As I report our journey to this world I must say that mostly it was disappointment and strangeness beyond any journey that our people had ever undertaken before. We visited galaxy after galaxy once we left known space and found nothing of any value. Some of the galaxies were so dangerous with pulses of deadly radiation coming out of them that we could not even approach them! Others, though they were massive, and had many possible stars, they were being swallowed up by black holes in their centers and would not have been any use for colonization. There was one strange incident I must report for future travellers.
2 We had been out for nearly six months, and were traversing the distance between two galaxies when I was awoke from my sleep by a call from the bridge. "Commander!" the Number Three was saying, "We have encountered something very unusual! We have followed standard proceedure but for some reason it hasn't worked. We need your advice on how to continue."
3 I quickly dressed and went to the bridge. "What is it?" I asked when I arrived.
4 "We have come upon a dead sun," my brother explained, travelling between the galaxies. By plotting its course we determine it will never enter into a galaxy for billions of years, if ever!"
5 "Well, put a marker bouy on one of the smaller planets," I instructed, "so any future ships will be aware of its presence and let us continue on our way!"
6 "We've tried to do that," my brother explained, "we have launched a marker bouy twice, and each time within a few moments it has reappeared in the storage bay!"
7 I looked at him in total bewilderment, then went over to the operations console and proceeded, myself, to launch a marker bouy. Just as my brother had predicted the instruments showed the bouy was launched, but a few moments later reappeared in its storage bay!
8 "By The Great Ones!" I managed, "The instruments show it's totally undamaged, ready to be launched again, but just as you say, it's back in its position!"
9 "Sir," the Navigator spoke up, "there's a ship out there, sir! It's out there, but it's not out there! Our instruments show a considerable mass, but no gravity. It's like nothing I've ever sensed before, many powerful minds! I am receiving the thought that they mean us no harm, but that we must leave and never return, that they will see to it that none of our ships ever blunder into this world."
10 "Tell them we're with The Olympian Confederation," I instructed, "that we mean them no harm, that we can assist them, take them to other worlds where they can join thriving civilizations."
11 The navigator thought for several minutes then looked at me rather amused. "They seem to find your comments rather amusing!" he remarked. "Again they say they mean us no harm, but we must leave. This is their place, it is private. They will tolerate no interference!"
12 "Very well!" I answered, "Continue on plotted course! When we get back we will warn our people of this. Tell them we appreciate their courtesy, but do not understand why they would not want to join us."
13 We continued on, aware that the strange ship was following us, matching our speed even at full accelleration! After several days it moved away.
14 "What kind of propulsion were they using?" I asked The Chief Engineer.
15 "I could not pick up anything," he answered, "that we understand as propulsion. As far as our instruments were concerned, all that was out there was a moving mass. We could detect no emmissions of any kind! They are obviously far more advanced than we are. They have a means of propulsion equal or even superior to thought drive! What they could give The Confederation if they were cooperative! I can't understand what they meant by 'We would destroy you.' A technology such as theirs certainly would be able to control any bacteria or any virus they might introduce to us. How could they possibly destroy us?"
16 "I don't know!" I answered, "But obviously they have social beliefs far different from ours. To live on dead worlds, orbiting a dead sun, travelling the empty expanses between galaxies! To us it would be unthinkable, but to them it seems preferrable. It is a mystery beyond our understanding!"
17 We continued on and had used two thirds of our marker bouys, marking galaxies that were simply not worth putting colonies in. We had been out nearly a year and were plotting a course that would bring us back into known space while visiting still uncharted galaxies along the way. Our son had been born and we had named him Lornias, after my grandfather. He was a thriving boy and he soon had a couple of playmates. A short time afterwards I was again woken from my sleep. But this time it was not a mysterious planet, it was a total disaster!
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