Big Bang Ch. 01

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Author’s Note:

All characters engaged in sexual situations are eighteen years of age or older. All characters and events are fictional. Any similarities with actual events or persons, living or dead, are purely coincidental.

This is a work of fiction, and as such, certain events or situations may be improbable, and certain details may not correspond to real life. If you’re looking for strictly likely situations and exact reality, I suggest you skip this.

*****

“Fucking hell is that?” Captain Clive tried to shout, but knew immediately that his voice came out as a breathy growl instead. He felt like his chest was being constricted with straps of iron and he could hear his heart pounding inside his head.

The gasps and low swearing from the rest of the crew on the bridge told him he wasn’t the only one who saw what he was looking at through the forward window of the ship he commanded.

The proximity warning klaxon sounded.

Captain Timothy Clive, and his crew, were on a mission to the station above Saturn’s satellite Titan. He had made Captain more than a decade ago, and had made this trip as Captain in three different ships. This was his eighth mission to Titan as Captain, and was nowhere near the most experienced Captain to make the trip.

The Titan Station took thirty-two years to construct, and had been the first fully commissioned off-world WASA (World Aeronautics and Space Administration) station to come online, almost thirty years ago. The two stations on the Moon, Earth’s satellite, and the five on Mars were all operated by WASA now, but had been operated by the former United States of America government agency NASA before the formation of the Earth Federation of Nations (EFN) government.

Captain Clive was absolutely certain that there was no record of any Captain encountering what he was now observing, but he still managed to silence the proximity warning klaxon.

He knew his ship was traveling at almost three hundred twenty-five megameters per hour, and the object which had just seemed to materialize directly in their path wasn’t actually stationary like it appeared.

“What are we looking at?” Captain Clive asked into the now silent bridge.

“You see it too?” his First Officer asked quietly beside him.

He could still hear his heart pounding in his ears, but was almost able to breath normally as he swiveled his head on his shoulders to look at the other four officers on the bridge. They were all staring at the window in front of them.

“I think we all see the same thing, Jen.”

Jen, or Jennifer, was his First Officer. She was also his sister.

“What is it?” Jen whispered, but her voice seemed to fill the bridge.

“It’s not from Earth. We’re the only ones capable of coming this far out. Everybody else can only go as far as Mars, and I’m pretty sure if it was ours, somebody would have let us know about it before we almost ran up it’s butt,” the Science Officer announced from behind Tim.

“One of our sensors would have alerted us if we actually came up behind it, sir,” the Navigation Officer spoke sternly from in front of the Captain and First Officer’s positions in the center of the bridge.

“Did our sensors alert us that it was coming up behind us, or from any direction, Ron?” Captain Clive asked his Navigation Officer.

WASA ships were all equipped with various wavelength radiation equipment, all called sensors, to warn the crew of any objects they may encounter, such as rocks or debris.

“No.”

“So it just moved onto that spot from outside our sensor range, or it was able to avoid our sensors, somehow?

“Or THEY were moving many times faster than light until they reached that spot,” Jen said softly.

“They? It looks like an it to me,” Tim countered his sister.

“I wouldn’t guess that an it made such a sleek, beautiful spacecraft that can maneuver like that.”

“Sir, we’re receiving a transmission on the local frequencies,” the Communication Officer interrupted in a quivering voice.

Everyone on the bridge turned and looked at the young woman who had spoken. This was her first assignment in space, and she looked as white as a ghost.

“All the local frequencies?” Captain Clive queried.

“Yes, sir. All of them at once, and she’s speaking English.”

All ships had long range radio to communicate with Earth and off-world stations during their travels. Local frequencies had a very limited useful range, and were used only when the ship was very close to who they were communicating with.

“Nothing on the long range frequencies?”

“No, sir, just the local.”

“Put it on speaker.”

“Earth vessel, I am Truana. I want very much to have a conversation with the one in charge of your vessel.”

The voice was melodic, resonant, and very feminine. The speaker sounded very much like a human female.

The message repeated.

“Is that a recording on a loop?” Captain Clive asked.

“No sir. I ran it through the computer, and there are slight variations in cadence casino şirketleri and intonation. Unless the speaker recorded themselves saying the same thing multiple times and put it on a loop, they’re speaking live, as we listen.”

“Reply, Jules.”

“Go ahead, sir.”

“This is Captain Clive of the WASA cruiser Cassini. What are your intentions?”

“To speak with you, Clive.”

The voice was now a low whisper.

“What do you intend to accomplish with a conversation?”

“I have important information for your people.”

“Who are you?”

“I am Truana.”

“Who are you, Truana.”

“I am a simple historian, tasked with bringing you the knowledge required to guarantee the continued existence of your people.”

Tim made a chopping motion across his throat at Jules. She nodded back at him.

“Was that a threat? Did that sound like a threat to anybody else?”

“Tim, it sounded like gibberish to me,” Jen said, looking at her brother with a worried expression.

“What do you mean?’

“A historian came to tell us how to survive? I think she learned English wrong, and what she’s saying isn’t what we think she’s saying. It doesn’t make sense.”

Tim looked at his communications officer and nodded.

“Truana, what is a historian?”

“One who studies human development and civilizations from certain periods in the history of the species.”

“So you study a certain period in the history of humanity?”

“Yes. The Interplanetary Period.”

“Are you here to study us?”

“No. I believe I already know enough about the subject matter.”

“You know enough about us to do what?”

“Clive, I think we should speak in person. May I board your vessel?”

“No!” Tim almost shouted as he stood. He was sweating and his heart was once again pounding in his ears. He didn’t know what kind of thing he was speaking to, and the thought of simply inviting them here, onto his ship, was unthinkable. He couldn’t do that without discussing it with his command crew, and they were prepared as best they could to handle whatever may come of such a meeting.

“Clive? Are you angry?” the voice spoke softly over the speaker.

“I need to discuss this with my officers. I’ll contact you soon.”

He once again motioned for the communications officer to disconnect.

His commanding officer needed to be briefed also.

**

Truana leaned back against the chair back, and sighed. The tension she felt in her entire body from the conversation she had just had eased from her body as she closed her eyes.

“Truana, are you well?” her brother Tyson gently asked her.

“Wow, Tryson, that was much harder than I anticipated.”

“English, Truana.”

“Oh,” she giggled at him. “That was English, just very old English,” she laughed after changing to her native tongue. “Our ancestors spoke that language one hundred eighty million years ago.”

“No wonder we don’t talk like that anymore. I couldn’t understand a single word of it,” Tryson laughed.

“I don’t blame them, but he doesn’t trust me.”

“He’s not going to trust you until he knows something about us. Even then, he probably won’t believe most of what you tell him,” Tryson smiled across the table at his sister.

“This is what I’ve trained for my entire life, dear brother. I can’t screw this up.”

“This kind of thing is what I’ve trained for my entire life, and we aren’t going to screw it up.”

Tryson was a Diplomat, trained from an early age, as with everyone, to do what he was bred to do. His previous work had been resolving issues between different groups, whether of the same caste and different colonies, or different castes in their own colony.

Tryson was, in fact, quite successful at his job, and this is why he was selected for this rare opportunity. That reason, and that he is the brother of the most qualified Historian in the Galaxy. He and his sister had produced a son and daughter, so they were intimately familiar with each other.

**

“Confidential communication for Commander Wilkerson only, from Captain Clive of the cruiser Cassini.

“Commander Wilkerson, the Cassini encountered an alien ship in the last hour. The encounter is ongoing and there has been communication with the alien ship.

“You are aware of our position of almost 800,000,000 megameters from Earth on our mission to Titan.

“I have included in this transmission the recording of my communication with the alien ship and also the external video recordings one hour previous to the encounter until the time of this transmission. Time stamps on both recordings facilitate synchronization.

“My command crew, including First Officer, Science Officer, Navigation Officer, and Communication Officer are aware of the encounter. None of the remaining crew are aware, to my knowledge, that we have made contact with an alien ship.

“Alien ship’s position has not changed from what you can see in the video recording.

“Please advise.”

“Jules, please send casino firmaları that immediately, priority,” Tim instructed the Communication Officer.

“Yes, Captain.”

Tim looked at his sister across the table in his conference room next to the bridge.

“Now we wait,” Jen sighed.

“What the fuck, Jen? We talked to an alien a few minutes ago.”

“I know. I have to keep pinching myself to make sure I’m not having a nightmare.”

“I have so many questions, but the thing I’m wondering most about is how she is a historian of humans, and the period of her expertise is the Interplanetary Period. I’m thinking that’s what we’re in right now, aren’t we?”

Jen nodded her head at her brother before speaking.

“It’s been only one hundred fifty three years since we first stepped on the Moon, and we’ve only been to Mars and Titan since then, so yeah, that’s what it seems.”

“She says we need to know something to continue to survive though. That sounds ominous. Do you think we’re still destroying Earth, but in some way we haven’t figured out yet?”

“Maybe. We barely figured out in time that fossil fuels were going to kill us, so who knows. Right now, we can drive ourselves crazy by speculating, or relax and wait to hear what our next steps should be.

“What I’m curious about though is why you keep calling them ‘she'”, Jen asked her brother with a giggle. “Is the thought of an alien woman enough to make you like girls?”

“Hardly, Jen. I thought you were past trying to get me hooked up with a woman though, and had accepted that I’m just not attracted to them, and by extension, you personally.”

“I’ll never get over you not thinking your sister is hot,” she giggled at her brother, then stuck her tongue out at him.

**

“Tim, we have a message from Commander Wilkerson,” Jen’s voice startled Tim out of his thoughts as he lay on his bed in his cabin.

“Well, two and a half hours. They didn’t need much time to discuss the situation, did they?” Tim grunted as he sat up. “Any listening instructions?”

“You and Command Crew only.”

“On my way.”

“Is everybody ready for this?” Tim asked as he hurried toward his seat in the center of the bridge.

Nobody actually said anything in response, but he thought they were all nodding, except Jen, who looked like she shrugged her shoulders. At least she was honest.

“Let’s hear it.” Captain Clive ordered.

“Confidential communication for Captain Clive of the cruiser Cassini and the Command Crew of the cruiser Cassini from Commander Eve Wilkerson, WASA CEO.

“Tim, if the situation remains as described and observed in your previous communication, we leave it to your discretion as to how to proceed. Since you and your ship are first contact with an alien species, none of us have any more experience in the matter than you do.

“We studied the video and voice recording of the contact, and cannot determine if the alien ship has offensive or defense capabilities, but based on the fact that we cannot determine exactly how they arrived at your location, we must assume that they are far advanced compared to us, especially in space flight, and must assume there is some offensive and defense capabilities that we cannot detect.

“Caution is urged. We recommend that a contingency from Cassini of one or two board the alien vessel before you allow them onto your ship. Your shuttle should be able to make the trip. It might be a good idea to get some idea of what they look like, and what kind of atmosphere they have before anybody goes anywhere though.

“I wish we could offer more guidance. Good luck Tim and Jen. May the Force be with you.”

The computer announced the end of the transmission, and the crew stared out the front window at the silver alien ship, still seemingly parked off their bow.

“Damn Mom, always with a reference to the classics,” Jen grumbled next to her brother.

“At least that one was more apropos than most of them.”

“I’m just glad she didn’t say Schwartz…”

“OK, back to work everybody,” Tim muttered, mostly to himself. He had to admit though, he felt more relaxed now.

“So, do we ask for pictures, or what?” Jen asked nobody in particular. “Maybe they’ll send theirs but only if we send ours first?”

“I’m not taking my clothes off, if that’s what they want…” Jules muttered loudly from her station.

“Damn, that’s the only thing in all of this I was looking forward to,” Ron laughed.

“OK, I’ll take them off then,” Jules laughed, and winked at the Navigation Officer.

“Let’s get serious, for real. Jules, can we get a camera in here? Do we have a spare exterior camera, or anything?” Tim tried to get the conversation back on track, thinking how lucky they were this wasn’t a military operation, but civilian.

“Captain, I know you were assigned last minute to this mission, and this is a brand new ship, so don’t be offended when I tell you that you have lots to learn about her. There’s already a camera in here.”

“Where?” Tim asked, looking güvenilir casino around.

“Centered just below the front viewing window.”

“I don’t see it. Where does it…”

Jules tapped her station surface once and the viewing window blurred and then became a picture of the inside of the bridge.

“I already know how to route the image through either the long range or local communication channels or combination of any, or all.”

“I didn’t know any of our ships had that capability,” Tim replied in awe.

“They didn’t, not until this ship was built. I’m sure it will be standard equipment on all future ships, and depending on if we survive today or not, maybe the old ones will get retrofitted.”

Tim didn’t like Jules’ comment about survival. It reminded him that there was no reason to believe the aliens had made contact for any reason other than to annihilate humanity. Or worse.

“Can the computer record…” Tim started.

“Automatically, everything that happens on the bridge, as well as all exterior cameras.”

“We’ve been recorded the entire…”

“Uploaded to Command every twenty-four hours. Why do you think I was so eager to take my clothes off for the aliens?”

“So if I made the bridge clothing optional…”

“Hell no!” the other three officers chimed in unison. Jules just smiled.

“OK, OK… so if they want pictures, we can send them via the local communication channels and still talk to them. Can we also receive video that way?”

“Yes. I can put it on the front viewing window.”

“I want to keep an eye on their ship while we talk though.”

“The exterior camera can be routed to the viewing window, too, and split anyway you want.”

“You’re ready then, Jules?”

“Yes sir, just let me get these clothes off,” she giggled.

“If you must, but completely unnecessary. The rest of us are leaving ours on, I hope.”

Tim looked around the bridge, and everyone else was nodding their agreement.

“One more thing Jules. Can we forward our video, their video, video of their ship, as well as the audio to Command in real time?”

Jules fingers fairly flew as she touched her station surface.

“Yes, I’m ready to do that.”

“Great. Get Truana for me, and forward the audio to Command.”

“Clive, I’ve been waiting impatiently for your reply. I hope all is well with you,” the female voice filled the bridge. Tim thought she sounded almost sultry now.

“I’m fine, Truana. We need to talk before anyone boards the other’s ship, but I have a request before we have that conversation. It’s customary when people, um, beings speak to each other, especially of matters so important, that the, um, beings can see each other. Can you broadcast visuals along with your voice?”

“Oh, Clive, I wasn’t aware that you had that custom.”

Tim could hear muffled whispers, but couldn’t tell who was whispering or what they were saying.

“Captain Timothy Clive, Truana,” Tim spoke while the whispering continued.

“Pardon me?”

“I’m Captain of the Cassini, my ship, and my name is Timothy Clive.”

“Should I address you as Captain Timothy Clive?”

“Captain Clive is fine. And you?”

“I have no title, and Truana is my complete name.”

“You’re not military?”

“Military…” Truana softly said the word, as if to herself. “Oh, military. No, we’ve had… we haven’t needed military for a… well, no. We don’t have military. I can send video, but I will need a small amount of time to prepare. We have the capabilities, but we aren’t ready to use it. Let me reply to you when I’m ready.”

“She’s gone, Captain,” Jules announced.

“No military, my sweet ass,” Jen grumbled.

**

Truana looked around the living area of her home. She was in the Intellectual Caste, but was young enough to not warrant an exterior wall with a window. The camera that Tech had found for her was pointed at the sofa against the wall that would have been an exterior wall, if she had one. She had chosen a scene of a forest and river from their home world to put on the screen there, even though she had never been to her home world. She had never actually been on the surface of any planet.

“Is that what you’re wearing to talk to them?” Tryson asked as he stepped through the open door from the corridor outside Truana’s home.

She looked down at herself before answering.

“Yeah, I am. This is what girls my age wear.”

She was wearing a tee shirt with a picture of the double sunset on a previous home world. It was a classic picture, many eons old, and the suns overlapping with one tiny moon almost centered in each of the suns had only happened twice in the more than half a million years their ancestors had occupied that star system before it became uninhabitable about fifty thousand years ago.

Below the tee shirt, she had on a short, faded denim skirt with a frayed hem that covered her legs only half way to her knees.

“It just screams ‘Don’t take me seriously unless all you’re interested in is my body.’ Could you at least put on a bra so your nipples don’t show?”

“You’re such an old man, Tryson.”

“I’m only fifteen years older than you.”

“You’re so stiff. Loosen up.”

“I thought you liked it when I’m stiff.”

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