Thursday, August 8, 2013

Shadows of the Past

Fiction Friday! Escape pod available here if fiction doesn't float your boat.... or your spaceship.

Shadows of the Past

"Oh Jacques! It is beautiful!"

The recently retired Gallente Admiral took a sip of his wine as his wife slowly ran her hand over the gold links of the necklace in the red velvet lined box. She traced a finger down to the oval centre piece set with precious stones.

"It looks very old, it must be an antique." she enquired.

"It is old, but I have no idea how old. It was found along with some other ancient artefacts embedded in an asteroid in the Genesis Region during my final mission. All that we really know is it is very old. I was able to call in some favours and ensure once the lab rats had been over the items I would get the necklace."

Jacques stood and moved behind his wife taking the necklace and placing it around her neck. She carefully held her long hair out of the way as he attached the snap. He returned to his seat and nodded in approval.

"I thought it would be something special for our 50th Anniversary" he said with a smile.

His wife nodded and raised her glass which the Admiral did likewise. The glasses clinked together over the table.

"An asteroid." the wife mused "I wonder how it got there."


Thirteen millennia previously.......

"There it goes again! Another Tachyon spike!"

The technicians colleague rose from his chair and moved over his shoulder to see the screen.

"That's the biggest one this month. 450 nearly. We sure this isn't the start of some new activity cycle?"

The two men stood in silence thinking. The energy emissions from the wormhole had been strange during the last six months. Tachyon, gamma and theta readings had grown from insignificant to major. However the scientists on the array had assured everyone that it was nothing to be concerned about. However, everyone had remained concerned none the less.

The monitoring array was a massive station constructed in deep space. There were no stars or planets for two light years in any direction. The only things in this area were a rouge asteroid belt with a small colony, the monitoring array and the gate.

Technician Smith rose from his console and walked to the window. The huge construct was clearly in view a few kilometres from the array. A homage to the ingenuity of the human race. A massive ring constructed around a wormhole in an unknown part of the universe. When completed it will be the largest man-made structure ever built along with its sister gate back in the Milky Way. When finished the two gates would stabilise the massive static wormhole that had led them there to the system of New Eden. They had been under construction for the past seven decades and it would still be another five years before they were fully completed. Thankfully the egg-heads had estimated the wormhole had another 20 years of life left without the stabilising gate.

There was a flash as a huge freighter emerged from the wormhole. It sat still for a few moments before it vanished in a flash as it activated its own jump drive. Within a few seconds it will have covered the two light-years and be in orbit around New Eden planet 1. From there it would begin its journey to what ever colony it was carrying supplies to.

Technician Peck was still looking at the readings on the console.

"Things seem to have stabilised again. Its weird. I guess they were right to name it after a woman. Just like one of them, I'm not sure we'll ever figure this one out! Actually talking of women, isn't it your anniversary today?"

Smith turn away from the window smiling.

"Yup! And I need to get going. Taking Sara to Yven's later!"

Peck blew a low whistle. Yven's was a very upmarket restaurant located on the nearby asteroid colony. The colony was the first settlement in New Eden, created by the first explorers as a staging post. Now it was a resort for people on the journey between New Eden and the Milky Way. Reservations were required 200 earth-days in advance to secure a table. The restaurant overlooked the Eve Gate under a massive dome. People came from all over to eat beneath the stars and the gate.

"Make sure you bring me a doggy bag for covering for you" Peck shouted out as he left.


The string quartet played classical Earth music from the 6th millennia, widely considered to be the height of musical creativity in the Milky Way. Smith finished his soup and looked across at Sara who was smiling at him.

"What?" he enquired.

"Nothing" she smiled "Just cannot believe we've been married for five years."

He returned the smile and reached under his chair and brought up a small box which he placed in front of her. Smiling she slowly opened the box and gasped. She reached in and withdrew the golden necklace with the stone encrusted oval.

"This must have cost you a fortune!"

"You are worth it." he replied.

In reality it had been his mothers, she had left it him when she had died a few years earlier.

"I have to admit, I didn't get you anything, but when I get you back to our quarters I'm going to...."

Sara was interrupted by a loud bleeping. Several patrons on surrounding tables gave disapproving looks as Smith fumbled with his communicator. He quickly shut it off and mouthed 'sorry' to those looking at him annoyed.

"Sorry" he said to Sara "I was sure I'd turned it off! Anyway, you were telling me...."

The bleeping started again. He knew he had turned it off that time. There was only one way it would beep now. The emergency over-ride. As a technician on the monitoring array his communicator was fitted with an emergency over-ride. If someone entered the right code the communicator would still receive the signal and turn itself back on. He sheepishly put the communicator to his ear and bent down.

"WHAT?" he hissed "This is not a good time!"

"Smith, get back here now, something is wrong" Peck sounded very worried.

"What is it?" Smith asked himself sounding worried.

"Tachyons just spiked again. Forget the the 450 earlier, this one was 9213!"

Smith sat in silence as the gravity of the situation hit him. The egg-heads had said the Tachyon burst were the best indication of the stability of the wormhole. Anything under 1000 was normal. 5000 was the level they had deemed the collapse to be near.

"Smithy? Smithy? Are you there? Did you hear what I just said? The Tachyon reading, its over...."

"I hear what you said!" Smith cut him off. "It must be an error. What about the Gamma and theta readings, I'm sure if you check them you will find...."

This time Smith was cut off, a loud alarm could be head through the communicator. It went silent after a few seconds.

"There you go! I turned off the gamma and theta alarms as I couldn't hear myself think. Still think this is a scanner malfunction?"

Smith went silent. The fact the alarms were going off meant only one thing. The egg-heads had been wrong, so very wrong. Sara looked at him worried as Smith rose from his chair and angled is head upwards. Several other patrons looked at his strange behaviour and tried to see what he was looking at. A eerie silence fell over the room as everyone stared up at the gate. As usual thousands of ships were clustered around the gate, but the wormhole itself was pulsating. Blue and purple colours erupted from its centre and strange forks of lightning streaked across its face striking and grounding on the gate surrounding it.

Smith grabbed Sara and pulled her to the door.

"What is it?" she shouted, her voice thick with fear.

"Deeper, we've got to get deeper" he yelled back as he rushed out of the restaurant and to the emergency stairwell.

Hand in hand they rushed down the stairs leaving the metallic walls of the outpost behind to be replaced with rough stone. Finally they got to the bottom. Mining equipment lay scattered around and the main stone corridor ended abruptly. Smith started looking down the other corridors.

"What are we doing here?" Sara gasped out of breath.

"We need to be deeper! The gate!" Smith replied "Its about to collapse!"


Back on the monitoring array Peck was surrounded by an assortment of scientists and officers. All hell was breaking loose. Aggressive shouting and finger pointing was rampant out as the technician monitored the readings. An officer stooped down next to him.

"Tell me son. How long have we got?"

Peck looked again at the readings.

"Sir, the data provided by the science section says the wormhole should have collapsed already under these readings. Its all theoretical physics sir. Nobody knows. All I can tell you is we are at double the readings they said would be present when it died."

The commander stood and retrieved his communicator and told everyone to be quiet.

"This is Commander Evans" he said in a slow commanding voice "I am enacting the Nova Protocol. I repeat I am enacting the Nova Protocol. I am transmitting bio-confirmation now."

A few seconds later the abandon station alarms sounded. Peck simply walked to the window. He knew it was pointless. He watched many of the ships in space vanish into artificial wormholes created by their jump drives. The Nova Protocol was the warning that the gate was collapsing and included a system-wide message to all ships to leave as quickly as possible. Only those with a jump-drive would be able to get far enough, and none of the ships or pods on the monitoring station had that capability. Those fleeing the station now where as doomed as he was.

Peck folded his arms and started directly at the Eve gate that was now a maelstrom of uncontrolled energy. He picked up his communicator.

"Smithy. I don't know if you can hear this, the disruption is too bad. But the wormhole is collapsing. We've got minutes. If you are with Sara, tell her you love her, its the end for all of us my friend."

The wormhole released a massive eruption of raw energy before starting to pulsate fast.

"Come at me bro" Peck muttered as the gate exploded with the force of a super nova.


The Present Day......

"It is a fascinating find!" the older Gallente woman stood on the podium addressing the small conference. "In my 40 years as an archaeologist I've never seen anything like it!"

Around two hundred academics had come to the lecture.

"The asteroid was found passing through the 'Promised Land' system in Genesis. However, mineral composition indicates that it originated from the New Eden system, one light-year away."

There were murmurs from the audience.

"The asteroid itself shows that one side was subject to a massive energy blast. However, there was no corresponding concussive force. This asteroid was not pushed out of its original position by a super nova, it was something else!".

The woman continued to detail the find and that metals embedded in the surface indicated there were structures built on to the asteroid that had been vaporised by the energy blast. She then went onto detail the main focus of the find, the only evidence that there was anything man-made on the asteroid, a buried stairwell.

"At the bottom of this sole surviving structure, the simple stairwell, we found a half constructed corridor. There was construction equipment of an origin we have never seen before. The technology does not match any of the current races of New Eden or the Talocan, Takmahl or Jan Jung."

She went through number of slides showing the artefacts recovered. Mostly they were excavators and tunnelling devices of an unknown origin. A small communicator device was shown, first in position in the dirt and then on a lab table dissembled.

"But this slide is perhaps the most incredible."

A slide showing two skeletons intertwined was received with gasps from the audience.

"We think they went down there to try to escape the calamity that was befalling the outpost. However testing has revealed that the blast that struck the asteroid had gamma and theta radiation readings off the charts. They would have died instantly even deep inside the asteroid. Their position indicates they were in each others arms as the radiation blast hit. DNA sequencing and carbon dating revealed three things. First they were man and woman, likely lovers, married or just strangers comforting each other as the end came. A boxed necklace found next to them indicated it was likely one of the former two. The second thing was these skeletons are thirteen thousand years old. And finally, their DNA does no match any of the five races of New Eden."

The room fell deadly quiet.

"But DNA profiling shows that all five races of New Eden are related to these humans. Dearly gathered Gallente, Amarrian, Matari and Caldari of this audience. I give you your ancestors!"

The room erupted in shouts and screams especially from the Amarrians.

Several light years away two old Navy brass were watching on a monitor.

"Well that reaction was as expected." said one Admiral.

"Quite." replied the other. "I assumed those Amarrians would not be pleased with that conclusion as it goes against their teachings. They'll be arguing over this for years to come."

"Yes. But never mind them. You must be thrilled. Your last assignment before retirement and your task force makes this discovery of the century!".

Jacques nodded.

"So as your retirement gift what did you ask for yourself? I know retiring admirals get pretty much they ask for. What did you get for yourself?"

"For me?" replied the admiral slowly stroking the ancient red velvet box containing the necklace on the table next to him "I didn't ask for anything for me."


  1. Very nice idea for a story, and the picture with the hugging skeletons was a nice touch too :)

  2. You should write a novel on your spare time and submit them to a publisher