George T. Philibin
Respectfulness, Politeness, and Courtesy go a long, long way!
Mars watched as habitation and work units landed on its face,
and all ten units landed intact as far as data received on Earth could
determine. However, probes that landed on Mars in the past often sent
back corrupted signals -- mineral deposits or unknown magnetic waves of
an undetermined origin the cause, many thought. Martian storms
generated extreme winds, in which static-electrical charges generated
by particles rubbing together might also be the cause. If the units
were severely damaged, the mission would have to be scrubbed.
One month after the units landed, six astronauts glided down
to the Martian surface aboard Python, a space-shuttle-type craft with
wings that helped it maneuver. Cautiously, Python slipped through the
thin Martian atmosphere toward the units. Python landed once the units
were spotted on radar, nearby. It came to a stop only ninety yards from
until two, and all but two units were visible.
"Send the ‘Landing Success Message' to Earth," Captain Candice
Peterson said, after making sure all were Okay within Python.
Lt. Cindy Collens, the communications officer sent the message.
"We bloody made it," Major Winston Charles said. He was a
major in the RAF, and invited to join the flight.
"I'm glad that NASA paid for the trip here, just imagine the
ticket cost," Doctor Richard Stanton said." And our baggage was also
free." He held the distinction of being a medical doctor and a botanist.
"And you my ‘jolly old fellow' said that if we do make it,
your queen will ‘Knight' you. Will she?" Elmo Williams the chief
engineer said to Major Winston Charles.
"She might, but I bet I'll get a bloody big kiss
at least," Major Charles replied.
Laughter washed over the crew and Captain Peterson was glad.
"My family will be so proud of me, especially my grandfather
if he somehow knows. He was a fighter pilot once, you know," Cindy
said. Cindy carried a cameo picture of him with her personal belongings
and said that she never knew him, but always felt very close to him for
reasons that she could never explain.
The crew laughed in merriment as Python's systems
re-configured themselves to sleep mode. Python's computers initiated
communications with the number one unit, called Mother, since it was
the command center for the first Martian colony now forming to be
called Cosmotropolis. Cosmotropolis, the dream colony envisioned by the
scientific world for years now becoming a reality.
"Data's coming in from Mother," Captain Peterson said. "Number
four and number nine units are ten and fifteen miles away, but they're
transmitting a strong signal every hour. That's a good sign . . . and
the signals coming in suggests little or no damage."
"That shouldn't be too much of a problem; I'll get them with
Caterpillar. According to satellite images, the terrain's flat with no
canyons or deep ravines in the way," Mike Gress said. As a graduate
from MIT Mike could run or fix anything.
Mike, Dr. Stanton and Major Charles embarked from Python and
made their way to Mother.
"My God, it's so easy to walk on this here Mars," Major
Charles said. "I bet I could run the hundred yard dash in four seconds."
The arid and reddish Martian landscaped flooded their eyes
with each step they took. Mars! Not the first steps that humans left on
Mars, but the first steps toward the beginnings of the first Martian
city. What a walk, and it only took a little more than nine months to
plant the first step. The last mission to Mars spent six months and
they all returned to Earth, but this mission will never end. Some crew
might return when others arrive, for Cosmotropolis will be manned
forever. The large underground glacier discovered, will supply the
needed water, and food supply enough for ten years stored in unit five
which easily will last until hydroponic gardening can supply food.
Major Charles signaled Mother's outer door to open and it
opened without hesitation. "Well, if that's not a good welcoming sign,
I just don't know what is," Major Charles said.
Once inside the airlock doors, Dr. Stanton looked back out and
stared for a moment. His hand held onto the outer seal in which case
Mike couldn't close the door. Major Charles and Mike waited a moment
before speaking. Finally after a few-long seconds, Mike said, "No
Martians following us, is there?"
Dr. Stanton broke out of his stupor then said, "Strange, I had
this same feeling in Afghanistan when a Tailiban sniper zeroed in on
us. The sniper fired and hit an I.V. bag hanging from a stand. We all
thought that in the dim light the bag must have looked like somebody's
head. He looked over the Martian landscape for a moment, then turned
his head inward.
Dr. Stanton took his hand off the seal. Mike closed the outer
door and within a few seconds, a green light indicating a good seal lit
up. Nobody said anything as the air pressure equalized itself to
Three days later, all the units were connected together except
two, and preparations were set to retrieve the last two.
"I can get them when you give me the go ahead ," Mike said to
Captain Peterson. "Caterpillar worked perfectly when I maneuvered the
other units to Mother. I think they over-engineered it -- hell if I had
it back on earth I'd win every tractor pull in the world!"
"Well it should. That Caterpillar cost fifty million dollars!
So, yes I'll think it would win," Elmo said.
"Fifty-million-American dollars? No -- and they let Mike drive
the thing?" Major Charles said.
Laughter flooded inside Mother as Mike smiled and Major
Charles grabbed Mike's shoulder then said, "But he is the best driver
we have up here!"
Forty-eight hours later when all the units were running
properly, Captain Peterson gave the order to retrieve the last two.
Mike started out for unit four. The ten miles were no
challenge for the Caterpillar, and within four hours Mike had unit four
back and two hours later connected to Mother.
After Mike finished, Captain Peterson said, "Run a complete
systems check on Caterpillar and recharge its batteries. Well retrieve
unit nine in twenty-four hours."
"See any Martians out there?" Major Charles said. A grin as
wide a Mike ever saw crawled over the Major's face.
"Yeah, it said to tell your Queen Hello!" Mike said.
Laughter rained down on Major Charles as he shook his head
back and forth. Captain Peterson smiled at the humor. She seemed
pleased as she studied the responses and emotional reactions of her
crew. They all seemed like teenagers that just won a major high school
football game and ready to begin a party that surely will last well
past midnight. Thank God the intense training at surviving nine months
of space travel paid off. My crew is prepared for anything,
A little less than twenty-four hours later, Caterpillar rolled
out again searching for unit nine with Mike at the controls. Fifteen
miles out and fifteen miles back should also be a cake walk. Captain
Peterson, a little maternal perhaps, told Mike to take a four-day
supply of food and water with him.
Caterpillar started making about ten mile per hour toward unit
nine, and all systems were one hundred percent.
"It's a little bumpier on this route," Mike said after a mile
out. "I'm going to slow down to about eight."
At five miles out, Mike turned on the radar. The screen
flashed two bogies. One had to be unit nine because it matched the
co-ordinates of unit nine's signal. But the other one?
Mike immediately informed Captain Peterson, and she answered
with, "Don't deviate from your retrieval, but aim all cameras toward
that bogie you found. The bogie's only a half mile away and with a blip
that large on screen the cameras should get something."
Mike got within visual range of unit nine, and in a few
moments the other radar target became visual. He used the camera's
telescopic lens to zero in on it and also sent the pictures back to
Mother. Sweat beads formed of Mike's head. His breathing became almost
nil while his heart raced. He turned white and didn't hear Captain
Peterson say, "Oh my God! What the hell is it! ---- Mike dis-regard the
retrieval. Get over there but approach cautiously. Mike! Do you hear
Mike snapped out of it finally and answered with a "Yes,
proceeding now to the target."
Mike turned Caterpillar toward the target and slowed down his
speed to three miles per hour.
At ninety-feet away, Captain Peterson said, "Stop there!"
Writings like Chinese or Arabic appeared on the hull and at
this close range, Mike saw that is was spherical in shape. It stood
about fifty feet above the Martian surface but half of it looked like
it were under the surface. A hole in its side looked like it were made
by an impact of some type, maybe a meteor perhaps, or space junk or
maybe a sharp blow from a protruding rock outcrop on landing. The hole
looked imploded; its edges curved inward.
Caterpillar started moving forward again but within a few
seconds, a probe-type-roving vehicle came from behind the alien sphere
and started toward Caterpillar.
"Stop!" Captain Peterson said. "Zero in on that movement!"
All exterior cameras on Caterpillar zeroed in on the alien
rover, and recorded its movements.
"It looks like it's watching me!" Mike said. "What the hell is
The alien rover stopped, but its antennas continued to move in
a circular path, and other unknown parts also moved, one started to
pulse, and one extended itself. The metallic body also showed some
movement on its sides and on its underbelly.
Radar had the alien rover's dimensions. "It's about a large as
a full size pick-up truck," Mike said.
The alien rover had three tracks to it -- one on each side and
one in the middle. One of its antennas appeared broken in half. A disc
of some type popped up from its top and aimed itself toward Caterpillar.
"You think that thing belongs to the Russians? How about the
Chinese?" Mike said.
The alien rover moved back and forth but stayed about the same
distance away. Lights, very dim, some red, some blue, some purple,
glowed from its hull at various locations. Markings like the ones on
the sphere could be seen on its sides. The disc moved, angled itself,
then re-angled itself again like it were trying to get the best
reception possible. The tracks on this rover must have been unlike
anything on Earth, because the rover moved sideways just as easily as
it moved forward and backward.
Caterpillar observed the alien rover for half an hour and sent
back video pictures of it in real time. For the next fifteen minutes,
the rover remained stationary. The alien rover parked itself in one
spot. It's disc and antennas didn't move either. Nothing.
"Mike, you're to retrieve unit nine now; I don't want your
power to fall below thirty percent by the time you get back," Captain
Peterson said. "Keep recording for as long as you can, but we can't
spend too much time out there."
Mike turned away from the sphere and rolled over to unit nine.
He latched onto it and started for Mother. "There's tracks all around
here. The same tracks that alien rover leaves behind," Mike radioed
"It probably saw unit nine land and investigated it," Captain
The alien rover started following Caterpillar.
"That thing's following me! I wish I had
something to shoot at it! Man, I don't like that thing following me!"
"Stay on course," Captain Peterson said. "By the looks of it,
it is just as interested in us as we are in it."
"What if that thing attacks!" Mike screamed.
"Use one of your lifting forks to fight it off," Major Charles
said. "But I don't think it has hostile intentions, but it might defend
itself. Don't make any unexpected moves toward it."
Mike kept a straight course back to Mother; he didn't vary in
speed and he didn't have to make any sharp turns. The alien rover
paralleled Caterpillar, kept the same distance and matched
Caterpillar's speed. Since Mike had all cameras pointed to the alien
rover, he decided to turn off the radar, thinking that it might
interpret radar signals as a threat, possibly. Mike kept looking toward
it and each time he looked, he thought he saw different expressions on
its front. His sweat felt cold, his lip started to twitch and his hands
grabbed the steering sticks harder and harder as Caterpillar crept
"When I was a kid I had a dog follow me home one day," Mike
said. "I'll never forget that day. I thought the dog was showing his
teeth, but my dad said the dog was just smiling. Do you believe that?
"Well, Mike . . . if that thing smiles, just smile back at
it," Major Charles said.
"That rover's sending out signals," Cindy said. "I can get
them on screen. Look! The signals are low power . .
. it's like it's trying to communicate with us. Or maybe it's sending a
signal back to that sphere. I don't know, but look at the pictures it's
Images of blocks, pyramids, circles and parallel lines were
above a strange writing, like the writing on the spherical ship that
Mike encountered. Color objects like buildings and possibly trees and
plants and roads with vehicles on the roads scrolled across the screen.
However no beings or humanoid creatures appeared on any of the
pictures. Next came a series of one type of symbol and another type of
symbol that filled up the screen.
"That's a binary system," Elmo said. "It might not be ones and
zeros, but that is definitely binary."
"I've sent all the data we have on it back to earth. We should
receive something back in about fifteen minutes," Elmo said.
"I don't think they have any contingency plans for a find like
this one," Major Charles said.
Caterpillar entered the colony and shifted unit nine into its
place. The alien rover stopped for a moment then started to circle the
complex, varying its speed.
"It's recording us. Studying us. Analyzing us. Hell, I think
it's taking pictures of us," Major Charles said.
"I'm completely positive about its intentions at
communication. The technology in that alien probe appears advanced.
From what I've seen, it's power source is beyond anything we have, and
it probably has been on Mars for many years by the looks of the wrecked
sphere, if that's where this probe actually originated from," Captain
"Funny, it stopped sending signals once Caterpillar powered
down," Elmo said.
"I'm way out of my field here, but I get the impression that
it wanted to speak with another rover or something like itself. And it
thought -- or its data concluded that Caterpillar was a rover or probe,
and it tried to make contact with Caterpillar," Dr Stanton said.
That alien rover stopped once it made a complete circle around
"I think it's waiting for us to respond," Major Charles said.
"We can send crawler over to it," Elmo said. "It looks
something like that thing -- not as big, but I can direct Crawler from
the console. Boy, it must have thought Caterpillar was some kind of
"You mean to say that monkeys only talks to other monkeys,"
Major Charles said. "And that alien thing out there wants to talk to
something like itself! I find that hard to believe."
The messages received from earth were almost unintelligent.
The scientists and directors at NASA were confused, and they didn't
have any protocol that addressed a situation like the one that faced
the astronauts on Mars. However, the scientists all agreed that the
main mission on Mars take second place and the new mission be the alien
artifacts. Every ten minutes new questions came from earth, and demands
to have up-graded images and communications sent back.
"I can't keep up with this," Cindy said. "I'm going to send
NASA all our transmissions in real time."
"That's a good idea," Captain Peterson said.
Crawler left its garage and headed toward the alien rover.
Immediately the alien rover started sending signals but remained
stationary while Crawler maneuvered itself over to it. At about ten
feet, Crawler stopped. The signals from the alien rover continued for
another five minutes, then they ended.
"All this data -- maybe NASA's computers can interpret it . .
. I don't know, but I'm sure about one thing: That one transmission was
defiantly binary," Elmo said. "I got an idea. I'm going to transmit our
"Go ahead," Captain Peterson said.
Once the transmission started through Crawler, a disc-looking
mesh on the alien rover turned. Numbers flashed across the screen at
speeds so great that the screen started to look like some old strobe
light. A few short minutes later, Elmo ended that transmission.
"I've sent everything the computer has," Elmo said.
"Send it something else," Major Charles said. "Hell, send it
some music. Send it speeches. Send the damned thing T.V. programs! It
just might like Star Trek!"
The next series of signals were composed of T.V. programs,
Beethoven's nine symphonies, an actor giving the Gettysburg Address,
pictures of the space shuttle taking off, and a presidential debate.
All communications were restricted to English, not wanting to confuse
the rover if it were trying to master language.
Pictures, music and speeches were transmitted intermittently
for five hours. When Elmo stopped the transmission from Crawler, all
awaited a response from that alien rover. No response came forth as the
crew aboard Mother waited. The alien rover remained motionless. A new
transmission from NASA with new orders came.
"NASA wants us to explore the ship," Captain Peterson said.
"Major Charles and Mike will have the honors. They want videos of the
ship and they want a probe inside it. They don't want us to enter it
because another mission is coming in about ten month, and they'll have
equipment designed for interior probing. Our suits are too thick. I
don't think any one of us could get in that hole on the sphere safely.
But they do want a small probe sent there."
"I like how they say send in a probe. What probe? Our probes
are all specific. One purpose only. We don't have anything that will do
much once inside that sphere," Elmo said.
"Elmo, I know you and Mike can come up with something,"
Captain Peterson said.
Twenty-four hours later, Major Charles and Mike started toward
the alien sphere aboard Creeper, a small transport vehicle that rode on
ten wheels and much smaller than Caterpillar. Two modified probes that
Mike and Elmo made, rode along with them.
Major Charles and Mike circled the sphere. No entrance
doorways or impressions of doorways could be seen on the sphere's hull.
The hull was a smooth surface with nothing resembling rivets or wields
After examining the hole, some bad news came back to Mother.
An inspection by looking inside the hole with lights revealed that only
two feet in from the hole, metal walls stood, bulkheads possibly. No
entrances could be seen through the bulkheads, and the bulkheads were
abutted together. "That's an inner hull," Mike said, and Major Charles
Captain Peterson sent the findings back to earth.
Once back on Mother, Major Charles said, "Well, I guess that
closes that door. The boys back at NASA will have to send some really
good cutting torches to get into that thing. Anyhow we can't possibly
get in that hole with these bulky suits -- that's for sure since we
measured the hole size and found serrated metal strips dangling from
the its edges. Those strip would be like knifes. Hell, they'd cut
through our suits like butter. You know, I couldn't get one of those
strips off. That's one hell of a strong metal!"
For the next couple of days, Captain Peterson ordered general
data sent to the alien rover. Old movies, more speeches, programs from National
Geographic, and a program that NASA sent designed to teach
English to any other non-English speaking persons regardless of their
native tongue. Lt. Cindy Collens finally said, "Why don't you send it Love
Story? It might have something like emotions."
All aboard Mother looked around at each other, some smirked
and others smiled broadly. Finally after a few silent moments, Elmo
said, "Hell, maybe that thing has a lost -- other thing out there
somewhere. Who knows?"
Cindy transmitted Love Story. After the
movie ended, the alien rover responded with a series of images. Then it
responded with a light show. Its next response washed shockwaves over
all at Mother, for in this response humanoid creatures stood side by
side, and it didn't take any imagination to conclude the one was a male
and the other a female, and in one image children could be seen!
"We don't know how they communicate. Maybe they intrepid
emotional responses and mannerism on a higher level than we do. Perhaps
their speech has developed along the lines of body language instead of
sound, or the body language and sound complement each other," Cindy
said. "It responded to images of humans interacting with each other.
That also has an emotional overture to it. Why respond to interaction
and not to the hard data we sent it?"
"You're one hell of a communication officer, you know that,"
Major Charles said. "You just might have something with this body
language thing. Hell, maybe the damned thing's a cyborg of some kind."
"I was thinking the same thing. It's possible that body parts
from some intelligent life form is contained in the hull. I don't know.
When you're dealing with life forms, anything is possible," Dr. Stanton
The rover sent more signals back. However, small scenes from Love
Story would pop-up and those scenes always showed kissing, or
hugging or the two stars from the move being close together with their
arms around each other or walking together hand in hand. All scenes
showed contact of some form.
Many at NASA agreed with Cindy's theory. Some didn't and
others took a neutral position, but all did agreed that the rover might
use a unique process when communicating -- far different from anything
known on earth.
"I'll be damned," Elmo said. "Why don't you go out there and
pet the thing like it was a dog or horse."
All aboard Mother became silent and all eyes turned toward
Elmo who was just looking at something on his screen while he mumbled
"Yeah, just pet the damned thing" over and over again and not aware
that everyone took his comment seriously.
After a few moments, Elmo looked up, saw that all eyes were on
him, then said, "What?"
"My God, are you thinking what I'm thinking?" Cindy said to
"It hasn't shown any hostile intentions," Captain Peterson
The rover moved its disc a little. It stayed close to Mother
as if it were waiting for something, or begging for something as Cindy
so paternally pointed out like a dog wanting a snack. An intelligence
as advance as the ones that built that rover, must also have computer
systems that should master any earth language easily from all the data
sent to it. Computers on earth can deciphers codes and learn languages.
Captain Peterson gave Cindy permission to suit up and go out
and meet the alien rover on a more personal level. Perhaps it's
programed to interact in a personal setting and not a general one.
After all, it did respond when other rovers were near it.
Once suited up, Cindy left the air lock and walked the short
distance to the alien rover. Antennas on the rover's top moved, the
disc moved until it faced Cindy directly, a soft-green light, and a
soft-blue light came from the disc.
Cindy stopped after the lights came on, but with their beams
blending together and changing their tones and hue, she started to feel
comfortable and confident. The lights drew her in. She walked up to the
alien rover and stopped not more than a foot from it.
Cindy then placed her gloves on the alien rover's hull. She
rubbed the gloves over it. Then she started to say, "I know you must be
lonelier that I could ever imagine. It's all right now, we are building
a city here and you can stay with us . . . ."
"You'd think she was petting some giant stray dog," Major
"I'll be damned," Emo said.
Mike and Dr. Stanton didn't utter a word, but Captain Peterson
said, "You know, for some reason I've got a very good feeling about
Cindy stopped rubbing the alien rover's hull. She stepped
back. Then she bent over like she were talking with a little kid and
said, "My name's Cindy. What's yours?"
Again Cindy asked the question only this time she asked it
In Mother, a silence washed over the crew like a Tsunami
hitting a beach, for a new signal from the alien rover came forth, and
its message was very clear: "I trust you, Cindy. My designation is
close to your English word Tenfold which I will respond to."
The voice had a low feminine tone to it, rather soft yet
clear, perhaps a close imitation of Cindy's.
"Oh! My! God!" Major Charles said.
"I-I-am glad you t-trust me . . . Tenfold," Cindy said.
"I've been here for two thousand of your Earth years. I know
very little about where I came from because I was built to probe and
learn a new environment -- as best as your language English can
explain," Tenfold said.
"Do you need anything?" Cindy said. She didn't know what to
say and that question just popped out.
"Just company. I'm lonely. My needs are only sunlight and a
surface to propel on," Tenfold said.
Cindy spent so much time talking with Tenfold that her
oxygen-low indicator came on. She had to return to Mother and Tenfold
understood. "We can talk over your communicators," Tenfold said.
NASA received all transmissions. Messages from NASA constantly
came, too many questions and so many orders followed that after fifteen
minutes, Elmo turned off reception from Earth. Captain Peterson seemed
to understand and left the receiver off for a little while. She then
asked Dr. Stanton to talk with Earth, and asked Elmo to relax, have
some coffee and think of something that he always enjoyed.
"We hope that you'll stay with us here. Our rovers don't
speak, but if you like you can be with them, if that makes you
comfortable. We have solar panels . . . some extra parts and other
materials that you might be able to use. I'm the leader here and
anything you need or want, just ask," Captain Peterson said.
Tenfold didn't respond until Cindy said, "She really means it."
"Thanks," Tenfold said.
Technological information flowed from Tenfold, and all of it
was sent to Earth in real time. Elmo isolated a section. He studied it
for a few minutes, and looked over it again, punched in some numbers on
his computer then displayed schematics up on his screen. After some
more musing it over, Elmo said, "Major, no wonder you couldn't find a
door on that crashed ship."
"Why's that?" Major Charles said.
"The metal they use deforms. Their metal opens up like a
curtain on stage does when one goes through two sections that are drawn
together. Liquid metal?" Elmo said. "But it hardens afterwards!"
A little later Elmo said, "I'm not sure, but it appears like
it's transmitting data on how to curve space!"
"Oh-My-God," Major Charles said.
As Mother relayed all transmissions from Tenfold to Earth in a
secured code, little transmission came back. NASA was too engrossed, it
seemed, with the data that they were receiving. However, one
transmission was very clear to all: "Whatever you have to do to keep
this data coming in. Do it!"
After nearly ten hours of sending data, Tenfold stopped. It
responded with: "All is sent. I have nothing else. I can understand
your wanting to know my origin, but as I said before, I do not have
that data. The computer on board my ship might, but it was disabled and
I can't get to it to make repairs. Perhaps with your help, I can. I
know that I was made by beings not unlike yourselves. I believe they
were about your size and looked similar to you beings. That's all the
data I have about them."
Tenfold became one of the crew, and the crew loved her as they
now referred to Tenfold, and Tenfold enjoyed herself. She romped around
Cosmotropolis, and sometimes asked questions. Finally after a few days,
Tenfold said, "I like all here." She showed Elmo how to increase the
power from solar panels by fifty percent, and she showed Dr. Stanton
how to grow vegetables and fruits five times their natural size.
Captain Peterson had requested that none ask rude or what is
considered impertinent questions, for she was afraid that the questions
might place Tenfold in some type of defensive mode, like when you ask
little kids if they've been good all year just before Christmas.
Tenfold showed emotions and those emotions like ours were not easy to
understand, and in Tenfold's case extreme caution should be used. All
agreed with that. Questions like "Are you a cyborg?" and "What happened
to your crew?" and "Do you like us?"
It wasn't hard to respect Tenfold because she became somewhat
of a friend. NASA wanted her interrogated, it seemed, with so many
questions sent up to Mother that they wanted answered, but Captain
Peterson refused many of their requests, citing that Tenfold will tell
us in time. That didn't go over too well with one general who
threatened Captain Peterson with "You'll never be on another mission
again!" Her answer: "I'll be too old anyhow by the time I get back!"
Tenfold also didn't ask too many questions. Her social skill
must have been developed from the movies and cultural data sent to her.
Her friendly and warmhearted nature made her popular with the crew, and
she even started playing chess and card games. She took an interests in
the different species of animals on Earth, and became fascinated with
marine life. The giant squid her favorite! She studied all the data
that she found about them, and requested more. She got the information
that she wanted and after a few days, she requested that she be able to
talk with marine biologists! NASA reluctantly
agreed, and to the astonishment of marine biologists, Tenfold explained
things to the marine biologists about giant squid that had baffled the
biologists from years! Why Tenfold liked giant squid became a mystery,
but Captain Peterson said that Tenfold would tell when she wants to.
Little by little Tenfold told things about herself. Her power
source derived from gravity waves. Her components a mixture of what we
would think of as biological and mechanical. Her mission was deflected
from its true purpose by a black hole that wasn't detected by the
sphere when in deep space. Little by little things came from Tenfold.
She liked us all and after she got comfortable with us, she and Elmo
would gang up on Major Charles! Tenfold wanted to know if the Queen
ever spanked Major Charles on the behind, and all concluded that it was
a form of humor! Major Charles didn't know how to respond to that one.
Elmo laughed so hard that he strained a muscle! Dr. Stanton had to
apply a cold pact to it.
Captain Peterson stuck to her guns when dealing with Tenfold,
and Tenfold wasn't interrogated. All treated Tenfold with respect and
friendship which paid off in unimaginable ways. Tenfold did tell more
and more as time passed and she seemed pleased that just a few
questions came her way, and those questions were technical in nature,
pertaining to improvements with the colony's life support systems. The
first contact with another intelligence worked for reasons that are
probably as old as the universe. Tenfold became a friend first!
© 2016 George T. Philibin
Bio: George Philibin has been writing for about
twenty years. He worked at a generating station in Western
Pennsylvania, and served in Viet-Nam. During his last two years in the
army, he played French Horn with the army band at Ft. Monmouth, NJ. He
attended the University of Pittsburgh for Mechanical Engineering. He
worked in a coal mine, a steel mill, and a dairy once. Now, he's
retired. His favorite authors were Charles Dickens, Theodore Dreiser,
and Kurt Vonnegut. Lately, he's become interested in Ambrose Bierce and
some present day authors. His last appearance in Aphelion, Jamie's Revenge was in October 2016
E-mail: George T. Philibin
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