Wednesday, October 2, 2013

The Spacefarer

Previously: Night Of The Fallen 


Just beyond the reaches of the ocean world's dense atmosphere, the Planetship lay motionless in its orbit. It drifts across the blue planet like a broken satellite bound for re-entry. The mothership's signs of life - of motion - happens only when its massive thrusters fire their engines. It does so to regain altitude. Twice, it was observed that a transport vessel leaves the belly of the gargantuan spacecraft. The ships never return from their expedition. The fate of their crews lie entombed beneath the ocean surface.

The Planetship's command structure may not be aware, but they are being watched from a distance. Highly advanced and religiously observant, this alien race has been with the blue sphere since the time it began attracting star dwellers like the people of the Planetship. They know the ones who stayed behind, and those who have returned again and again. And at this conspicuous moment, two pairs of eyes track the massive machine's eccentric movement. Seen from a bridge made of crystals and organic tissues, the beings spoke in a language only their ancient species understood.

"Stay... They desire." The squid-like creature's voice ululates across the damp chamber. His tentacled companion looks at him and warbles his reply.

"They leave and come back." Air from his breathing organs is compressed to produce a sound. It then travels through his five vocal chords before the words come out of his curved mouthpiece.

"Before, they were here too." His voice trills. "Only this time, they made two planetfalls."

The two creatures then turn their eyes toward the viewscreen; to tap stored photographic memories of an earlier time when the Planetship was spotted close to the blue planet. They counted three sightings. Each reappearance is as brief as the previous one. The longest perhaps, happens only now.

"What do you think do they seek?" The elder creature asked.


"There is no shelter here." The elder warned. Brittle suction pads hover over one of the nodules latched into the console and the viewscreen reveals the surface of the waterworld. "The certainty of finding a spot to build cities is the same as the islands disappearing under the ocean."

"Then why do they come back? The younger one inquired.

"To find spacefaring races like them..."

"Huh? And then what?" The rookie seems confused with his superior's reply.

"... whose thoughts long to find a world."


"They would then seek soft fertile ground to start over and replant their lives."

The squid-like creatures with gnarled tentacles for appendages know this truth from watching other beings direct their fleets into the ocean planet. Unlike the dwellers of the Planetship, they go to the surface until they run out of crews to send. Left with no people to look after the ships still in orbit, the interstellar machines enter the planet's atmosphere and disintegrates mid-air. Those who survive the crash become permanent inhabitants of the blue planet.

Snippets of harvested memories continue to flood the thoughts of the two observers, that they fail to see the subtle, but growing distortion around the Planetship. With a flash of light followed by a ripple in the fabric of space, the massive edifice ferrying an entire civilization was gone, leaving nothing in its wake. Stunned, the squid-like creatures fall silent. Unable to fathom what just happened.

"Into hyperspace they fly." The younger's ululation resonates with disappointment.

"They will return." Assures the elder. "I know they will." 

"And what if they don't?"

Closing his eyes in resignation, the much superior of the two creatures answers in a low humming sound.

"Then maybe, they have found a world."

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