s now
Words appeared in quick succession across the screen. Search recall, lock
attempt–failed. Search recall, lock attempt–failed.
“Come on,” Tony spoke between clenched teeth.
The words continued to flicker on and off. Search recall, lock attempt–failed. Tie Li
leaned over Tony’s shoulder. She held her breath. Search recall, lock attempt–cross/check, enter
“Yes!” Tony shouted. He quickly typed a series of numbers and letters. The screen went
blank. Then; Search recall, lock attempt–passed; power on, recall complete, transfer countdown
beginning, set coordinates. Tony entered the numbers that would bring the machine back to the
workshop. Then he looked toward the corner of the room.
A bright glowing image of Voyager appeared. With a flash the machine settled on its
foundation; the light dimmed, then went out completely.
“Look, Tony, look!” Tie Li jumped up and down. “It come back. See? It come back!” Tony’s hands slid from the keyboard and hung limply at his sides. “It sure did, little
sister,” he said in a hoarse whisper. “It sure enough did.”
Tony walked to his machine, opened the door, and glanced up at the top row of switches
hanging from Voyager’s ceiling. He let out a low whistle. Tie Li stuck her head through the
entrance. “What wrong, Tony?”
“Nothing’s wrong now.” He pointed to a lever in the center of the row of switches. “You
see this?” If Simon had bumped this little lever, he would have deactivated the machine’s solar
panels. We wouldn’t have been able to bring Voyager back.”
“Even bad people have good luck, huh, Tony?”
“Seems so,” Tony muttered, resetting the switches above his head.
Soon the boy had the machine reprogrammed, and Voyager was slipping back in time.
“Now we have to find Simon,” Tony said, watching the dials in front of him. “I hope we’re not
“Too late?” Tie Li looked up at her brother in alarm. “What you mean, too late?” “You’ll
Tony and Tie Li felt the machine start to settle, then it suddenly jolted to one side. Tie Li
bumped against the wall across from her. “What going on?”
“Must be something at the activation site,” Tony said, rubbing his elbow. Voyager is
programmed to sidestep if anything is in the way. It’s a safety feature.”
“Not too safe for me,” she said ruefully, adjusting her football helmet.
Tony smiled and turned off the power switch. “Let’s go find our friend, Simon Gorby.”
As he opened the door and stepped outside, Tony let out a little laugh. “Oh, great,” he
said, clapping his hand to his forehead. “Voyager sidestepped, all right. Look where we are!”
Tie Li’s mouth fell open. She looked at the long, smooth boards below her feet. Nearby
was what appeared to be a railing. She walked over to it, then jumped back when she saw the
long drop to the ground. Grabbing her brother around the waist she said breathlessly, “We not at
ark, we on ark!”
Tony inched his way to the railing with Tie Li still clinging to him. Far below he saw
crowds of people milling around the bow of the huge ship. “That explains it.” Gingerly he edged
back toward the machine. “This was the closest clear spot Voyager could find.”
Just then the bully appeared from around the narrow, flat-roofed structure that ran along
the top of the boat. “There you are,” he smiled. “What took you so long?”
“Simon Gorby!” Tony started to run toward the boy, but found it difficult with Tie Li’s
arms tightly wrapped around his waist. “Do you have any idea what you did?”
“Yeah, I took your ol’ bucket of bolts for a little ride.”
Tony’s face grew red with anger. “For your information, you came this close to having a
very, very long ride in that bucket of bolts.”
“Never mind that,” Simon said, looking over the railing. “Do you know what’s in this tub?
Come on, guess! What do you think is under our feet right now?”
Tony continued to glare at the bully.
“Well, I’ll tell you. This thing is filled with animals!”
Tie Li’s eyes opened wide. “Animals?”
“Yeah. We got a whole arkful of animals here.”
Tie Li looked up at her brother. “Is that right, Tony?”
Tony shook his head like he was trying to clear his brain. “The book says that God called
the animals to come into the ark.”
“There, you see?” Simon said triumphantly. “You’re standing on the world’s first zoo.”
“There’s people in here, too,” Tony added. “Noah, his wife, his sons, and their families.”
“That’s all?” Tie Li loosened her grip on Tony and walked gingerly to the railing. “Only
Noah and family? What about all those people down there? What will happen to them?”
“They had their chance, Tie Li,” Tony said, walking up beside her.”Noah begged them to
come in, but they refused to believe that God meant what He said.”
Just then a bolt of lightning arched across the sky and slammed into the hillside a mile or
so away. Tie Li jumped as a tremendous blast of thunder shook the air. The three young people
looked toward the sky. Ugly black clouds were rolling, twisting, spreading from horizon to
horizon. The people at the base of the boat stood silent, unmoving.
Simon saw it first. “Look!” he exclaimed, pointing to the west.Across the plains, a liquid
curtain of rain raced toward the city. Everything in its path was uprooted and blown through the
air like pieces of straw. Trees, rocks, houses tumbled together in a growing wave of water and
From below, the children heard the voices of men and women crying out into the wind
that whistled around the rough profile of the ark. They watched them run to the bow of the boat
and pound on the huge planks with their fists. Tie Li could see their upturned faces, white with
The storm grew more with each second. Rain pelted the ark like rocks thrown by some
unseen hand. The sky sparkled with fingers of lightning and roared with a sound never heard
before in all of creation. Suddenly, the ground below the ark cracked open. Walls of water shot
upward as vast underground reservoirs burst open. The children were thrown to the deck as the
ark responded to the impact of the first wave that boiled from deep below the surface of the land.
“Come on!” Tony shouted above the wind. “Let’s get out of here.”
Simon raced toward Voyager, trying to keep his balance on the vibrating, pitching deck.
“You say God loves this world?” he shouted,grabbing Tie Li’s arm and leading her toward the
machine. “Well, Mr.Genius, where’s God’s love now?”
Tony edged along the rail, trying to maintain his own balance as he moved toward the
bow. “You’re standing on it!” he yelled, shielding his face from the wet blast.
The three reached Voyager at the same time. Tony held the door opened as Simon and Tie
Li struggled inside. Then he slipped into the machine just as the door, driven by the wind,
slammed shut behind him. Tie Li screamed up at her brother. “Hurry, Tony! The rain is coming
Tony worked furiously, trying not to notice the rivers of water that flowed down the walls
of the machine. Voyager operated by electric relays and circuits. Water was no friend.
“Hey, Tony, come on, let’s get out of here!” Simon’s voice sounded a little higher pitched
than normal. The machine rocked and swayed as rain pelted the wooden box, creating a
“I can’t get it to activate,” Tony shouted. “The water is shorting out my circuit boards. It
won’t respond to my commands!”
The ark shuddered as waves crashed against its hull. The plain on which it rested had
been transformed into a swirling, convulsive sea, filled with the remnants of a land once
beautiful. Overhead,black clouds shut the sun from view, leaving the scene illuminated only by
the piercing stabs of lightening that flashed ceaselessly between heaven and earth.
Tony tried again and again to activate Voyager. Finally, in desperation, Tony slammed his
fist into the side of the machine. “It won’t respond!” he yelled above the din. “It just won’t
Tony felt a small hand grip his. He looked down and, in the dimness, he could see Tie Li’s
face smiling up at him. Soon it would be over. Soon they would all die in a world gone wrong.
1. Why do you think God placed animals in Noah’s ark?
2. Did God give the people enough warning about the coming flood?
3. If everybody had decided to believe that God was going to destroy the earth with a flood, what
do you think God would have done then?
4. When Simon said, “Where’s God’s love now?” Tony answered, “You’re standing on it.” What
did he mean?.
5. What coming destruction is God warning His people about today? Do you believe Him?