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The Egnarian Chronicles
By Guntis G Goncarovs
Thursday, July 17, 2003
Origins is the beginning to a SciFi novel I've been working off and on for years.
* * * Origins * * *
* * * A Prologue * * *
5 September 1996, Washington, D.C. - Scientists monitoring the Hubble Space Telescope witnessed a superb, first ever display of planetary dynamics today when images of a nova in a binary star system six thousand light years away were downloaded from on board computers. When the images were deciphered, it appeared that one of the two stars exploded, sending streams of debris toward its celestial sister. The event sparked more debate in the theories of Earth’s origins, and lends credence to the radically new theory that the inception of our solar system occurred in a similar fashion.
As scientists debated the theory’s merits, the Futurist Movement warned again today that data such as this indicates that intelligent life not only exists in other parts of the universe, but may be hostile, and at any time could visit our solar system. Politically, the governments of the United States, Russia, China, and United Europe continue to refute reports that a disabled alien craft with perfectly preserved survivors had been discovered in Antarctica . . .
* * * * * *
In the distant binary star system of the Slafacenes, in the time before any recorded word, a vast dust cloud was shocked by the cataclysmic demise of one of the stars. The implosion sent a concussion wave through the stellar gasses, separating the matter into ovular orbits. During the millennia which followed, the scorched matter cooled and coalesced into a planetary system of ten worlds circling the remaining star. As the masses cooled, their minerals crystallized into odd formations. The planets farthest from the Slafacenes, without the benefit of the star’s heat, grew increasingly colder and froze into massive orbs of spinning ice. The tiny planet closest to the star never cooled, and remained a rotating, globular mass of molten rock.
One hundred million miles from the star, the second planet of the system remained warm, and because a thin blanket of gaseous ozone and ammonia clung to the planet, the nutrient rich seas remained fluid. Dynamic metamorphosis continued. Tremors lifted huge, mineral rich land masses above the seas. Volcanism molded the face of the world, violently venting ash and fire skyward. Steaming magma streams spewed from the crust faults, then churned and seared a path seaward. As the molten rock poured into the ammonia filled water, nitrogen filled gas clouds billowed, thickening the new world’s protective atmospheric shroud.
Centuries passed. When the internal pressures of the world were finally relieved, the magma receded into the deep, subterranean chambers, and the world’s cooling slowed to an evolutionary crawl. What remained was a diverse planet: a warm, temperate, and oppressively humid climate at the equator, and at the poles, cold reigned, imprisoning every bit of matter into frigid green and blue ice vaults.
In the shallows of the temperate zone oceans, lush blue-green vegetation flourished. Over the rolling land masses, photosynthetic plants developed quickly. Bathed with daily, nutrient filled rains, the plants evolved broad, highly veined leaves, each independent powerhouses efficient in producing gheligane, a highly cross-linked poly-phosphate. The plants’ by-products of ozone, nitrogen and water thickened the atmosphere even further, encasing moisture below the thick stratosphere.
In the millennia which followed, sentient yet vastly diverse animal life developed on the land and in the fluid environments. On the land masses, a small, adaptable, fur covered vertebrate quickly became the dominant species, and eventually developed into a technologically advanced race. In the vast oceans which covered eighty percent of the surface, diversity raged. Although hundreds of species emerged, an aggressive, highly evolved, and intelligent invertebrate quickly gained dominance. The octopodial creature had a large head supported by a protective, cartilaginous mantle, and could deftly move through it’s fluid environment. Coupled with a strong sense of duty to the strength of their collective, the cephalopods conquered the seas with sheer intimidation and brutality.
In the third millennia after the water creatures began recording their history, a thirst to know what existed beyond the seas spurred brave explorers to venture onto the land. Unknowingly doomed to failure by their lack of bony support, the explorers succumbed to the pressures of the non-aqueous environment before they could return to the safety of the sea.
Consumed with their arrogance and strong, aggressive beliefs, the cephalopods quickly interpreted the event as hostile. Sensing their lost comrades must have been either captured, taken prisoner, or killed by some other aggressive, adversarial species, the cephalopods regressed to a less adversarial demeanor, and chose to avoid contact with the land creatures.
But as the land creatures’ industry started to pour toxic contaminants into the aquatic world, the sea dwellers realized a defensive, survival strategy was needed. Small groups of scientists devised probes and collected volumes of information from the surface, including how the inhospitable lack of buoyancy left the boneless cephalopods defenseless lumps of matter.
The poisoning, however continued at a rate which the cephalopods knew their sheer existence was endangered. From the ranks of young, brash squid a cephalopod named T’Urilok took charge of the fledgling military. Using brilliant, charismatic leadership and strategic skill of legendary proportions, he amassed an army and plotted the strategy which would save his species. Meanwhile, an industrious contingent of scientists embarked on developing weapons of destruction. Amidst the research, a major technological advancement was also developed: a stiff vertebral implant, sufficiently strong to provide the invertebrates the ability to safely leave their buoyant waters and function on the surface. Within a nestar, a solar year, enough weapons and devices were produced to outfit an entire invasion force.
T’Urilok lead the initial invasion in a brilliant, three pronged attack. While a submerged force pummeled the industrial sites along the shores, two armies of ten thousand cephalopods each, rose from the waters and formed a split beachhead. Even though awkward at first, the cephalopods quickly grew accustomed to their new implants, and within hours, scurried to the land creatures’ cities. Mercilessly and brutally vengeful, the cephalopods conquered the vertebrates, caught surprised and totally unprepared for such an aggressive invasion. The War of Salvation, as it became known, lasted only a nestar, leaving the cephalopods rulers of not only the seas of the world, but also the land masses.
In their pillage, the victorious sea creatures captured a cache of scientific literature written by their vanquished. The scientists and engineers quickly deciphered the logs and realized that the land creatures were on the verge of voyaging into space. The Egnarians, as they now called themselves, grew immediately intrigued with the concept of becoming rulers of not only their own world, but others as well.
Twenty five nestars later, the Egnarians completed construction on their first space vessel and ventured away from Egnaro. After a brief courtship with exploration, the creatures, driven by their lust for control, invaded the third planet of the Slafacenes. The technologically retarded simian species easily fell prey to the superior cephalopods. One by one, the other planets fell, and after only seventy nestars of leaving their fluid environment, the Egnarians ruled the Slafacenes star system and headed out for greater adventures.
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Guntis G Goncarovs