(why the world is as it is and other interesting tales)
The small planet was a lovely shade of blue. It's surface touched with shades of green, brown, and white. The ship had been traveling a long time. Loaded with a multitude of different species, it's only purpose was rescue. With a precision that only comes with the workings of an AI, the autopilot woke up the inhabitants and apprised them of the newest situation. The ships name was Salua. A living breathing entity that protected all those within it.
Nedra was having a nice relaxing dream, swimming in the cool green sea of her partners home world Malor. She was the ranking captain this voyage so she was the first to be dragged reluctantly from her slumber. She stepped out onto the metal floor and shook her hair out behind her, in the low light it twitched and moved around her figure, caressing and bringing her body temperature up to normal. Nedra was Sardian. A fact that explained why she dreamed of Malor and not Sardia, desert planet. Water was the precious commodity on Sardia , when it could be found. So little existed that Sardians had long ago began importing their needs from off world.
Like all Sardians, she was tall, with seven elongated digits on both hands and feet, her skin was a soft golden hue. The symbiotic hair that flowed around her moved from light red to gold, back to red again. Symbiosis was another uniqueness of her world, where often times more than one entity occupied the same space, it was a simple matter of survival. She was donning a one piece suit of silver when Ankorak stepped from the hibernator.
Ankorak had also been dreaming, but not of a where but a who. Long ago he had chosen Nedra as his mate and partner. Every time he looked at her he was grateful that she had chosen him as well. Ankorak would have left the federation a long time ago to live somewhere obscure with Nedra and their family, but Nedra came from an exploring race and he knew it would be a long time for that dream to come true, in the mean time he enjoyed these trips and the many species they had rescued over the past millennia. All would come as it should, he took a deep breath and began to dress.
Nedra was having her own thoughts about Ankorak. Like all Malorians, he towered over Nedra, where her skin was soft gold, his was a burnished gold, where her hair was a living symbiont, Ankorak had very little body hair at all. His eyes were molten gold as hers was liquid fire. Both races had long ago forged into space but to the Elders, they were but children. He was fastening the collar of his own suit when Nedra turned to him.
"There is a large body moving towards this world from the outer rim. The elders would like us to retrieve some specimens before it strikes."
"How many and what kind, you know we have close to a full load, after the Ahallia 4 system."
"It seems there is little dominate life here, some large creatures, some fliers, some that have live young. The elders only said a few pairs to make sure not all was lost. I guess this planet is in a good spacial place, sort of a cross roads. They sent a list." she nodded towards the console on the wall.
Ankorak walked to the monitor on the wall and pulled up a list. There were one thousand and twelve pictures."This is a lot. How long do we have for collection?" he asked.
"One thousand revolutions of this world." she answered.
"It's going to be tight. Do we have locations?"
"Some generalities, no specifics. We are to take them off and hibernate them till the worst is over, then re-locate them in safe areas."
"They're presuming there will be safe areas?" he sat in the chair in front of the veiw screen and began the landing sequences.
"The asteroid is not that large, about ten times the size of this ship."
Ankorak shook his head and looked at the blue marble hanging against the black of space, "That's almost the size of the moon we just passed, if it doesn't obliterate the whole thing, I'll be surprised."
Nedra eased into her own chair, "We can't let the entire gene pool of this world be destroyed, the elders say there's humanoids here."
"Yes. A lot like the natives of Corna, I am told."
"Lets hope they're not as aggressive."
Ankorak and Nedra moved through the sequences to bring the huge ship into orbit. This world was so small, they couldn't land and would have to use shuttles and capture drones.Parking the great ship in a stable orbital loop, they headed for the shuttle bays.
There were four ships in the bay. Using remote control, they launched three before boarding the last one and following the others down to the surface. If they could have imagined what waited for them, they would have left the planet to it's own and gotten out of the system.
They didn't and that's how a small planet called Terra became a melting pot of the universe.
When they landed in the southern hemisphere the first thing they noticed was the humidity. The air was saturated with moisture. Falling in a fine mist. Nedra reveled in it, letting the moisture fall on her upturned face. Plants with leaves taller than Ankorak were everywhere. Great trees that measured over two hundred feet tall interwove their branches with others to form a tight canopy. They had traveled a long distance in smaller vehicles to get to this forest. Purposely they had sat down in barren areas to protect inhabitants from their intrusion.
The creatures of this place were massive. Hundreds of feet long, almost as tall as a shuttle, weighing in at several tons. Ankorak and Nedra settled for dna samplings from these larger species. They collected humanoid pairs of seven different races and they had several of the smaller species. Four footed creatures with long fur and sharp teeth and claws, some others with wings and brightly colored feathers.
"That last pair we got looks like a through-back to the Keldans we have on the ship." Ankorak observed as they shipped the sedated wolves off to the remote ship.
"They do." Nedra agreed. "I think these stay on all four feet though and they don't seen to have the intelligence of the Keldans."
"How many different species do these make?" he asked./p
"From this world, or all together?"
Nedra sat down and consulted the instrument in her hands. "One thousand and twelve from here, but that is not counting that we have seven humanoid species, we have two more to go, five thousand and seven all totaled. Not including you, me and the kids."
"It's going to be tight." Ankorak sat down beside her, "I'll be glad to head home."
"After we relocate everyone."
"I forgot about that. Nedra, why after all these years? You could have left."
"You are my life, we both have genes from the elders, who else could put up with my fire and ice? " she told him; running her fingers across his arms. "Besides you let me win at chaka."
"Let you win?" he laughed then and handed her a food pouch and a new bag of fluid. "You are the most devious player I have ever encountered."
Nedra opened the food and sipped on the water. "I AM good, aren't I?"
"You know you are. This trip will give us both enough seniority to quit for a time."
"I would like to settle our family ."
"We will. When it is right, we will."
"Of course, but?"
"In your race, the male is the maternal, in mine the female. We both have our own traits plus the elder dna. We have to be careful how we raise our children. They will grow if they're nurtured, but you also know they are space born and there is nothing we can do to change that. Exploration will always be a part of them."
Ankorak walked over to her and sat down. "I guess we'll find out. After all, we can't stay space bound forever. You're in my blood Nedra. There will never be another for me."
"Shhush...never can be an awful long time. Shall we get back to work?"
Ankorak touched the side of her face, felt the warm living hair beneath his fingers. "As you wish, my Captain."
She laughed out loud then and the forest rang with the melody. High above them on board their mother ship a small tragedy was about to unfold that would change their lives forever.
It was a very tiny speck, not much bigger than a grain of sand. It had been flung out into space when a star had gone nova, billions of years ago. It traveled in darkness. It had no consciousness, no life. It was simply a piece of stardust. As Ankorak and Nedra were returning with the last of the rescued the small piece of stone hit the side of the gargantuan ship, burying itself into the metal plate of the star drive engine room. Just a tiny speck, it did not penetrate the hull, not enough impact for the giant to notice.
Settling all their passengers into their hibernation tanks, Ankorak woke their children so they could witness the drama about to unfold. He moved the ship past the moon, from this distance they watched the meteor come. It was a dark speck, growing larger moving ever faster as it entered the planet's gravitational field.
Unsuspecting the world below waited. There was a brilliant flash of light, millions of tons of dust and debris filled the atmosphere. In a matter of moments the bright blue planet darkened and lost its glow. Beneath the seething clouds its face was changed. Continents moved, the poles reversed themselves and the planet began to tilt. It survived. Most of its inhabitants were not so lucky. The few that lived through the initial impact were now embroiled in a nuclear winter that would last for thousands of years. Returning to orbit, the visitors went back to sleep, waiting for the planet below to heal itself.
Time passes, it cannot be stopped, on the ship that orbited the third planet of the system a small speck was beginning to grow on its outer hull. On board the inhabitants slept and dreamed, protected by the ship's life around them.
Nedra dreamed of green water and silver rocks, children that had golden skin and lavender hair. Next to her Ankorak dreamed similar dreams of a home they could call their own. Around them, the atmosphere of the ship changed, caring for the inhabitants at the cost of its life.The living ship, became an empty hull, floating in orbit around the tiny planet as its skies cleared and once again it was a lovely world hanging in the black of space.
The time had come, the world was safe again. The ship woke them and with their awakening, died.
They knew. They woke and they knew. The air no longer pulsed with life, the vibration beneath their feet was dead. They knew and knowing began to hurry to save all the others on board. The ones that still slumbered.
They scavenged the ship. Took everything they could to insure not only their survival but that of their passengers.
They placed humanoids of different species around the world. They released many of the the others they had brought from other worlds. The largest and most dangerous they kept in hibernation till a rescue ship could come and relocate them. Many different types of beings. Two legged, four footed. Winged, scaled, feathered. Thirty mated pairs of Keldans, also thiry pairs of Larics. Both of these races were humanoid but in different ways from the native inhabitants. History would prove them to be both prolific and legendary.
The Keldans would become the werewolves and the Larics would become the vampires. As the Aldas would become angels, the Forents fairies, the Orcans gnomes, the Valpas wizards and Ankorak and Nedra would pass into legend as many different gods and goddesses but to their family they became simply the Guardians.
The six children that had been born in space were Phena, Charday, Isis, Jayln, Corlon and Gabel Two males and four females. They also would pass into legend as would the other offspring that followed. The home Ankorak and Nedra had envisioned for their family was in the rain forest. The home itself became a mystery, a pyramid steeped in superstition, a solitary place where these off worlders lived as they always had. In peace and science.
Time passes still and many new things have been found on this tiny world at the crossroads of civilization. The Guardians remained even after a rescue ship was sent from the Federation. So on this tiny world called Earth by its inhabitants, the remnants of thirty-seven lost worlds converged into a new world.