We went to the village with high hopes that we’d encounter friendly aliens to exchange information with, but we brought our weapons with us in case our hopes were dashed. What we found were tall, bipedal aliens with green skin and elongated heads. They could not communicate with us and appeared to have no communication amongst themselves even–I seriously wonder how they could’ve built a permanent structure. I think it must’ve been there already and they occupied it when it was abandoned. Could it have been a Dreschner Corporation settlement?
We entered the village slowly and the aliens didn’t mind our presence at all. They ignored us for the most part, so we started to explore the location. The structures looked like small houses, but there was no furniture or devices in them. I told Timo, “If it’s a Corporation housing project, it wasn’t finished yet.”
“The people who worked at the Aftercare Center had to be staying somewhere,” he replied. I agreed, but neither he nor Rainyday discovered any civilian accommodations yet.
Just then, we heard strange grunting noises and saw several creatures running at us aggressively. We opened fire on them and put them all down in a matter of seconds. I approached the carcass of one and saw it’s head looked like a giant bat–these things were the size of large dogs and stank like you would never believe! I thought they were pests infesting the idyllic village, but the tall aliens swarmed us with their sticks raised and roaring at us.
We had no choice but to shoot every last one of them. We were so disappointed. “I guess those were their pets,” I said. “I didn’t know.”
“They were hostiles,” he said in that firm, comforting tone he uses with me. I nodded and pushed my sadness down in my mind. “Let’s take whatever they have here,” he suggested. We raided their village and found several items that puzzled us. I found a better assault rifle than the one I was using, a drill module for a hover vessel, and a decent stash of silicon, iron and cobalt ingots! There’s no way the creatures there–we began calling them Talons–could’ve made or used these items. They must’ve taken them from a disabled vehicle, but thankfully it wasn’t Rainy’s mining vessel!
In the morning, I took Backbiter for a scouting flight of my own. I explored beyond the village and as I approached the polar region, I discovered large sections of a broken spaceship.
“Guys, I found a crashed ship!” I announced with my communicator. I shared the coordinates with both Timo and Rainy, then began exploring the wreckage. “This is incredible!” I told them. “We can salvage the metal and anything else that survived the crash.”
I found a breach in the hull and got inside the ruined vessel. It was half buried in the ground and looked like it had been there for many years. I poked around for a few minutes before Timo joined me. We looked for a way to get to the upper deck and concluded that the entrance to the access elevator must be under the dirt.
We drilled down to a door that we shot at until it broke, then we entered the elevator and went all the way up to the old command deck. While Timo looked for the main computer’s core, I found a single intact computer terminal. I hacked in and recovered some fascinating data. “This is absolutely crazy!” I remarked. “Okay… this ship is called MS Titan, and it also experienced a disturbance during their warp jump. They ended up in the wrong place, just like us, and this is apparently the Andromeda galaxy!”
“What?” Timo gasped as he walked over to see the terminal with me. “How could we be so far away?”
I shook my head in confusion. “I have no idea, but these readings show the ship broke apart when it emerged from the warp field–just like the Maristela did.”
“Do you think anyone survived?”
“It’s definitely possible–we survived what happened to us.” I quickly corrected myself, “Whatever is happening to us. I think it’s still happening. This whole appearing on another planet with messed up memories is probably connected.”
“Yeah, definitely,” he agreed. “I barely remember the planet we crashed on, and I keep having a dream about another planet with vivid purple skies. And there was an alien ship… it was very disturbing.” He shook himself as if to expel the thoughts from his mind.
“Disturbing how?” I wanted to know. Instead, he asked me to look for any other uncorrupted files. I was able to recover a personnel file with surprising information. “This says the captain of the Titan was Joseph Durham, of the United Council of Humanity.”
“What the hell is that?” he questioned.
“That’s what I was thinking! This says they’re from Earth.” I really couldn’t believe that–everything of Earth is Dreschner Corporation. Every service, every group, every territory and every citizen is part of Dreschner Corporation. “I just don’t get it.”
“Maybe they’re some fringe group or secret society… a black project or something.”
I thought for a moment and then suggested, “Wait… if this really is an alternate reality, this weird council might exist and Dreschner didn’t own everything from the Earth this ship is from.”
We began working at salvaging the materials from the Titan. There was enough iron that we could build a warp capable vessel of our own. We’d need a lot of other materials first–including some rare metals–but it was a great start!
Timo filled the cargo box of the other small vessel we had–named Gryphon–and took the metal pieces and cables we got from the Titan back to our base. I waited for him to return and tried to understand our situation. I wanted to ask God what to do, and I looked up to the darkening sky. It was absolutely beautiful! Rotindus has so many incredible sights, but would it become our new home?
I watched a planet rising and it looked like a snowball in the sky. “That nearest planet must be covered in ice,” I said to Timo and Rainyday. “I don’t know if the radiation storms here will get more intense, but if we need to evacuate, we should go there. We all have cold weather training, so it could be fun.”
To be continued…
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