| Captain’s Log: 8905.675. The attack on Scorpio came while we were all in the life suspension chambers, and by a Zorian battle crosier. I doubt that we have anything to be concerned with this deep in space – but what if that attack had been a little better aimed? I shutter at the possibility. End Entry.
“Cord, is that you?” comes the voice from deep inside the Out Room.
“You wait here,” Cord insists, pointing his wrinkled finger at Mot, “I will be right back.” He then turns and disappears through the Out Room opening.
Mot stands shaking his head as disturbing voices come flowing from the small room. His mind is bewildered at the most recent turn of events. Why is Cord acting as he is, and even more puzzling is how is it possible that Cord, a Scientist, is allowed to speak with the Great Posh so freely?
Mot is shaken back to reality by an unfriendly harsh voice. “Get in here, Scientist!”
He has absolutely no idea what is going on when he enters the Out Room but finds the Great Posh and Cord both standing and looking at him. And neither is smiling!
Posh motions toward a sitting place and tells Mot to sit. He then takes the seat to his right while Cord sits to his left.
“Scientist, what you have done with your Translator machine is truly a great feat,” Posh begins. “But I am afraid a grave mistake has been made.”
Mot’s face is drawn in confusion and mistrust as he sits silent and listening. And his eyes follow the Great Posh when he stands and begins pacing back and forth as he talks. “At a time before your existence, even before your father’s existence and before his father’s existence our planet was not as you see it today. Space travel was a common affair and voyages between the galaxies were exciting, challenging and happy times.”
Posh then stops his pacing and looks hard at Mot, “These ’things’ from planet Earth, as you refer to them, have met us many times in our past.”
Mot can not take his eyes off of the Great Posh as he continues to relay information that is beyond his
comprehension, information that until this very moment has been locked away and hidden as a deep dark dirty secret. And as Posh again takes a seat next to Mot, he continues, “The Scientists of that time invented a means of space travel faster than what the mind is capable of understanding – and they called it ‘The Maser-link’ after the scientist that first had the idea.”
Posh, obviously very uneasy with divulging so much guarded information, again stands and again begins to pace. “But that is not important.”
The great leader of the Governors then stops in front of Mot; his eyes take on a serious stare and with his chin quivering his word stern he says. “Scientist Mot, what is important is what happened on one voyage to a far away galaxy.”
Posh moves to the far side of the small Out Room, looks back at Mot and as he slowly walks toward him, he continues. “We have visited this planet Earth many times. We attempted to make contact, to make friends and to invite these barbaric aliens into a peace alliance.” And again Posh sits, “But with each of our attempts the ‘things from planet Earth’ ran away in fright and they hid from us. They spread rumors about us and their leaders tried to convince their people that we did not exist and that we were nothing but a bad thought."
Mot looks at Cord who is looking at the floor and shaking his head. The Great Posh then begins to show much anger as his skin turn rose red and his eyes tear over, he then snarls, “But on this one visit one of our space travel machines developed mechanical problems and crashed onto planet Earth!”
Posh’s anger builds to a level Mot has never seen, an anger that is dangerously out of control and he continues, “In the name of Science these monsters from planet Earth cut our people to pieces.” Posh moves from Mot and to the other side of the room then stops, turns and with tears streaming from his eyes, his anger at its peak he screams, “Our people were still alive!”
The Great Posh is unable to continue as he sits sobbing when Cord stands to the front of Mot. “My friend, the Scientists of that time recalled all space travelers and then all space machines were destroyed.” Cord then sits to Mot’s side, “The Governors revolted and took control of Shum and with the exception of only a few, the Scientists of that time were forced into the Squall fields.”
The Great Posh regains his composure and takes up where Cord had finished. “The Scientists that were allowed to remain Scientists were given a status lower than any living creature on Shum. And they were tasked to develop an organism to protect them from a feared invasion from planet Earth. These creatures were called the Pails, and their prime directive was to destroy any life form that was not of Shum.”
Posh points his finger at Mot and with his anger again building, he concludes, “The Pails of today are as dedicated at their duty as were the Pails of so long ago. And that is exactly as they will remain. And, if any of these things from planet Earth step foot on Shum - they will be destroyed!” screams Posh as he pounds his fist into the palm of his other hand.
Cord drags Mot from the Out Room as Posh retreats deeper into the small chamber. He is done and will speak no more with Mot.
Back in the grand Assembly Room Cord continues with what needs to be said. “When it was discovered that you had begun using your father’s machine to contact planets in other galaxies I was assigned the lab closest to your lab and I was to keep an eye on your progress.”
Cord shakes his head, “It was never intended that you be successful in your attempts to contact others. But you have and now we have a problem. The Governors will not allow these things from planet Earth to land on this planet.”
Mot shakes his head; a feeling of ultimate confusion running ramped through his entire being. “The things from Earth will be here very soon – what can we do?"
Cord chuckles sarcastically, “My friend, you brought them here it is your responsibility to stop them!”
Meanwhile, back on Scorpio
"Captain?" Sheila Yells. "I have something I think you had better look at."
Tom turns to greet his Science Officer with a smile, but something in her tone and the expression on her face indicates there is obviously nothing to smile about. And he rises from his chair and follows her to her station where Tim, her assistant, has Dusol on the computer monitor. “What’s up?”
"Captain, we joined the Surveillance Monitor with the ULRS (Ultra Long Range Scanner) then punched in the x-ray reader and came up with this picture," Tim explains.
Tom looks long and hard at the picture of Dusol, then says, "Not a very impressive sight, is it?"
The landscape of their future home Is flat, baron of trees, no valleys nor depressions of any type. Most of what the computer is able to project is covered in a multi-colored shrub. To one side a high nondescript ridge has the same type plant growing on its slopes. "Not even a rock!" Tom exclaims.
"Yeah, but here is what we want you to see," Sheila explains, as she hits a single key. A bar scale with various shades of color and an explanation of each color flashes to life at the bottom of the screen. Red is dry desert type terrain, and blue indicates the presence of water. The varying shades between indicate increasing and decreasing moisture levels.
"The x-ray has the ability to register water beneath the surface to a depth of 500 meters," says Tim as he points to a graph to the left of the screen. He then uses a pointer and traces several string-like shaded areas and says. "Our planet has a network of tunnels and subterranean chambers. But there is no water under the surface of Dusol." Tim then looks at Tom, his eyes reflecting his displeasure at what he and Sheila have discovered, and says, "Captain, there isn't even a formation solid enough to be a stone beneath the surface of this planet."
Tom stands holding his chin with his hand, then picks up the pointer and says, "There must be water somewhere." He then points to the screen and says, "Look at the floral. Water is required to make plants grow in that abundance."
"There is only one explanation," suggests Sheila as she points to the colored scale at the bottom of the screen where the color Lavender is highlighted. “This color indicates high humidity. The plants and living organisms must be extracting water from the air around them."
Back on Shum
Mot is in deep thought as he enters his Lab. He walks to the Translator and slowly looks over the dials, lights, and knobs. He feels responsible, responsible for placing the Things from Planet Earth in grave danger and for possibly creating a situation where his own planet and its inhabitance could be in peril. But even with these thoughts Mot also feels a certain kinship with the Things, almost as if they are his friends. He is going to have to do something – but what?
He is sitting at his sitting place in the Out Room when Dorn enters. "Father – I didn't know you had returned. Is Posh going to help . . . he isn't, is he? I didn't think he would, he is one of – THEM!"
You talk too much, Dorn," snaps Mot. He then says, "Sit down, I have something to tell you."
Mot tells his son everything. The time long ago, when they could travel in space. The Things from planet Earth and what they had done to travelers from their planet, everything.
Dorn sits wide eyed and shaking his head. "Father, that's terrible. You don't believe them, do you?"
"I don't know what to believe any more. All my life I have worked hard to make contact with a distant
galaxy, any galaxy, I didn't care what one. Then when the time came, and I succeeded, I find that I have made a great mistake."
Mot takes a deep breath, sighs long and then says, "Well, there is one thing for sure. I can not allow the visitors to come to our planet only to be put to death." He thinks silently, then continues, "I must sent a message and warn them."
"Can we go with them?" Dorn asks in a whisper and so fast that his father can not interrupt.
"What did you say?" Mot asks.
"Can we go with them?" Dorn repeats loud enough for his father to hear, and in a pleading tone.
"Don't be foolish, son. This is our home, we belong here, and not someplace out is space, where every turn will mean excitement; where we could see new and fascinating things; where . . . No! It's completely out of the question . . . No!"
Dorn follows closely behind his father as they walk out of the Out Room and toward the Lab. "But father, here we are treated as nothing, we are Scientists, low life and useless. Here we must not do this . . . and can’t do that . . . and be careful of this . . . and that. I hate it here, father! Please, please ask them if we can go with them, please?"
Before entering the Lab, Mot turns to Dorn and says, "Listen Son. What if what I have heard is true, all true. Those things will only cut us up for experimenting. No, we will not ask them and that is final!"
Dorn lowers his head, turns back toward the Out Room and whispers to himself. "I would rather take that chance than live as we are."
Mot enters the Lab, walks to his sitting place and prepares to draft a message to the visitors from Planet Earth. He stops stares out the wall opening, toward the sky and thinks. "Now, how am I going to put this?" Then after several moments, he began. "I am afraid I have some very disturbing news. I have learned that you are in grave danger. You can not come to my planet. Please forgive me for what I am saying, but there is no other way of putting it. I am terribly sorry." Mot put the writing implement down and is preparing to go to the Translator, then says in a whisper. "Darn you Dorn!" He then snatches up the implement and ads, "If there is a way, any way at all, my son and I would like to travel with you. We will be no trouble. I am a Scientist as is my son. Please do not judge us badly because of what we are."
Mot runs to the Translator, shoves the parchment in the slot and turns the machine on. He paces back and forth while the machine transcribes the message. "What's taking so long?" Mot whispers while constantly looking around to insure no one is watching.
As the machine hums and hisses, the transcribed copy of his message appears at the slot along with his hand written copy. He grabs the original and throws it into the Pulverize; he wants no one to see it, and runs to the Transmitter Panel, throws the message in the machine’s receiver slot and turns it on.
And instantly, the message is on its way.