Again, really quick followup to First contact. any suggestions on what might happen next are welcome. I am writing these as first drafts with minimal editing so it is readable, so the quality will never be better than this. sorry.
It seemed that all specie had a near universal belief that there were monsters where no one had been to before. When they were planetary beings, species generally believed the monsters to be in the distant regions on their home, but when their planet was explored, they pictured the monsters to be above them, beyond the sky. But when they left their planet, the monsters moved to other planets. And so on and so on. It was never anything anyone took seriously, more like children’s fairy tales than anything, but the fear of the unknown was difficult to overcome, even for the most intelligent and rational beings.
But a year ago, Admiral Hot’ath and his crew seemed to find the monsters. The Dareth Were an ancient species that had once conquered hundreds of galaxies. Though it was so long ago, no one knew anything about them other than that they had existed and were a supreme military force that only were stopped through the combined efforts of every known intelligent species in the universe. Most people had even forgotten about them entirely as they had drifted into legend, then obscurity. And now, Admiral Hot’ath was bringing them back into the intergalactic community. As of yet, no one knew whether this was a good or bad thing, and the Torgians were being pressured by other species to leave them alone and never go back. The problem was that the New Dareths, or humans as they referred to themselves, had already mastered FTL communication, and had colonized all hospitable planets in their solar system, and even a few inhospitable ones. It was only a matter of time before they spread throughout the galaxy, and eventually move beyond. It would be roughly a million years until they reached the known Intergalactic community, but it would happen. It would be better to establish a relationship with them now and perhaps befriend them instead of leaving them to their own devices.
Of course there were other Species that wanted to kill them all now, and even more that wanted to participate in making contact. But as it was a Torgian expeditionary force that found them, it was ultimately the decision of the Torgian King, Gil-tetch. He had since made the decision to send the same fleet back along with a military escort and a diplomatic unit.
Thankfully, they were not going in blind. The Humans were eager to make contact with a foreign intelligence, and gave a mass of information about their home planet and themselves to Hot’ath as a good will gesture. Though the information was incredibly valuable and provided much insight, it was so bizarre, that half the people who looked at it didn’t believe it was real. But King Gil-tetch did, and that was all that mattered.
Their home planet was a bit of an oddity, its biomes ranging wildly from below freezing to above boiling, and its weather patterns being oddly unpredictable. But it’s most astonishing feature was the level of biodiversity it supported. There were thousands of animal species, and just as many subspecies. Plants were strange as well, few being edible unless the consumer had multiple stomachs. Many were also carnivorous, and a few even seemed to be malicious for non-sentient beings, and the intelligence and capabilities of the fungi would be frightening if it was self aware.
But the humans stood out above all else. They did not remain where they were comfortable, they went EVERYWHERE, even living in hostile areas for no discernable reason. They seemed to enjoy dangerous environments more than safe ones as shown by finding a way to colonize one of the Gas Giants in their solar system. It was like their very existence was a declaration that they would refuse to die and would prove that nothing would kill them. They ate foods that were inedible, they owned dangerous animals as pets, they fought each other for recreation, they would perform horrifying medical procedures that most other species were incapable of doing, just to keep from dying. And it was Admiral Hot’ath’s job to ensure that they would not kill anyone.
He stood on the bridge staring at the screen showing Prison 1. Or as the Humans called it, Earth. The humans seemed glad that his fleet had returned, and had invited them to come straight to the home world. They had already established a connection with the Information network the humans established and was cross-referencing they information they already had with the human’s open sources. They were traveling at .1 light speed and were now entering orbit of the planet. It would be several days until physical contact was made with any humans, they needed to gather samples to synthesize immunizations so no one died from anything humans were carrying, and they needed to distribute their own immunizations to the humans. This was a lengthy process, and it was possible that it wouldn’t work, and the immunizations would kill people. Hot’ath had a feeling that the humans would take to the immunizations just fine. They were incredibly resilient.
But even after they overcame that hurdle, the Torgians would never be able to set foot on Earth, or even enter the atmosphere. Earth had a much higher gravity than what they were used to, approximately five times more in fact. None of them would even be able to stand without exo-suits, but even so, they would probably be crushed against the inside of the suit. Most likely, the humans would come up to their ship, or the Torgians would go to the Earth moon or the planet they named Mars. Until then, they would use holographic conferences.
Once they were settled in orbit, Hot’ath sent a hail signal to the planet. He had diplomats with him, but the King had placed him in charge, so their first real conversation was his responsibility. An image of a man sitting on a large, uncomfortable looking throne made of a dark red wood and ornate silver inlay. “Greetings, I am Emperor Guanwudi, Ruler of the Terran Empire.” The man announced, his lips not matching the audio as it was translated to Standard Intergalactic. Hot’ath recognized him from the Current Events file in the Human’s Information transfer.
Hot’ath bowed as he learned to do in the files, and replied. “I am Admiral Hot’ath. With me are Lady Fer-gin and Sir Hot’gun. We hail from the Torgian Kingdom.”
“May I ask how you found us and what your intentions are?”
“We were an expeditionary force exploring this galaxy, it was believed to be mostly uninhabited until our long range sensors picked up an artificial radiowave. We followed it here and found your system. We have no specific intentions beyond offering friendship.”
The emperor nodded and moved on to his next question without hesitation, revealing nothing in his face or voice. “Why did you stop at Pluto on your first visit?”
“There was an outpost there that was the gateway to the blackzone. Have you not found it?”
The emperor’s face faintly flinched. “No. Over five hundred years ago, it was decreed that Pluto was to be left alone as the only untouched planet. Have you learned why this was a blackzone since your last visit?”
This threw Hot’ath for a few moments before he remembered that he had told them before that he did not know why the blackzone was in place. “Yes, it seemed that a few hundred million years ago a dangerous species was sent here as a quarantine exile. The outpost was abandoned when it was determined that the species was no longer a threat. It was so long ago, that the records were lost and the entire event was forgotten. But our King has suspended the blackzone until further notice upon learning of your discovery.”
“How far away do you hail from?” he asked, as though the previous question was not asked.
“Approximately 200 billion of what you call lightyears.”
The king gave a faint smile, the change in tone threw off the admiral, who had thought that the human was ready to wage war at any moment. “So even in space, there are explorers.”
“Before we came, were you content to stop where you are now? Or did you look to the stars and find other planets you could go see?” Hot’ath replied with a smile of his own.
“True.” The man conceded. “But we do not know how different our species are. How do you think it would work out if we were to treat you as humans, or you to treat us as Torgian?”
“I am glad to see that you act with forethought. I have made many first contacts, and not all species are so intelligent.”
The emperor laughed, the noise harsh and halting. If Hot’ath had not been thoroughly briefed on Human expression during the several month journey here, then he would have been confused. Of course, all species had odd expressions, but this being the most sensitive and dangerous interaction he had ever had, it paid to be prepared. “I thank you for the compliment.” The man got out as his laughter died down. “So, Admiral, how should we proceed? What are your plans?”
Hot’ath gave a brief overview of the vaccination plan, then went on to explain that they would not be able to set foot on any planet greater than .3 of earth’s mass due to their bodies. They will then survey the system’s resources and see if there is anything of value to the Hot’ath. There were other legal questions involved such as how far theTerran Empires borders stretched past the solar system, and how many other systems they could claim, but that was the job of the Ambassadors. For now, he only requested permission to gather physical samples of earth, plant, and animal tissue from each planet.
“That sounds reasonable.” The Emperor agreed. “I would greatly like to establish trade between our people. If this can be a mutually beneficial relationship all the better. I hope to speak to you again soon, admiral.” He pressed a button that wasn’t visible on the arm of his chair, cutting the communication.
Hot’ath nearly collapsed in relief. They were friendly. They wanted to trade. They were giving him everything he asked for. He had not expected it to go anywhere close to this well. “Admiral?” Lady Fir-gin placed a six fingered hand on his back.
“I’m O.K.” he assured everyone. The inhabitants of the bridge were al looking to him. They were just as scared and relieved as he was. “Prepare for Stage 1.” He straightened up, giving out orders. “Have Dr Mon-fit’tch coordinate with the human delegates where the survey droids are to gather their tissue samples, and Dr. Brath’thn send excavation droids out to gather soil samples.
After a moment of silence the bridge started to bustle in activity. Everyone had jobs to do and no time to wait. They had made friends with the monsters.