Before the long journey

Rachael

 

From the gate it was a short walk to the ship, under the high protective dome which had been erected on their arrival the year before. The leader could see his crew was excited: they would find back their cubicles, their personal possessions, holograms, books, games, even the small pets they were allowed to keep on the journey. They would also find, for the lucky ones, messages from family and friends. He looked at each of them, smiling, as they stood before the door, at the foot of the small elevator. They exchanged jokes and greetings. Over half of them were humans, fourth or fifth generation colonists who had volunteered for the reconnaissance of their old world. The others were replicants, but an uninformed observer could not have guessed. He thought the replicants tended to be smaller and somehow more fragile looking, many were women for whom it was the first long range spatial experience. From what his first officer had told him, he knew already that it was them who had been the most agitated until his return. Now they were all boarding slowly and orderly the big ship.

He found the size and glow of the hull pleasing. Two thirds of the vessel were taken up by the drive, the giant fusion reactor that allowed the ship to achieve trans galactic speed. But they would use the much smaller magnetic drive to leave the earth. The leader had several hours of tests and preparations to work through before their departure. He was looking forward to this work. Himself a replicant of the twelfth generation, cosmonauts and navigators, he would steer the ship into orbit, and then out of the solar system. The entire crew, bar himself and the first officer, would then be sent to cryogenic sleep for most of the journey. This would happen about a year after their departure from earth.

As he initiated the first test programs, the leader reflected on their mission. It had been a great success. They had plenty of recordings and measurements. Non-human life was now again plentiful on earth. The machines the previous mission had left to roam the oceans had done  beautiful work of removing and destroying the plastic and other noxious material that polluted them. The atmosphere was clean.

There was more. One of the replicant ladies expected a baby. The first human being conceived on earth for three hundred years.

Picture: Rachael, Blade Runner

Stillness #writephoto

Thursday photo prompt

 

weymouth-028

 

“… No, we can’t detect any sign of human or humanoid life anywhere… There is plenty of life in the water, on land too, mammals and birds… plenty of beautiful insects…”

“What about buildings, traces of recent organised activities?”

“There are ruins, covered with vegetation, some remnants of railroads… We have scanned what looks like bombed-out urban complexes, mostly under water, on what might have been the coast line, before the floods…”

“Can you confirm the telemetry: any trace of emissions, radioactivity?”

“All confirmed. Radioactivity is stronger around the old nuke power stations, mostly flooded, but weakening. As our satellites showed, there is no radio emission. Some structures look like ancient observatories, on remote mountains. All dead.”

“Okay, it looks as if there is nothing for us to do here. Just complete the scans, and then come back when you are done. The orders are to continue to explore the remaining planets in the system. Just in case some of them have escaped there…”

 

Span #writephoto

Thursday photo prompt

span-2

 

What we see, the beauty around us, the clear water, the trees… We do not have words, in your language, to express our admiration, no, our love for your world. Where we come from, but you could not start imagining what it means, there is no such beauty. I should say, there is no longer such beauty. You would understand why we have travelled for so long, so far.

So, we are here now, though you don’t know it yet. But you will, soon. You see, we have longed searched for a world like yours, still full of the marvels of nature. We know you are not worthy of it, and possibly, some of you know it as well. But it does not matter.

Across the universe you are not alone, to spoil the beauty, to destroy every gift you received, in the name of greed. Sheer stupidity. As those old stones, on the ancient bridge, can testify. Blinded by your own delusion, you don’t even sense that your end is nigh.

So, we are here now. Just in time. We will eliminate you, that is so easy, we will clear the damage, restore the earth and the oceans to their pristine state. We will plant trees. For we are small, but immensely strong, we do not need much to live on, and leave no trace. We are the future of this world, and of all its other inhabitants. We are your Nemesis.

Daily Prompt: I Was Here

You are the first astronaut to arrive on a new, uncharted planet. Write the note that you leave to those who come after you.

Shawn Dulaney  - Heavy Sea, 2011 I know that, like me, you will find this place strange and beautiful. Sadly, I won’t be here to share your joy with you, so it is from the bottom of my soul that I want to warn you, for, by the time you arrive here, be it in five centuries, or in five years, or in five millennia, I won’t be here to tell you face to face. I also know that you may not believe me.

This planet is beautiful, of a beauty that I, who has travelled through space and time for eons, have never seen, ever, anywhere else. Perhaps you will find some descriptions of such beauty in novels. Two thirds of the surface is covered with oceans: yes, you read correctly, water! The hills and mountains are covered with seasonal flowers and ancient trees. There are ruins, very old, although some appear more recent. I found the atmosphere clean and, for our kind, breathable. The only worrying measurement I made, was a high level of radioactivity, and this is not background, it comes from the ground. I have not found, in the time I had free to look, a clear explanation. Some volcanoes are still active, but their activity is not recent enough or high enough to explain the high level.

I fear that some terrible events in some antiquity may account for this observation. What I want to say before I go, and this is my warning, is that this world is only inhabited by insects, and some small crustaceans in the oceans, as far as I could find out. With one exception: I met a creature, evidently intelligent, and of some humanoid kind, although wearing what looked like a primitive space suit. That creature gave me twenty four hours of the planet time to leave, or face summary execution. The creature did not give me time to ask questions. “It” quickly disappeared, after warning me that any other following visitors would face the same fate, but this time, without warning. After it had gone, I realised the creature had spoken my tongue without effort or hesitation. I was confounded.

I leave this in the most obvious place for you to find, as it seems some kind of monument that no doubt you will see from space.

Please leave as soon as you have read this.

Image: Shawn Dulaney  – Heavy Sea, 2011

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