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Text Box: The Others

"Sir, there is a planet with a class two atmosphere in the system."

 

"Thank you, Ensign, maintain present heading.  Science, get me all you can on that planet.  I want to know everything."

 

"Aye, aye sir," Science officer K'laka responded.

 

Leaning over his console, he touched three different pads and flipped two switches.  Peering into the screen in the center, he read the readouts as they scrolled across.  Oxygen, nitrogen, trace-gases, carbon dioxide, nothing lethal, structures, the planet had structures that indicated intelligent life, yet there were no intelligent life forms detected.  Water, lots and lots of water, both fresh and salt water, the planet was covered in the stuff and life abounded in the water, yet no signs of intelligent life, anywhere.

 

"K'laka, what do you have so far," the Captain asked.

 

"Water, lots of water, oxygen-nitrogen atmosphere and buildings which would indicate intelligent life yet no intelligent life forms appear present, sir."

 

"Very good.  Ensign change course, set to obit the planet.  K'laka scan the rest of the system for life, that fourth planet just might be able to support it if something happened on the third planet.  They just may have fled there."

"Aye, aye sir," the Ensign and K'laka both echoed.

 

The ship surged forward as the Ensign changed course heading for the third planet in the solar system.  This was the one hundred and forty-fifth system they had visited in search of the home of the others.  Their survey ship was one of twenty-five in the K'lainain fleet on such a search.

 

"K'laka, can you estimate how long that planet has been abandoned?"

"I'll try, of course the closer we get the easier it will be, sir."

"So, what you're saying is if we wait until we're in orbit we might know for sure?"

"Yes, sir."

"Very well.  Work on it while we approach the planet and have an answer for me once we attain orbit."

"Aye, aye sir."

K'laka pushed buttons and flipped switches as the ship closed on the planet.  He carefully watched his screens for information not only on the planet they approached but the fourth planet as well.  From what his instruments told him, the fourth planet was, barren, devoid of all life, although it did have quite a bit of water, locked as ice, in its crust.  A system rich in water was a rare find among the stars.  Information about the third planet started to scroll across his screen.

 

It did not look good.  As K'laka peered at the readouts, his mind wandered to the others.  There was not much known of them.  What little there was came third or fourth hand.  The others had once lived on a planet far out on the rim of the galaxy.  It is said they were the first race.  The race of people that seeded the stars with humanoid life, the race that all the life in the known galaxy claimed as their ancestors.