There was a sudden loud bang followed by a vicious jerk. The long extended arm had attached itself to the back side of the pod.
“Explorer to Communicator 2, do you read me?” An announcement came over the pods internal pa. The Explorer had attached itself to the pods communication system.
“Howdy Explorer, this is your friendly communicator 2. I hear ya loud and clear.”
Zephour thought he would use some common earth jargon he had seen on light discs during psychological training sessions. They had watched various different genres but he took particular liking to information on the old west. These discs had been created by the scouts to provide information to communicators and support the academies training facilities. Always looking for an opportunity for a giggle, he thought he would go with a bit of slang.
“Yeah yeah Communicator, just detach the emergency life support from your suit and prepare to board.”
It was just your average day in Cape Town, everyone seemed in a good mood. The sun was just rising up from behind the Durbanville hills, reflecting its’ orange glory onto the giant TableMountain, towering over the city like a mother cuddling her child. The mist that has drifted from over the seas slowly dissipates as it floats gently over the cities warmth. Tall buildings are lit up at the top, revealing the sons approach to wake us up.
“So Dr Williams, you say there was a strange sound picked up by your radars just a bit farther in space than our moon?” The radio was too soft. Coty reached out to turn it up and dropped his Styrofoam coffee on his lap. “Shit!” He pulled the cig out of his mouth and tossed it out the window. The window was closed. “Shit Shit!” he yelled, swerving back between the white lines on the N1 after some frantic hooting by other commuters.
“It was more like a sonic space boom,” Dr Williams said on the radio. “Very Strange indeed and not something our radars have picked up before.”
Coty knew who Dr Williams was. He had lectured astrophysics at UCT in Coty’s 3rd year. Dr Williams was known for being a bit of a controversial scientist, with some very less than mainstream points of view. Not one to take things at face value or to be told what to do, he was an activist in his earlier days and was known for lobbying senators in the USA when he was just a student there. Growing up in Germany though was not easy for him. His views had been laughed at and his drive suppressed. Even as a young teenager he challenged his science teacher on matters of evolution and the link between ancient astronomers’ findings with modern day literature on our solar system. Hank Williams was by no means a push over and most notable scientists in the world knew of him. He had moved to the USA to study astrophysics after he was thrown out of Frankfurt University for his rather challenging views, which their professor didn’t take likely too. Granted, maybe he shouldn’t have had the Prof’s car crushed and thrown into the Universities pool to prove displacement will be the same even if the surface area is decreased, it was the weight that affected it. Coty wondered if anyone would take him seriously given his reputation.
Pulling up into the underground reserved parking space, Coty was anxious. Anxious to get inside to hear more on this apparent sonic space boom. He knew the research centre where he was lead astronomer, would be abuzz with people rushing about trying to figure out what it was. He was right. He walked into a 50% off sale at Edgars in the ladies shoe department. People were rushing about with bits of paper, talking on their new cellphones and screaming across the room at each other as they found new bits of information. This was apparently the story of the day. It appeared as if a sonic boom had hit the office. Coty walked over to Nick’s office, noticing Jennifer on the phone. Now was not the time. Nick was the director of astronomy and deserved the title. He had dedicated his entire life to his work, which had paid off with his current position. Nick had been with the institute for 20 years now. There wasn’t much about space you could tell him that he didn’t already know. Nick seemed quite calm, but was just staring at a picture on his office wall of the Apollo 11.
“You know what Coty,” Nick said. “I have dedicated my life to the wonders of space, but I never really paid any attention to the possibilities of extra terrestrial life.”
“You think this has something to do with ET’s’” Coty’s face was confused.
“Well what do you think Coty?” “I mean, you and I have been watching the stars together at this institute for over 10 years now and all we do is look for space phenomenon, never et’s. In my 20 years here I have never bothered with it.”
“Now we get what is impossible to explain and I’m left wondering.”
“Listen, Nick, we have to be realistic here. It could have been a meteorite that crashed into the moon maybe.” “Com’on Coty, we stare at the skies all day and night. If there was a rogue meteorite on its’ way to hit the moon, we would have known about it. No, this is something else, something ……well, all I am trying to say is that this was deliberate.”
“Welcome aboard communicator.” Zephour was greeted by the flight deck operator. He had only seen holograms of the Explorer before, and now he was standing in the docking bay. He didn’t get a chance to see it from outside while in his pod. It was all too quick.
“Please follow me.” A young pretty woman with the most gorgeous smile turned her back and started walking between the allocated lines. As usual with a docking bay, there where engineers and assistance all over the floor busy with their tasks at hand. He followed her to the far side of the bay onto a round plate. “Stand next to me please,” the woman said still with the most gorgeous of smiles. Zephour forgot about the entire mission for a minute and was completely caught up with this woman. Three rings came down from above, a light shining from the side of each. The round plate started lifting up, out of the docking bay, exiting into what seemed like a grand hall that stretched for miles.
“My name is Alura, and I will be your host on the Explorer,” she said with a huge grin. Zephour wondered if maybe she fancied him, considering her behaviour. He was to learn it was not that at all. As they carried on up he finally got to realize the enormity of the explorer. Stretching further than his eye could see was the most amazing city full of life. There was plant life growing from all different angles. The roof reached up to a huge glass type of dome, probably about 2 miles high. All along the sides where glass offices, capsules, and a network system of vehicles traveling along a light beam, which was probably used to transport the crew around the huge vessel. Zephour wondered why they didn’t bother to train communicators on the Explorer rather than have them travel so far from the dark star.
The round plate came to a halt just before they reached the ceiling of the Explorer.
“This way,” Alura beckoned. He followed her down a very brightly lit passageway. There was no one about at all, only them. Every so often Alura would turn around and look at him with a cheeky grin. Surely she fancied him. They came to a shiny silver door at the end of the passageway. Alura opened it.
“Aaah Zephour, we have been waiting for you.”
Please follow me to see what happens next.
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