The sun rays hit my eyes first as I open them and catch in my breath happened. It was too beautiful for words to describe, the way the grass was a vibrant green or how the water was a sky blue and seemed to flow over the green grass on this planet like a looking glass.
I slung my pack over my shoulder and waited for the others to get ready. I was so nervous yet excited for a adventure.
Kallie came up behind, tapping me on my shoulder. "It's amazing. I have never seen such a captivating lush planet," she commented.
"And you will never will, see one like this." We made small talk as we gathered, looking out the dock window, to see the luxurious waterfalls.
"Captain, I just made sure everything was locked up and good. The dock crew will come later and just check that nothing's happen, though there shouldn't be anything."
"Thank you, Dimitri, Shall we go get something for lunch. I don't know about you guys but I'm starving!" I spun on my feet to face my crew. They all agreed that it was time for lunch. I tapped my HoloPad. It was 12:47.
I brought up a screen from it and search the surrounding area for places to eat. There was three within the the docking port town of Arlia, were we where. I scrolled through their menus and cuisines and singled it down to one. "Are you guys okay with Indian cuisine?" I asked them.
"Indian?" Dido asked.
"Yes it consists of spicy and food originating from the country India on the planet earth. It's in the Milky-Way SS. I visited there once while I was a child. Back when the scientists on earth had been searching for years for some proof of other inhabited planets. But their technology was too outdated and out fashioned compared to ours in Icarus SS. We visited them in the early years of the Evolution. At first they didn't know how to react to us. I mean yes my family lives a lot longer than any other race but I didn't see why they wanted to experiment on us, we looked the same, but we did have strange gifts. My family, has two powers we discover when we reach the age of maturity- which is different for everyone - one is by looking into the a persons eyes we can see their entire life, and the other is that we can tell with one touch of the hand if we have met our soulmate. This is how my father met my mother after falling in love with her after seeing her the first time. Anyway - that was off topic but it's really good. I remember eating at a diplomats house when we where visiting. It was really good. So what do you say?"
"Sure. Lead the way captain."
I selected the restaurant on the HoloPad screen. I set it to tracker mode. It had a dot where we were and where the restaurant was.
We finally reached the restaurant, and were ushered to a table, a long one. Our waitress was a Alyria, a race native to Tercanna. A fish-human hybrid. They were quite beautiful, known to be sirens before they started to realize that they didn't want to be luring people to their death. Her skin had a bluish hue and there were gills on her neck. Her eyes were ones of a fish, huge and round and depthless black, but they were very pretty. She asked us what we wanted to drink. We all replied with water. she handed us menus and went to get our water.
The restaurant was sited right next to a huge waterfall. It was breathtaking and I could tell that the rest of the crew were captivated with it. The interior was down with different coloured silks hanging from the walls, rich carpets and it had that sense of India, you could smell the spices hovering in the air.
Kallie sat next to me, and the window was on my other side. She leaned in close and asked, "So how old are you. You said you were there during the Evolution, I wasn't even born then."
"I am eighteen in Icarusian years, but about 80 years in human years." I explained to her.
"Holy crap! That's old.!" She clapped her hand over her mouth. "Actually that means I'm old in earth years too. Omg I'm so sorry that was so rude."
"Kallie, it's alright. I don't mind. You're my friend." I hugged her. I had found out over the past two days that Kallie and I got along very well and we became fast friends.
"Are you ready to order yet?" The waitress, who's name tag reads Ellryia asks us.
I looked at the table and we nodded. Most of us ordered Indian butter chicken and rice while some ordered uttapan. We also ordered naan and kulfi for all of us. Ellryia wrote our orders down on her paper and collected our menus and walked into the kitchen.
I was scooping a spoon of rice into my mouth when Akari spoke up. "Captain, so what will we be doing here? Just asking?"
"Sightseeing, stocking up on supplies, looking for adventure, thinking about where next to visit." I told them and shoved my food into my mouth, trying to avoid any further conversation while I was eating. It was so good!
I didn't know where I wanted to go next. Being here in the restaurant made me want to visit Earth, that strange blue and green planet, that I had so long ago set my eyes on and I wanted to go again.
The next time Ellryia passed by our table I waved her over. "What are some places we should see while we are here? The not known to tourists sights?" I asked her, since it was her home planet she should know best.
"Well there's crystalline falls on the other side of town and ship rock outside two towns over and there's the crystal cove, the town just South of here along the coast, they have a cave that the walls are completely covered in different gemstones and crystals. And then there's the Tercanna rainforest waterfall river ride. All of those are good places to start!" She smilies as she gushes about all of her favourite places.
"Thank you, Ellryia!" I thanked her.
"Sure, it's nothing. I always get people asking me about places to visit."
She walked away and came back with our bill. It cost 87 quarts. I swiped the bill and headed to the front to pay. I swiped my quarts card through the scanned and paid.
My crew got up and we left. "Do we want to visit the falls first?"
"Sure, it was on the other side of town, wasn't it?"
"Yes, Ellryia said that there was a market next to it. We can stock up there and do some shopping."
We set out on the walk, wondering through the streets of the town and conversing with the townspeople about various stuff such as economy and tourism.
We arrived at the falls, we had stopped at some stalls on the way. I had bought some gifts for mother and father. I stood at the rail on a platform above the falls, wild water droplets hit my face as they crash against rocks not too far below me.
The air was scented with fresh water and pinewood. I could see the fish's shiny backs as they swim below me. The platform was made of crystal and glass and I was see through it. It was amazing, to be able to see everything underneath me. Kane wasn't taking it too well (the height and the roaring water below) and was sitting in the ground, hunched over feeling sick. Kisa had her arm wrapped around his shoulders, probably comforting him. Her other hand rubbing his back. It look like she was whispering in his ear in a hushed low tone. They looked like a couple. I had to say they looked good together.
At the end of the night we are at another restaurant for dinner and dessert then we returned to the Artemis, for a goodnight sleep.
I woke up refreshed and ready to visit the three other places. We all got packed and pushed out some two seater aircycles from the cargo hatch. What Mother was thinking when they were put in there I do not know. It would be easier to get there. I didn't even know we had them. When I asked Dimitri he just smiled and winked.
I turned on the cycle and got on, Kallie hopped on behind me and put on her helmet. Dimitri riding with Dido, Kane and Kisa, and Akari with Karle. We all paired off. I revved the engine and set off towards ship rock, my HoloPad predicted about a 10 minute trip. I set off in the direction that it told me. Making sure every few minutes that everyone was still there. Not getting lost on a foreign planet.
When we got there, we parked and headed toward the town, some friendly townspeople pointing us in the right direction. We thanked them and carried on. When we got there, it took my breath away, a ship lay on a rock, it was still intact. We couldn't actually go into the ship, since it was historical. We then rode into the next town to see the crystal cove. It was amazing what this single planet had, and we were only seeing this little stretch of coastline. I would come back and see more.
Later that day we packed and headed back to the ship and got ready for lift off. I walked to the bridge and sat down in my chair. I had gotten changed into my captain uniform.
"Kane chart a course for Earth in the Milky-Way. It's been forever since I've been there."
"Captain haven't you heard of the recent events?" Kane looked at me worry sketched on his face.
"No, is there anything bad happening?" I asked him, turning towards them.
"Recently, there was been gossiping about the citizens rebelling about the government and their leader. It might not be safe for us, there. You especially." He was concerned for my welfare. I was grateful. That my crewe really cared for me. I wanted to crest this bond with my crewe that was really strong. And this was a great start.
"I haven't been there for 89 human years, no one I would of met would still be alive. I think it's fine, so please chart the course, please?" I really wanted to go and wasn't about to be told that I couldn't go. I like Kane but this is my ship.
"Yes, Captain." Kane turned back to his screen.
We got the green to go and the ship lifted slowly and left the dock and steadily flew towards the stars.
The vast navy, black space spread about us, stars like fires scattered across it, as if poured from a fast invisible unseen hand. Blue bleeds into purple, which seemed to disappear into the black space and rare pinky-purple watercolour seemed to jump out at you. I got to see this every morning. And it was beautiful. Exactly how I wanted to wake up.
I got up and treaded over to my closet, putting on my bra and underwear. I grabbed a pair of white shorts, pulling them up and zipping them closed, making sure I didn't forget the buttons. I pulled a plain jacket/form-fitted top off a hanger and slipped my arms into the sleeves than my head. It was white and had some cut-like indents in the arms and zipped up in the front to a high collar. I searched the floor for my knee high white heeled boots and put those on, I'd already put my socks on.
It took me only a few minutes to brush and pull my long hair into a high ponytail. I applied my porcelain foundation over my birthmark. Making sure I couldn't see it and that it was concealed. My birthmark was the one thing that give me away. I didn't want anyone knowing who I was.
If someone found out and told the world. Men would probably throw themselves at me without getting to know the real me. I had been covering it up since I had left. I did the rest of my makeup and left my room.
The hallway was silent, most of the crewe not yet awake. I look down at the HoloPad in my hand as I glance at the time - 5:25am. It was too early for them to be up. I could do anything I wanted while I waited.
I walked silently along the hall as I neared the observation room. From one wall to the other, lay a full window running the entire wall, you could see outside, as long as the shields were down. I often came here when I wanted to see outside without the stress of the bridge. I placed my hand on the window, I cringed, the window was cold. I brought my hand back to my side.
I turned the lights off and left. I continued my walk down the lower floor, that consisted of the cargo hatch, storage rooms, medic room, crew rooms, bathrooms and star room. I say star room, because I used to have one of the room's machine in my bedroom so I could see anywhere in the universe, whenever I wanted to.
I place my hand on the scanner and as soon as it authorizes me the door slides open with a hiss. I light up my HoloPad, turning off the room lights. I wander over to the screen next to the huge device in the floor. I power it up.
"Name Please," it asks. Obviously a woman's voice by the gentleness and pitch. It was drizzled with honey. Something you don't see very often with voice interfaces these days.
"Captain Cordelia Ravenna ," I Replied.
"Authorized," came the answer and the screen light up, a keyboard in the middle and a bunch of other buttons, dials and a assortment of switches. I was getting use to everything been touch screen here.
I thought about what I wanted to see. I wasn't sure what to look up so I pulled up the directory instead. It consisted of every planet, Galaxy, moon, universe and solar system we have discovered so far.
I tapped on 'Western Universe' which brought me to a list of one hundred and fifty three galaxy's. I selected Milky-way. I decided that I wanted to see the earth. Inside of the Milky-Way Galaxy there was over sixty two Solar Systems.
I remembered back to the Evolution. I was sitting on a chair in a living room in a ambassadors house in the country of England. I was surprised when the ambassadors daughter came up to me and asked me how old I was.
I simply replied, "Do you mean in human years or my years? Cause I'm ten but in your years I'm 100 years old!"
I remember she was so confused and probably freaked out. Probably thought I was a freak. She didn't get that there was other races outside of earth. One the planets near it, Venus, had been populated at least 10,000 years before Earth. The race on Venus hadn't been living on Venus, but rather inside it. No wonder why Earthen scientists didn't know about it. Earth had been one of the last planets to be settled.
I selected Earths SS. It came up with all the planets, some of them I hadn't been to. I had visited Earth, Jupiter, Venus, Neptune and Pluto, Before.
I tapped 'Earth' and the rooms windows closed and the floor lights dimmed. The planet popped up above the device. A coloured hologram with variety of pull up info pages connected by thin lines to different points on the planet. The room was filled with Earth, and it's history and info about the planet. No matter how many times I look at, it is certainly a unforgettable planet. War, peace, war and peace. Lots had happened. Many of the inhabitants didn't even remember how earth came to be and how humans got there. Most of their history lost during the early settlement wars.
I still don't believe how human think that they evolved from apes. Earth was a settlement planet, their race came from some other planet called Umanna, and they adapted to the climate and resources. Sometimes I don't get how the humans come up with their ideas and that they believe that more than half of what they say is true.
I walked around the apparition of the earth in awe. I touch the screen and pull up the recent news. I let it play throughout the room.
"Good Morning, People of Neo Gaia. Lately the curfew as been pushed a hour forward, in order to ensure the safety of our youth and children. Recently some of the youth have been reported missing and we, as the Neo Govern, are here to keep you safe and the balance of our great planet untouched and pure. Parents please, monitor activities of your children. We suspect the kidnapped children have been taken by a terrorist organization called BlueLark, who wishes to set the scale of balance in our beautiful planet into chaos. We ask humbly that if the occasion arise that you have information on this terrible group that wishes to destroy what our hard long years have done to build this magnificent future for our people and future generations, to contact us and you will be rewarded. Please watch out for any info on BlueLark. Now without further delay the weather......"
I turned off the recording and sat down. Why would anyone want to harm children to oppose the government that was doing so much for their people. The Govern wanted to keep them safe. Why would someone rebel against a good cause? I wondered about it for a long time, still confused. I couldn't think of a reason or idea behind the action that was taken. I sighed and let it leave my mind.
My glance caught the time at the corner of the screen, 8:32am. I had been in here almost for 3 hours. I powered off the star gazer and headed for the gallery.
I scooped the last of my breakfast into my mouth and threw away the plate in the garbage. I pick up a bottle that laid next to the black tall can. Squeezing the bottle I rubbed my hands with antibacterial gel. You could never take chances. Bacteria probably grows faster and bigger in space. I didn't want to get soon.
I walked into the Bridge. The vast blue green planet loomed ahead, as if heterochromia had taken over the colour of it. It was beautiful yet was different. There seemed to be a lot more ocean than I remembered. Than I realized why I thought it did as we flew around it, there was only one land, one continent, the other six had merged into one or had disappeared all together. Something must of happened for that to happen so quickly. There's no way land can move that fast normally.
I sat down in my chair, leaning back and sighing. I could feel a flutter in my stomach, making me nervous. Something was wrong. I could feel it in my gut. That clenching feeling like when you drop quickly.
"Captain, we are in touch with Earths defensive division." Kisa called out from her station.
"Comm them our cover story information, it has to look like we have nothing to hide." I said as I watched the earth in front of us. Trying to decode it's strange feeling that it had implanted in me.
"Do mean our travelling the universe story?" Kisa asked me again.
"Of course, no one should know who we are really are." I answered as if it was obvious.
"Yes, Captain. Sorry, Captain" she yelled back.
"No it's okay, it's good to ask about what you don't know." I smiled as I replied. Hoping I didn't hurt her feelings. I wasn't trying to be mean.
"We've been approved for descent to Earth. Preparing for landing." Kisa called out. Everyone turned to their stations and began changing our stats and getting ready. We were already to the atmosphere, it was a smooth ride. We broke through the clouds, my eyes wavered what I saw. It was if the blue and green was some kind of force field or defensive mechanism to hide what loomed before us.
No green to be seen anywhere. There wasn't anything that reminded me of Earth, the earth was black with a single docking port where we were. Lights flickered beneath us. We were given a green light as The dock door began to open, we slowly entered and docked. I gathered my bag and headed to the door, uncertain and nervous of the future. It was already different from what I imagined. I didn't know what to think now.
Warmth spread into my shoulder, I looked back and Kallie's hand was rested there. As if to tell me that I was going to be alright.
As soon as everyone had assembled I set the door to open, momentarily closing my eyes as if I was afraid to see what was waiting for me.