Spaceception

TCBW: April update 3/31/17

121 posts in this topic

3 hours ago, CAKE99 said:

This is great!

Thanks :)

And I think I'll be using those ideas, I only intended to do the measurement systems, but the weights and temperature make it better.

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Before you read the chapter, please read this:

If this novel gets published, which I would like for that to happen, I'll need to take down the chapters I post here, so when you quote me, make sure you take of the chapter section of the comment, I'd rather not have to scroll through this entire thread asking you guys to edit your posts.

 

So without further ado, chapter 2! Please leave feedback :)

Spoiler

23 years later

 

It had been 27 years since the asteroid impact. So much had changed since then. 25 years ago, there wasn’t a space program. 23 years ago, they were bound by their moon’s gravity. Even as recently as 19 years ago, no one knew that they shared a system with another intelligent civilization.

 

Eppizeh paced back and forth in his office. The space station orbiting Urncisa, New Life, had given them insight on the avian civilization, a group of sentient beings that the Elordians were not aware of until 19 years ago. Since an Urncisa lander, launched all those years ago, touched the surface of the moon, it had taken pictures of the large structures on the ground, and avian creatures approaching the lander curiously. Their mission was to make contact, and the Grand Council had piled heaps of funding on them, which they had used almost flawlessly.

 

It was not to be said that the entire Elordian space program was flawless. They had their share of failures, mostly from new engine designs that went horribly wrong, or new rocket designs they were unfamiliar with. But they never lost an astronaut, and most of their launches were a resounding success. However, new life support tech and the rapid progression of rocket construction allowed for bases to be set up on the two major moons and the major asteroid moon. The innermost moon (which was also the smallest) was rich in resources, had a thick atmosphere, and was volcanically active due to gravitational influences from the other three moons. The second moon was an icy ball with a thinner atmosphere than the inner moon. It was freezing cold, and there were thin sheets of ice on the surface. After the astronauts used a nuclear reactor to melt the sheets of ice, they discovered a massive subterranean ocean. They found a basic biosphere with complex microbial life; nothing too complicated, but biologists were stationed there nonetheless.

 

And then there was Urncisa. 19 years ago, after building the largest rocket in history, the space program sent a large lander to research possible colonies on this moon, but they found something completely unexpected.

 

After entering orbit, the lander released two tiny probes to map the terrain for decent landing sites. After finding some anomalous structures, the decision was made to investigate the structure. The lander decelerated to land near the anomaly. It entered the atmosphere, and after much of the heat shield burned off, the parachutes deployed, and the lander drifted safely to the surface. The lander found bizarre geometric structures, constructed using wood and stone. After several seconds, with Mission Control utterly confused, someone spotted several small objects moving towards the lander. After zooming in the camera’s view-field, they realized that they had just made contact with another civilization. Shock cascaded throughout the Mission Control building, and the Council members who were invited to the launch stared dumbfounded at the pictures. The lander was ordered to immediately start taking as many pictures of the buildings and creatures as they possibly could before the lander’s power supply died. After an emergency meeting between the council members, Eppizeh and his core team decided to attempt to make contact with the civilization. The Council agreed, and funded them.

 

After returning to the main building, the team planned, and decided to build a massive space station around Urncisa. The station would be crewed, and they would occasionally drop probes on the surface to ‘enlighten’ the other civilization. For several months, they designed the station, and the rockets that would carry it. Then, they began to recruit astronauts; luckily, candidates were everywhere, as the prospect of helping to enlighten another civilization was pretty exciting.

 

In orbit of Urncisa, homeworld of the avian creatures

 

Hurs climbed a ladder from the rotating circular centrifuge to the main bus of the station, which contained the lab, hydroponics, life support, and control/communications. The centrifuge contained sleeping quarters, recreation, the gym, and the mess hall. Along with Hurs, there were three other astronauts (two females, one male; the astronaut selection committee thought it was best if the crew’s gender distribution was even). Isrs and Parngs (female and male, respectively) were in the lab working on the avian creatures’ language. It was a tedious process; they had been sending probes to teach them the Elordian language with basic pictures and symbols. But the avian creatures hadn’t exactly ‘figured out’ the Elordian language yet, so Isrs and Parngs slaved away in the lab, with scientists back on Orsonis (their homeworld) giving them suggestions and helping out as well. In the meantime, Quv was in the gym located in the centrifugal section of the station. While the centrifugal section helped maintain their bone mass, it was still limited to one-fifth of Orsonis’ gravity, since the ring was rather small – only around 25 metres in diameter.

 

Hurs headed to the hydroponics section of the station, where he checked up on the plants in the greenhouse. The hydroponics section needed maintenance every two days; not only was it the only source of food when their freeze-dried rations ran out (which it almost had), it also helped keep the CO2 levels down, reducing the need for life support to convert the CO2 into O2, which tapped into the station’s electricity. After checking up on the plants, Hurs floated over to the lab, where Isrs was in a heated argument with one of the scientists back on Orsonis. They were arguing about the avian creatures’ (‘Vurvians’, as they were called) responses to the probe. Hurs smiled to himself. Whenever Isrs felt right about anything, she was usually right – even though her ideas were peculiar most if not all the time. That was, after all, how they figured out the Vurvians’ counting system, and told them how to predict the next probes. The trouble came when another scientist walked in and presented his/her ideas that contradicted Isrs’ ideas. That was when the (heated) arguments would start.

 

Hurs went to the observation deck and stared at Urncisa below. What a beautiful world, he thought. With its swirling white clouds, dense green forests, and small blue lakes, sometimes he thought it looked even more beautiful than Orsonis. There was a hurricane in the southern hemisphere, its thick white clouds swirling slowly from space. Weather patterns on this moon were even more extreme than on Orsonis, since the atmosphere was thicker and more humid than Orsonis. It was fairly temperate all over the planet, save for some of the equator, where it was tropical.

 

The station was large – it was designed to house eight astronauts for several years. However, scientists on Orsonis decided that four crew members for around a year would be better. For Hurs and Isrs, this would be their 2nd and 4th time respectively, since their skills were among the highest in the entire Astronaut Corps. The station was 43 meters long. On its aft end were docking adapters for crewed capsules and landers for the surface, as well as an airlock for EVAs. There was another airlock which led to the life support and hydroponics section. In front of that was the Habitat Ring, which had two airlocks. Then, there was a hall, with the lab on the left side. Slightly beyond the lab was the communications spire and the observation deck. The station was spacious, since astronauts would be on the station for long periods of time; the engineers who designed the station wanted the interior to be spacious, so the astronauts wouldn’t feel cramped. It cost more, and required more powerful rockets, but had less of an effect on the astronauts’ psychology.

 

After half an hour of arguing about the Vurvians’ language with the other scientists, Isrs floated out of the lab, pleased with the new discovery, and glided to the observation deck with Hurs.

 

“Well, you look happy,” Hurs said.

 

“I showed that blasted scientist some evidence,” Isrs grinned.

 

“…of?” Hurs replied, raising an eyebrow.

 

“I think I know how they say ‘wow’,” Isrs replied.

 

“You know how they say ‘wow’?” Hurs laughed.

 

“I know it sounds stupid, but it’s progress. The more words we figure out, the closer we are to understanding them,” Isrs explained.

 

“You’re right. So how do they say ‘wow’ exactly?” Hurs asked, looking at her.

 

“K’ric,” she said, making a weird noise. “I figured that would be their version of ‘wow’. It could be ‘look at that’, but I like ‘wow’ better. Anyways, it’s because every time we land a probe and turn on its speakers, they always make that noise. They seem to look curious, not intimidated.”

 

“It makes sense. You might be close to it, at least,” Hurs nodded.

 

“Thanks. Also, the scientists said that they want to pick someone off the surface,” Isrs said.

 

“Sorry, what? And how would they pick someone?” Hurs asked.

 

“I think they want us to find their version of a scientist. Then, they’ll build a really big lander, pick him or her up, and bring them up here to teach them. As far as we know, we can breathe their atmosphere, and they can likely breathe ours as well. We could always change the atmospheric composition to be identical to theirs if need be,” Isrs shrugged.

 

Hurs took a moment to process this information. A few moments later, he asked, “How big would the lander be?”

 

“It’ll have to be pretty big, with multiple stages, powerful engines, and practically no payload. It’ll have to land, grab a scientist, and take off,” Isrs explained.

 

“Doesn’t seem very kind, if you ask me,” Hurs said.

 

“Are you kidding me!? If I were a scientist who was taken by an advanced alien race to learn from them, I’d probably die of excitement,” Isrs said.

 

“Maybe the scientist will die of excitement,” Hurs mentioned slyly.

 

“Well, they won’t be doing it until next year at least. We need to send down even more probes so they can learn from us, but after a few more years – maybe even within the next decade – we’ll be able to abduct an alien,” Isrs said smiling.

 

“Using the word ‘abduct’ makes it feel even more wrong than it already is,” Hurs said, frowning.

 

“Well, we’ll send them back, and he or she would just be our ambassador and influence the rest of their kind to follow us,” Isrs responded.

 

“Still feels a bit wrong, I guess, but if I was teaching the aliens our language, I’d do it gladly,” Hurs said.

 

A head poked into the observation deck. It was Parngs, who had come from the communications spire. “I just got a message on the Mission Control channel,” he reported. “Hurs, they want you to do another EVA to inspect the station.”

 

“Okay,” Hurs replied.

 

“Also, Isrs, you’re on communications duty, so head on ‘down’ to the spire,” Parngs said to Isrs.

 

“Got it,” Isrs replied. Hurs floated past Parngs, and towards the end of the ship with the airlock. Isrs followed Hurs, but went to the communications spire instead of the airlock, so that she could talk to him during the EVA.

 

Hurs went into the airlock and suited up. It didn’t take very long, but he had to pre-breathe the spacesuit’s atmosphere for half an hour, because the spacesuit’s atmosphere had lower pressure and higher O2 content. If he didn’t, he could injure or potentially kill himself.

 

“Hurs. Test, test. Do you copy?” Isrs asked through the spacesuit’s comm.

 

“Five by five, Isrs. I’m heading out now,” Hurs answered. He ensured both airlock doors were locked. Then, he tapped the ‘depressurize’ button on the airlock panel. The green light on the airlock panel turned off, and klaxons blared as automated pumps retracted the atmosphere into holding tanks. Finally, the red light turned on, signifying null pressure in the airlock. He unlocked the outer door, pushed it open, and he floated outside.

 

"I see you, Hurs,” Isrs said.

 

Hurs was the EVA specialist and the head of life support. Quv, who was in the gym at the time, was his backup, but she wasn’t feeling particularly well. Sometimes, they would both go out, to make the inspection faster, or because they wanted to do an extra EVA.

 

When Hurs closed the airlock behind him, he stared at Urncisa floating out in space, right in front of him. It was overwhelming – he couldn’t even begin to describe it – every time he saw the moons or gas giant in the system, he would feel a strong sense of awe and wonder. He felt so close; it was like he could touch the bands of loose gas surrounding the gas giant, the wisps of the atmospheres on Urncisa and Orsonis, and pick up the other two moons in the distance like toys. While he knew it would kill him, he wondered if he could feel closer by taking off his helmet to see, even for a little bit, without a pane of glass in front of his face…

 

“Hurs, how does the airlock look?” Isrs said, snapping him back into reality.

 

Hurs turned around, and maneuvered with his jetpack to examine the airlocks. “We’re good. No visible signs of damage, and I don’t see any leaks. I’m going up to life support and hydroponics now,” he reported. Using the jetpack, he gave himself a small burst of speed. “Life support and hydroponics looks good. No damage in the seals between the airlocks, and the centrifuge looks solid.”

 

“Copy,” Isrs replied.

 

“Centrifuge looks good. I can’t get too close, but it looks fine. Going to the hall and lab now,” he said. Using the jetpack, he went over the spinning ring and came back down to examine the hall and lab. “Seal between the centrifuge and hall looks good. Hall looks fine, coming up on the lab now.” He paused, and then spoke again. “Lab looks good, seal between the hall and lab is fine. Going to comms and observation deck now.” Hurs jetted over to the communications spire, the large antennae transmitting and receiving signals to and from Mission Control and his own space suit. Hurs saw that Parngs was still in the observation deck. Grinning to himself, he jetted quickly to the observation deck and stopped right in front of Parngs. He looked slightly startled for a moment, then shook his head laughing. Hurs saw him go to the communications spire, and heard a small rustle as Parngs picked up the microphone.

 

“Hey, Hurs, don’t do that!” Parngs said. It sounded like he was laughing.

 

“Aw, I just wanted some fun. Anyways, comms and observation look good, I’m going back inside now,” Hurs said, also laughing.

 

“Copy,” Isrs said, who had regained ownership of the microphone.

 

Hurs jetted all the way back to the aft airlock, and opened the outer door. Closing the door behind him, he locked that door and tapped the ‘pressurize’ button on the airlock panel. The red light turned off, and klaxons blared as the atmosphere was vented into the airlock. Finally, the green light turned on. Unlocking the inner door, he floated back into the station and took off his extra-vehicular suit. Back in his station suit, he floated up to the centrifuge, where he saw Quv sitting at a table drinking water from a can.

 

“Hey,” Quv said. “How was the EVA?” 

 

“Good. How was your workout?’ Hurs asked, taking a seat at the table.

 

“It was alright. I’m tired as usual,” Quv replied.

 

“Your medication doing any good?” Hurs inquired.

 

Quv nodded. “Yeah, I’ve had the chills all day. Doing a mild workout helped a bit, but I can’t wait until I get better.”

 

“Have you had anything to eat?” Hurs asked.

 

“I got a tin of microwaveable reconstituted broth from the food locker and ate that. I think I’ll take a nap soon. Mission Control told me to take it easy for the next few days, so my schedule’s cleared,” Quv replied.

 

“Maybe you should take a nap now,” Hurs said, concerned. “It’s pretty weird, what with you not being enthusiastic all the time.”

 

“Okay, Doctor Hurs. I’ll take a nap,” Quv replied, laughing. “Good night!”

 

“It’s not night yet!” Hurs called back.

 

“Says who? We’re in space, it’s always night!” Quv responded.

 

“Whatever you say,” Hurs grinned, and then grabbed a can of water from the drinks shelf. He then headed to the recreation room. Think I’m going to look at some of the books on the Vurvians, he thought to himself. That’ll make for an interesting time.

 

Farbase One, Rirns (the ice moon)

 

Waskig was a biologist working on Rirns, the icy moon of Yorson (the gas giant). Her job was to characterize the life on the frozen moon. When she was assigned to a two-year mission, she almost couldn’t believe her luck. But now, she was here. Outside, she could see the thin wisps of clouds and snow falling on the moon. The atmosphere here was just thick enough for mild snowfall (but too thin for breathing), and thin clouds spotted the surface from space like bright, transparent wisps against the stark white of the surface. Rirns was still frozen solid, and water would either freeze, evaporate, or sublimate out there on the surface. The base was on the north pole of the moon, where the geologic activity wasn’t extreme. However, it could be made to float very quickly should the need arise, and samples of the indigenous life were brought by robotic rovers, where the ice was thinner. The gravity was weak, only around one-sixth of the Orsonis norm, but it was still better than microgravity. She walked over to the lab to make samples. As far as they knew, only 47 life forms existed on Rirns. They were complex life forms, but they were microscopic. There were theories of larger types of life beyond the surface – in the deep oceans of Rirns, perhaps – but their technology hadn’t advanced to the point that they could detect such life forms yet.

 

Regardless, she observed the complex life forms, and found out how they bred, how they ate, their patterns and behavior, their genetic structure, and more. Despite being basically microbes, it was exciting to study. After making a log entry on R-18 and R-23 (the 18th and 23rd life forms discovered), she went to the airlock, suited up, and went outside to collect ice and air samples. They needed new samples every day to maintain data precision. The sky was bright white – almost as if it was overcast, which it wasn’t – and made Yorson look brighter, and their sun look white instead of orange.

 

She looked around the base. Several workers were overseeing robotic workers to build more habitats and labs, while other were ridding the solar arrays of snow, and in the distance, was the spaceport. It was 30 kilometers from the main base, and was heavily reinforced so supply ships and ascent/descent vehicles wouldn’t disturb the base. There was a large road that had rovers traveling back and forth between the base and the spaceport, and even a large habitat on both sides for the passengers to stay while they were waiting for transport to or from the base. There was talk about constructing bases under the ice, in titanium and aluminum glass bubbles, just under the surface where the ice and water met.

 

Waskig went back inside the base to drop the samples off for the next scientist, and retired to her quarters. She had an important errand – her mother, who had remained on Orsonis, insisted she talk to her every day. She turned up the furnace in her room, and sat down in her chair. The empty screen stared at her.

 

“Computer, contact Tisines,” she said.

 

Contacting Tisines,” the computer intoned emotionlessly.

 

Almost a minute later, the face of Waskig’s mother appeared on her screen.

 

“Waskig, my dear! How are you doing?” Her mother asked, as soon as the link was established.

 

“I’m doing well. The work keeps me busy,” she replied.

 

Tisines smiled (albeit a few seconds later, due to light-speed delay), and said, “That’s good to hear. Have you heard the news yet?”

 

“What news?” She asked.

 

“Your sister Ezri has a boyfriend!” Her mother replied.

 

“Really!? When did this happen?” Waskig asked, surprised.

 

“Just a few days ago. Ezri told me yesterday to tell you, since her date isn’t going to be in the city,” Tisines replied.

 

“Oooh, must be a fancy date if they’re going out of the city! Tell her not to go nuts if you can; she is my younger sister after all,” Waskig speculated.

 

Waskig’s mother laughed. “She probably will, anyway, but I’ll pass that along. Speaking of which, what’s the base like? You haven’t told me anything other than ‘it’s cold’.”

 

“Well, it’s not huge, but I wouldn’t say it was cramped either. It was made to be space-efficient, but it’s nice, and so are the other scientists stationed here. Most of them are in their own dorms or the other lab right now, studying the moon itself. The freeze-dried rations are tasteless, and that’s all we get to eat, except when we get to eat food from the hydroponic farms. Occasionally, we get seasoning, then it’s got some flavor. Aside from that, though… it’s cold,” Waskig reported, grinning.

 

Tisines sighed. “Well, I’ll want a full log when you get home in 2 months. Oh, the dinner timer went off, I have to go now.”

 

Waskig nodded. “Talk to you tomorrow. I love you!” She said.

 

“Love you too, darling. I’ll see you tomorrow. Bye!” Her mother replied, leaned forward, and she disconnected the link.

 

Waskig sighed, and dictated to the computer again.

 

“Computer, access data stream Orsonis News Channel; compensate for light-speed delay, and play.”

 

Accessing data stream Orsonis News Channel. Warning: this data stream is not encrypted. Continue?” The computer asked.

 

“Continue,” Waskig ordered.

 

Link to data stream Orsonis News Channel has been established. Light-speed delay has been compensated for; playback begins in five seconds,” the computer replied.

 

Within five seconds, the screen flickered to life, and the Orsonis News Channel appeared on screen. The reporter was not visible, because another visual was taking up the main screen. He, however, could be heard in the background, narrating events.

 

“…in recent news, almost seventeen years after the rise of the space program led by the revolutionary figure Eppizeh, another fledgling space program has risen, and today they launched their first ‘sounding rocket’, a small rocket designed only for atmospheric flight, and not to penetrate the atmospheric barrier. Reports have been made that –”

 

“Computer, mute playback,” Waskig ordered.

 

Playback muted,” the computer said, and the sound turned off. Waskig smirked to herself. 17 years, and now someone else develops a space program. Of course. After watching the (albeit silent) news for a few more minutes, she got up and walked over to the geology lab. The computers all had idle fail-safes; if someone left the room, then they would go to sleep immediately.

 

While there weren’t any rocks on the surface (only in the mantle) geologists were still wanted to study whatever they could. After suiting up, she exited the airlock, and strode over to the lab. It was a short walk – only about a couple hundred meters.

 

“Hey guys,” Waskig said after she had entered the lab, and thrown off her EVA suit. “What’re you all up to?”

 

One of the four geologists, who were muttering to each other, looked up. “Hey Waskig. We’re looking at ice-quakes. They’re like earthquakes, but, y’know, ice,” he said smiling. “Anyway, there was an ice-quake on the equator earlier today, and we were studying it. It’s quite interesting; one of the ice sheets shifted, and exposed the subterranean ocean. It’s in the process of freezing over, and will take a few days to solidify. Some of our rovers are making a mad dash for the equator in the hopes of getting samples of both the ice and water. Satellites are also mapping the area whenever they pass over. It’s almost one kilometer across, which is insane. It’s going to give us a huge science bonus – provided we make it there in time.”

 

“That is cool. How often does that happen?” Waskig asked.

 

Someone else spoke up (Frsi, Waskig thought his name was). “We don’t know. This is the first time it’s happened. Sometimes, though, the water gets exposed in smaller ice-quakes, but they freeze over in a shorter period of time. It’s pretty exciting, to say the least.”

 

“The scientists on Orsonis are going to have a field day with your data,” Waskig grinned.

 

Frsi grinned as well. “Definitely. I wouldn’t be surprised if they urinated on themselves in excitement. The amount of science we’re gathering is probably making most of them go nuts, since they can’t study it up close.”

 

“So what’s the coolest discovery you’ve made so far?” Waskig asked curiously.

 

“It’s hard to say. In my opinion, it’d be the discovery of an ocean 32 kilometers deep, but it’s probably the discovery of black smokers on the ‘surface’ of the ocean that really matters. I can’t wait to have the ability to see what’s down there. Can you imagine the minerals and possible forms of life down there?”

 

“Actually, we sort of can. Based on the life around the black smokers, we can ascertain that similar life-forms exist beyond the black smokers. That’s still just speculation, and we still must wait until our materials can get strong enough to withstand those pressures. It might just be more cells; although, I’d like to see something other than cells under this ocean.”

 

“It must be agonizing to study cells, while we geologists get to study an entire moon,” Frsi said, snickering.

 

Waskig gave him a pointed look. “Sometimes it is agonizing – I’ll give you that much – but it’s the fact that it’s not life on Orsonis makes it more exciting. But if I had to study cells on Orsonis, that would be boring, of course. There is mild evidence of larger life deeper below, it’s likely going to be small, but it’ll be more than just multicellular life.”

 

“That will be pretty cool to study. I guess you’re excited for the submarines coming in next month,” Frsi said.

 

Waskig nodded. “They will only be able to go around a dozen kilometers down, but we might be able to find more evidence of larger life-forms down there. I might not even get to study it up close, since I’ll be on the next shuttle home in two months, but it’ll be cool to see the images.” She walked over and sat down at a table, where samples of the local ice were placed in clear containers. “So… you guys are studying ice from all over? It’s just ice, isn’t it all the same?”

 

“That’s exactly like saying ‘You’re just studying life from all over? It’s just like, isn’t it all the same?’” Frsi shot back, mocking her tone.

 

Waskig sounded a wee bit annoyed by Frsi’s attitude. “First off, I’d bet next week’s rations that life is way more diverse than ice, even here. So enlighten me, oh wise one, how is this ice different from that ice?” She inquired, pointing at two different containers.

 

“Well, ice shifts are like rock shifts, right?” Waskig nodded. “Well, when the ice shifts, it can take minerals and life with it, and since we know some of the life here is regional, we can figure out where the ice came from. Also, where we are, the ice doesn’t shift very often, so we drill and take out what we call ‘ice cores’, which can tell us a lot about the past conditions of the moon. The best one we have goes back a few hundred years, and was collected just a few kilometers from here.”

 

“But the ice is pretty similar, right?” Waskig asked.

 

Frsi shrugged. “Around areas where the ice shifts a lot, no, it’s usually pretty fresh. So it’s different every few months or years, and you’ve got life that’s frozen in it. ‘Round here, it’s similar in the way that it can tell us about the geologic past, and where the ice shifts a lot, it can tell us how the moon changes over time.”

 

Gajit left the discussion with the other geologists and joined Waskig and Frsi. “The place that’s most definitely not like here, though, would be the south pole. There are hundreds upon hundreds of glaciers that stick out several hundred meters above the surface, scattered over an area of a few hundred square kilometers. Man, would I like to see that,” Gajit said, salivating at the thought of the sight.

 

“I’d like to see that as well; unfortunately, the terrain is far too unstable for us. The ice shifts around so much, any base we build would just collapse under the ice. Remember the South Pole landers? They never lasted more than a week, but it would be cool if we developed a small craft that could fly over the region, to give us an aerial view!” Frsi said.

 

“That’s exactly what we should do!” Gajit exclaimed.

 

Waskig smiled to herself. “Well, I’ve got to go back to the lab. It’s nearing lunch hour. I’ll see you guys later!”

 

“Bye,” Frsi and Gajit said in unison, before staring at each other, laughing, and finally returning to their research.

 

Farbase Two, Jorgience (the hot desert moon)

 

Turgins drove over to a group of scientists standing around a dozen meters from a stream of lava, caused by an eruption less than one kilometer from the base. They were spectating from the relative safety of one of the rovers. It wasn’t a very big eruption, but it was large enough that they could see it from the base, along with a plume of dust emerge from the surface. It made the sky seem to be a deeper shade of red than usual, and made Yorson look much darker. Usually, it was quite bright, since the moon orbited close to the gas giant, but the dust cloud had made the sky seem overcast. Where the dust was thicker, Yorson wasn’t visible at all.  Turgins’ job was to study volcanic eruptions on Jorgience, for further study on what to do should one of Orsonis’ super-volcanoes were to erupt. As it turned out, the situation wouldn’t be good, but at least they’d know what to expect if one went off.

 

Turgins stopped a few meters from the scientists, who were next to the other rover they were using. He suited up in his EVA suit; because it was hotter and the atmosphere was thicker, all they needed was climate control and air inside the suits. Turgins grabbed a small sample-return rover from the larger rover’s ‘trunk’, and walked over to the scientists, who were engaged in sample-taking of the lava and surrounding rock. “Hey guys, how’s the data looking?”

 

“Good,” Valcurs reported. “Ah, I see you have better equipment. We just got over here to take some small samples, but I suppose you want more.”

 

Turgins smiled at him. “We’ll need all the samples we can get. I’m not actually going to get data here. It’s going to the base of the volcano, and it’ll take multiple samples over there.” Turgins set the sample-return rover on the ground, and retrieved a small controller. He pressed a few buttons on the controller, and the rover sped off towards the base of the volcano, a few hundred meters away.

 

“So! How have you guys been doing?” Turgins asked, after the rover sped away.

 

Fulurv was the first to answer. “I’m doing well. I got to talk to my daughter today. She’s excited I’ll be coming home in a couple of months. I told her we’ll be going on a long vacation when I get back, and she’s already planning for it!”

 

“How old is your daughter now?” Valcurs inquired.

 

“She’s 23 now, and recently she became a certified engineer. She was always into building things, at a young age. I remember when she was 11, she took apart our radio and put it back together just to see if she could. She ended up frying it, but she tried a few more times and got it right eventually,” Fulurv said, laughing at his recollection of the memory.

 

“My wife insists that we remodel our house again when I come back,” Valcurs started, keeping up with what they were going to do when he returned. “I think there’s several centimeters of paint on the outside already. We’ve repainted it so many times. My brother is trying to get me to go on a boating trip with him. He wants to scuba-dive with me, which should be no trouble, since I’ve been in microgravity plenty of times before.

 

“What about you, Zeris?” Valcurs asked. “What are you going to do when you get back?”

 

Zeris shrugged. “I don’t know. Some of my friends want me to go party with them, but my parents haven’t talked to me in a few weeks; I sure hope they’re doing alright. Anyway, Turgins, what’re you going to do? Your girlfriend Isrs on the station around Urncisa is one of the Elordians trying to make contact with the Vurvians, isn’t she?”

 

Turgins nodded. “Not exactly, no. She’s trying to figure out their language so they can make contact; although, I won’t be surprised if she’s to make contact with the Vurvians. I don’t get to talk to her very often, since our schedules don’t usually line up, but I got an opportunity a few days ago. She said that they were making some progress on learning their language. I don’t know how much, though; they haven’t released anything, which tells me they haven’t made much progress, or they’re keeping it secret for other reasons.”

 

Turgins heard a sound behind him, and turned to the sample-return rover, which was on its way back. When it got close enough, Turgins examined the data log. It had taken a couple of dozen pictures, thirteen samples, as well as a scan of the volcano’s interior. Turgins picked up the rover, and stashed it in the larger rover’s trunk.

 

“Well, I have to get back to base, so I can look at the data. See you guys at dinner,” Turgins said, as he strolled towards the rover.

 

“See you later,” Zeris said, as Turgins entered the rover’s airlock.

 

On the way back to the base, Turgins got an update that Isrs would be available to talk to in 20 minutes. Turgins knew the rovers couldn’t go very fast safely, but he pushed the speed up a bit to get to the base faster. When he got there, he removed the sample-return rover’s sample container, and set it down on his worktable. This done, he went back to his private quarters. Once he arrived, he sat down at his desk.

 

“Computer, contact Isrs,” Turgins ordered.

 

Contacting Isrs,” the computer replied. In a couple of seconds, he was patched through to the Urncisa station.

 

“Hey Isrs! How’re you doing?” He asked, when her image popped onto the screen.

 

“Hey Turgins, I’m doing well. Uh, are you on duty? I can call another time,” Isrs said.

 

“No, um, yes. I’m on duty, but I’m just scanning the samples and taking some notes. Anyway, how goes the Great Communication Project?” Turgins inquired.

 


Isrs sighed, and smiled at him. “It’s going well. I think we know a few of their words, or at least close to them. How’re the geology studies going?”

 

“Pretty good. In fact, I – well, not me, a sample return rover – collected some samples from a volcanic eruption earlier today, less than a kilometer from the base,” Turgins said.

 

Worry registered on Isrs’ face. “Less than a kilometer?” she asked worriedly.

 

“Yeah, but don’t worry. It was a small eruption and volcano, I’ll be fine. Scans from orbit and next to the base show that we’re just fine,” he explained hurriedly.

 

Isrs breathed a sigh of relief. “Are you sure?”

 

“Absolutely. In fact, I should be worried about you; if the hull breaches here, it’d take a while for the atmosphere to become toxic, but if the hull breaches where you’re at, the atmosphere would be sucked into the vacuum of space,” Turgins said.

 

“Well, it’s perfectly safe here too. There’s little orbital debris, and the hull is extremely well shielded from micrometeorites,” she replied.

 

“Well, I’m still worried about you,” he said.

 

“And I’m worried about you,” she said.

 

“I can’t wait until we’re in the same room again,” Turgins sighed.

 

“Same here,” said Isrs as she put her hand on the screen. Turgins did the same.

 

“I miss you,” he said.

 

“I miss you too,” she said.

 

“What did you do today?” Turgins asked Isrs.

 

“Oh, just studies on the Vurvians’ behavior. It’s not very fun; in fact, it’s actually quite tedious. I got into another argument with the scientists back on Orsonis. What about you?” Isrs said.

 

Turgins chuckled. “I reviewed some data, drove a rover to a volcano, and took some more data. I drove back, reviewed those logs, and now I’m talking to you. There hasn’t been much going on today.”

 

“Same here. It’s kind of boring. I can’t wait until next week’s probe drop,” she said. “In the meantime, I’ll just enjoy my delicious freeze-dried rations,” she continued, with a touch of sarcasm in her voice.

 

“If it doesn’t make you jealous, we’re growing spices and herbs down here. I have to say, the food is prett-y good,” Turgins said.

 

“What!? You’re lying!” Isrs exclaimed.

 

Turgins laughed. “No, I’m not. We really are growing spices and herbs here. I suppose when the station gets an upgrade and expands the hydroponics farm, you guys will be able to grow spices and herbs as well. In the meantime, I’ll enjoy the privilege of having seasoning on my food.”

 

“Shut up, or I’ll find a way to crawl through the screen and strangle you!” She hissed jokingly, and started to laugh. Something beeped in the background, and Isrs went to check what it was. Turgins saw her face fall.

 

“What is it?” Turgins inquired.

 

“I need to go back to work,” she said sadly.

 

“I love you,” he said, smiling slightly.

 

“I love you too,” she said, smiling back.

 

Turgins’ screen went black.

 

He sighed, and went back to work categorizing the samples. Just when he got done, Zeris, Valcurs, and Fulurv walked into the room. “Hey guys,” Turgins greeted, “How was the drive back?”

 

“Cramped as usual, but the drive was only around 10 minutes, so it wasn’t that bad.”

 

“Well, someone start up the stove. It’s half an hour to dinner, whose turn is it?”

 

Valcurs said, “It’s my turn,” and walked over to the kitchen to prepare their dinner. A downside of having a more advanced hydroponics farm at their base was that they had to actually prepare their own food, since whatever vegetables, grains, spices, or herbs they grew weren’t exactly edible on their own.

 

“So, how’re the data logs going?” Zeris asked.

 

“I actually just finished when you guys walked in. Anyway, the lava samples were comparable to the other ones that we’ve collected, and I’m loading up the files from the deep scans taken earlier.”

 

Zeris nodded, and walked over to his station. “Well, I’ve got to make a log entry about what I saw earlier.”

 

“And done! I’m going to clear the table,” said Turgins.

 

“Mm-hm,” Zeris mumbled.

 

After Turgins cleared the table, Valcurs and Fulurv returned from the kitchen with dinner.

 

“Hey Zeris, dinner!” Turgins called.

 

“Alright, be there in a second,” he replied.

 

“Ooh, nice! Pasta!” Turgins exclaimed.

 

“Yep! We did make a bit extra; the hydroponics has been pretty efficient lately, and we’ve got a bit more wheat for pasta,” Valcurs reported cheerfully. The prospect of having more to eat was always a good one, since physical work was demanding here on Farbase Two.

 

Once everyone was seated, they began eating.

 

“So, what did you guys see?” Turgins said, through a mouthful of food.

 

“Not much. Just what we usually see; a reddish-brown sky with dusty clouds. Only this time, a black cloud of hot gas accompanied the view,” Zeris shrugged, also chewing on some flavorful food.

 

“Well, there was that mini eruption that happened around half an hour after Turgins left,” Fulurv mentioned.

 

“Oh right, that. Yeah, that startled us for a second, but we quickly took audio and video logs of it.”

 

After dinner, Turgins was on clean-up duty, so he cleared everyone’s plates and dumped them in the dish-washer. Soon after that, the sleep cycle arrived, so everybody retired to their quarters. As Turgins drifted off to sleep, he began to think of his love. I wonder when I’ll get to see Isrs again, he thought dreamily, a smile creeping across his face. Soon, he fell into a deep sleep, just as night fell on Jorgience. The surrounding region was lit up only by the lights of the other five buildings, as the sun set and the inhabitants of Farbase Two went to sleep.

 

Spaceport One, Wurxis (the asteroid moon)

 

Xaxis flew across the asteroid, using his jetpack to bring himself back on the surface, and in no time, he was at the main port. This was where probes were launched all over the solar system. The spaceport had been built several years ago as a project to explore their solar system efficiently; because the gravity well around the gas giant and its four main moons made it hard to send large payloads to other parts of the solar system without using Whackjovian amounts of fuel, they set up shop on this asteroid moon.

 

It was around 47 kilometers in circumference, making it the largest asteroid moon in the system. It was quite rich in minerals, orbited far enough out, and had such a weak gravity well, which made it a prime candidate for a spaceport. With the Spaceport established on Wurxis, they could send probes to the hot inner world Ferix. Ferix was much like Jorgience, except it was tidally locked. Its reverse side was frozen solid as well, with a small ice cap on the far side. Probes to the outer system could be sent as well; to the gas giant binary system, Zik and Eis, Zik’s moon Vui, and its trojan planet Kit. Today, they were launching a probe to Kit. It was an exotic world; Kit possessed a very thick atmosphere, oceans of liquid ammonia, and it had little landmass. There was even something resembling a ‘water cycle’, where it rained ammonia, not water. It sometimes even snowed ammonia, and had dense ammonia clouds. The moon was a bit small as well, having about half the gravity as Orsonis, but it was extremely interesting. Therefore, the space program decided a large probe that had an orbiter, lander, and rover would be the best choice for exploring this moon.

 

Xaxis was part of the inspection crew. He was recently stationed on Wurxis after his one year shift on the research station above Orsonis, and he was due in 10 minutes. When he got within 200 meters of them, the others turned to him. While they couldn’t hear him, what with the lack of atmosphere and all, his lights could be picked up clearly from the distance. Xaxis used his fuel to slow to a stop, and his boots grabbed onto the surface, keeping him still in the negligible gravity.

 

“Good morning Xaxis, ready to get to work?” Burgi asked, helmet lights shining down on Xaxis. Burgi oversaw the inspection crew.

 

“Morning, Burgi. I’m ready,” replied he, turning on his helmet lights. Right now the spaceport was in the shade of the asteroid, but it would be daytime in another few hours. Xaxis could see the dozen or so pressure domes in the distance with their lights on, illuminating the surface around the area. Xaxis turned his attention back on Burgi and the inspection team. “So, let’s get to work.”

 

“Right on. Let’s go,” he replied, and then Burgi flew across the asteroid to the probe hangar a few dozen meters away. Xaxis followed him closely.

 

The hangar was big, and built into the asteroid. It was around 30 meters high, and almost two kilometers wide. It was a massive piece of engineering, and was intended to launch manned missions around the solar system. White LEDs lit up the hangar, and its light shone off into space. Currently, the spaceport could hold 70 Elordians, and was being designed to hold up to 2,000. Unmanned mining drones scattered the backside of Wurxis, collecting the materials needed for the probes. Some things had to be launched from Orsonis, but some could be 3D printed. Currently, there were eight probes being built and one that was awaiting launch. Powerful RCS thrusters would allow the probes to hover and exit the hangar without ruining anything. Then, the engines would burn slightly to ensure a safe distance from the hangar. After the probe cleared the hangar, it would begin its burn to its planetary target.

 

“Okay, group 1, you’re engines and fuel; group 2, you’re lander and rover; group 3, you’re structure and support. Group 4, you guys are with me. We’re going to work on the main probe core. Okay everyone, get to it!” Burgi said, firing off commands rapidly.

 

Everyone flew over to their areas, brought out the specially made devices that were made to work in a vacuum, and began to do the final inspections.

 

“Xaxis, I want you to examine the probe’s computer. Make sure that everything is sound. There’s a device in your toolbox which scans the code, and makes sure everything is correct. It basically overlays the code onto an identical correct code on the inserted memory card. If you find something wrong, tap it and it’ll fix the mistakes. There’s a fiber optic cable on the outside,” Xaxis nodded and got to work, while Burgi gave instructions to the other two.

 

It’s not very hard, Xaxis thought. The task of checking the probe computer’s code took him around 20 minutes to finish. There were some problems with the code on the inserted memory card, so Xaxis had to play Mr. Programmer. After he reprogrammed the probe’s computer, he consulted with Burgi to make sure he wasn’t doing anything wrong.

 

Several hours later, inspections were complete. A small Mission Control-like building on the asteroid activated the probe, while Burgi and his team watched it silently float through the hangar and out into space. After the probe made for the trojan planet Kit, it was recreation time. Xaxis took his to do an extended EVA and flew away from the hangar and the domes to look out into space on the now dark side of the Asteroid. He could clearly see the slanted edge of their galaxy, with Yorson on its left and stars everywhere. In the distance, he could see his home, Orsonis, as well as Rirns.

 

It was worth all the work he had to do to make it here. He had graduated at the top of his class at a young age, and immediately signed up to become an astronaut. During the two most grueling years of his life, he trained harder and better than any other candidate. He would, of course, be accepted. It had been the happiest day of his life when he got his first assignment; he had read the letter several dozen times, and he still couldn’t believe it.

 

When he got to the space center and suited up, the doctor thought he was going to have a heart attack, because his heart was beating like crazy. The doctor almost didn’t let him on the ship. When they got into orbit, and he saw Orsonis from space for the first time, it was like he forgot to breathe. He just stared at Orsonis for hours, and when they made him do his shifts, he was always the first one finished so he could go back to the observation deck. Because of his exemplary work, he was the youngest commissioned astronaut to have a major mission: a year-long shift on Wurxis. When his friends and family found out, they threw a week-long celebration in his honor.

 

As Xaxis looked at the galaxy, he wondered how he was lucky enough to be one of the Elordians to go to space. Thousands upon thousands of candidates had applied, and he was one of the lucky ones chosen, along with a couple hundred others. He remembered when they all stood in a big group for a news interview; how they all looked much older, how they were much taller, how some of them seemed to know each other outside of their astronaut career. He was the outsider, he was an oddball, and he liked it that way.

 

After a couple hours of staring out into space silently, he flew back over to the domes. When he got to the airlock, he threw off his EVA suit, and used a small personal jetpack over to his team’s quarters.

 

The domes were big; they measured several hundred meters across, and there were 14 of them. Inside were eight centrifuges with entrances on the bottom. Elordians could stay outside to practically swim in the air, or could go into the centrifuges to be under the effects of gravity. The gravity in the centrifuges were only about 1/6 of what they were normally used to, but it was enough to keep them on their seats, eat without the food and liquids going everywhere, and sleep without having to strap themselves to a wall. They were spacious, big enough to hold 10 Elordians each, but at the time, only five lived here. Everything was strapped down somehow, in the unlikely case they needed to stop the rotation.

 

Later that night, when Xaxis was almost asleep, he wondered what he would be doing in space over the years.

 

Back on Orsonis

 

“It is my great pleasure to introduce the Council members, who have been invited here tonight to celebrate with us, the 25th year anniversary of our space program!” Eppizeh raised a glass to honor the engineers in the front row.
Almost 20,000 Elordians had showed up for the celebration, including all the Council members. As part of the celebration, they launched a new probe to Urncisa, with even more information than ever before. The probe would land on the surface in several days, and they hoped it would help enlighten them faster. But, of course, they couldn’t be sure.

 

“While we are missing 128 Astronauts, who are currently stationed around the various moons, I want to thank all of you for coming. It is truly an exciting time to be alive.” Everyone applauded, before quieting back down for Eppizeh to continue his speech. “I originally wanted to give you all a very long speech, because this was such a huge gathering, but I couldn’t think of all of the words. However, I do have this.” At this, the crowd grew silent, and the lights even dimmed. “For centuries, we have dreamed of going into space. We wanted to touch space so badly, it hurt. Our civilization has advanced rapidly; less than 200 years after we cracked electricity, we now have a space program, and are living out the dreams of our ancestors proudly. If they were with us today, I bet they would be very impressed. There have been many empires, many countries; over a thousand years ago, we were just dreaming of flying machines, everyone said it was impossible, but our ancestors proved them wrong. Many Elordians thought space travel was impossible; we proved them wrong. Many Elordians thought alien life didn’t exist; again, we proved them wrong. Need I go on? Every time we say something is impossible, someone finds a way to make it possible. It doesn’t matter if it takes decades or centuries, but so long as there’s that one individual who says that it’s possible, and works tirelessly until they can prove it, we will continue to better our species and ourselves. Remember: if someone ever says something is impossible, they’re most likely wrong. So keep dreaming, and let’s explore the final frontier together. Thank you.” Everyone gave Eppizeh a standing ovation, and he walked off the stage to the concessions.

 

The next day, when everything was being cleaned up, Eppizeh and his team began devising a new strategy to make contact with the Vurvians, once they figured out their language. With the station above Urncisa assisting them, they hoped they were only a few years away from making contact. It was getting almost unbearable being limited to watching them, so they thought they would speed up the process and bring a Vurvian to the space station.

 

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:) I'm betting all of MY space program's funds on the scientist dying of excitement.

Mort: You did WHAT!?

I take it back!

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4 hours ago, Spaceception said:

without using Whackjovian amounts of fuel,

I'm guessing that's a reference to @Whackjob?

(Also, like the first chapter, this is great.)

Edited by CAKE99
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47 minutes ago, CAKE99 said:

I'm guessing that's a reference to @Whackjob?

(Also, like the first chapter, this is great.)

I didn't make that reference, that credit goes to @TotallyNotHuman_ :)

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The second chapter is

SO

GOOOOOOOD

(It's even better than the first! :D)

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1 hour ago, electricpants said:

The second chapter is

SO

GOOOOOOOD

(It's even better than the first! :D)

That's what I was hoping for :D

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Chapter four is finished, I'm working on chapter five, 27k words total so far :)

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At the rate @Spaceception is writing, it won't be long before he rips a hole in the spacetime continuum...:wink:

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5 hours ago, Spaceception said:

Chapter four is finished, I'm working on chapter five, 27k words total so far :)

How long does it take for 1 chapter to be written?

(Also please post chapter 3 soon!)

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5 hours ago, CAKE99 said:

How long does it take for 1 chapter to be written?

(Also please post chapter 3 soon!)

Well, over the past month, I've written almost 4 chapters, so... once a week I guess.

Sorry, it still needs editing. :P

Edited by Spaceception
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So, when you read the chapters, what do you imagine the worlds and bases to look like? I'm wondering.

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25 minutes ago, Spaceception said:

So, when you read the chapters, what do you imagine the worlds and bases to look like? I'm wondering.

I Do, but I imagine the mammal species to look human. I suggest you make their emotions different (EG their angry looks are actually their laughing looks.)

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45 minutes ago, Galacticvoyager said:

I Do, but I imagine the mammal species to look human. I suggest you make their emotions different (EG their angry looks are actually their laughing looks.)

Well, that could be up to your imagination, sad could look ridiculous, and happy could look outraged.

But nodding, shaking, and shrugging is pretty much the same.

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23 hours ago, Spaceception said:

Well, that could be up to your imagination, sad could look ridiculous, and happy could look outraged.

But nodding, shaking, and shrugging is pretty much the same.

So, I can guess social behavior CAN coincidentally evolve similar to the earth...

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Nice story; can't wait to see more.

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Here's chapter 3! Before you read, keep in mind this is the first draft, so tips on improving it will be awesome, I already have ideas on descriptions of the planets, but more tips will be greatly appreciated! (I know the grammar is bad, I'm just trying to get the story finished)

So leave your comments down below. :)

Chapter 3!

Spoiler

On the surface of Urncisa, home of the Vurvians

 

12 years earlier

 

H’ruc was gliding to his home when he saw it… a bright flash against the sky, he gaped at it, and quickly changed course to follow it, extremely interested to know what it was, he could tell it was slowing down, the way the light was diminishing, and he thought he was going to lose where it was, when brightly colored ‘domes’ came out of the top.

 It’s a strange shape, he thought to himself, when he got close to it, it circled around it, and landed close to it, wondering what it was, as it got closer he moved out of the way, and when it landed, he noticed several others had come out, curious to what it was.

Then the probe suddenly flashed bright lights every few seconds, some backed away, thinking it was evil, but some stayed to see what it would do, H’ruc was right next to it, and put a cautious winged hand on its shiny body, it was still a bit warm, but had cooled substantially, he wandered around it, taking in every Y’ru, wondering what it was made of. Certainly, not Iron, it’s much too shiny, but perhaps it was made of steel, maybe some gold and silver as well, as he pondered this he felt a slight excitement, he was curious, and wanted to know more, many of his kind didn’t like his ideas, and rejected them, but he was a philosopher, it was his nature to ask questions, no matter how big.

He examined it closely and saw panels, exposed metal rods, and a huge amount of strange looking objects on it as if the object itself wasn’t odd enough.

Later that night, some assumed it came from the night gods, their world was almost always above theirs, with bright lights on the dark side, so that’s where they built their empire over a hundred Ri’s ago, with a massive castle in the center, and villages skirting around it, some wealthy, and some poor, H’ruc lived in one of the richer villages.

Several hours after the strange object touched down, they constructed a shrine around it, honoring it, worshipping it, hoping it would end their problems, but alas, it did nothing, it just sat there, many thought it was doing its job quietly, though, and continued putting flowers and other precious items around it, hoping for something.

 H’ruc came to the site every day, when, almost a year later, they saw another flash of light, and he assumed it was a trick of the light, but he thought it was brighter than the last.

Everyone who saw it gathered around, excited to see what it was, when it landed, many started bowing to the lander, while H’ruc approached it again, only this time, there was a large pad with buttons on the outside, with bright colors flashing in a pattern, he cautiously touched it, but it did nothing, and it kept doing the same thing over and over again, he examined it for quite some time after that, but came to the conclusion, he had to follow the pattern, when he followed the pattern, red, blue, blue, yellow, blue, blue, red, it blinked and made a small high pitched sound.

Then it showed him a strange-looking sphere, with thick white powdery looking stuff swirling around, green covering most of the visible surface, and some blue scattered around, when it suddenly zoomed in, and showed their empires, ending with theirs, and showing his species, before zooming back out, to show the ‘R’ku’ the giant object in the sky, that tried outshining its brighter but smaller brother in the sky, as well as V’sa, home of the night gods, it was then, did he realize, he was looking at his homeworld. He stared at it, as it replayed over and over again, he stared at it until it was dark, as the V’l went on, less and less M’rix were out of their huts, and after awhile, no one else was there anymore, just him, and he soon dozed off to sleep.

H’ruc obsessed over the strange object, he would draw pictures, write everything he knew about it down, and tried doing anything to figure it out, many thought he was going insane, and he may be going insane, he sometimes wondered, but there was something about those moving pictures he just couldn’t get out of his mind, several years, and another probe later, he saw a flash of light, but it was much smaller, dimmer, and faster, than the other flashes of light he saw.

He wondered about it for a while, wondering what it could be, when it happened again, he stared at it until it disappeared over the horizon, when it went over the 3rd time, he started timing it, using a sextant, every 110 K’ir, he calculated, he seemed to go over, and the next day, he met up with several other philosophers and a couple of mathematicians to discuss his findings in a royal library, they puzzled over it for quite some time, when someone remembered an old paper written about their world, and went to go get it, only to return happily around a half an hour later.

“We know that our world is round, and we also know how big it must be, I’ve just been looking at this paper which tells us how big it truly is, here’s the interesting part however, the bright flash you saw every 110 minutes, seems to make a perfect circle around our world.” He said triumphantly.

“So tonight, we observe it again, if it shows the same patterns, we can assume it circles our world.” Said H’ruc.

“Yes,” He replied.

That night, they observed the object all night, confirming their idea, when a second flash appeared several days later, it seemed to be following it, and as they timed it, they thought it was getting closer, and closer to the flash that they had seen a few days ago, one night, they saw the two flashes become one, they assumed it must’ve fused itself to it or something, but they didn’t know what it was, so they built a telescope. After getting a small telescope, they tried observing it, unfortunately, when they tried, it went by too fast to be seen clearly, so they scrapped their idea of seeing it.

Many X’a went by, and several more strange objects had been sent down, H’ruc and a few other philosophers began studying it as it gave them displays of flashing lights, talking very fast to each other, and sketching out everything they saw as fast as they could, they sometimes saw flashes of light join up with the ‘first light’ as they called it, and wondered what it meant.

After many years of studying, they still didn’t know what its purpose was, it seemed to be trying to teach them, but teach them what? There were times when H’ruc would stop studying in frustration, and a few weeks after the latest object, guards approached H’ruc, saying his king had requested to see him.

What? What does he want? He thought to himself frantically, after gathering his papers, and putting them in a small pouch on his front, he set off for the palace, with the guard’s right behind him.

When he reached the grand palace, which didn’t take long, as he lived near it, in a small village near the outskirts, the kings guards led him towards the gates, and let him through, he stepped in the square, where others were making trades for food or clothes, or entertainment with knights showing off their gliders to help keep them in the air longer, they viewed his clothes with narrowed eyes, and saw the guards escorting him to the grand hall, some smirked, and didn’t make any effort to hiding their voices,

“Someone’s in trouble, I wonder what the punishment is going to be.”

“Peasant scum probably got caught poaching.”

H’ruc felt a sense of unease at the comments, and when the guards led him to the grand hall, a long, dark, slightly narrow hall with colored glass windows, the sunlight peeking through, plush red carpet, and the king, sitting on a grand throne, he shivered in fear, and hoped that whatever was going to happen happened fast.

When H’ruc got to a circular part of the carpet, He bowed deeply, and said, “W-what is it you wished for me to be here for, m-my king?” He stuttered, keeping his eyes trained on the floor.

“I believe you have been ‘studying’ these strange objects for quite some time now, why?” He asked him

“I-I wish to understand it, my king.” He stammered, still bowed to the king, not daring to lift his head.

“Look up at me when you speak,” H’ruc looked up slowly, and flinched, as the king had a smile on his face, “Good. I’m not going to hurt you unless you give me a reason of course,” He said, raising his head a little higher, “Now, what do you know about these objects?”

H’ruc breathed a sigh in relief, “Right now, my king, I can only make guesses, but I have collected a lot of information on them, they seem to be sent down regularly, about once every 18 X’a now, each one with something new to show us, the first time, I believe it showed our homeworld, it zoomed in on the weird looking sphere, showed images of our empires, and zoomed back out, showing R’ku and V’sa, an-“

“Wait,” Started the king, “Out homeworld?” He asked interrupting H’ruc.

“I believe so, my king, I looked at maps of our world, and the two look remarkably similar, except without beasts, and swirling white powder covering much of the surface at times, which I assume is the clouds in the sky,” H’ruc said quickly.

The king nodded, “What else?”

“Sometimes, there’s patterns, symbols, I’ve written them down, it seems to be that they’re showing us different numbers, and when I looked at them, I think it tells us when the next object will arrive, and so far, 11 objects have arrived when I predicted their arrival.”

The king nodded again, “What else is there, majorly, and how long do you think will it take to figure them out?”

H’ruc opened his mouth, but couldn’t find the words to say for a moment, “W-well, my king, at night, a bright streak of light has appeared above our heads for m-many, many, years, and some mathematicians have figured out it very likely circles our world, I believe it’s related to the objects, because it appeared after a couple objects had touched down, And as for figuring it out, the objects are getting bigger, with more information each time, I t-think something big will happen soon, I don’t know when, but soon.”

The king nodded, “Continue studying these objects, I want a report on everything that you know two weeks after one arrives.”

H’ruc nodded, “Yes my king, of course, my king, and I will give you a report on all previous objects when I come back.”

The king smiled, “Good, I cannot wait to hear everything, I’ll have the guard escort you out.” He gestured to a guard as he said this, and he strode forward.

H’ruc bowed once more, and the guard walked him out of the palace, the ones in the square looked at him in bemusement, when they saw he didn’t look frightened, H’ruc ignored them, and he climbed a nearby tree, and took off, gliding back to his village, when he arrived, he met up with the philosophers, and mathematicians, and told them about his meeting with the king.

 

Back to present day

 

H’ruc glided towards the king’s palace with important news on the objects, and the landing of a new one, gliding across the tops of trees, towards the massive stone castle that was his home.

When he arrived, landing to a stride in front of the entrance, the king’s guards immediately stepped out of the way to admit him entrance, and H’ruc nodded to them, walking towards the grand hall, and past the guards behind the door, he strode towards the king, but did not bow, a couple years ago, O’as, the king, said that he needn’t bow to him anymore, and was made into an honorary royal because of his loyal service to O’as.

“Good morning H’ruc,” O’as said, “What’s today’s news?”

“Hello My king, another object landed yesterday, and I added it to the map I began developing several R’ku ago, and I think there will only be several more objects, then the arrow will be complete, I don’t know what will happen when the final objects touches down, but it might be something big, something completely new.”

O’as thought to himself for a moment, “How many more objects before we go in the direction of the arrow?” He asked.

“Eight, and then it’s complete, and if they keep coming every 18 X’a, it’ll be complete in three R’ku, and in four R’ku… maybe they’ll visit us.” H’ruc said.

O’as sat up straighter, “I would like to come with you when the final object comes down.” He said.

“Of course, and I actually have a scroll here, which has more information on that, but if I had to guess, it may come 18 X’a after the final object, just like the rest, but I will check every V’l, and come to you immediately when it arrives.” He said.

O’as nodded in approval, “I cannot wait to see what it is, but with all of these clues, it may be something extraordinary.”

“Another thing, it seems that the objects are getting more and more complex, new puzzles, new pictures, new moving pictures, new symbols, I think it’s trying to teach us, and I’ve been collecting information on everyone, here’s all the information I’ve collected on the last object which touched down yesterday, the scroll with more information on what could come after the arrow is complete is In the largest one.” Said H’ruc, walking up the throne, and passing a few scrolls to him, and stepping down, with his wings positioned behind him in a respectful manner.

O’as took the largest scroll and opened it, his eyes widened as they read more and more, and he didn’t speak for several minutes, when he finished, he said, “You think they’re going to take one of us?”

H’ruc nodded, “In the latest object, there was a moving picture, of a much larger object with someone inside, it seems to have landed in a clearing several M’az away, which would be in the direction of the arrow, and they took one of us to the light flash, I don’t know what happens after that however, there wasn’t anything after that.”

O’as lowered the scroll slowly, “I wonder who they’re going to pick,” He wondered.

“I wonder that as well. But, that is all I have, and you may keep the scrolls, I’ve made copies as usual.” He said.

O’as smiled, “Well if that is all, have a nice V’l, and good luck with you.”

“Thank you, I’ll see you again soon.” He said, before turning around, and walking out of the palace, nodding towards the guards in farewell, and swiftly climbing up a tree, before gliding back to his home.

When he arrived back to his village, past the incomplete arrow of objects, he landed swiftly, and was about to walk back to his home, when he walked past a small pavilion, and saw one of the philosophers pouring over several papers, He strode over and was reluctant to interrupt him, but when he took a seat, to wait until he finished, he suddenly looked up.

Hello, H’ruc! How was the meeting with the king?”  G’ex asked with a rough voice.

“It went well, how’re those papers coming along?” Looking at the small stack of papers in front of him.

G’ex waved that away… Only to accidently blow the papers off of the table, “Good, good, but don’t worry about that, what did you tell him?”

“Everything I’ve told you,” H’ruc said, “The arrow that will be complete in several R’ku, the increased complexity of the puzzles, and my theory that something will collect one of us.”

G’ex looked H’ruc up and down, and stared at his for a moment, considering something before saying, “You know, it might be you.” He said.

“What? How could it be me? The very thought.” He said shaking his head.

“Well… For example, you’re the only one who’s been making detailed observations on it, you’re the only one who finds the object in the sky first, and goes up studying it as soon as it lands, you hardly say anything, it’s like you’re trapped in your own little world whenever one lands, you’ve solved all of the puzzles so far, if they’re planning on taking someone, it’ll probably be you.” He said.

H’ruc looked down, lost in thought, Could they pick me? What are they like? What are they going to do? He looked up slowly, “It could… be me.” He said.

H’ruc stared at the village, young, gliding around, racing each other, seeing who can stay in the air the longest, old, sitting in their homes, looking out, gazing at the world, Kir’uv of all ages, walking around, making trades, walking their goods around, blacksmiths, building weapons and tools, farmers in the fields, picking the plentiful harvests, workers picking straw and sticks to build homes and shelter, the expansive forest stretching out forever. Why couldn’t it be me? He thought to himself, if they’re watching, they’ve probably memorized my face by now.  H’ruc turned back to G’ex, “Yeah, why couldn’t it be me?” He said.

G’ex smiled at his friend, “You just wait. When they come, you’re going to be the one they look for.” He said.

“Yes… I suppose so, but…” H’ruc started, but G’ex cut him off.

“But nothing, they’re going to pick you, now, don’t you have some more research to do?” He said.

H’ruc nodded, “Well, it’s been good seeing you, I will see you later.”

“And the same to you H’ruc, have a nice day.” Said G’ex, before going back to his papers.

H’ruc walked towards the objects, since being authorized by the king to study the objects when they landed, H’ruc was one of the only ones allowed to approach the objects, anyone else who approached it, could, at the most, just worship it, H’ruc was the only one allowed to touch the objects, and even took off panels sometimes (Much to the distaste of others who didn’t know, or did not like him messing with them).

H’ruc stared fondly at the first object when he came upon it, silent for many, many Ri’s, there were signs of weathering and decay, rust had overridden the steel on it, many other objects shared the same characteristics of the first object, decayed from the extreme humidity, and time they have been on the surface.

Weeds and plants would’ve sprouted up around them, if nobody hadn’t made sure the area was clear, H’ruc himself went to clear the area from time to time to keep it from getting overgrown, while some of the farmers went to it every day, clearing it out, making sure nothing grew on or around the objects.

When he arrived at the latest object, which was still projecting the image on a screen, as were several other objects which had been on the surface for a while, he was startled by a sudden flash of light, another object was coming in for a landing… Four X’a too early. He thought to himself, he stepped well out of the way as it’s large domes came out, slowing it down, with the landing legs extending, as it slowly approached the surface.

H’ruc stared curiously as it came down, it’s much too early for another one. When it landed, he approached it immediately, seeing the usual puzzle, and then rushing to his hut to grab some paper and pens.

When he got back to the probe, he saw a weird puzzle, there were keys below it, with symbols on it, that resembled huts, trees, numbers, among many other things.

Another weird thing, was that it was making noise, and he saw what was on the screen, himself, and something, no, someone else, he had never seen anyone like them before, they had golden brown fur, large black eyes, a wide nose, and a weird looking mouth, the thing was making strange sounding noises, and there were others too, appearing, and disappearing on the screen.

H’ruc didn’t know what to make of this, but then it started pointing at him, and saying something he couldn’t understand, he tried imitating the thing, but with poor results, then it pointed down, and one of the weird keys started blinking with light, as it started repeating the same thing, over, and over again, then it dawned on him, That’s how they say tree, but why can’t they speak our language?. “T-treeee.” He said slowly back to the thing on the screen.

They did something funny with their head, and pulled up a piece of paper, at least that’s what he thought it was, but it was white and looked cleaner than their paper, yet they could still write on it, and pointed at a weird set of characters on it, and pointed at it, saying tree, H’ruc scribbled it down quickly, and drew a picture next to it so he wouldn’t forget what it meant, if he could anyway, but better safe than sorry, and started saying something else, this time, the key for ‘Hut’ started blinking, and they pointed at another piece of paper that had another weird set of characters on it.

It kept saying it over and over again, and after awhile, he said it himself, “Huut.” He said, writing it down as well, and drawing a picture next to it.

Over the next several hours, he learned many new, different ways of saying and spelling words, Probe, Plants, Food, Water, Video, many numbers and colors, Farming, Metal, Wood, and Clothes.

When they were finished with clothes, the thing did something funny with their mouth, and the screen went black.

He stared dumbfounded at the black screen, and looked down on his paper, he had gone through 4 sheets of paper, front and back, in order to write everything down. Were they teaching me their language?

He stayed where he was for quite some time after that, in stunned silence, he thought he just was what their gods looked like, and they communicated directly to him.

He didn’t get any sleep that night, and stayed up all night in the candlelight, studying his notes from earlier in the day, and trying to imitate saying what they said all night, the next day, he thought, he was going directly to O’as.

After getting a few hours of sleep, he set off for the king’s castle immediately, with a bundle of notes in his pouch, instead of walking respectfully to O’as’ throne, he glided to it, and O’as looked at him curiously, with one of his advisors who suddenly stopped talking.

H’ruc was breathless at the throne for a few moments before looking directly at the king.

“O’as, the. The gods, they dropped another ‘probe’,” He said, making a noise that sounded strange to O’as, “And communicated directly to me, they were teaching me their language,” he pulled out a bundle of notes, and handed them to O’as, “That’s all the words they taught me, I not only heard them speak, I saw them.” O’as perked up and stood up walking over to H’ruc, while his adviser stared curiously between the two.

“Are… Are you sure?” He asked, wide eyed.

“Yes, there was a ‘screen’” He said, making another weird noise, “As they called it, and they spoke directly to me, they don’t look anything like us, look,” He said as he flipped through the papers quickly before finding a sketch of the things he saw the previous day. O’as stared at it, and seemed to care about nothing else in the world, as he looked at them.”

“Th-this is what they look like?” He asked breathlessly.

H’ruc nodded quickly, “Yes, that’s what they look like, I talked to them all day yesterday, and,”

“Wait, they?” O’as asked.

“Yes, there was four of them, although only one stayed the entire time, the others just passed by, sometimes staring at me.”

“Are they still communicating with you?” He asked.

“No, at least, not right now, I checked before I came here.” He replied.

“Go back, see if they’re back and if they are, keep learning about them, come back in a few days if they talk to you again.” O’as paced back and forth, thinking hard, with his advisor, standing aside, seemingly forgotten by the other two, and staring at them with the air of surprise.

“Okay, I’ll leave now,” H’ruc said to O’as, he nodded, and H’ruc quickly strode to the grand doors, and past the guards so he could go back to the village.

He climbed a tree, and glided, feeling the wind on his face as the trees beneath him rushed past, with his village just visible in the distance, mostly blocked by trees, but recognizable by the smoke trails of fire rising in the warm air.

He landed and went to his hut, grabbing fresh writing materials, and striding to the probe, where the screen was still black, he waited for several hours, once going back to his hut to grab some food before quickly returning, when the screen lit up again, where he saw the same thing, or as he figured last night, the god, looking at him, and raising a hand, which he assumed was a greeting, the hand was small, and had four slightly wide fingers, with short claws at the end, they weren’t sharp, instead rounded, and black, he stared curiously at it for a moment before lifting his wing up and imitating what they did, his fingers were more narrow, had slightly longer claws, not very sharp, but could still cut if necessary.
The god had looked at his hand curiously, reaching out their hand, and placing it on the screen, as if it was going to come through, which it didn’t, but H’ruc pushed a little harder wondering if it would, until he accidently cracked it, and stopped pressing onto the screen.

The two looked into each other’s eyes, regarding the other’s appearance, and each wondering what they were going to do next.

The god looked down, and pulled up a few new pieces of paper, it has a probe on it, but it looked bigger than the others, it shows it landing near his village, and putting someone on the probe, who then goes to the streak, and meets the gods.

H’ruc pointed at himself as if to ask, do you want me? The god pointed to H’ruc and seemed to smile at him.

He looked down, and looked wary, putting his wing on his head, and staring down, unable to say anything.

The god looked at H’ruc curiously, as if wondering what he was thinking, H’ruc looked back up, opening his mouth, and closing it, but unable to find words.

The god seemed hurried, he, she, turned around, and waved their paw around, saying something he couldn’t understand, one of the other gods came up with more paper, and a pen. They quickly scribbled something out.

The paper had a picture with two different drawings.

The first one showed him going on the large probe, and the second one showed him walking away.

He stared at it strangely, while the god looked at him curiously, before he pointed his wing on the first picture, they pointed at the first one, and he pointed at it again, maybe they’re asking if they want me to come with them or not, well of course I want to come! I just don’t know what to expect. They did something with their head again, which he guessed was their version of a yes.

He cocked his head, spread out his wings, and pointed at the picture again, silently asking; what will happen?

After a few moments, they seemed to understand, and began scribbling out another picture, which was a series of pictures, the first was him going on the ship, the second, when he went on the streak, which he had already seen, the third, was him meeting them, and the fourth, was him back on the surface, who appeared to be in charge of everyone.

He stared at the picture for a few moments, and back at the god again, and imitated what he thought was their version of a yes.

They did the same thing and drew something else, him standing in front of the probe, they want me to come back tomorrow. And waved their paw in farewell, before the screen turned back.

The next day, he went back to the probe, with more paper, and some premade drawings, with the first two made, after a question at the back of his mind pushed forward, expecting new information when he was within eyesight, he saw the screen up again and rushed to it.

The god perked up, and waved in greeting, H’ruc pulled up a picture, of the god in the sky, surrounded by grand things, and reaching down towards him with everyone bowing to them, the next picture which was a picture of the god on the ground, greeting him, with everyone else standing there.

He hoped they understood, are you gods, or like us, but advanced? They puzzled over it, looking between the two, then they walked away, leaving the screen view, and returning a few moments later, pointing to the one which showed them on the ground.

He then pointed at himself, and said “H’ruc.” And then pointed whoever was staring at him.

They understood immediately, and pointed at him, “H’ruc,” They pointed at themselves, “Isrs.” They said.

“Isrs,” He said, pointing at Isrs through the screen. He looked at Isrs, “Isrs,” he said again.

He looked down at his papers again, and pulled up a different picture, of him in a grand castle, with royal clothing with many in front of him, and Isrs and their fellow, whatever they called themselves, behind him.

They seemed to understand, and made their head gesture that most likely meant ‘yes’.

He thought for several moments, wondering what to say or do next, then pointed at several more of his people, who were staring at them intently, and then at himself, then pointed at Isrs.

Isrs cocked their head in confusion, and said something he couldn’t understand to someone who was out of view, someone else came into view, and put their paw on their head, thinking, then he spoke, pointing at him, and several of his people.

“Vurvian,” they said.

H’ruc pointed at the two of them, and one in the back who was coming forward.

They stared at each other for a few moments, and then pointed at themselves at the same time, and said “Elordian.”

The Elordians and Vurvians stared at each other in deeper understanding. Throughout the weeks, H’ruc tried learning more of their language and learned several new words and phrases.

King, Empire, Alliance, and several phrases, good morning, good evening, what are we doing today, and when am I coming to you.

Their communication barrier was slowly but surely being broken, no doubt about that, but it would still be a long way to go before they were ready to have conversations, and much longer until he fully understood their terminology and technology.

Several days later, H’ruc rushed to the castle, no longer gliding as his bundle of papers was too large and too heavy to be carried like that, so he wheeled them on a small cart, and walked past the guards who were staring at his cart funny, but letting him in without a word.

The ‘Vurvians’ in the square, looked at him with interest, they’ve seen him coming in and out many times and noticed that his clothes look better, sometimes, he stays to get some food, or paper, while discussing trade.

O’as looked at him intently as he strode towards him, when he saw H’ruc wheeling a cart, he suddenly got up and strode over to him.

“I assume this is everything about our gods.” He said wondrously, looking at the drawings and writing translations in interest.

“Yes, well, first things first, um, it seems that they’re not actually gods, they’re like us, but much more advanced technologically.”

“And how do you know this?” He asked, with a hint of disbelief in his voice.

“I showed them a couple pictures, and they pointed at the one that represented us as equals, not inferiors, additionally, we’ve been busy overcoming our language barrier, and I asked them about it, they call themselves ‘Elerdions’ I believe, and us ‘Vorvians’ one of them told me their name, ‘Is’ris’ He said with slight joy.

O’as nodded, “Well, they’re still extremely interesting nonetheless, keep in contact with them, anything else?”

“I’ve confirmed my theory, they’re going to be taking someone, specifically me, up to where they are, which is the streak in the sky that we see at night.”

“You? Well, I guess I can’t be surprised, you’re the only one who can sort of understand them, I wonder what they want to do.” He wondered.

“I don’t know,” said H’ruc, leaving out the part where he may take his throne someday, he suspected any respect would be lost, as O’as would believe him power hungry. He didn’t like the idea of spending life in prison, so he kept his beak shut.

“Alright then, what else have you got?”

“Well, I’ve learned many words and some phrases, of theirs, and you can see them here.” He said.

The two continued talking about their potential intentions for some time, and the next day, H’ruc talked to Isrs, asking what he should do next.

 

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Chapter 4!

I revised some of it, but it's a first draft, and I want to focus on finishing the rest of the book first, but leave comments, and tell me what you guys think :)

Enjoy!

Spoiler

Sars was a test pilot, and fresh Astronaut candidate for the Elordian Space Program, she was part of the class that would pick one Astronaut to pilot a Vurvian off the surface of Urncisa in a couple year’s time.

Today she was doing a psychological test, to see what she was feeling mentally. After waiting several hours for the other Astronaut candidates, she was next, she got up, and walked through the hall, past the other candidate who looked tired and worn out.

“Hello Sars, my name is Dr. Nurks, please, have a seat,” he said, when she walked through the door and shut the door, gesturing her to a hard looking chair in front of him.

“Hello,” she said, giving a gesture of respect, by tapping her paw on the chest twice and extending it out for a moment before lowering it. She walked to the chair and sat, waiting for him to speak.

“Today, as you obviously know, will be a psychological test, I’ll be asking you questions, and you’ll answer them, it’s that simple. He said Sars nodded.

“Alright, first question, how old are you?”

“31.” She said.

“What are your skills?”

“Piloting, aeronautical engineering, and physics.”

“What are you training for?”

“Piloting a Vurvian from the surface of Urncisa to the station.”

“Is your training hard? If so, how hard?”

“Not very hard at the moment, quite manageable actually.”

“What’s your biggest fear?”

“Dying in the air, or in space.”

“I understand something happened to you a few years ago, you nearly did die in the air, can you, in your words, describe what happened?”

Sars felt her breath catch, she would never, ever forget that day, and she still woke up with nightmares, screaming, as a plane screeched towards the ground, exploding in a fireball on impact…

It was a clear day early in the morning when it happened, she was the first test pilot for a new supersonic jet they were developing, everything was go, inspections were cleared, the plane was fueled up, and Sars was ecstatic, ready to go.

After getting in the cockpit, she wheeled it out to the runway, and turned on the twin engines, accelerating it faster, and faster until she took to the air, and pulled up, breaking the sound barrier soon after, and quickly reaching its maximum height of 28 Jiv.

But then it all went south from there, the plane stalled and nearly broke apart from the extreme stress of supersonic velocities, and started falling towards the ground, and from the extreme velocities, and sudden stall, it started tumbling.

“Oh no, no, no, no, no, no.” She said, starting to hyperventilate, she pulled the joystick, trying to get it back under control, she had to shut the engines down so it wouldn’t get worse, outside the plane, it was spinning and tumbling at a dizzying rate, too fast to safely eject.

“C’mon, C’MON!!!” She said, pulling back on the joystick as hard as she could.

She started flipping switches trying desperately to get the plane back under control.

“Mayday, mayday! The plane is out of control, mayday!” She shouted into her mic. She noticed by the readings on the altimeter that she only had 10 seconds to get the plane under control, or to get it to stop spinning around so she could eject without risk of getting back ended by the plane before it was too low for the plane to be for it to regain proper control, or too low and the chutes wouldn’t slow her down in time, and she’d end up breaking bones, or worse.

Nine seconds… She grabbed the joystick jerking it to the opposite direction of where it was spinning, she could tell it was slowly getting back under control.

Five seconds… She pointed the plane downwards to pick up speed and managed to straighten it out, and began to pull up.

2 seconds… The plane was still spinning, but no longer tumbling, she pulled a handle at the base of her seat and ejected.

Above the ground, now gently coming down towards the surface, she closed her eyes momentarily, and breathed a huge sigh in relief, “G-g-ground c-control, I had to eject, the plane will crash, I’m coming down on the chute now.” She said shakily in her mic, she could hear someone sigh in relief, “Good job, get back over here safely.” She heard him say with relief.

“Copy.” She said, as she focused on getting her breathing back under control, and headed down, several minutes later, landing gently on the ground, when she landed, ground crew rushed to her. She was shaking so hard they had to pull her from the cockpit seat because she couldn’t get the straps and harnesses undone.

After that, she quit her piloting career, but after the announcement of the space program needing a pilot for getting a Vurvian to the space station around Urncisa, she decided to pick it back up and applied for the job.

Sars looked down at her hands, thinking about what to say for a moment, she looked up and stared the psychologist in the face and said; “I lost control of the plane and wasn’t able to get it completely back under control, I was forced to eject, and shortly landed back on the ground.”

“What were you feeling at the time? Scared? Frightened?”

Is he serious? I was just chilling in the cockpit as I was falling towards the ground in a giant fuel tank that could explode at any second! “I was under extreme duress, and scared for my life.”

“I saw that you quit piloting after that, what made you come back to do this?”

“I decided enough was enough, and I was going to face my fears by flying again for this exciting mission, It’s been an incredible opportunity for me.”

“Well, thank you for your answers, and have a nice day.” He said, standing up, nodding in respect.

She stood up as well returning the gesture and noticing her hands was sweaty. She walked out, and exhaled loudly, passing another candidate, who, at her expression, looked worried.

The days that followed were some of the hardest in her life, later that night they were suddenly woken up, and told to do piloting simulations with no knowledge of the environment, only Sars, and five others passed, the other 188 candidates had various degrees of failure.

Over the next few days, they had to pilot a spacecraft down on the surface, as a super volcano erupted, damaging the spacecraft, and shaking it violently, she failed that one, but with a small margin of error, she ran out of fuel, and made to too low of an orbit, shortly after, reentering, and ending up crashing to the surface, and dying on impact.

Then they had a grueling physical test to see how strong they all were, they had to run for several hours, do an obstacle course, and do a complicated flight sim afterward, with little food, and little sleep the previous night. She passed that one narrowly and was one of 22 Elordian who did.

The trainers announced that they would be cutting 100 in a week’s time, some of the Elordian who failed constantly resigned shortly after the announcement.

The next week was grueling, very little sleep, very little food, and constant training, at the end of the week, when the trainers said they would be given a day off so they could figure out who would be cut, and who would stay, she nearly collapsed, which wasn’t surprising, as her legs were trembling from constant effort.

When the put the sign up the next day that showed who was staying and who was going, she found that she was at the top of the list overall, and passed the flying Sims with flying colors.

The next day, it was announced that they were going to begin spaceflight training, docking in orbit, handling themselves in microgravity, complete isolation for several days, and emergency spaceflight drills.

She passed microgravity tests and isolation with flying colors, but she had a bit of trouble with docking.

She would either come in too fast, miss the target, or ‘run out of fuel’, she poured over the material they gave her, and got to practice in flight sims during free time, after a couple weeks after constant practice, she finally got it right.

“Less than 180 Lor now, velocity, 11 Lor/s, visual on target, taking over with RCS.”

“Copy, excellent job so far.”

“126 Lor away. 10 Lor/s, flipping on the docking port lights now.” She said flipping a small switch.

“Copy understood.”

“10 Lor away, 10 Lor/s, fuel is at 80%.” She said.

“Copy that.”

“84 Lor away now, 10 Lor/s.” She said, getting nervous, hoping beyond hope she didn’t mess it up again.

“Copy.”

“63 Lor away, 10 Lor/s.” She said, feeling her heart beat rapidly.

“Copy.”

“38 Lor away, 8 Lor/s.” She sighed loudly.

“Copy.”

“22 Lor away, 6 Lor/s.” She said, fighting to keep her voice steady.

‘Copy.”

10 Lor away, .6 Lor/s, coming towards the port.” She said, her paw shaking as she tried keeping the simulated capsule steady.

“Copy.”

“4 Lor away, .2 Lor/s, slowly approaching the target.” She said. While she knew she wasn’t in space, she still felt excited.

“Copy.”

“2 Lor away, .04 Lor/s, almost there.

“Copy.”

“1 Lor away, .02 Lor/s, c’mon.” She said leaning forwards.

“Copy.”

“And docked!! I did it!!” She said, jumping as well as she could in the cramped capsule.

“Copy that, congratulations Sars, you sound like you did the real thing.”

“Well, I might as well have done that, I mean it’s the first time I’ve done it!” She said before she exited the capsule, jumped down, controlling herself long enough the express respect towards the Elordian who ran the Sims, who congratulated her for her success.

“Very well done,” Said the comms operator.

“I did it! She said as she grinned and punched the air.

“Congratulations,” said one of the other Astronaut candidates, who had walked up, and was up next to do the Sims.

“Thanks, good luck with your sim.” She said.

“Thanks,” he said before entering the capsule.

She walked over to the library to do some more studies on docking and spaceflight procedures.

“Hey, what’s up?” Said one of the Astronaut candidates, Ris, looking through the books on the shelf.

“Studying.” She said, bending down to look at more books.

“Are you one of the more ‘elite’ candidates’ here?” She asked

Sars stood up, “Yes, and?”

“Could you help me out with something?”

“Uh, sure, what do need help with?”
She sighed, “I need help with piloting a spacecraft from Urncisa to the station, I’m not good at getting rendezvous, I can get them to orbit and dock just fine, I’m just not good at lining up to orbits very well, and I end up using all of the fuel.”

Well, that’s not too bad, but if you wanted me to teach you how to dock, I wouldn’t be able to help you there. She thought to herself “Okay, let’s go to the Sims, and I’ll show you how.”

“Thanks, I really appreciate it.” As they strode over to the flight Sims.

Sars set up the twin Sim so that both of them could use it at the same time, it couldn’t recreate GeForce felt as the ship accelerated, but it could replicate the motions, and to some degree, the vibrations as well.

“Alright, I’ll do it first, and show you what to do, and when you should do it.”

Ris nodded, “Okay.” She said, leaning back in her chair, and watching as she flew the craft into the air.

Sars gently tipped the craft over as it went higher and faster, to help gain velocity from the planet’s gravity, as the sky grew darker and darker, and the surface becoming farther and farther away.

“Alright, I’ve done the gravity turn, and am going in the direction of the station.”

“I know I need to do that,” Ris said.

“I’m just giving constant updates is all,” She said, slightly smiling at her. “Raising apogee slightly above the station so it can catch up faster, shutting down engines.” She said letting go of the stick, “Coasting to Apogee now.” Ris looked out at the simulated window and watched as the ship rose higher.

“Distance to the station, 16 Jiv, and reactivating engines to burn for orbit.” She said, slowly raising the engine throttle to burn for orbit.

“Cutting engines in seven… Six… Five… Four… Three… Two… One… Engines cut, the ship is in orbit. Just over a klick from the station, coming up at a relative velocity of 10 Lor/s, closest approach, 100 Lor.” Sars activated the RCS to bring the ship closer to the station less than a minute later.

“Station in full view,” Sars said, a few minutes later, when they were several hundred meters away. “Getting ready to dock.” She opened up the docking adapter and used the RCS to line up as the ship got closer. I better not screw this up. She thought.

When the ship was less than 100 Lor from the ship, she slowed down to 3 Lor/s, she carefully slowed it down, her hands shaking with the effort of not messing up and docked to the station, even better than earlier. She breathed a sigh in relief, Ris seemed not to have noticed.

“Nicely done,” Ris said.

“Thanks, now you try,” Sars said, smiling.

The first time Ris tried, she managed to get to the station, but missed the docking adapter, and ended up tearing through the station, after a few more tries, she got it right, and the two practiced all day, giving each other tips, and working out better and more efficient ways of getting to orbit, by the time someone fetched them, it was night, and they had missed several meals and a couple classes.

 

Mission control, Orsonis

 

3 months later

 

The probe on its way to Kit was only a couple days away, it got to its destination so fast because it used a nuclear engine to get there.

It flew past the gas giant binary system and imaged the ice Moon orbiting the main giant as it flew past the two planets on its way to the Trojan planet following it.

The world was covered in almost 80 percent liquid Ammonia and had a very thick atmosphere, almost three atmospheres dense, and lots of cloud cover.

The scientists were hoping to extensively study the exotic world, and see if it’s suitable for life, or if other worlds with similar properties could be possible for some sort of life.

The probe had an orbiter that would be placed in a polar orbit and study the planet from space, there, it would select an ideal landing zone, then would drop a lander/rover combo on the surface, the spacecraft that shuttled the spacecraft would act as a communications ship, while the orbiter could communicate with Orsonis, the spacecraft’s comms could transmit more data at a time.

The spacecraft made a small course correction change to get closer to Kit and then coasted to its target.

 

Several days later

 

After burning to enter orbit around Kit, the spacecraft released the orbiter, and it made a plane change to enter into a polar orbit.

From mission control, they began scanning the surface with visible, infrared, and radar scans to the surface, and several hours later, they found something strange.

“Flight, there’s large weird geometric structures on the surface, could there be three civilizations in this system?” Asked Capcom.

“Uh, I’m not sure, two is unlikely enough, having them develop so close is even more unlikely, but three? Are you sure it’s geometric, and not just a flaw in the system, or set of rocks that look geometric but are just a rare natural occurrence?”

“I’ll get back to you on that, we’ll scan the area again when we pass over it.” A couple hours later, when it passed back over the site, they found that it was a set of geometric structures over a 6 Jiv area, over the next pass, they would put the lander in the middle of it.

The lander separated, and burned its small engine to deorbit, the engine jettisoned from the heatshield, and it positioned itself to enter the atmosphere.

After it entered the atmosphere, mission control watched anxiously from a couple light hours delay.

The probe deployed its three parachutes and jettisoned the heat shield to scan the surface with radar, and found not only short structures but tall ones as well, like thin towers reaching several hundred Lor high, ancient spikes on a dead world.

When it landed several minutes later, it took pictures from the surface and revealed the remnants of a long-dead civilization, that seemed to have once been capable of using technology.

There was a massive object in front of the lander that looked like the remains of a crashed spacecraft, huge chunks were missing from it, most likely from wear on the surface, and possibly even breaking it apart for spare parts.

The front looked like it was buried in the ground, and its engines were barely recognizable. What looked like a base surrounded it, with what looked like a landing pad of sorts, communications, habitats, and a large cylinder that had no reasoned explanation. Everything was covered in orange dust and the winds that blew over the surface made everything eerie.

The rover was deployed, and it was sent over to a metal pad, which had extremely broken down objects on it, that upon scanning, looked like some sort of aircraft remains. There were communication dishes in the distance, pointed to the heavens, and what looked like habitats, close to them.

Back on Orsonis, several hours later, Mission control stared in awe, as they realized, they were capable of space travel. “How, how long has that been there?” Someone asked.

“I honestly don’t know, tell the rover to take multiple samples of the spacecraft, pad, and communication dishes, whatever it is, it’s been there for a long time, there aren’t any signs of any life forms, and the lander and rover haven’t found any life on it.”

“What about in orbit?”

“Dunno, we’ve made the orbiter scan for anything bigger than itself.”

“Well, figure out how old it is, and find out what happened to its inhabitants.”

The sun barely peeked above the crashed spacecraft from the view of the rover, its dim orange light being filtered through the hazy atmosphere and thick clouds. Dusty ammonia clouds that were carrying a slight dust storm, blowing sand over it, giving it an eerie look, Mission control stared wide-eyed at the creepy and amazing image. The camera panned over the heavily rusted, blackened spacecraft. The possible habitats, dishes, and towers. Sandy hills slightly burying the ancient base. All under its cold dead grasp.

When the signal reached Kit, the orbiter repositioned itself to scan its surrounding orbit, it could find anything bigger than 100 Lor within 2000 Jiv, and the rover picked samples from the dead civilization to study them for age, the rover wasn’t capable of doing that, but it was supposed to go back to the lander, which could date the samples, and determine how old it was.

Several hours later, it had dated the metal samples to be at least 800,000 years old, the scientists at mission control stared at the results.

“800,000 years old? How’s that even possible?”

“I dunno, are we sure it’s that old?”

A few ran their paws through their fur in shock and wonder, someone was here, way before them.

“What’re we going to do?” Asked a scientist, who was bent over staring at the results on a computer.

“Call Dr. Eppizeh, get him over here as fast as you can.”

Several minutes later, Eppizeh walked from his office to find out what had happened, when he noticed the remains of a prehistoric space faring civilization from the surface of Kit on the screens. He stopped in his tracks.

“Um, what’s this?” He asked.

“The remains of an 800,000 old civilization.” Someone replied coherently from their panel.

“I’m sorry, 800,000 years old?”

“Yes, what should we do?” Asked the flight director.

“Uh, take more samples, make sure something isn’t screwing with the data, I’ll need to meet with the council, this is bigger than almost everything we’ve ever found, probab- wait, 800,000 years?” He stopped rambling, and stopped to think for a moment, the scientists at mission control were looking at him curiously.

“Uh, what is it?”

“Our race is roughly 790,000 years old, isn’t it?”

“Yes,” someone said, wondering where this was going.

“And the Vurvians are younger at roughly 786,000 years old, correct?”

“Yes.”

“We thought it was just a huge coincidence that both our civilizations are almost the same age, but what if, what if they, what if this civilization, I don’t know, created us, or influenced us?”

Everyone stared wide eyed, as they realized what that meant.

“Is there any message of any kind, a signal, some sort of writing?”

“Not as far as we know, but… We’ll check,” said flight, as he motioned for someone to send a signal to the rover.

“What should we do?”

“Continue studying it, give me an update, then I’m going to contact the Grand Council, tell them I’ll be on my way, meanwhile, I want you guys to tell the Wurxis spaceport to begin construction of another probe to Kit, and get someone to get some of the pilot candidates from the Vurvian retrieval mission so they can pilot a manned mission there instead, this is going to be a very long day.” He said.

Several hours later, when they collected more samples and dated them, they confirmed that it was roughly 800,000 years old, Eppizeh fretted with his tail, it was a few moments before he spoke.

“I, I want you guys to scan everything, absolutely everything, see if you can get inside anything, get more data, I need to go to the Council.” He said as he hurriedly walked out of mission control towards the self-driving taxi lot, and went to the Council building.

When he got there 18 minutes later, he ran through the building and startled some of the Council members who were in a meeting.

“Hello Dr. Eppizeh, this is… unexpected, you were supposed to wait outside until we were ready, what is it you want to tell us?” The council member surveyed him, “It must be something urgent, the way you’re acting.”

“Uh…” Eppizeh hadn’t figured out what he was going to say yet, he was too busy trying to get to the Council to think about it. “Um, well, the probe that arrived at Kit 11 hours ago, found evidence of a long-dead civilization, capable of using technology, and very likely capable of space travel.”

Their reaction was, as expected, shocked.

“Uh, how long dead is long dead exactly?”

“800,000 years roughly, not much older than our race on a geologic timescale and the Vurvians, which, as you know are around as old as we were.”

The Council members realized what that meant. That they’re probably the creation, or experiment of an ancient Alien race.

“Do you know what they look like?”

“No, not at the moment, they’re working on it, though.”

“The council members muttered to each other for awhile, before looking back on Eppizeh, “Figure out who these beings were, and what they did.”

Eppizeh nodded, “I need to get back to the space center now, I’ll update you digitally, and by the way, when do you want to go public on this?”

The Council members stared at each other, and talked amongst themselves for a little while longer, before addressing Eppizeh.

“We’ll tell the public in a few days, continue studying this civilization.”

Eppizeh nodded solemnly, and strode out, to go on the self-driving vehicle back to the space center and making new plans for missions to Kit.

Several days later, the Council addressed the world with ‘Possibly the biggest announcement ever made’, many thought it had something to do with the Vurvians or the life on Rirns, but they didn’t have to speculate for long and tuned in to see what was up, as expected, it was the largest live stream ever, with most of their civilization watching in overwhelming curiosity.

“Hello everyone, a few days ago, the probe launched towards Kit, the exotic world with liquid ammonia oceans, landed, we didn’t tell you this immediately because of a huge discovery that was made, but we’re ready to tell you all now. The lander found the remains of an ancient outpost from an advanced Alien civilization, which has been there for roughly 800,000 years,”

All around Orsonis, everyone stared at their screens in awe, around the Urncisa station, Far-base one, Far-base two, and Spaceport one, only a few knew of the information beforehand, for everyone else, though, they stared at their screens in shock, another civilization was discovered. “The civilization is older than both our civilization, and the Vurvians, which as you know, are about as old as we are, so we suspect that this civilization, probably created us, or influenced us to be more intelligent. This is shocking news, and I know it might be hard to absorb, but we will get more data as soon as possible, Spaceport one already has orders to build a much larger probe. That is all.”

Eppizeh finished watching the announcement, which was followed by dozens of messages his way, he tried answering as many as he could, but they overwhelmed him, a couple hours later, he got one from mission control. He sighed and went to mission control for the update

When Eppizeh entered the vast room, they were staring at the screens in awe, the rover had been sent inside what they thought was a habitat, that was found to have a hull breach large enough for the rover to fit through, the stream got fuzzy when it went inside, and when it turned on its brights, it found something extraordinary…

 

Spaceport one, Wurxis

 

“Oh wow, that’s, that’s amazing,” Said Ols, one of the probe engineers on the Spaceport who was assigned to the new Kit probe, and was watching a replay of the stream, as he was on an EVA as it happened.

“Uh, yeah, it’s amazing, they found direct evidence of an ancient civilization.”

“It’s spread out over a few Jiv, I think it’s more of an outpost actually.”

“Well, let’s suit up and get to work, this probe is going to be a beast.”

“Alright.” He said as he followed the other engineers out to the airlocks.

Over the next few weeks, they began construction on the main probe bus, while another team of engineers designed and built the payload, several orbiters, and several rovers.

The mission plan was to do full orbital scans of everything between geostationary orbit, and the atmosphere, to look for signs of any ancient spacecraft and satellites, while the rovers would do full studies of the entire site, taking all kinds of scans, and sampling everything they could, a manned mission would follow to closely study the technology, and try to replicate it.

The probe would take many Hix’s to complete, meanwhile a probe to study the Gas giant binary, and its Moon was sent, after releasing its orbiters, they found they had enough fuel to get into an elliptical orbit around Kit, and decided to use the probe to do further studies.

The shifts for the probe were long, and much more Astronauts were sent up to help clear the backlog of probes and to help construct the probe to Kit faster.

“So,” Started Ols, as he and a few engineers jetted over to the spaceport, “How’re you all feeling right now?”

“Tired.”

“Hungry.”

“Like I want to die.”

“Well, you guys sure are in a cheery mood today, today’s shift will be half as long as today’s since mission control finally decided to stop making you guys do super long shifts, and are letting you guys rest now.”

There was a chorus of tired cheers from the engineers at this, Ols chuckled to himself, “Alright, let’s get to work.” He said as they entered the hanger.

 

In orbit above Urncisa

 

“Wow, I mean, wow,” Said Isrs, after talking to H’ruc again. “We’re finally breaking the communication barrier!”

“Yeah, that’s… Incredible.” Said Parngs, “What’re we going to talk about tomorrow?” He asked, addressing the scientists on the screen who looked like all of their dreams had come true.

“Tomorrow, we’ll teach H’ruc more words, obviously, but we need you to draw more pictures, not just for communication, but for the next probe, the engineers are going haywire designing it,”

“Wait,” Interrupted Isrs, “We have plenty of probes up here.”

“No, no, we’re talking about steam powered technology, you’ll be discussing that next time, as a future probe will have some primitive technology on it, we’ll be sending you essential information about it, how we want you to present it to H’ruc, what each piece does, and how they can replicate it, we also be sending slightly more sophisticated blacksmith equipment.”

“And how will they know how to use it? We haven’t gotten that far in communication yet.”

“The probe will take around a year to complete, so you’ve got time to teach H’ruc more about our language, then, in one to three Fir, we’ll send him up here, finish teaching H’ruc our language, while also teaching H’ruc about our science, technology, and how we want him, or her, to lead their world into a Utopia.”

Isrs snorted, “We haven’t even figured out how to make a Utopia, how’re we going to get the Vurvian’s to?”

“We’ve gotten close, besides, they’ll probably do whatever we say without question, they think we’re gods after all.”

“You know, that type of arrogance is going to screw us over, we can’t go parading that type of stuff.” Snapped Isrs.

The scientist who had spoken tried to say something, but couldn’t get the words out, Parngs, went off-screen and smirked.

“Get the Council on this, you guys aren’t going to tell us how to give them a new government.” Said Isrs.

“They’re busy with a country of their own right now.”

“Oh, I’m pretty sure they can spare a couple members for a couple days at a time.” She said dismissively, “What kind of steam power?”

“Only a couple types, piston steam engines, and locomotive steam engines, we assume that with their current technological advancement, they should have some idea how steam power works, we’ll just be giving it to them in a pretty little box.

“When will you send us these details?”

“Now, in fact, the data transfer is already in progress, when the upload is finished, we want you to begin studying up, you have a lot of words and pictures to prepare.”

Isrs nodded, “We’ll get on it once the data link is complete.”

“Good, make sure that you make it clear that H’ruc will be on the ship for up to a year, possibly longer.”

“About that, how will we get H’ruc food?”

“You’ll tell him or her to take the food, we’ll bring it up, and figure out how to grow it, remember, our life is pretty close biologically due to being so close to one another, and the plants on that Moon grow very similarly to plants here.”

“Okay, you guys have been working on this for awhile now, haven’t you?’

“Yes, for over a Fir, we have, don’t worry, we’ve got it figured out, just break the communications barrier so when we get H’ruc up here, it won’t take as long to prepare his or her role as the Ambassador.”

“I wonder how genders work in that world, it’s getting annoying saying ‘him or her’.”

“Well, when you’ve broken the communications barrier, you can ask, over and out.” The scientist said before the screen went black.

Isrs and Parngs nodded, and got to work on the drawings and words they would be teaching over the next few Hix’s, when the data uplink was finished, Parngs, Hurs, and Quv got to work on how the information would be presented, and Isrs went over to another table to figure out how to fully communicate with H’ruc

While Hurs and Quv didn’t have to do it, they were as curious as anyone else to study the Vurvians, and there was a lot of papers to go through anyway, so they decided to help out with communications.

“So uh, how do we want to do this?” Asked Hurs, after they looked through their tablets with everything they needed to tell H’ruc about steam power.

“First, we’ll tell them what steam is, give them a general oversight, and show some diagrams and videos, if the scientists back on Orsonis are right, they should have some idea of what steam is, so it shouldn’t be too hard to teach them about it.” Said Parngs.

“Right, we’ll take out the more complicated stuff, and show it to H’ruc later, we gotta teach them to walk before they can fly.”

“That was a very bad pun Parngs,” Said Quv, “Besides, the Vurvians lost the ability to fly, they can only glide now.”

“Shut up,” said Parngs, who smirked.

“Well, let’s just show them the piston steam engine first, show them locomotive stuff later.” Said Hurs, pouring over the diagrams for pistons.

“Yeah, that’s what the scientists were thinking,” Parngs said nodding, “We’ll show them the more advanced stuff later.”

Several hours later, they split up the information to be given over a few Hix’s, while Isrs was finishing up the pictures and diagrams in the lab.

“Isrs, how close are you to finishing up the pictures?” Asked Parngs, who gently floated to her side.

“Almost finished, I’ve made pictures and collected some videos so H’ruc can learn steam, energy, piston, engineering, construction, learning, diagram, reverse engineering, take apart, put together, blacksmith, among some other words and phrases I thought would be relevant.”

“Good, well, when you’re finished, get some sleep, it’s going to be a long day tomorrow.”

“Uh huh,” Agreed Isrs, “Luckily, H’ruc learns fast.”

“Well, he or she, likely already knows all of this, we’re just giving H’ruc a new way of saying something, but here I was groaning at the fact that they might be hard to teach.”

Isrs shook her head, “I’d probably be tearing fur off of myself if they were like that, I mean, they’re cool and all, but I don’t think I’d have the patience of teaching H’ruc one word a day.”

“Well, I’ll leave you to it.” Said Parngs, floating away, back to the centrifuge.

 

The next Day

 

 

 

Isrs and Parngs got all of the papers and diagrams ready, and turned on the live feed from Urncisa to the station, and saw H’ruc striding towards the probe.

Isrs waved her hand in greeting, and H’ruc did an impression of it, before sitting down in front of the probe, “H-heelooo.” H’ruc said, doing his or hers best impression of a greeting.

“Hello, H’ruc, today, we’ll be doing something new,” She said slowly as she picked up a tablet with a diagram for steam power, “Steam,” She said extra slowly, making sure H’ruc would understand.

H’ruc opened their beak a few times, and got the sound out, “Steeem,” He said. Isrs played the video, and H’ruc watched with interest, it showed a video on the way the coal or wood burned, made the water boil, and drive the pistons to make an object move or do something.

When the video was played for the third time, H’ruc drew up something that Isrs couldn’t see what H’ruc was doing so she waited patiently, and several Uris later, he presented a detailed diagram of a steam powered object, which looked like a device used for cutting.

 Isrs looked at it, and asked “Real, or fake?” She asked, which were words H’ruc learned several Yis ago.

“Reeal.” H’ruc said.

“What is its purpose?” She asked. Which was another phrase they had learned.

H’ruc drew something over it and showed it to Isrs, which looked like it cut trees down.

“It’s used for cutting down trees?” She asked.

“Yes, so wee have builldiings.” H’ruc said slowly, his voice sounding raspy at times.

“I think they use trees like we used stone, trees would be an important resource on their world, because most of the surface is covered with them, and aside from mountains, there’s not a whole lot of places to get stone, which is probably why only castles have stone for walls, and wood for everything else,” Parngs said H’ruc looked confused by all of the words, having only understood a few of them.

“Are they used a lot?” Asked Isrs, directing her attention to H’ruc.

“No.” Said H’ruc.

“Have they been used for a long time?” She asked.

“No.” Said H’ruc.

“Do they help?”

“Yes.”

“Are you making different things with steam?”

“No.”

“Are there ideas for making different things with steam?”

“Yes.”

“Alright, well, we’ll be showing you more things that steam can be used for tomorrow, okay?” Said Isrs, with a few hastily drawn pictures from Parngs to convey what she meant.

“Okaaay.”

“Let’s learn some new things now.”

“Okaaay.”

“So you will be coming here soon, you know this, right?”

“Yes,” H’ruc said, straightening up, paying close attention.

“Well, when we pick you up, you will need to bring food with you, okay?” Said Isrs, with a few pictures held up, blocking most of her face.

H’ruc nodded, “Okaaay.”

“You will be here for a long time, will you be okay with that?”

“Loong time?” H’ruc asked.

“Yes, a long time,” Said Isrs drawing something out, Yorson, orbiting the sun, “This world, orbits this star, yes?”

“Yes,” H’ruc said, pointing to Yorson in the background.

“You will be here, for as long as it takes for it to go around once, understand?”

“Nott quiiite.”H’ruc said.

“Um… do you see how the sun moves in the sky and returns every year at the same time?”

“Yes, 1 Ri’s,” H’ruc said.

Isrs remembered that that’s their year, “Yes, that’s how long you will be here.” She said.

“Okaaay.”

“Okay, excellent, so when you come up here, we will train you to be our ambassador, okay?”

Whaat, will I do?”

“You will lead the Vurvians to accept technology, and grow with us.”

“Te-tech-technoologyy. H’ruc tried saying curiously.

“Technology,” said Isrs slowly, “Like steam, or the probe, or this screen, machine’s to help make things easier to use.”

Teechnologyy.” H’ruc said more slowly, “Speelll?” H’ruc asked, requesting her to show him the word.

Isrs quickly drew out the word and showed it to H’ruc, and then he, or she copied it onto a piece of paper, and drew a picture next to it for future reference.

Okay, H’ruc, we’ve been doing this for over four Uris, so we will continue tomorrow, okay?”

“Okaaay.” H’ruc said.

“Goodbye.” Said Isrs as she pushed a button, making the screen go black. She opened and closed her mouth a few times, “My mouth is dry, we should bring water down here so we can talk without getting throat rashes, and I’m going to need some medicine to make sure I don’t get a sore throat tomorrow.”

“You know, I can take over sometimes,” started Parngs, but Isrs shook her head.

“No, we need to be consistent, I need to be here communicating with H’ruc, even if that means staying here longer,” feeling uneasy and sad on the inside at the thought of not seeing Turgins for a long time, maybe they could meet before she had to continue to communicate to the Vurvians.

Space travel, Power, Science, Federation, Trade, Knowledge, among other words were taught to over the next few days, he or she was learning fast, and sooner or later, H’ruc was going to be at the station learning how to lead the Vurvians to technological status.

Isrs hoped that H’ruc would be up for all of this, and wondered if they were asking too much of H’ruc, and the Vurvians.

 

Edited by Spaceception
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So what are your guys' opinions on these chapters? Any thoughts on how I can improve them in the second draft?

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Besides spelling, I don't think much needs to be improved.

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21 hours ago, electricpants said:

Besides spelling, I don't think much needs to be improved.

Like what, specifically?

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General grammatical errors that you made such as "in a couple year’s time" (What does the year own? Nothing. So there's not supposed to be an apostrophe) and many others.

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29 minutes ago, electricpants said:

General grammatical errors that you made such as "in a couple year’s time" (What does the year own? Nothing. So there's not supposed to be an apostrophe) and many others.

Not grammar, storyline elements.

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Just now, Spaceception said:

Not grammar, storyline elements.

Ah, I see.

I think the storyline is great, and I like how in chapter 3 you took it into the perspective of the Vurvians.

Maybe you should do more of that, switching from the Elordians to the Vurvians every other chapter.

Besides that, I don't believe much needs to be changed in terms of storyline.

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Just now, electricpants said:

Ah, I see.

I think the storyline is great, and I like how in chapter 3 you took it into the perspective of the Vurvians.

Maybe you should do more of that, switching from the Elordians to the Vurvians every other chapter.

One step ahead of you kermit, chapters 5,  7, 9, 11, 13, 15, and 17 will have Vurvian POV :)

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