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Floating Star

As Bryan stood on the edge of the landing board that extended from the spacecraft, he started to marvel at the pale blue star in the distant horizon. Over the long journey of four hundred years, this was the first time Bryan had seen a star that looked this beautiful. "Could there be organisms on that star or was it hot like the last blue star they had landed on?"

"Bryan!" suddenly a voice called from behind. He turned around to see Elise. She still had the same hollow looks, which he had seen earlier that evening, in her eyes. Bryan looked at her very worried. She put up a stinted smile on her face and looked inquisitively. Bryan pretended to smile too, but he knew something wasn't right. He couldn't control himself any further.

He asked, "What is it?"
"What is what?" she replied in a question!
"What is this amazing look that I see in your eyes?"
"I am a liar. These eyes of mine are no different. And why would you be concerned?"
"Un ami a ses raisons!" (A friend has his reasons.)
"Tu t'appelle un ami? Je regarde pas!" (You call yourself a friend? I don't see nothing.) He sniggered.
"No jokes. What's wrong with you?"
"You will call me mad."
"I won't. Would you believe me?" He looked more closely at Elise's eyes and whispered, "You do believe me, or," he paused, "is it all a mistake?"
"Last night, I had an amazing dream. I saw pictures of a place I have never visited in my life - a beautiful place. Do you know what it is?"
"You should be happy, you saw a beautiful place. Why are you…"

She interrupted, "No then I saw, some creatures looking like us, they make an unusual craft that suddenly explodes and the beautiful place burns to ashes within seconds. Who would do such a horrible task?"

"May be they were enemy warriors sent to destroy this beautiful land you speak of."
"No the creatures also died."
"Suicidal attack!"
"What attack!" she exclaimed.
"Suicidal attack an unusual form of art by which organisms seem to get amused by killing or hurting themselves. Some scientists say, this is practiced by creatures on certain stars as a form of territorial warfare. Of course, the existence of such creatures is yet to be established."
"If we haven't yet discovered such creatures, how do we know about this 'suicidal attack' that you speak of?"
"I don't know, I never took an active interest in organology. I am a creator, I design spacecrafts! It was a dream, forget it. Look at that beautiful star. I have never seen such a beautiful shade of blue and green in my life of four thousand years."
"Nor have I."

Suddenly, the door behind them opened. A middle aged man, in grey beard and hair with brown patches, came out. "Michaud and Freedman, you are summoned by Supreme Chao. Report immediately!" The three of them left in a hurry and reached a large door at the end of a long narrow corridor lined with images of various stars.

Elise and Bryan bowed low and the middle aged man left after a short bow. Supreme Chao was an elderly looking man, dressed in white. He had spectacles on his eyes and a large volume of book lay open in front of him, while a screen behind him showed some images. Elise saw the images and stood stunned for a while.

Supreme Chao spoke out, "Elise, do these images appear familiar to you, my dear?"
"Yes Supreme, they do, I have seen these images in a horrible nightmare last night. Are these real, Supreme?"
"That is why I have called you two. Bryan Freedman, is that your name?"
"Yes Supreme."
"You are a space craft creator. You and Elise will go to that blue star." A smile flowed across Bryan's face. "My knowledge of creatures in this universe is certainly more than that of the two of you combined."
"Certainly, Supreme!" said Elise and Bryan.
"I have never seen images such as these such devastation! Who are these ruthless creatures?"
"But why are we being sent to that blue star?" asked Bryan.
"You have presented the Council of Navigators with a craft that you had sent to the blue star. You have not had an opportunity to view the material on the craft's video units yourself, I see!"
"No supreme, I have not! What information have we got from them? Something useful I hope!"
"Your machine works very well Congratulations! The video unit seems to have been interfered by some sort of signal, that signal had these images! Do you know how a signal could have overwritten your video unit's memory when it had no contact with it?"
"I have studied that there are signals called magnetoelectrons, which may pass through total void. Yes but how could they have such accurate images?"
"That is what I want you two to find out. You will not go alone to that strange place. A unit of 5 crew members, including you, will go. We will use the Saviour 51. You designed it I believe."

As the Saviour entered the new star's outer surface of gaseous mass, Elise suddenly screamed out. She whispered, "Bryan I am having those images again. Horrible! Monstrous!" Then she fainted. Bryan looked at the readings on the Saviour's internal meters, everything looked normal. "Then what?" he thought. Suddenly the craft started to vibrate and then it started to bump as if its motion was being resisted by something. The heat censors showed as increase in the surface temperature of the craft. Bryan smiled at Jean, who said "Atmosphere, eh?" Bryan smiled again shaking his head in affirmative. He frowned and whispered "Organisms too?" Marie looked askance "I heard that", she said, "The prospect of that is bright, see the composition 15% Combusto that should support life. The rest is Azoto and some Kryptono and related gases stability!" Bryan looked thoughtfully at the readings; he was waiting to see what had interfered with his craft's video units still no sign of it. Elise recovered and ejaculated "Monstrous! I saw the same thing again. This time someone said, 'Long live Merik!' What could this mean?" Jean thought for a while and said "Merik? Hmm…I don't think I've read about that one, but I'm pretty sure there's something close to it I once read about." The mystery was not in a mood to give in, they all thought.

The Saviour hovered at some height above ground, which was covered by debris and dust. The sky looked blue with patches of white thick gases, whose name according to Jean was "cumulus." They were still searching for evidence when suddenly everyone was shocked to hear a tone on their audio unit "Save us" and the signal was off. Bryan immediately looked into the module controls in an attempt to track the signal. It was coming from directly below where they were. "How could that be? All I see underneath our craft on the screen is bare ground." Elise exclaimed. "Underground dwellings, sweetheart, don't remember the Galacos people?" Jean clarified. Bryan and Alex, the team leader, decided they should land and investigate.

Three hours later the Saviour was on its way back to its mother-craft with three dwarves that the team had rescued from an underground cavern, who were being kept in isolation. Marie had also collected some air, soil and sample of a green liquid that the dwarves called "water" - found in abundance and Jean had used Bryans panoromatiser to create a numeric image of the surrounding for analysis. Everyone was satisfied in his/her own way, except Elise who still wondered what her dream meant.

In a large room, the medcins were still observing the dwarves, who had been put in a room concealed in one-way glass walls. One of the medcins brought out a report to Supreme Chao; the report had some observations limited vision, strong sense of smell, sensitivity to magnetoelectrons, slow reflex, resistance to extreme heat and cold. Supreme Chao narrowed his eyes and a smile played on his face, he pushed the report towards Bryan and said "Your magnetoelectrons, my dear; see if it makes any sense." "And have the dwarves been able to say anything themselves?" Supreme asked the medcin. Dr Migako replied, "No Supreme. They say they don't know for how many generations they had been living in that cavern. They don't eat; they seem to absorb energy from magneto-electrons. They say they were not allowed to get out of the cavern by their parents; so they never went out. Recently they had been suffering from lack of energy which is why they were using a machine, which of course, the Designer (he pointed to Bryan) has brought with him, to communicate with us."

Supreme turned to Bryan, who was still reading again and again the report, and said "Yes Designer? What does that machine do?"
"I have found it supreme" Bryan replied with a smile.
"Found what?"
"It all makes sense. Supreme I would present myself in an hour's time before you."
An hour later, Bryan appeared before the Supreme. The rest of the crew members were there too. Supreme looked inquiringly at Bryan and he started.

"I have analysed the machine that they were using very carefully, Supreme. It appears to me that this machine has records of past communications dating back tens of thousands of years - roughly the same time when we first colonised in Maisonneuve. It appears that they were about to send a craft to space, a process they call 'launching'. They were about to do it. After that for about a thousand years the machine was not used. Then the machine has records of some unusual phenomena. The records have been physically altered by something called electromagnetic waves, a term that seems to refer to what we call 'magneto-electrons'. However these seem to have been done in some code that does not contain audio messages a code I have not been able to decipher. These creatures apparently are very dependent on magneto-electrons for living."

"But you still leave us in darkness, Freedman." Chao said after a pause "Elise's dreams still make no sense. Plus when we colonised Maisonneuve, we were coming from a planet in this star system, ture." As Supreme Chao said this last sentence, everyone stared at him astounded. He continued, "Yes our records show we were sent to colonise Maisonneuve about 53000 years ago. Our origin was in a planet called 'Terre' in this star system. It's descriptions are in the ancient manuscripts, and…….it was blue in colour." Here Supreme Chao stopped while others still looked at their leader in amazement. He started again "The manuscripts describe our ancestors that clearly show that they looked like us, a bit shorter in average, heavier, had less evolved thinking capabilities than ourselves, but physically resembled us. But these dwarves look very different. They have small pin-point eyes, they are half of our height, they have no hair practically, their noses are indistinguishable from the facial surface except as two separate holes, their food assimilation parts are improperly developed and their mental capabilities are practically zero. I am surprised how they even communicated with us. They certainly are not our ancestors or their progenies."

"Bryan how much do we know about magneto-electrons?" Jean asked.
"Practically, nothing!" Bryan replied
"And why not?" Elise came up.
"Our ancient manuscripts had strict orders that we must not work on them they were considered dangerous"

Suddenly the worried expressions were replaced by a smile on Marie's face and Bryan looked at her and smiled too.

"I think our two young friends here can finally bring us into light here." Supreme Chao smiled and then continued "Nadeau first?"
"Supreme, the magneto-electrons could alter the way that our body functions, by the presence of a substance called dncodes. If these dncodes are changed we could be made to look different, which probably explains why the dwarves have changed from the ancestors. The fact that their diets have changed due to lack of availability of solid food, can be attributed to magneto-electrons as well, Supreme a process known as 'metamorphose des dncodes' something the manuscript calls 'adaptation.'" Marie clarified.

"And will Freedman tell us what Elise saw in her dreams?"
Bryan said "Yes Supreme. The crafts were being sent to space or 'launched' when they exploded. They probably contained material that emitted magneto-electrons. Yes of course, we did find traces of substances that resist flow or magneto-electrons; so the craft was designed with such materials, but it exploded, which is what Elise saw in her dreams. The creatures died out because they were not used to the magneto-electrons. Those that survived…"

"Adapted!" Marie interrupted.
"Right" Bryan continued "They were 'launching' a spacecraft full of material that was poisonous for them to relieve themselves of the poison."

"No" Supreme Chao interfered, "They were trying to kill us." Everyone looked aghast at Supreme, who went on, "After we reached Maisonneuve, we stopped obeying commands from le Terre. Most unions called 'countries' did not objects to our freedom. However, one union called America opposed it, when we refused to allow them to use our research facilities at their free will. Plans were drawn up against the will of other unions to destroy Maisonneuve. However since we never were attacked we believed the plans had been cancelled as the Americans had previous history of kindness, as they had written in their section of the manuscript."

"See that's where I had heard it. Not Merik, Amerique. They occupied a major part of the section on Nature studies in the manuscripts. They had also destroyed some three other colonies because of insubordination. I hate them." Suddenly everyone was silent and Supreme Chao shouted out.

"Hatred! Again! Don't you see what they got out of it? Destruction of our home! A planet of billions, now see what they have three dwarves who are mentally retarded! Their complacency led to their destruction. Do we want it to happen to us? Do we?"

The crew chimed in "No we don't"
Three weeks later the dwarves died despite the best efforts since there was not magneto-electron on board to feed them. The sources on Terre was also depleting rapidly. Terre was destroyed to make sure no one ever learnt about the dark ages of the history of the Maisonneuvians.

By Urnonav





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