Riders enjoy the “big dip” (a rumbling 35-foot drop) on the Big Dipper at Camden Park in Huntington, Virginia.
I believe I originally wrote these “scenes” in early 2017. However, I don’t recall why I elected to script my thoughts about this particular idea in such a way. “Dead Planet” was definitely intended to have action and horror elements, although I never got around to recording any of those imaginings.
Newman – program director
One StarChip made quite a discovery.
Number eight. Transmissions started arriving last month.
That’s the one. And you thought we’d never find anything.
Biosignatures, metal-heavy signatures –
I had hoped we wouldn’t.
And just 180 parsecs away. Incredible. This is beyond the most
I want you to seriously think about something for me.
Is this our last mission?
That’s what we’ve all talked about.
This is the last one for me – this has to be the last one. No more readjusting and relearning how to live. I don’t ever intend to leave Earth again once we get back.
I don’t think anyone will blame you or any of us for wanting a normal life.
I want a life when I get back. And I want that life to be with you.
Rubicon will reach the Kupier Belt in ten years. The mass drive will
be activated at that point. Within a few seconds, Rubicon will be
just outside the Kepler-22 system.
POLITICAL ADVISOR 1
How soon can we expect a transmission?
There can be no transmission before Rubicon has returned to our
system. Ten years out. Six or seven years to approach the planet.
Another six or seven to return to the jump point.
POLITICAL ADVISOR 2
We should have them home in thirty-five, but, yes, twenty-five years before
we can expect transmissions.
POLITICAL ADVISOR 1
I may well be dead in twenty-five years.
We all may be. But the crew won’t be. They’d age only a year or so.
Kepler-22c was selected for this program due to the belief the planet was
an Earth analog.
The similarities are amazing.
And the data from the visiting StarChip is even more unbelievable. The
biosignatures are the same you’d expect to see on Earth. Enhanced images
clearly demonstrate artificial patterns on the surface.
What level of development are we suspecting?
There is a strong suspicion we are essentially dealing with a
Bronze Age culture. Perhaps somewhat more advanced than that. Perhaps not.
How did StarChip make contact?
StarChip didn’t. Our parameters included no contact unless absolutely unavoidable. We were the proverbial good children in the room – perhaps seen but never heard.
How did a Bronze Age culture detect StarChip?
We don’t believe Starchip was detected, but there appear to be intentional fires on the
surface – very extensive fires burning in roughly geometric shapes. Some of the images suggest that these patterns were intended to be observed from above. Starchip just happened to be in the right place at the right time.
Apparently. But we believe these were intentionally set to burn as a means to communicate.
So, maybe like a survivor stranded on a deserted island? You build a fire in the hopes of catching the attention of a passing ship or airplane.
That’s an interesting thought. But destroy your forests – an invaluable resource for such a civilization – to contact who? Who are you reaching out to?
The natives didn’t build fires hoping Columbus would find land.
I think the natives may have burned everything to stop Columbus from
landing – had they known what was coming.
Are you sure StarChip wasn’t detected?
Could be a sign of conflict.
How does this look to everyone else?
I agree – an appeal to the gods.
Do we intervene?
“I’ve not stopped all day. I’m exhausted.”
“I’ve really got to get some sleep.”
“You’ve got too much to do – you can sleep when you’re dead.”
But always needing to run.
He knew that Juárez was not safe.
El Paso was just a stone’s throw away.
The greatest concern is one of origin.
There was nothing whatsoever glamorous about the life of a Third World butcher. The blood, seepage, and odor frequently prompted nausea, and various pests harassed the dilapidated workshop incessantly.
The trees sensed the man was near, but he hadn’t started the chainsaw yet.
Knowledge is so very valuable.
The farmer sought advice from the witches for the third time in as many days.
“Every so often you will encounter the undead in denial.”
Six becomes five.
The great light had suddenly died
We huddled and desperately cried
A new darkness to us unknown
An unpleasant reunion in the afterlife.
A cackling demon prodded Alexios III.
Hellfire licked the soul and soles of the former emperor.
Although only recently deceased, the weary man tired of eternity in just a few seconds.
“Stop these abuses!” Alexios III finally pleaded. “What have I done to receive such vile treatment?”
The demon laughed even wilder after hearing these words.
“Tell me! I beg you! Why do I find myself in this pit of fire?”
The demon twisted a gruesome face into a smile.
“You’d have to ask them!”
A gnarled finger extended toward the chained skeletons of Alexios IV and Alexios V.