At the top of one of the several hundred blue mountains that rose from the ground in that distant planet, under a night of stars and dreams, above a sleeping city, a conversation began to take place.
“Do you know what day it is?” A man of silver skin and shining eyes asked without turning.
“No…” A young mind answered, one which had been born into an eternal body, ignorant of the millennia that preceded him, without thinking much on the questions he was hearing.
“Today is the day we remember the dead.” The voice of the prehistoric man explained, his voice resonating in the valleys between the mountains.
We sailed away many days ago. It’s strange because sometimes I forget what I did the day before, or sometimes I forget why I walked into a room. The everyday memories of our travels are fleeting. Our actions routinary, but I will never forget the day we left, no matter how far away that day is from my present.
I remember walking to our vessel. Thousands upon thousands of people watched us from afar, from a safe distance. It looked like a sea, and they roared like one too. The many voices of the people I belong to echoed through the valley as one, like the waves of an ocean hitting the shore at dawn. *It was dawn*. The dawn of a new era, and there we walked up to the shore, ready to venture out into the open black sea of space.
Do you see our white skin? It’s not the color we are born with. It’s a color that’s given to us. Once the young ones shed their birth color, they are ready for the hunt.
So you want to hear the tale? Is this why you’re here? They tell me you came from the sky, but I don’t believe them. That’s okay. They are young still. Gullible. There’s plenty explanations for that. Maybe you were raised inside a cave, maybe you’re afraid to be outside, it doesn’t matter. You’re not my enemy, so I am not your enemy. I will tell you the tale, but you will do something for me. It’s just a small thing, it’s nothing you can’t do. Once I’m done I will tell you what it is, and you will do it. The guards will not let you leave if you don’t, so I ask… Do you want to hear the tale?
Somewhere inside the large desert that was Earth, under a full moon and a clear sky, the last man watched the stars from inside his small home through a broken window. Sometimes he would count them, sometimes he would stare at a specific few and follow them across the darkness until he fell asleep; And as he did he would listen to the whistling of the wind as it passed through the cracks and the cavities of the mountain behind the house that he had built.
Some nights it was quieter than others, but it was always there. And on occasions, when the wind was strong, it almost seemed to speak, yelling out long drawn out words that he would try to understand. Perhaps it was the world telling whoever would listen its secrets. Perhaps it was just the mountain, saying ‘good night’ to the sole remaining climber to climb its walls.
In the darkness of her bedroom, she sat. Listening to the voice of the man on the other end, listening to the voice she had known for many years, saying what people say when they don’t know how to say goodbye.
“What will you remember? You know… about us… What will you think of when you’re out there?”
In the corner of a small room, staring out through a small window into the vastness of outer space, towards the blue sphere of Earth, he stood. He wanted a little privacy from the hundred other men who stood around and behind him, and staring out into infinity gave him that sense. Seemingly alone, floating through a black sea.
In a distant planet of a distant stellar system, under the dimming light of an orange star, a man stood silent, staring at his fallen ship. He didn’t know what had happened, he didn’t know how he had ended up in that alien planet, with his fate almost sealed, with his crew dead and buried.
“This is Captain Van Kelt. The Tero 4 has suffered a catastrophic accident. Its wreckage lays now on planet SE-8388. If anyone is out there, I ask only that you come back for our bodies, for I’ll be long dead before these radio waves reach you. Have a good journey, my friends. Over and out.”
Image created by John Erickson
Darkness engulfed Earth. Acid and ash rained over the continents. The wind screamed as it passed through the cracks and the holes and the windows of the decaying cities. A sad melody rang over its atmosphere reaching every corner of the world to remind its non-existent inhabitants of the death they had endured.
A beep echoed in the cockpit of the Starship Sphenis, eighty thousand light-years away, on the other side of the Milky Way galaxy.
Uh… Ruben what was that?
“What was what?”
Didn’t you just get a message? I think I heard a beep.
“We’re in the middle of something.”
It could be from the empire.
“Just answer the question.”
Fine… well, are we stopping by planet Hunnon on the way back?
I could really use some of their-
Another beep from the command center resonated around them.
Just look at the message!
Ruben Malvarma, one of the last remaining penguins in the galaxy sighed at the voice in his head. “Okay!”
He walked across the bright room, across the metal floors and under the glass ceiling, through the myriad lights of the thousand controls and touched a glowing screen that read: “New Message.”