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10:01 p.m. March 24, 2015: Jacob Johnson’s home, somewhere in southern Montana
Jacob Johnson relaxed on his living room sofa watching the large screen, high-definition television, munching on caramel corn, drinking a new Martian Martini, and daydreaming about stunningly-beautiful women.
Of course, even with 368 channels on his digital satellite there was still nothing worth watching. But, as if in answer to his silent wish for something to watch, a news broadcast interrupted his regularly-scheduled garbage.
//This just in: a spaceship has been found in northern Montana today -- origin unknown. Scientists are baffled by the complexity of the ship. It was found early this afternoon by paleontologists Doctors Wilson Willoughby, Jeff Davidson and Jill Perry from the Smithsonian Institute during an ongoing major fossil dig in what is believed to be one of the last known major beds of dinosaur bones.//
"What?" Jacob said with a start. That report began to clear the fog of his dreamlike state.
//The spaceship crashed on Earth more than 70 billion years ago, scientists said this afternoon. That’s what I call a belated find. We now take you live to the dig site where anchor Niky Cole examines the ship with the discoverers...//
//When did you first find the ship?// reporter Niky Cole asked Dr. Willoughby.
//Well, this morning, Dr. Davidson and I were performing our normal duties -- bone detail -- and all of a sudden, we came across a strange metal under a Tyrannosaurus rex fossil. At first, we had no idea what was going on. Figured there might be some kind of joke but sure enough, the more we digged the larger the metal area became. Soon, we realized it was probably as wide as the entire fossil bed.//
//What happened next?// Nicky asked to probe further.
//I told Dr. Davidson to call the Institute to let them know what we found.//
//What’d they have to say?// she asked, getting more excited with each question.
//They, well...actually, they thought we were pranking them at first then they thought we had all gone insane. They told us to get indoors and cool off. Finally, we convinced them we were telling the truth.//
//That’s quite a story Dr. Willoughby, keep us posted on any updates or further discoveries,// Nicky said, wrapping up the interview.
Jacob sat there stunned for a moment. Wow. A real spaceship.
After a moment of silence, he glanced back up at the television, touched the remote at his side and the image on the screen faded to black.
12:37 a.m. March 25, 2015: Trajon orbit, Milky Way Outer Rim
Slowly, Vejiga entered the orbit of Trajon.
"Commander Xenex, this is Admiral Burbuja Pompa."
//Acknowledged,// came the voice over the sound system. //Hello, Admiral,// Xenex greeted. //If you will transport to the surface, we will discuss our topic in private.//
"Certainly, Xenex. Admiral Pompa out."
The admiral oozed all the way to the docking bay. Within five minutes, a transport was dropping the leader on Trajon’s surface.
"Welcome to Trajon, Admiral Pompa," the Trajonian commander began the pleasantries.
"What’s the new discovery?" Burbuja asked simply, to the point.
"Admiral, it seems we may have detected a possible location for the planet."
"How certain are you?" Pompa pushed on, hoping to find how plausible this location could be.
"As you know, I have been doing research, testing, and exploration via robot satellites, our spies, and our top-notch scientific facilities here at Trajon IDF Laboratories. Today, we activated a new sim program with recently-acquired data streams with the most-likely trajectory the ship of lore would have used upon leaving the Delain Government."
"Excellent! How far away is it?" Pompa asked, Blobonian face beaming.
"You will be surprised by the unusual location of the missing vessel...in fact, it’s not far from your own home world," Xenex said, opticals blinking.
1:47 a.m. March 25, 2015: edge of the Andromeda Galaxy, Quadrant 3
Furrowing through space and time, the vacuum-living creature crept across the vastness of space at a mere speed of three-times light. It was searching for a mate, as well as lunch to fill its bottomless-pit of a "black hole" stomach.
As it entered the Andromeda Galaxy, it was picked up by advanced warning systems of the Intergalactic Defense Force. The IDF base on Crane, located in the binary star system known as Crayshaw, first detected something. Within a minute, Snaw IDF officials reported the same occurrence. But even before one ship could be sent out to confront the UIO, the creature had already left that quadrant of the galaxy.
As the creature sped on its current course, it picked up the transmissions sent across the galaxy by this IDF group of living creatures. They called it an unidentified intergalactic object, possibly threatening. Threatening? Had it done anything to these creatures it had never met before? It didn’t think so, but it was hard to remember every living creature it had come in contact with during the last eon or two. Beyond that, it couldn’t remember.
Alien races were always scared of it and it couldn’t understand why. As it was lost deep in thought about this reoccurring topic, it also lost track of its direction. About three seconds too late to stop itself, it realized it was off course. It tried to level itself out, to slow down, to turn, to arc, to loop, but it could not avoid running into one of those large round things it would run into every once in a while.
Horrible thoughts ran through its ancient mind as the rotating sphere suddenly stopped spinning as it smacked into it. Dust from the moon’s choppy soil flew everywhere from the Dreadkon’s impact. Then, the dust began exploding in small bursts as it came into contact with its body.
It was sort of stunned, then it looked at the moon and noticed it was getting closer to the larger round object. The one with the white shapes moving all around it. What had that one race called those larger spheres? Was it flattoff? No, it was more like plant -- oh yeah...planet. And planets had living creatures on them sometimes.
More horrible thoughts ran through the Dreadkon’s mind as it remembered hitting one of the smaller spheres in another galaxy long, long ago. The creatures there sent thousands of their stinging machines to attack it after the planet thing exploded from the impact of the smaller sphere.
The transmissions they sent to each other had said it destroyed more than three million of those Delain creatures.
They tried to kill it, so it fled in shame.
Now, it had happened again. A transmission was being sent: //Andromeda IDF to Milky Way IDF, enemy force of nearly-unbelievable powers is heading toward your galaxy at greater than astronomical speeds. This UIO just destroyed Gamoid and its moon. It’s headed toward the Milky Way at about three-time light. Repeat: three-times light. Transmission out.//
Yes, it was in trouble again with alien creatures. It hoped they weren’t as powerful as those Delain creatures -- they had blown off a large piece of its torso body structure. It had been painful, but it understood why. What if these creatures had the ability to destroy it? Maybe they could travel as fast as it? It hoped not. It might be in worse trouble than before.
It wished the creatures on planets had not evolved. It remembered one planet it had come close to destroying long ago -- it had no sentient creatures on it. Well, at least nothing ever fought back. It was headed there now. It was in this giant swirling shape those creatures called the Milky Way Galaxy.
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