Rich Thorne peered at the readings on his control console. During the colonial
starship’s forty three year transit toward their new home he had seen some
remarkable things, but this was truly a wonder. They detected either a rogue
planetoid traveling at speeds humanity could not yet calculate, much less hope
to achieve, or a spacecraft set to intercept made his own three mile long egg
shaped vessel seem like a fruit fly on a melon.
The admiral gave orders for the half million personnel to take position in the emergency shelters designed for the city vessel’s eventual landing on their new home world. Desperate minutes passed while Admiral Thorne and his navigation team plotted and made course corrections. Not a second after the vessel veered into its new course and the computer systems specialist on the bridge gasped.
“Our computers are being probed sir!” the young man cried.
“Who onboard would hack the navigation controls from the emergency shelters?” the Admiral scoffed.
“Sir, I don’t think the invader is from the vessel” the specialist stammered.
“That thing is sentient?” the Admiral pointed through their observation port at what could now be clearly identified as a moon sized space craft.
Admiral Thorne gripped the edges of his console. In all of the years he ventured past lonely stars and empty space not even a living microbe had been detected. Their destination world lay only three short years away, and suddenly there is life and technology beyond the capability of man.
“Send them our standard greeting,” the Admiral said.
“I can’t send anything sir. The entire computer system has been locked up by the invader.”
Unable to operate their controls, members of the navigation crew huddled in front of the observation port. When only a few miles separated the vessels a slit appeared, stretched, and gaped ever wider until only the gentle blue hue of the enormous bay door’s interior lighting could be seen.
“We’ve been swallowed up,” the Admiral said. He braced a hand on the wall and fought to control his breathing. He wondered what would happen to the half million people under his care. His stomach twisted as the colonial starship violently spun about until the port hole offered a view of the stars out of the shrinking entryway. In seconds it had closed completely and only the pale blue hue remained.
An odd sensation caused cries of alarm and light headedness throughout the bridge. When Admiral Thorne opened his eyes, the navigation team had crumpled to the floor and looked dizzy and alarmed. Thorne rose on unsteady feet and helped up the timid computer specialist.
A slit in the blue hue reappeared and grew until all present stared at a sight some thought never to see again and others had only seen in books and on their slates. Earth lay before them with its moon nearby.
Admiral Thorne rubbed his eyes in surprise. All his life had been undone by this unknown giant ship. “We are back to Earth… Back to where we started…”
“No need to thank us,” a deep voice resonated from behind the Admiral and his team at the observation port.
The Admiral spun about to see a dazzling creature crouched on four thickly muscled legs. Its six arms writhed like eels and a single eye rolled about like a basketball atop its vibrant green body. Bristled feelers wagged, obscuring its mouth as it spoke. “You poor primitives must have been wandering out there for a lifetime!”
“We were almost,” Admiral Thorne began.
The creature cut him off and began to turn away “No need to thank us, it’s hardly a detour for our craft. Just don’t wander out so far, before you can travel outside of space time.”
Before the shocked Admiral could beg to be returned on course; the being simply vanished. Thorne peered out the window and saw the massive craft wink out of sight.
“What a blow hard!” the computer specialist said.