A lone scientist, while observing the activities of a planetary object from her spaceship, is faced with the unbelievable proof that aliens do exist. For centuries, humans have thought that we are the only ones in this galaxy...and here, forcing its way onto her ship, is an alien species claiming to have humanity's best interest in mind. Meanwhile, the Star Traveler's crew sets out on a camping trip on the surface of the moon. They stumble upon an object covered in alien writing that gives them the first piece of a galactic map. Unknown to them, it will lead them into an intergalactic controversy, with a group of aliens called the Platonians striving to sabotage their every move.
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Excerpt from Chapter 1: (See the free download for the whole first chapter!)
Jean realized in awe that a comet was coming slowly into her view. She spared a few seconds to peel her eyes away from the viewscreen in order to make sure that her instruments were recording the comet’s majestic passing. Sureenough, they were all doing what they were supposed to do. Crediting the strange communiqué to her bored imagination, Jean welcomed the chance to observe the visiting comet.
Something wasn’t right though. Jean could feel that something wasn’t right. Like the feeling that you get when you are looking for a certain road to go down and you feel as though you’ve gone too far—the comet didn’t look like the common comma-shaped comet. Its main body was round like most others yes, but it had five spire-like objects extruding from its sides, which all then bent to meet together at the back through which the tail was produced.
Jean jumped suddenly as one of the computers around her sent out analarm. She knew instinctively, by the tone of the alarm, which particularcomputer panel was calling for her attention. She turned to her left, ran around the center circle of computer banks, and rounded on the culprit computer. Jean frowned as she realized what the huge load of information scrolling down the blue glowing screen was trying to tell her. She looked, horrified yet also mystified, towards the viewscreen across the room.
Slowly the comet’s speed dropped down to her own ship’s relative speed. The comet turned slowly towards her ship and began its approach. Confused, Jean looked back and forth at the nearest set of computer terminals. One terminal screamed out a proximity alarm. Six others sent out computerized voice messages that were supposed to alert Jean to the comet’s possible time to impact, probable future course and destination of the comet, along with various choices of evasive actions to choose from.
Instead, Jean stood stunned, watching the viewscreen. When the comet traveled past the screen’s sights she turned on the peripheral cameras with a single voice command. Amazingly, the comet then came to a relative stop. As the comet brushed gently against the ship causing afew more computers to squeal in alarm, Jean realized that it was trying to dock with her ship!
“Impossible!” she exclaimed aloud to the viewscreen.
Jean ran around the computerized observation deck shutting down the various alarms and manually issued the commands telling the computer to cease all present activities. This brought the room into silence except for the tiny beeps and chirps that told Jean that all her instructions were being followed. She looked back towards the viewscreen where the comet still presided.
Desiring a better view, Jean decided to head down to the window beside the airlock. She crossed the room and stepped into an empty rectangular cavity in the wall. A panel slid down in front of her sealing away the observation deck. Slowly the small closet-like room lost its gravity. Jean floated from the floor and just as her white soft-soled shoes left the floor, the floor itself slid away to reveal a silver ladder that came to a stop on the floor now further beneath her.
Jean tucked her legs under her body, flipped over downwards, and proceeded to pull herself down the ladder. Once she reached the floor,she snapped her shoes into their magnetic bottoms. She walked past the doors and ladders along the wall to her right, all which led to other areas on her ship, and made her way over to the airlock. Suddenly the weightlessness disappeared as the ship’s living quarters began to have its own gravity.
“Hey! What!?” Jean exclaimed, as her knees gave out from underneath her and her body crumpled to the floor from the sudden surprise in gravity.
She carefully stood up and testing the gravity, she proceeded to walk to the controls beside the airlock door. Jean paused before the airlock as she saw that it was already pressurized. She headed to the window beside the airlock door and was amazed to find a docking ramp had extended from the now tailless comet and had sealed itself around her ship’s hatch.
Jean watched with a mixture of nerves, excitement, and horror as the airlock slowly cycled open. Three tall and wiry forms sporting long, thick,green tails, stepped through her ship’s airlock as the door swung inward.
“We are the Platonians,” the first one replied.Jean stared wide-eyed at the bipedal, green-skinned aliens who had justcome onto her ship.
She nodded in astonishment.
“Yyy…You said that the explosion that killed my parents was a missile?” Jean asked stunned.
“Yes,” a second Platonian replied, nodding his knobby head and flicking a long, thick, green tail.
“Where did the missile come from then?” Jean asked. I can’t believe that I am speaking to aliens!
“That is why we are here…,” the third Platonian replied. “You see, there is another species that keeps leading groups of humans into places wherethis species then implements plans that ensure the humans will ultimately fall prey to any number of things—attacks, illnesses, you name it.
“They do this by luring the humans into searching for a cylinder alien relic that happens to be hidden in various dangerous places. Like on an inhospitable and dangerous planet, or in a stellar system about to go nova.”
“Many of your species has been harmed…and we want to stop them.” The second Platonian spread his arms out wide to illustrate as he spoke up.
“You see, the aliens had placed one of those relics on Udoran. When your parents got too close…well they…blew them up, if you don’t mind my borrowing a nondescript phrase from your language,” the first Platonian replied, as he placed a firm hand on Jean’s shoulder.
Even though the feeling of the Platonian’s touch repulsed her somehow…Jean still remembered the pain and closed her eyes as she relived the pictures from the news broadcast, which had delivered the news of her parents’ death so long ago.
“Can I help stop them from doing this again?” Jean asked.
“We need someone who knows your kind…someone who might be able to help us deter your people from trying to find these relic baits.”
“I’ll do everything I can,” Jean replied, lifting her face to look into the eyes of the Platonian nearest to her.
She looked away quickly though. For some strange reason she found herself trying to avoid looking at these creatures directly. Jean was unsure why, but every time she looked at these Platonians she began to feel a chill travel up her spine.
“Good then come aboard our ship and we will show you our first urgent problem,” the second, shortest Platonian, replied as they led her into their alien vessel.
They had just stepped through the hatch into their own ship, however,when they stopped. They pointed at a viewscreen in front of them on the wall of the small room.
“That is Jupiter Station!” Jean exclaimed, recognizing the technological wonder that Earth’s engineers had recently finished.
She watched quietly as it sat spinning lazily in Jupiter’s orbit.
“There is another of those alien relic things on one of this planet’s moons. If the station becomes fully operational, the humans will undoubtedly find the relic and fall into the alien trap.
“Do you have any suggestions?” the Platonian standing beside her asked.
“Well…I really don’t think we’ll have to worry about it much; it couldbe a while before it is fully staffed. Sometimes stations like this one end up decommissioned because they don’t pass their safety inspections. A station could be deemed too dangerous to live in because some bad virus may be found lurking in the walls or the design isn’t safe.” Jean peeled her eyes away from the viewscreen on which Jupiter and the station delicately danced and looked hesitantly back toward her ship’s airlock.
“One time a plant from one of the planets we were trying to put a station on had gotten inside the station and took it over…It was a vicious plant that attacked anything that came close. That station had to be abandoned,” Jean stated, thinking out loud.
“Thank you,” the third Platonian replied, cutting her off.
“You shall be a great help to us…if you would consent to joining us,” the second stated.
“Definitely—no one else should be hurt from this alien species’ twisted plans,” Jean replied, surprised that her musings had proven helpful to these Platonians.
“Good. Then we have a long trip ahead of us. In order to be able to stop these aliens from spreading their dangerous plans we will have to take you back to our own planet…there we will be able to use all of our resources to stop these beings.”
Jean went back to her own ship which was now operating again in weightlessness. She couldn’t help but think over everything she had just found out. The Platonians stayed latched to Jean’s ship, towing it along as the two ships flew off toward Platonia…the home of the Platonians.Unfortunately, Jean paid little mind to the little voice inside her head that, for some unknown reason disliked the Platonians.
Jean found herself hoping to find whoever it was that killed herparents. As she zipped her floating self into her sleeping bag attached to the wall in her room she couldn’t help but think about what she would do to stop the beings that were harming her fellow humans. Then at last, shaking her head to rid her mind’s eye of the eerie sharp-toothed grin of the Platonians, she floated into an uneasy sleep.