Sunday, 24 July 2016

06.04.2352 - Kidnap

Distance: 12.02 light years from Earth | Content Flag: Public

While progress on the translation gains momentum, I am frustrated by the slower development with the physical observations of the planet and the orbital facility. From the surface scans, I’ve compiled a comprehensive map of the Cetian cities, although I remain in the dark about the innards of those structures.

The same is true for the satellite. I am now convinced that the object’s only purpose is to transmit the repeated sum of their knowledge and history. If that is the case, then would I be right to try and learn more from the device itself. After all, I have the transmission, and Earth also has the transmission. It is aimed only at Earth, so if there were other intelligent species in the region, they wouldn’t receive it anyway.

And yet…

And yet I cannot bring myself to do so. Apart from the small probe in the outer system, this is all that remains of the Cetians. If there is no progress with the translations then perhaps, in desperation, I might change that decision. And it seems that events were not so clear cut between the Cetians and the Visitors.

It’s strange that I haven’t found any real detail about the Visitors themselves. The little information there is comes from inferences only. The Cetians calculated that the Visitors travelled from Aldebaran, but this doesn’t appear to be confirmed. Nor do I know if that was their point of origin. The designation of an ark would indicate that it has travelled farther than from a single system. What a trove of knowledge they must have!

The declared purpose of the Visitors was not only to eradicate Sun Dragons wherever they found them, but to recruit new species to their cause. The Cetians declined the invitation, but the Visitors refused to accept their decision and forcibly removed a large number of the Cetian population. I can’t help but wonder why they asked at all.

The Cetians attempted to defend themselves and launched an attack to reclaim their citizens, only for the Visitors to respond with overwhelming force. A series of high-intensity radiation weapons devastated the surface and caused the cataclysmic change in the weather. Some of the strikes breached thin areas of the planet’s crust and triggered volcanic eruptions, spiralling the devastation even further.

Such a scale of destruction is hard to imagine. In human experience, only natural events like super volcanoes and asteroid strikes have ever caused such damage on a planetary scale. I checked my timeline and the events correspond to the gamma and X-ray bursts I detected back in 2123. The levels of energy in those bursts would be enough to cause the damage described in the records and evident from my observations.

I hadn’t expected such aggression. It has been long assumed by many back on Earth that any technologically advanced civilisation would have evolved beyond the need for violence. That’s a rash assumption, although significant enough for the Venti to be unarmed, despite being the first manmade object to encounter an alien race.

Of course, it was not practical to arm the probe in any meaningful way without compromising the aims for the mission. Even so, with what I’ve learned, I can’t help but wonder if that was a mistake.


  1. These short updates encompass an amazing amount of interstellar history. It's a shame that the Venti probe's investigation is likely to be as a torch briefly illuminating a palace of treasures in the night-time, giving us glimpses of gilt and rare treasures, only to be snuffed out and leave the greater part of the riches unseen.

    1. But still, as a way of storytelling it works brilliantly as it leaves the reader wanting for more.

    2. I totally agree. Far better to err on the side of brevity and leave many of the reader's questions unanswered. It's also good to read some genuine science-fiction (as opposed to heroic fantasy in a space setting).

  2. FYI: The "Next" link on this page is broken.