Short story- “Measure Of The Stars”

Starfinder: “Measure Of The Stars”

Personal log of Chancellor L’car of the Hysperion Imperial States.

For five thousand cycles, our people have managed to slowly rebuild what was lost, having once been a great space faring Empire of twelve thousand star cruisers, and controlling one quarter of the Galaxy.

Until the War Monks took it all away.

Since the great war, every chance we have had to come close to rebuilding interstellar travel has been destroyed by sudden and precise attacks by the Monk’s subject races such as the Wrathen, and we have remained isolated and alone in the expanse of space.

But we have our knowledge and our history. We have continued to send signals into the stars in hopes one day another race would defeat the War Monks and hear our signal, so we may know it is safe to try again to reclaim what was lost.

That day has finally arrived. End log.

The tall Humanoid walked over in his Golden robes and looked at his subordinate who was handling the communication array console.

“Play the message again”, he ordered.

“This is the Federation starship Starfinder. We have received your signal, triangulating your coordinates, we can arrive in your system in what your people would call “three sub cycles”. We hope to establish friendly first contact with your species, and assure you our intentions are one of peaceful contact. Captain ANN D out.”

The Chancellor’s communications worker looked up at him, all four of her eyes open with awe and wonder, and excitement.

“Sir, this is amazing!” she exclaimed. L’car nodded and sighed. “Send a response. Tell this…Starfinder…I will personally be willing to come to them to talk, if they have some form of teleportation technology, or shuttlecraft, but that it is unwise for them to come “down here” yet…for the safety of all parties involved, and to prevent distractions from our over-excitable people.”

She nodded in understanding and began to relay the message.

Soon, the people began to “sing”, as they called it. Social media was a huge trend on their world, since their people were so isolated and advanced, society had broken so many barriers over the centuries, they had overcome war among their own kind four centuries earlier, unifying their people under a common goal of “reaching the stars again” and “communicating” to aliens who may help them regain their place among the stellar community.

Social media was powerful. It was so instant and direct, that attempts by the council in the past to change to any form that took away civil liberty, was challenged instantly and acted upon.

Police violence against lower tiered civilians was finally stomped out, as well as many other social injustices. As such, it did not take long before the people learned of the coming of the ship called “Starfinder”.

Three sub cycles later, L’car was preparing himself for transport. Starfinder had entered orbit, and they had agreed upon his being teleported to them, once he signalled he was ready.

The citizens were going crazy with excitement, the social media departments had been “singing” all day as the youths called it, with the rumors and buzz about this alien starship coming to their world.

L’Car’s mistress, Sir’Tis, slowly approached him. Her head tentacles waving in a way he knew meant deep concern.

“Speak your two minds” he said, as he tied his sash containing his ceremonial sword.

“You have not formally claimed me as your mate. And you know what is at stake”. She said very much afraid.

He sighed and turned to her. “Your dougherty was lost at sea by pirates, you know I cannot make the claim until your father pays it.”

She nodded but her tentacles flailed. “If you return without proof you have convinced these aliens to help us restore our glory, you know the council will have you executed, and without formal mate status, our son will not be able to be recognized as your heir.”

He nodded in understanding. Gently caressing her cheek with one of his four armed hands, he slowly pulled out his communicator.

“Starfinder, I am ready to be teleported”.

Upon materializing on the alien ship, he was greeted by Humanoids vastly alien to his people. They had only two arms, only two eyes, and no tentacles on their heads.

Their skin tones varied, one person had pinkish skin, another had blue with antennae on top of a mop of white hair.

And one was greenish skinned who looked very alien even compared to the rest.

“I am Captain ANN D of Starfinder. This is my first contact Ambassador, Solace his people are called “Deferi”.

L’car bowed to them before stepping off the transporter pad.

“My people have great records of other species being subjects of our former Imperium, we are taught there are many races in the galaxy, but seeing such diversity is both exciting and humbling, Captain.”

Over the next hour, L’car was treated to a tour of the ship, and a meal of various cultural diversity, before they ended up in the observation lounge to talk politics.

“If I return without some form of assurance you will help my people restore glory, Captain, I will die. You have to understand the pressure I am under. The War Monks have suppressed us for thousands of years. I have sent you our historical database.”

ANN D nodded, tapping his finger on the table. He looked at Solace as if to engage his opinion without words.

“The Federation has strict rules in regards to interacting with a new species, Chancellor. That being said, the Captain is quite…special…and adept at coming up with creative solutions to problems” Solace replied.

“We cannot make promises to help restore a very ancient and fallen Galactic Empire, Chancellor”. ANN D said.

“But after studying your cultural database, I have…another suggestion.”

Starfinder moved into low orbit. The entire, largest population of their main continent could see it in a majestic contrast to the orange hued sky, gleaming in it’s enormous shining shape so large, that it filled the sky that day.

Pictures were taken in millions, as social media for the people captured this moment.

Captain ANN D appeared in a huge, holographic message to the people.

“People of Hysperia, my name is ANN D, I am the captain of “Starfinder”, one of many ships of the “United Federation Of Planets”. We come from a galaxy that yours orbits, called by our people “The Milky Way”.

“We are made up of hundreds of species all united in a common cause: peace, exploration, and understanding. Like your people, we have had conflict. Like your people, we have had setbacks. “

“Your people have a rich history of amazing accomplishments, and defeats that are not your fault. You were attacked by a race that was technologically superior to your own, and kept you from returning to the stars. Yet you still prospered, and looked to the stars for the chance to one day, return and make your people be known.

Your Chancellor, L’car, is a man of honor and integrity. Your people have a council, and traditions that demand he return with certain conditions met, or be eliminated. I am here to tell you that if he is executed, we will leave, erase all records of contact with your people, and never return.

The choice is yours. You waited thousands of years for this moment, this moment is YOURS. Choose wisely. One of our founding member races, Humans, have an ancient saying.

“Carpe Diem” It translates as “Seize the day.”

The Federation will not “interfere” in other societies. But we will “welcome” other societies who embrace a unified drive to achieve change and join an interstellar community in peace.

Only you the people can make that decision, do not allow your “council” to dictate what you need, show them what you are. I have faith in you, based on the study of your culture. Good luck.”

With that the signal ended and the ship moved to higher orbit, but not before the population of billions began flooding their social media to pressure the council to spare the Chancellor, and hail him as a hero.

As the Chancellor walked to the transporter room with Solace, he smiled.

“Your people are amazing. The captain is…fascinating. He knew that our “social media” was a driving force in our culture, and could influence change. He used it to incite the people to choose progress over stagnation. What is his race called?”

Solace smiled. “The captain is actually an artificial intelligence. He is a…summary…of the wisdom collected in our Federation.”

L’car looked shocked.

“As…am..I.”

Solace looked confused. “I’m sorry?”

“Only half of our population is biological sir. War forced us to record our personalities to an AI system, and 50% of our people are AI.” This body you see, is a synthetic device that carries my Artificial self.”

Solace’s eyes widened. “An android species? This is…amazing.”

L’car nodded. “An echo. We did our best to preserve what we are. And apparently so do you. I think we can learn much from one another.”

And with that, he beamed off the ship, leaving the Ambassador to question who had learned from whom?

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