Chapter 4: Hostile Elements
They had settled the ship along the terminator point of Earth's moon, the soft and pitted landscape shimmering a dull grey under the light. As soon as the ship had settled, ACe immediately went into observation mode, pooling most of the ship's power towards scanning, listening and watching the planet as it sat there shinning in the dark like some blue and white marble.The ship's audio speakers were overlapping various comms chatter on the planet, seemed to be listening and filtering through everything, pulling up random landmasses on the surface and putting them through various scanning programs; infrared, broad-based mineral viewers, various other spectral analysis scans, the works.
"There!" ACe suddenly barked out. "There! Right there! I have something." K'orrza glanced up at the holo-monitor, brow plate slightly furrowed. ACe pulled up a large cross section of what looked like the southwestern section of one of the planet's larger landmasses. "What? What's the matter?" K'orrza asked. ACe moved closer to the control console, taking that small slice of land and magnifying it. It appeared to be, at first glance, just a small, nondescript little settlement of oblong buildings, asphalt streets, and a thin, nearly three mile long runway. It was nestled at the southern shore of some long dried out lake bed, the bleached and harsh white soil looking like a large icy blob in the middle of a desert. The area was surrounded by sandy yellowed tundra, red colored hills and mountains; virtually an oasis in an otherwise lifeless speck of land. ACe pulled up a scanning grid over the buildings, channeling through various programs until a small, golden orb appeared to pulsate on the screen. "There, you see that?" ACe said. K'orrza simply frowned, still not understanding. "I can see what appears to be some kind of....anomaly, but it's showing in the middle of nowhere. I don't see anything on the surface."
ACe swiveled to look Korrza, "That's because this power source is underground. Deep underground." K'orrza waited. "And....?" "And..." ACe responded, "based on extensive and repeated analysis of the source, it's coming from an Adronian slip space engine." K'orrza gawked. "Adronian? What in the name of the abyss are Adronians doing this far out and on an inhabited planet?" ACe pulled up the entire facility into a 3D map, showing the initial surface scan and the deep ground penetrating radar/L-adar image of a virtual catacomb hive of underground tunnels and buildings. The power source was pulsating from the deepest, largest chamber in the image. "I don't think they're there of their own volition," ACe seemed to say matter-of-factly. "I believe their ship has been captured."
ACe and Korrza were back in the tech lab, looking at the large, nearly room-filling 3D image of the facility in question. "The locals call it 'Area 51.' Based on the data I've pulled from various sources, It's gotten a sort of clan-destine conspiracy theory moniker labeled all over it. A Top-Secret test facility for highly advanced military airplanes, supposed base of operations for captured extraterrestrial ships, and possibly a base for "alien" encounters. And based on what I've been able to decipher from their communications chatter, most of those theories are right." ACe began to compile every tech advancement that the human race had managed to make in the last 30 cycles. "Fiber wire, or what they call "fiber-optics," Micro-processing, superconductors, radar and L-adar stealth coating, night-vision amplification, I could list off nearly three hundred other advancements these humans have made since they first started reverse-engineering the Adronian's scouter that initially crashed," ACe pulled up another cross section of the map of the south western section of the United States (as ACe eventually told K'orzza) and magnified the area, "here, in Roswell, New Mexico, approximately 1,108.25 metreclicks from where it currently resides. The ship crashed on Earth date July 7, 1941 A.D. Nearly seventy two cycles ago. There were two survivors but, according to secret intel, they passed away and were autopsied a few clicks later."
K'orrza nodded, feeling his stomach turn in uncomfortable butterflies. "What do we know of the Adronians by the way?" ACe pulled up a image of your typical Adronian; tall, thin and frail looking creatures, with four fingers, large bulbous heads and very large almond shaped black eyes. "Your typical Adronian, generally green to olive skinned, 6.4 to 6.8 quads in height. They have a sub-species slave/labor class known as Archons, or what the Earthians call "the Greys." Ardronia Prime resides here," ACe pulled the image of Earth back, pulled up the galaxy map of a binary star system, the small red planet of Adronia Prime, circling around the larger star of the two, "in sector 259.17-A. Roughly seventy nine slipcycles from our current position. Their tech is comparable to ours since becoming slip space capable roughly one thousand cycles after our own species."
K'orrza frowned. "So how in the name of the abyss did they end up here?" he wondered. ACe did that "shrug" thing again. "If I had to guess, probably in the same way we did. Deep space exploration, made contact with their Voyager probe, went in to investigate. Got caught, unlike us. That these humans have a stolen Adronian scouter hidden away in one of their most secure military installation gives us all the evidence that their tech-theft is an extreme cause for alarm."
K'orrza put his hands up and waved them gently, "Now wait. Slow down ACe. Not EVERYTHING these humans have come up with over the last thirty cycles could have come come directly from Adronian tech. You and I both know they were able to crack the atomic code by themselves, what's to say that they weren't able to do the same thing with some of the other tech jumps you pointed out on their own?" he asked. ACe shook his head. "Directly, no, they didn't just gut the Adronian ship and tech advance by about three hundred cycles. They took their time, dissected and "invented" the small stuff after taking some time to study it. Fiber-op--fiber wire, micro-chips, those they introduced subtly. It didn't happen overnight, of course, but going from computers that were nearly a hangar's length in diameter that couldn't even properly formulate the mathematical equation of pi down to handheld communication devices that have nearly quadruple that processing power in less than one hundred cycles screams of reverse-engined tech. Given another twenty cycles, if even that long, and it'll be a mathematical certainty that they'll "introduce" anti-grav capabilities. That will push them closer to crossing the threshold of slip space capabilities. That is what will make them dangerous."
"Dangerous how?" K'orrza asked, crossing his arms. ACe leaned his camera forward. "You've seen how casual they look at violence, how desensitized they are to it. They're not ready. They're too militaristic. If they spread out into the galaxy, the mathematical certainty that they go to simply conquer and destroy other civilizations is beyond refute. They have no unified government, no unified currency, no unified religion. Why? Because their draconian religious ideologies dictate that it would be evil. A sign of their "end of days." And so they wage war with themselves and kill and murder their own kind because of these archaic dogmas. They're not a truly sentient species. They're just slightly evolved animals that steal and murder and destroy anything that tries to resist. And if they're given the ability to expand out across the stars unchecked, everything, every last thing that the High Council has ever accomplished, all of its advancements, all of its achievements," ACe leaned forward even more, "all of it. ALL of it will face inevitable annihilation by a species that is neither ready nor capable of understanding that the universe is bigger than they are. That they're not special. That they're not unique. They're simply a very small speck of dirt on a very large galactic playing field."
K'orrza could feel a chill running up his spine. This conversation had taken a unexpectedly morbid turn. Listening to ACe spout off (in a very angry and almost fanatical way he noted) against a species that they only recently found, how so profoundly ready he was to judge them based on circumstantial evidence; evidence that yes, deemed them violent, but also capable of such beauty and of such creativity. To dismiss them as vermin, in ACe's eyes....eh eye, just seemed unnatural in a way. He was a creation of the Council, of the Exploratory Committee, but he was also capable of forming rational and independent thought. A "free will in the wire" so to speak. So it wasn't hard to discern that he saw humanity in a less than admirable light. And to do it so...fast. That positronic brain of his was capable of it, but it didn't make him correct, even if he was the most advanced artificial creation of his time.
"So why don't we simply teach them to be responsible with the gifts they currently have?" K'orrza asked. "I'm pretty sure that, according to you, the Adronian tech is too imbedded in their every day lives for them to simply do a reverse course and give it all up. But as explorers, as scientists, as keepers of Abborian law and tradition, then isn't it simply our duty to help show them the way? A better way than what they're currently on? Yes they're dangerous, but they're also capable of art, science, open-mindedness, free will. Those are tools that we can use to help them. Guide them. Teach them."
ACe seemed to take it all in for less than half a bit before shaking the camera. "That's a noble ideal, Protectorate. And at one time that might have been a possibility. But that's not going to happen. I've sent a report to the homeworld. The High Council has decreed that a punitive force must be sent to Earth. Under Council orders both the planet Earth and Adronia Prime are hereby annexed under the Abborian Hegemony and protocol 625-2 is to be maintained until their arrival." K'orrza took a moment to recall what that was, which was simply to enter visual observation mode until further notice. No transmissions to or from the ship would be possible during that time. K'orrza didn't like this at all. In fact, the steady taste of bile in his throat made this whole incident seem.....almost predetermined. "So tell me," he asked. "What will this....punitive force do once they arrive?"
ACe turned to glance at the planet out of the view port. "Simple. They clean slate the entire planet and start over......"
Short Story: Starlight and Song
Blog entry posted by wastelander75, Jun 27, 2012.