Friday, 25 November 2011

The Communicator - The return of Planet X - Part 9

Geoff records the signal but someone knows!!

Geoff was still quite overwhelmed by what he was watching. The signal itself made him feel paranoid. Combined with what Coty had said, he was now very nervous. He had to act quickly and be quiet about it too. He inserted a cd into his pc and started copying the data he had just recorded. It was processing far too slow for his liking. By now Geoff was really nervous, glancing every so often over his shoulder across the room to see if anyone was watching him. The cd finished copying. He thought for a minute, trying to use his initiative. He would make the right decision and act on it. He grabbed the cd and put it into a brown envelope and slipping it into his bag. He had to rush now. Paranoid as ever he glanced around the office to make sure no one was watching him as made his way to the lifts.  

Jennifer was running late. She pulled into the underground car park just after 2pm after having lost track of time while enjoying lunch with her sister. She was in a bit of a rush to get back to the office. After the mornings’ events, she felt she had to be there. She had just parked and was busy getting her belongings together when she heard a noise. She looked towards the lifts just as Geoff was exiting them in a rush. He looked anxious and afraid. Jennifer watched as he made his way towards his car, rushing to get there and looking very nervous. Jen was curious. She could see Geoff by the driver side door of his car, searching for his keys in his pockets to no avail. She noticed a sudden look of fear on Geoffs’ face. He was looking at someone, talking to someone. He was afraid, that was apparent. He held his right hand up as if to stop something coming towards him. His hands were not good enough. Jennifer watched as a dark figure leaped out of the shadows to attack Geoff and wrap a rope of some sorts around his neck. She cupped her mouth with her hand, wanting to scream out but froze with fear. Tears welled in her eyes’ as she watched Geoff being strangled to death. He struggled to free himself, a brown envelope tightly in his clasp, unaware of who his assailant was, choking him from behind. Jennifer watched as Geoffs’ spectacles fell from his face as his cheeks slowly became blushed and the life faded from his eyes’ as they closed. She stopped herself from screaming, fearing that she will be next if the assailant heard her, tears running down her cheeks.  He stopped struggling. His limp body dropped to the floor. Geoff was dead. His assailant calmly picked up the brown envelope and put it into his inside jacket pocket. He then picked up Geoff’s body and shoved it into the back seat of his car. Just as the attacker looked up Jennifer recognized him. It was Nick, the director of astronomy. He did not see her.

“Knowing you the way I do Zep, there is probably a huge amount of disappointment on your face right now.”
Altazar knew his friend well, the player he was. It had been a while since Zep had a romantic encounter and meeting Alura seemed to present an opportunity to change that.
“Zep, Earth needs you now. This mission is no longer about first contact, it is about the preservation of the human race on Earth and mother Earth herself.” The seriousness of the situation finally sunk in. Altazar explained and Zep listened intently.

The General didn’t seem too interested in the fact that the message received was Sumerian. It was almost as if he knew that already.
“Right Dr, I think we have heard enough. Is there anything else, anything at all that you want to tell me?” the General asked Hank.
Hank was taken aback? He looked at the General and the government official with a concerned glance. He suddenly felt uncomfortable with them there. As far as Hank was concerned he was the first and only person to have identified and translated the signal yet the General handled it as if he was completely aware of it.
“No General, that’s all I know,” Hank said reservedly with a worried look on his face, glancing back and forward between the two men.
For the first time the government official spoke.
“Dr Williams, I’m sure you can appreciate the seriousness of this and the need to keep this quiet for now?
Hank wasn’t sure about that.
“Sir this is about Earth being invaded and you want it to be kept quiet?”
“Dr, if this were to be leaked to the general public we could expect chaos. Rioting, looting, mass suicides. There are people out there with some very strong, strange beliefs Dr. It is not in our nations, or Earths best interest to reveal this right now. All will be revealed in good time.”
“Yes, yes of course,” Hank said but he did not mean it.
Coty watched and listened in the background.

Jennifer was in complete shock. She sat frozen in her car seat as she watched Nick look around the car park before heading to the lifts. She did her best to remain as quiet as possible. As the lift doors closed on Nick she gasped and started crying uncontrollably. What had just happened? What was she to do? After seeing that, she couldn’t go back upstairs. What if Nick had seen her? Would she be next? What the hell was going on? She had to get out of the car park and quick.

Zep walked down the passageway towards his digs. He was now well informed and prepared. Altazar had explained everything, so he knew what he had to do. Just as he rounded the corner he bumped into Altazar, who he now knew was not in fact Altazar. Zep froze, not showing his usual enthusiasm to seeing his buddy, but rather a reserved kind of expression.
“Zep, you look  like you have seen a ghost?” Altazar said.
Zep paused for a second, still showing a worried look on his face, then suddenly changed and smiled.
“No No Altazar, I just have my mind on this mission. I want to get it done now.”
Zep changed the conversation.
“Come old friend. Let’s get that drink we missed out on earlier”
Altazar staired at him for a second with a very serious face, and then backed off.
“Yes, of course Zep, I could use a drink right now.”

Father Delgado walked down the aisle of St Mary’s cathedral at a fast pace. He was focused on his responsibility. Even though he was in his own church, he still glanced around to see if there was anyone around. The church was empty. He stepped out of the church’s main entrance and glanced over to the South African parliament to his left. He considered for a moment how insignificant the current government would be in the coming changes. Like the world over, South Africa had its’ own political issues but it was irrelevant now. The new world order was at hand.

Next: What secret was Father Delgado protecting and what is Zep's next step?

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Thursday, 17 November 2011

The Communicator - The return of Planet X - Part 8

Zephour learns about the Annunaki

The shock was too much for him. Zep had to sit on his bed, still staring at the media player.

“I know you are probably very confused right now, but if you allow me to explain maybe things will become clear.” Altazar’s voice continued.

“Today’s Earth date is June 2nd 1994,”

Zep hurried to his jacket pocket and pulled out the mission card he was given on the Dark Star. He touched his thumb to the bottom right corner switching the device on to display icons. Clicking one it enlarged to show the Earth time he was destined to arrive. May 9th 1995. This message was already an Earth year old.
“About 6 Earth months ago I was alerted to a transmission from one of our bots on Earth that the operator could not explain. Obviously such anomalies are considered classified so I took the recording and deleted all remaining data on the system, including giving the order to terminate the bot. What I discovered was, somehow the bot was receiving a signal from outer space, the Kuiper Belt to be exact, and was re transmitting back to the Explorer. It didn’t make sense, but that’s not what concerned me. What concerned me was who was sending the signal. Zep, it was the Annunaki!”

The General was far too calm about this whole thing. Given his history in the armed service, and the controversy that comes with him, Coty would have expected he would have been trying to beat the message out of Hank Williams by now. After all, Hank just told him Earth was in grave danger. He was far too calm.  
The black Mercedes Benz was now speeding to its’ destination, skipping red traffic lights, right on the tail of the two traffic officers and the one police vehicle in front. Behind them the show was just as colorful. Coty was impressed with how quickly the General managed to rally the troops. It gave him a sense of calm in the wave of earth being in danger. Maybe there are people out there that will be able to get us through whatever it is we are faced with.
The lab was situated just at the foot of Table Mountain in Vredehoek. It was in fact at the back of Hanks house. He was initially only contracted to lecture at UCT for a short time on a specific subject, but eventually was taken on permanently. It suited him just well. He loved the city he lived in and the culture it came with so when the opportunity came he took it. 15 Years he has lived there. Not always alone.

“Here, this way Gentlemen.” Hank walked on in front gesturing for them to follow him. It was now only Hank, Coty, the General and a government representative who was also far to calm and didn’t provide much input. He only listened. 
Nick chose to stay at the research centre back in town. It was kind of a sudden decision he made, just suddenly realizing he had other things to follow up with and would meet us there.
Hanks garden was well pruned and bright. He didn’t seem to pay much attention to his surroundings as they walked across the stone path to the side of the house and down to the back, tall trees protecting them. At the end was a simple door with only one blacked out window to its’ left. Hank opened it up to reveal his lab.

“Gentlemen, I will ask you not to touch anything please. We have very sensitive materials here.”
The General nosed around. There were computers everywhere, all interlinked by lengths of all different kinds of cables.
“You have a license for all of this stuff?” the General piped up with an air of seniority in his voice.
“General, I built most of these things. The Government has no clue what they even are, how would you have me license it?”
Hank had won that battle, but the war was far from over. It was apparent in the Generals face.
Sat engrossed in his computer screen was Hanks long time research assistant, John Maku. John was of Asian decent but was born in Cape Town. He had been Hanks right hand man since the lab was built.
John introduced himself to everyone, in a very shy humble manner.
“Right Dr Williams, can we now get to the message please,” the General said anxiously.

“I know, it probably sounds ludicrous, that’s what I thought too,” Altazar continued. ”But it’s absolutely real. They are transmitting to a beacon on Earth that was left there a very long time ago. The signal was supposed to be picked up by Earthlings it seems. It was like they were sending a warning of their intended return to Earth. Look, it took a long time for me to decode this, and I may have made a few errors here and there, it’s an ancient earthling language. Generally the message read, Humans prepare for the return of your Superiors, the time for the Annunaki to return to rule Earth has come!”

“General, the signal is being transmitted to a beacon, right here on Table Mountain. Well, behind, between the Apostles. We have our own radars up there very close by which is why we picked it up. The message seems to be intended for humans to receive. It’s a warning of the return of a superior alien race who wants to reclaim earth as their own!”
“Well, my translation may be off slightly, but we have run it through over and over again and it comes up with the same result. It’s Sumerian!”

“Zep, I can’t get into a whole history lesson about this right now but basically we have to stop them from returning to Earth and enslaving mankind again.”

Zep was still wondering about Altazar being dead. He composed himself and listened intently.

“The Annunaki have infiltrated the Explorer Zep. I found this out only a few weeks ago. They know I know about them, which is why it’s probably too late for me now. I need you to do this!”

Zep was completely overwhelmed now. He had left the Dark Star only just recently to come to Earth and make first contact, and now he finds himself involved in a planetary invasion, and from the Annunaki of all races! They were known to be of the most terrifying species in the Galaxy, but as far as Zep was concerned the Galactic Federation had banished them to the outer reaches, never to return. Why where they back and what where they up to?

“I take it Alura has already caught your eye?” Altazar said with a boyish giggle. Well you can trust her for now. Zep, she is AI.

“What? Oh man, com on!” Zep wasn’t happy about that. Yes, she had caught his eye, and yes he had every intension of pursuing her once he returned from his mission.
“AI?, You have to be kidding me?”

“Keep going Dr,” the General said.

Grabbing a book from under a pile of notes and bits of paper, Hank continued. “Well it is widely known that there are stories of the ancient Sumerians having been in contact with an alien race called the ‘Annunaki’. They were an evil reptile race that enslaved man to do their bidding. There are also theories that they interfered with human DNA. General, if my theories are correct, and I believe they are, then they are the ones who want to return to earth!”

Next: How is Zep going to deal with the new information he has recieved and what will Earths scientists do about the Annunaki's return?

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Wednesday, 16 November 2011

The Communicator - The return of Planet X - Part 7

Geoff downloads the data.

Sitting in the dimly lit room, Father Mario Delgado was watching the morning news broadcast on TV. The presenter was talking about the sonic boom that was now on all the radio and TV stations. Father Delgado took the remote and switched the TV off. The room was now still quite dark, with the thick velvet curtains still closed. He went up and opened them to reveal the mornings sunrise through the large window pains that covered almost the entire wall. The sun shone through, adding colour to the dull room. He stared out the window for a second, absorbing the energy of the morning sun, hands behind his back. He had been alerted 3 days ago via an encoded message that an Alien signal was being received from Space. He thought about the sonic boom cover up and wondered how long they would be able to keep the truth hidden, and if it was necessary for it to even be revealed.
After a few minutes he walked over to a small brown wooden box that was sat upon a table in the corner of the room. Around his neck was a chain with a key on it. He took the key out and looked at it for a while. He knew that one day this key would need to open that box, but he never dreamed it would be him to do it. Generations had protected this key, some giving their lives to do so. The key was 1200 years old and so was the box. It was not to be opened until the day came when earth would be faced with a phenomenal change. Father Delgado thought about it for a second. Then, making the decision that would change the world as we knew it, he inserted the key and turned. The box clicked open.

Walking at a fast pace down the passageway, just behind the General and Hank Williams, Coty still carried a confused face. Something just didn’t seem right. Either Hank was keeping something from them all or the General had a secret. Hanks phone bleeped again. This time no one was really paying attention except for Coty. Hank took his phone out, looked at the message and then very suspiciously looked around to see who had witnessed him receiving the message before putting it back into his pocket. Coty was really good with his instincts, and this time it was stronger than ever. Something was up and it bothered him. Coty noticed Geoff sat at his desk typing away at his pc. He wondered to himself for a second, whether Geoff could help or not. He had no choice. Falling behind the rest he found a gap to dart into Geoff’s cubicle.

“Coty, what’s going on? All the high profile people walking around?” Geoff asked.
‘No time now, I need you to do something for me. I need you to focus our Delta 7 radar to these co ordinates in space,” Coty hurriedly wrote them down on a piece of scrap paper, handing it to Geoff. Looking a bit confused, Geoff responded, “Coty, these co ordinates….they are…..,” Yes, yes I know what they are for, but for now, no questions. Just focus the radar and start recording the signal that you will receive. Look for a signal in the frequency of 1420 MHz, allowing for a 2% margin either side. Whatever you find just record it. I will explain later.” Geoff seemed quite uneasy but looking into Coty’s eye’s he knew there was something very serious about all of this. “Has this got to do with that boom in space?” Geoff asked. “Yes, but not exactly,” Coty whispered softly, glancing around the office to see who may or may not be listening to him. “Look, I will explain later, for now just record whatever you can from these co ordinates. I will call you later. Oh and Geoff, keep this to yourself for now. There is far more to this than we know and for now I don’t know who we can trust.”

Zep was reading through the AI manual in his room. Most of it was straight forward information he had already learnt in the academy, so he skipped through it. He couldn’t concentrate anyway. There was too much going through his mind. His eye caught a glimpse of the audio device next to his bed. Throwing the manual down he picked it up and looked it over, as if he had not seen one of them before. He was however familiar with these kind of devices. Simple, yet suitable, they could carry huge amounts of data on them. He walked on over to the desk in the corner of the room, right next to his window with a glorious view of earth. He stared out at the blue planet for a bit before concentrating on the device. Pushing two buttons one after the other, a media player emerged from the side of the table. He slipped the device into the side of the player and selected play and then went back to look out the window while listening. “Communicator, what I am about to tell you is vital to the survival of the human race.” Alura started. “Please listen carefully.”

Geoff logged on to the radar management software they had installed on their pc’s. A list of radars came up. He scrolled down until he got to the Delta range and clicked on no 7. An information box popped up showing the radars current co ordinates along with data at the bottom that was constantly recording and scrolling as new data was recorded.
He clicked on the top left button which read, “Co-ordinates”. A prompt screen popped up. He typed in the co ordinates given to him and hit enter. The data being displayed disappears and the software starts realigning the radar. A progress bar is being shown on the bottom of the screen. 20% - 25% - 30% - 35%........

”Geoff,” he was shocked out of his daze. “You coming to the Turtle tonight? Angie is singing open mic night and this you gotta see man,”

Eddie gave him such a fright he almost fell off his chair.

“Geez man, you ok?” Eddie asked concerned.

“Yes, yes……I’m ok. Just a bit tired. Late night last night.”

“So? You gonna make it to the turtle or what? They have a drinks special,” he said enticingly.

“No mate, I think you can count me out on this one. Maybe next time,” Geoff said as if trying to hurry his colleague along.

“Alright then, but you’re the one missing out,” Eddie said walking away humming to The Cranberries ‘Zombie’.

Geoff concentrated on his screen again. 90% - 95% - 100%. The radar was in position, as Coty had requested. He clicked on the frequency button and typed in the frequency to observe.  The progress bar popped up again, this time faster. 90% - 95% - 100%.

There was a brief pause and then suddenly the data started scrolling on the bottom of the screen as the radar picked it up. Geoff sat and stared in disbelief for a moment, before realizing he had not started to record. He clicked record.

As the data was coming in, he became more bewildered. The sweat on his brow ran into his eye’s burning them. He wiped it away with his shirt sleeve and sat back in his chair, staring as if he had just seen a ghost.

“Zep, it’s me, Altazar. If you are listening to this then I am probably dead.” Zep was completely caught off guard. He walked over to the desk where the audio device was installed and stared at it in shock.
“Zep, you being chosen for this earth mission was not by accident. It was the only way I could get you to the explorer without drawing to much attention. It’s already too late for me, and you are the only one I can trust. You need to listen to me very carefully Zep. Trust no one!”

Next: How will Zep deal with what he has just heard and where is the General taking them?

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The Communicator - The return of Planet X - Part 6

Alura gives Zephour some information

“What’ll it be?” the barman groaned. He was unshaven with dark, greasy hair. Zep looked him up and down taking in what was presented before him. This was the explorer, the greatest vessel ever built and responsible for establishing communication throughout the multiverse, and this guy disrespects it with his mannerism. Zep remembers seeing clips as a young boy of the famous explorer. Huge bulletin boards displayed holograms of the Explorer and its crew, all with huge smiling faces standing proud on the flight deck in their perfect uniforms. Zep knew it was propaganda but it still intrigued him. He wanted to get on the explorer one day and wear the uniform.
“I will have whatever is coldest,” Zep said to the barmen without looking at him. He was more concerned with a group of men sat around a table in a dimly lit corner involved in a very intense conversation. He missed his drink earlier. Altazar got caught up so had to cancel. He was sorry he didn’t get a chance to talk to him before he met Alura in the lounge. She wasn’t there yet, but that was fine, he had his eye on the guys who had now made it very clear their meeting there was not a simple social. Something was up with them.

“You made it.” Alura said sitting in the chair to Zeps left, blocking his view of the corner. At the same time the barmen served a tall, cone shaped glass filled with ice and a blue coloured cocktail of sorts. He stared at it for a few seconds, taking in what he was in front of him, casually picking it up. “I’ll have what he is having,” Alura ordered the barmen.

Zep sipped his drink. It was surprisingly tasty, for a ladies drink. “Ok, I’m here. What is it you wanted to tell me?”

“Look Communicator, this mission has been planned for a very long time.’

“Of course, it’s Earths first contact. We have being planning this forever.”

“That’s not what I mean communicator. I mean there are people amongst us that want to hijack the mission to fulfill their own ideas of Earths’ destiny.”

“Ok. So what you are saying is we have a rogue or rebel unit onboard the Explorer? And they want to stop or take over my mission? And Altazar doesn’t know any of this otherwise he would have told me of course. He would tell me the extent of the danger I may be in.”

“You are wrong Communicator. Altazar is aware of their plan.” Alura paused and looked down as if disappointed. “I believe he may be part of it Communicator.”

Zep didn’t hear her immediately. He had noticed behind her that the group of men had now stood up and were going their own ways. His eyes followed them as they walked past him. Four of them, all four wearing Explorer engineering uniforms, all four looked very tough, and in quite a bad mood.

“Dr Williams, you had better make yourself very clear and very quickly too.” The General said.

“General, we have decoded the message we have been receiving and we believe it is a warning to Earth of a great danger to come.”

“Um, Dr, how does this all fit into this so called sonic boom we picked up?” Coty interrupted.

“Nothing. Absolutely nothing at all.” Hank Williams said with a rather powerful in control attitude. That was just a decoy if you will. Something to throw the other scientists observing the sky off the signal. Someone would be bound to pick it up eventually. We had to create a diversion while we managed to lock onto the signal and encase it in a code scrambling kind of jacket that would prevent anyone else picking it up. The others will be searching for years for the cause of the sonic boom while we monitor the important message being received and act on it.”

“Quite impressive Dr Williams,” the General said with a smirk.

“Yes, yes General, well let’s get to the message,” Hank Williams opened his briefcase and pulled out a bunch of crumpled papers. Coty helped him spread them out on the table while the rest of them stood up and crowded around the table to get a better view. Fumbling through his notes, Hank looked for specific bit of script. The General gave a sigh as if irritated by his unorganized nature.

“Here, here we go,” Hank said, pulling out one A4 sized piece and unfolding it on the table in front of him. The text on it was very small, with various diagrams on it. He adjusted his glasses and moved in closer. Everyone moved in with him to get a better look.

“Ok, we analysed our recording and found recurrences, at specific intervals. The signal was pulsing in a cylindrical shape, starting at a single point, and then expanding out.  
“It was clear they wanted this signal to be audible on different frequencies, different planes, realms if you will. Like different dimensions,” Hanks’ new cellphone phone rang, breaking the silence that had befallen the room. It was a text message.
“General, we will need to continue this on the way to the lab,” Hank said, picking up his bits and pieces in front of him.

“Yes, of course,” The General muttered as if trying to compose himself. ‘I will arrange the transportation, and Dr Williams, I hope to God you know what you are doing here?”

“Me too General, Me too.”

 “What do you mean he knows?” I’m sorry Alura but I struggle to believe that Altazar would keep anything from me, never mind being part of some rebel sect!”

“I don’t believe he intends to keep it from you Communicator, in fact I believe he will attempt to recruit you.”

Zep was totally thrown off now, looking at her with disbelief. “Aaaaah, I don’t …”,

”Look communicator,” Alura interrupted,” We don’t have too much time. Altazar will try and recruit you. Take this,” she handed him a small audio chip, “listen to this before you see Altazar. This is important Communicator! You must listen to this BEFORE you see him,” she raised her voice suddenly and then realizing she was attracting unnecessary attention, lowered her head and spoke softly. “Please Communicator, just promise me you will listen to this, please?”

Zep was still looking at her confused. “Alright, I will listen to this before,” he emphasized candidly,” before I see Altazar again.”

Alura got up and left the bar. Zep was left wondering now. He looked at the remnants of his blue cocktail….stirred it a bit then slurped down the last drop……,”Another one,” he called to the barman. Zep had some things to think about.

Next: Where is the General taking them and what will Zep find on the device?
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The Communicator - The return of Planet X - Part 5

Hank reveals their findings.

Hank Williams was your original nutty professor type. His wild grey hair was always unkept, covering bushy grey eyebrows that sat at the top of his forehead due to his constant raised brow. He always had a serious look, or perhaps it was more concern. Coty related the look to a serious and professional scientist who was always in thought, mumbling to himself. Calculated was a great way to describe his approach. If not for his white coat, vagrant would be a good way to describe his appearance.
“Gentlemen,” Hank started. “In Aug 1977 SETI received a signal from space that could not be explained. A certain Dr Jerry Ehman was on volunteer duty at the Big Ear radio telescope in Ohio that evening when he noticed it. The signal lasted all of 72 seconds, which was the exact time that the telescope observed it before moving on. The Big Ear telescope was fixed and would observe the sky according to the speed of the earth’s rotation. It would therefore observe any given point in the sky for exactly 72 seconds. A continuous extra terrestrial signal would then be expected to last the full 72 seconds, reaching its peak at 36 seconds when the telescope would reach the centre of its observation window, and then gradually decreasing. The signal did exactly that. On a linear scale it was 30 times louder than deep space. After noticing the signal, they trained the telescope back in the same direction but it was gone. The signal seemed to have originated from the Sagittarius constellation with two different frequency values, both pretty close to each other at 1420,356 mhz and 1420,4556 mhz. The relevance being that Hydrogen is widely known as the most common element in the universe and Hydrogen resonates at 1420,40575177 mhz. The 1420 mhz frequency is a protected spectrum on Earth. Terrestrial transmitters are forbidden to transmit at this frequency, so that rules out the possibility of a random earth signal bouncing off some space debri back to earth. Should extra terrestrials wish to broadcast a signal, then they would more than likely broadcast it on this frequency……..”
“Dr Williams, please, we are not scientist, get to the point,” a very stern General barked at him as if ordering one of his troops around.
“Right, of course General, my point is that scientists have been trying to relocate the signal again ever since, even with SETI’s Project Argus as recently as July of this year, with no luck whatsoever…….. until two days ago!”

Zep was leaned hands against the shower wall with the warm water running down his back. What was Alura talking about? Why did she seem so anxious, and why had Altazar not said anything? His mind was full of questions but one thing he knew was he trusted Altazar with his life. Whatever was going on surely Altazar would say something to him at some point, especially if it endangered his life. He finished up in the shower and stepped out to dry himself. His neatly folded uniform was on the side counter just through the bathroom door. Zep noticed it’s reflection in the mirror and grinned. He was about to put on the official Explorers crew uniform. It would only be used while he was on board. Mostly to identify him, but also to maintain the level of discipline and uniformity required when running an operation as huge as the Explorer. For Zep it was all part of his initial dreams as a boy coming true.

Altazar stood tall in the AI control room. His presence was made known by his large masculine frame and stern look on his face. He was known for his calm approach to   emergencies and to getting problems resolved quickly and efficiently. This time he was confronted with a rogue bot that had somehow lost control. All new AI bots would go through a stage of development in an isolated environment until they were deemed fit for duty. It was not very common for a bot to turn like this, but it did happen, which is why all bots are fitted with a neutralising device which can be activated form the control room. When activated, to humans, it would appear that the AI bot had died of a heart attack arousing no suspicion at all. Neutralising a bot could only happen if authorized by Altazar. He stood staring through the glass window. This specific bot was a young woman, around about 20 years old in appearance. She was crying uncontrollably. Every few mins her emotions would switch again and she would turn extremely aggressive and start pounding on the window. After a few mins she would begin laughing hysterically. It was obvious this bot was damaged goods. Altazar stood and stared at her. Her appearance as a human affected his emotions. It was like sentencing someone to death, only it wasn’t a life he was taking, just a machine he would turn off. Even so he had difficulty every time he was confronted with having to do it. “Terminate!” he said abruptly, trying to hide his emotions. He stood and watched as the enraged bot suddenly seemed to be having a heart attack and flopped to the floor, convulsing. It would only take a few seconds, but watching it happen, felt like it took forever. It was done. Altazar felt his emotions overcome him. “Get this cleaned up,” He said firmly to his assistant next to him, and left the control room.   

 “General, in 1991 we designed some software that would be constantly looking for the exact signal pattern as was found in 1977. The software has been attached to a telescope that was specifically built to only look for this signal. If it attached itself to that specific rhythm it would immediately stop, and start recording. We picked the signal up two days ago, and have been recording it ever since. Our team have been feeding it into various programs to identify the algorithms and they have had succeeded. General, the signal has been translated. It is in fact an extra terrestrial message from deep space.”
“You mean…….we have just made first contact?” The General asked.
“Yes General, but I wouldn’t get excited just yet. The message…….well……it’s a warning………..General, earth is in grave danger!”

Next! Why is Earth in Danger and How is Zep going to deal with the Altazar issue?

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The Communicator - The return of Planet X - Part 4

Things are not what they seem on board the Explorer!

Standing before a huge rounded window facing out toward the centre of the Explorer, was his old friend Altazar.
Zephour again completely forgot about his reason for being on the Explorer, he even forgot about Alura standing next to him. With a huge grin he darted across the office, “Altazar, what the? How? When did this happen?” Zephour was confused but overwhelmed with excitement. When planning for this mission he was expecting to be alone on earth for a long time, and combined with the potential dangers of the mission, he had no plans of becoming too friendly with anyone aboard the Explorer. But there, standing in front of him was his close friend, Altazar. He was the last person he expected to see, but was so happy to see him.
Altazar joined the academy with Zephour, but didn’t pass the physical aspect of it. The training was intense and not many people did. He was however a technical genius so found himself recruited to the artificial intelligence division. The techs were responsible for developing the AI according to the species of the planet to be explored so they could have a fully integrated machine that provided them with mountains of useful data. Although abductions still take place, AI was the new alternative to reconnaissance and fact finding missions where a civilized world existed. Even with all their technology they found that there would always be memory “stains’ implanted in the abductees sub conscience mind. It didn’t happen often, but occasionally these memories would be brought forward to the conscience mind and be extremely traumatic for the individual concerned. This was not what they wanted. The AI unit was mostly based on the Dark Star, but the explorer did have a team of 12. After joining AI, Altazar had only one mission on his mind, and that was to work on the Earth project. No one really knew why he was so committed to it, there were many projects ongoing throughout the multiverse which were controlled from the Dark star, but it paid off and he made it to the Explorer to head the on board team.
“Zep, it’s been too long my friend. You look great. When I heard you were coming to the explorer I just had to pull a few strings so you and I could have some time to catch up.”
“So you are going to be my AI support? Well, at least I know that I have the best watching my back.”
“Come, sit with me.”
Altazars office was pretty basic. A simple white curved table in the middle of the room with a high back chair facing the door, back to the window. His desk was empty except for a few buttons on the right hand side.
“Have you seen your digs yet? They look after us here on the explorer. We don’t get to visit the dark star much so they try and keep us pretty entertained.”
“I have yet to take him there,” Alura said with her grin. “I thought you would want to see him first Commander.”
Zephour almost forgot Alura was standing behind him. After she spoke, he and Altazar both turned and look at each other with a boyish grin. Altazar knew what he was thinking.
“Keep your mind on the mission Zep. There will be plenty of time for fun.”

“Deliberate?” Coty was taken aback. “You mean someone or something is out there and this someone or something is the cause of this apparent sonic boom?”
“All I am saying Coty is that this is not just a natural space phenomenon, it has to be deliberate. We don’t find “bangs” coming from space of this enormity and there are no man made objects or crafts out there that could cause this either.”
Coty was caught up in thought. He could hear Nick talking but it was turning into a muffled sound. He became anxious. Aliens? This was not the logic his mind had been trained to absorb. Being an astronomer, he was open too all kinds of suggestion when it came to space. He of all people knew how endless it was and how the possibility of life being sustained on other planets was something to be considered, but in all their studies they have never come across any physical proof that aliens exist.  After all this time he had put to rest the idea and carried on with his focus on astronomy.
“Chief wants to see you in the boardroom now, both of you.” Coty snapped out of his day dreaming.
Nick was still talking when Geoff, the office intern, threw open the door and yelled in.
“What now,” Nick said.
Walking down the passageway to the boardroom, Coty was still slightly dazed by the morning’s events. Could it actually be? Will this happen in his lifetime? He never dreamed of this.
Approaching the glass walled boardroom, Coty noticed a familiar face in the chair, sat next to the Chief with two high ranking military personal opposite them. Dr Williams? What was he doing here? Coty walked in and sat down.
“Coty, “the chief said. “I take it you know Dr Hank Williams?”
“Yes,” There was a pause. “Yes, of course chief. I am very familiar with Dr Williams work.”
“Well good, because he has something very interesting to tell us.”

“Come Zep. Let me walk you to your digs and then we can go for a drink and a catch up.”
They left Altazars office and proceeded down the passageway the same way Zephour had just come, with Alura following closely behind them.
“You know Zep, a lot of people are counting on this mission. It’s been something we have worked towards for a very long time. Now that earths solar system is moving through the age of Aquarius and venturing to the centre of the galactic plain, we will finally get the chance to re unite our two planets.”
“Let’s hope I can pull it off then,” Zephour said with giggle.

“Commander Altazar please report to the AI deck,”
“Commander Altazar please report to the AI deck,”

The PA system on the explorer was clear.

Altazar looked up as if he was looking at the sentence been displayed in the air.

“I must go Zep, Alura will take you to your digs and then bring you to me. We can have a catch up then. This shouldn’t take long.”

Zephour seemed impressed at how important his friend had become on the Explorer. He felt proud of him. Altazar left in the opposite direction in a hurry.

‘This way,” Alura gestured in front of her. “It’s not far from here.”

They walked along the passageway, with Alura glancing back every so often with that grin. Turning the corner Zephour saw a blue door with a sign on it showing Oxygen.
Suddenly, Alura grabbed him by the arm, pushed open the door and forced him in, slamming the door behind her. It was a small space with lots of valves on the wall opposite the door.
“Whoooaaa, now you heard what Altazar said, there will be plenty of time for this,” Zephour said jokingly.
“Keep quiet communicator and listen.” The grin had turned into a serious face expressing urgency.
 “There’s more to this mission than you have been told.”
Zephour looked concerned. He was just with his close friend who seemed excited about the mission. Surely he would have mentioned if there was something to be concerned about.
“There are things that you have not been told,”……Alura stopped suddenly and listened. Footsteps came down the passageway past the door.
“It’s not safe here. It will have to wait. Meet me later at the Supernova lounge. I have friends there. We can talk then.”
Alura pushed open the door and walked out.
Zephour was confused. What the hell was going on?

Next! What is Alura wanting to reveal to Zephour and what has Dr Williams got to say?

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The Communicator - The return of Planet X - Part 3

Earth becomes aware of the Explorer

There was a sudden loud bang followed by a vicious jerk. The long extended arm had attached itself to the back side of the pod.

“Explorer to Communicator 2, do you read me?” An announcement came over the pods internal pa. The Explorer had attached itself to the pods communication system.

“Howdy Explorer, this is your friendly communicator 2. I hear ya loud and clear.”
Zephour thought he would use some common earth jargon he had seen on light discs during psychological training sessions. They had watched various different genres but he took particular liking to information on the old west. These discs had been created by the scouts to provide information to communicators and support the academies training facilities. Always looking for an opportunity for a giggle, he thought he would go with a bit of slang.

“Yeah yeah Communicator, just detach the emergency life support from your suit and prepare to board.”

It was just your average day in Cape Town, everyone seemed in a good mood. The sun was just rising up from behind the Durbanville hills, reflecting its’ orange glory onto the giant Table Mountain, towering over the city like a mother cuddling her child. The mist that has drifted from over the sea slowly dissipates as it floats gently over the cities warmth. Tall buildings are lit up at the top, revealing the sons approach to wake us up.

“So Dr Williams, you say there was a strange sound picked up by your radars just a bit farther in space than our moon?” The radio was too soft. Coty reached out to turn it up and dropped his Styrofoam coffee on his lap. “Shit!” He pulled the cig out of his mouth and tossed it out the window. The window was closed. “Shit Shit!” he yelled, swerving back between the white lines on the N1 after some frantic hooting by other commuters. 
“It was more like a sonic space boom,” Dr Williams said on the radio. “Very Strange indeed and not something our radars have picked up before.”
Coty knew who Dr Williams was. He had lectured astrophysics at UCT in Coty’s 3rd year. Dr Williams was known for being a bit of a controversial scientist, with some very less than mainstream points of view. Not one to take things at face value or to be told what to do, he was an activist in his earlier days and was known for lobbying senators in the USA when he was just a student there. Growing up in Germany though was not easy for him. His views had been laughed at and his drive suppressed. Even as a young teenager he challenged his science teacher on matters of evolution and the link between ancient astronomers’ findings with modern day literature on our solar system. Hank Williams was by no means a push over and most notable scientists in the world knew of him. He had moved to the USA to study astrophysics after he was thrown out of Frankfurt University for his rather challenging views, which their professor didn’t take likely too. Granted, maybe he shouldn’t have had the Prof’s car crushed and thrown into the Universities pool to prove displacement will be the same even if the surface area is decreased, it was the weight that affected it. Coty wondered if anyone would take him seriously given his reputation.

Pulling up into the underground reserved parking space, Coty was anxious. Anxious to get inside to hear more on this apparent sonic space boom. He knew the research centre where he was lead astronomer, would be abuzz with people rushing about trying to figure out what it was. He was right. He walked into a 50% off sale at Edgars in the ladies shoe department. People were rushing about with bits of paper, talking on their new cellphones and screaming across the room at each other as they found new bits of information. This was apparently the story of the day. It appeared as if a sonic boom had hit the office. Coty walked over to Nick’s office, noticing Jennifer on the phone. Now was not the time. Nick was the director of astronomy and deserved the title. He had dedicated his entire life to his work, which had paid off with his current position. Nick had been with the institute for 20 years now. There wasn’t much about space you could tell him that he didn’t already know. Nick seemed quite calm, but was just staring at a picture on his office wall of the Apollo 11.
“You know what Coty,” Nick said. “I have dedicated my life to the wonders of space, but I never really paid any attention to the possibilities of extra terrestrial life.”
“You think this has something to do with ET’s?’” Coty’s face was confused.
“Well what do you think Coty?” “I mean, you and I have been watching the stars together at this institute for over 10 years now and all we do is look for space phenomenon, never et’s. In my 20 years here I have never bothered with it.”
“Now we get what is impossible to explain and I’m left wondering.”
“Listen, Nick, we have to be realistic here. It could have been a meteorite that crashed into the moon maybe.” “Com’on Coty, we stare at the skies all day and night. If there was a rogue meteorite on its’ way to hit the moon, we would have known about it. No, this is something else, something ……well, all I am trying to say is that this was deliberate.”

“Welcome aboard communicator.” Zephour was greeted by the flight deck operator. He had only seen holograms of the Explorer before, and now he was standing in the docking bay. He didn’t get a chance to see it from outside while in his pod. It was all too quick.
“Please follow me.” A young pretty woman with the most gorgeous smile turned her back and started walking between the allocated lines. As usual with a docking bay, there where engineers and assistants all over the floor busy with their tasks at hand. He followed her to the far side of the bay onto a round plate. “Stand next to me please,” the woman said still with the most gorgeous of smiles. Zephour forgot about the entire mission for a minute and was completely caught up with this woman. Three rings came down from above, a light shining from the side of each. The round plate started lifting up, out of the docking bay, exiting into what seemed like a grand hall that stretched for miles.
“My name is Alura, and I will be your host on the Explorer,” she said with a huge grin. Zephour wondered if maybe she fancied him, considering her behaviour. He was to learn it was not that at all. As they carried on up he finally got to realize the enormity of the explorer. Stretching further than his eye could see was the most amazing city full of life. There was plant life growing from all different angles. The roof reached up to a huge glass type of dome, probably about 2 miles high. All along the sides where glass offices, capsules, and a network system of vehicles traveling along a light beam, which was probably used to transport the crew around the huge vessel. Zephour wondered why they didn’t bother to train communicators on the Explorer rather than have them travel so far from the dark star.

The round plate came to a halt just before they reached the ceiling of the Explorer.
“This way,” Alura beckoned. He followed her down a very brightly lit passageway. There was no one about at all, only them. Every so often Alura would turn around and look at him with a cheeky grin. Surely she fancied him. They came to a shiny silver door at the end of the passageway. Alura opened it.

“Aaah Zephour, we have been waiting for you.”

Next! Who has been waiting for Zephour? And What will Coty find at the research centre?

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