Smiling, along with some other traits became contagious.
The dreams continued with greater detail. We had maintained the ship, along with the help of the augments for five thousand years. We had no conscious
knowledge of any other place besides this rock, that we worked at, so diligently. The sculpts we created began to make sense, they were, of our new
destination. Some images were beautiful, some violent. We took trips to the mine, for one last look, at the thousands of square kilometers of images
we created. I became fixated on one large sculpt that I produced. It was a large planetoid with a crack running down the center. Some of the work I
produced while extracting ore was pleasant, but most of my creations were very disturbing to me. I had never really reflected on them until now. All
of us had just seemed to plod along in our labors for a very, very long time.
Miller and I returned to the ship, She took off her helmet, for the first time, I noticed her long red hair, and realized that I found her smile to
be, the most pleasing of all.
I stared down the shaft, into the Dark Energy Drive, somewhere about a half kilometer below was the power that would propel us away from this moon . I
turned around, all the view screens were lit up and everyone was at there stations. We had done drills like this periodically, for as long as I could
remember. Now it made sense. We were still acting on compulsion, but now we weren't just going through the motions. Most of all, we just wanted to
return to the place in our dreams. I began to feel an aching emptiness at the thought of remaining on this moon.
We engaged the coordinates we remembered from our dream, the 2 kilometer ship vibrated and lurched upwards toward the sky. I imagined standing on the
lunar surface and watching the massive ship rumble desperately upwards toward the stars and then blink out of existence.
The Dark Energy Drive was engaged and we were propelled through dark matter to the other side of the universe. My heart raced and I wanted nothing
more than to return to where I knew I belonged.
We blinked into existence orbiting the planet we knew was ours. The screen showed a single large land mass. The scanners showed it was a wasteland. I
felt a sense of dread come over me, and knew I was not alone. A few domed cities scattered the continent. We landed near the closest. Communication
attempts were made but there was no answer.
We donned our helmets, and disembarked from the ship, in our shuttles, toward the domed settlement.
We contacted the humans and after a series of misunderstandings, they offered us their unconditional surrender. The domed cities did contain what they
called vegetation, but not like in our dreams. Other than the life supporting domes, their technology was very underdeveloped.
The cities on the world communicated with each other and I was finally told why they wished to surrender to me and my people.
"You are Admiral Kel, Destroyer of Worlds" he said. Apparently, I, was a mythical figure. "It is obvious that we are no match for your technology"
said Mathius, the spokesman for the People of the Dome.
I convinced Mathius I would not accept his surrender. After sharing my experience on the moon, he agreed to tell me what he knew about my people and
"Kel, according to our recorded history, thousands of years ago, there was a galactic civil war between two waring factions. This world that you stand
on, against your world. Kel, according to history, you started the war and were finally defeated, you were actually betrayed by one of your close
friends. General Horatio Thompson. You had a unique strategy, in which you would divide your forces in two, he commanded the other force, and turned
against you. The ancestors of my world, using the last of a newly discovered element called Illumarite, were able to defeat your divided force, but at
great cost." Mathius paused.
"Kel, your world was destroyed. You and your people were convicted of war crimes. In the aftermath of the war, the planets that were left were
clinging to life. Illumarite was thought to be the key to survival of our burned out worlds. Five ships were sent out, each had a fifty year mission.
Until today, only one ship returned, the crew was old, and had only found, quite literally, a handful of Illumarite. This is what has kept the life
support in our cities operational for all these years. Also we've had no contact with any of the other worlds in over two thousand years." Mathius
He went on. "Most of these missions were manned by volunteers and prisoners or the dregs of society. Your ship was manned by war criminals. Your
memories were completely wiped, you were all sterilized, and your condition was perpetuated by a form of nanotechnology. You were virtually turned
into machines, to find an element. After fifty years, nearing the end of your lives, you were programmed to return here with what you had
Mathius said "I'm sorry, but what I've read, still does not explain your incredible lifespan, the images you carved on that moon, or why you didn't
return over forty nine hundred years ago."
I had come looking for answers, but was left with even more questions.
That evening, all one hundred of us, put on our helmets and walked out of the ship. We walked across the barren, lifeless wasteland in complete
silence. We were walking to the place programmed in our dreams. After several hours we reached the high plateau. Yes, this looked very much like the
surface of the moon we had lived on for so many ancient years.
"Kel, it was all for nothing, the moon, our dreams....." Thompson voice crackled over the communicator. I knew he would say it, but it still pierced
my heart like cold metal.
Something flickered at the edge of my mind. I could feel the last of the fog lifting from my consciousness.
Then it came to me.
"No" I said.
"No, we were trying to pay for our sins.
For five thousand years we made ourselves look into the faces of those we hurt, those we destroyed. We were not programmed to this, it came from
within us. We left a monument to the fallen, on that distant moon, those that loved them are gone, and forgotten, but even in our condition we could
I raised my hands to the height of my waist.
"Close your eyes" I said. "Imagine a field of green." I could see it, rolling green hills stretching out to the horizon.
"I am not Admiral Kel, Destroyer of Worlds, and you are not those people. They are gone, left behind five thousand years ago. I know in my heart that
this is where we belong. A handful of Illumarite has sustained life on this planet. We have a hundred tons of it, in the hold of our ship.
We will make this world the world that exists in our dreams."
Xe's voice came through my Com.
"Kel, Builder of Worlds" He said. Even with my eyes closed, I could tell he was grinning.
I stretched my neck upward toward the large yellow star in the sky, I could feel its warmth on my visor. Miller's small hand grabbed mine.
I knew that at long last, I was,
edit on 8-12-2013 by dusty1 because: (no reason given)