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(ATSSC) The Life Catalyst

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posted on May, 30 2007 @ 03:10 PM
Colonel Jason Rubeaux nervously watched the large wall displays in the “war room”, his eyes growing wide in disbelief along with those of his nameless colleagues. An uneasiness was permeating the darkened room, the soft green and orange glows barely reflected on the ceiling and walls. Jason stole a glance around to scan the faces of the men standing near him. They were all quite taken aback at the scene unfolding before them - a deep contrast to their typically stoic posture.

The normally static all-green displays projected onto the walls had the usual outline of the countries of the Western hemisphere. But in the last five minutes the display has come alive with orange symbols converging from the edges. As the men watched, Jason bent down to whisper something to the technician seated below him. The technician pressed a few keys and the large display on the wall changed to a zoomed outline of the western United States. The orange symbols also were scaled up and as the display refreshed it became obvious that the symbols were slowly converging toward central California.

A gruff voice from the back of the room finally broke the silence. “Colonel Rubeaux – conference room! Five minutes”.

“Yes, sir!” Jason replied with a start. But his eyes remained riveted to the screen. For a few more moments he stood in awe, along with everyone else, as more orange symbols appeared from the screen’s periphery and made their way across oceans and the continent toward the western U.S.

Professor Dexter Stoneham of Stanford University picked up the phone. It was Martin Lew at Berkeley. “Hi Doc”, Lew said, clearly not in the best of moods. As good friends and agricultural rival scholars, Stoneham and Lew had a habit of calling each other “Doc”, usually with a barely perceptible hint of sarcasm – a result of many marginally friendly exchanges of opinion in the publishing and conference circuit. “I know we typically e-mail each other, Dex, Martin continued. “But this couldn’t wait – I hope you have a minute”.

“Sure, Marty”, Stoneham replied. The truth was, Prof Stoneham was swamped, as always. Stoneham was one of those scholars forever busy with his work, a 24/7 disciplinarian. It was the main reason he never married and why he kept a cot and coffee pot in the storeroom behind his office. Even though it was the end of the school year and summer meant a barebones staff, Dexter Stoneham knew what the months of research ahead had in store for him. But there was something in Martin Lew’s voice that made him sit up and listen. “What’s the matter, Martin?”

“Have you been out to the orchards lately?” Lew said, “The whole central valley and the Ag guys are all bent out of shape. You know that bee disappearing thing we were all talking about at last weeks meeting? Well – you’re not going to believe this but it seems these weird craft have been showing up over the fields and just sucking the bees right up off of the hives. It’s the craziest thing. Some locals snapped a few photos of these things flying over the fields over the last couple of weeks, and then yesterday this raisin farmer out near Fresno saw one of these things hover over a beekeepers field and pull maybe 5 or ten thousand bees up in a matter of minutes. What do you make of it, Dex?”

Stoneham sat dumbfounded a minute while he absorbed Martin Lew’s words. The bee vanishing enigma was, of course, already on the lips and minds of the entire agricultural community, and he vaguely remembers hearing some students giggling about some funny spindly drone-UFO’s – but the idea that there could be a connection, well, it was ludicrous. His mind was racing in circles to understand it when he finally realized he was holding the phone out away from his head. He drew it back to his ear and spoke: “Listen, Martin, are you sure about this? It just sounds so ridiculous. Maybe the farmer is just reaching a bit for an answer. I mean, we all are in a way, aren’t we? There must be a better explanation. Maybe it’s just some prank – you know – high school science project stuff.”

Dr. Martin Lew was a serious, no-nonsense sort who was simultaneously beloved and hated by everyone – students, colleagues, family. He was one of the best apiarists in the country – and California was the food basket of the west. He and Stoneham were definitely the “go-to” guys when it came to bees and crops. And he took his work almost as seriously as Dexter Stoneham. “Now look here, Dex”, Lew said, “I wouldn’t waste your time if I thought this might be a prank. I checked it out myself. I drove out to meet with the farmer in Fresno and everything. Sure enough – his bees, like many others have simply vanished. Except that this farmer took a shotgun blast at this thing over his hives – both barrels. It didn’t make a dent. It didn’t even slow it down. And he heard the shot zinging right off of it. There’s more. He called the police, and they called the feds. The police told him he’s just one of at least a dozen farmers who have spotted these things. The internet is already buzzing about them (no pun intended). Just surf over to – they’re already all over this thing. And get this: there’s some kind of weird writing on them. And some guy from Sacramento called me and had the nerve to tell me to keep a low profile about it. He said that some military guys from Vandenberg and Edwards are driving and flying around all over the Central Valley trying to catch one of these things and that I probably wouldn’t want to be around when they finally meet up with one!”

Stoneham was lost for words. “Let me think about it a bit, Marty - check it out some more,” he said. “Then I’ll get back to you, all right?” Stoneham bade his friend a polite farewell and slowly hung up the phone. He tapped his keyboard to look up the photos. Weird looking things, he thought – they don’t look anything like UFOs – whatever they are. Stoneham looked out the windows. The building was nearly empty – the parking lot deserted. Gee, he thought, these students sure don’t waste any time getting out of here. He retired to his cot in the back room – his head hurt and he needed to think. What the hell could all this be? Is such a thing possible? Maybe it was the military’s own device. No – why would they be capturing bees from their own farms and fields? Stoneham’s head throbbed some more and he closed his eyes. He was facing the prospect of the unbelievable and he had no idea how to cope with it.

[edit-fix link]

[edit on 5/30/2007 by Outrageo]

posted on May, 30 2007 @ 03:12 PM
A convoy of four-wheel drive black SUVs rumbled over the dirt road in the Salinas Valley kicking a plume of dust high into the bright moonlight behind them. The four men in each vehicle stared straight ahead and spoke not a word to each other. They wore gray jumpsuits, with no badges, no insignia. The cargo pockets on their legs and vests were bulging with devices, however, and their eyeglasses and earpieces contained micro circuitry to increase their “perception” and aid communication. In a black helicopter a few thousand feet above and behind the vehicles, Jason Rubeaux stared into a laptop screen. The display monitor showed a smaller version of the green map and orange symbols of the war room. On Jason’s display the orange symbols have all but receded to the horizons, and there were now only two or three where ten minutes earlier there were dozens, and an hour ago hundreds. Anger was welling up in Colonel Rubeaux and he was having a hard time controlling it – the realization of which merely startled him into an even higher state of alertness.

The helicopter had the same display on a dashboard monitor and Jason pointed to an orange symbol in the upper left hand corner. He barked to the pilot, “That one!” Head over there before it flies off with the others!”

This cat and mouse game was already several hours old and Jason was getting tired of it. The pilot banked the chopper sharply to the west and headed for the foothills. A quick check on the mapping database showed Jason there were mostly orchards over there – almonds, oranges, some vineyards. He flipped to the topographic map and the orange symbol they were after was descending into a small valley. It then just hovered motionless just above the surface. “Can’t you make this eggbeater go any faster?” Jason bellowed into his microphone. The pilot merely looked over his shoulder and shot Jason a look of edgy annoyance.

Jason radioed down to the SUV’s who were well behind him but on the main highway now and following them at top speed. He told them about the new objective and to rendezvous with him at the symbol’s coordinates, craft or no craft.

The chopper was only about 3 miles out when the orange symbol suddenly rose from its position, skipped a bit to the northwest, building speed until finally it was just an orange blur flying off the edge of his screen. Jason made a fist and brought it down hard on the laptop. The pilot, also noticing the streaking symbol on his display whistled softly, shook his head and turned to look at Jason - this time looking bemused but equally exasperated. “Just head over to where it was hovering and find a place to set down,” Jason snapped, “I want to have a look around. And wipe that smirk off your face!”

Dexter Lew was twitching nervously at his keyboard. His talk with Stoneham was less than satisfying and, truth be told, he didn’t want to believe the whole wild notion himself. There must be a more logical explanation. Small drone craft with odd writing hovering over hives and sucking all of the bees from the farms? For what purpose? Who is behind it? And what’s happening to the bees? Where do they end up? Who’s doing it? Why now?

Dr. Lew looked around his large office. Hundreds of books lined the shelves, many he authored himself, and he chuckled softly as he realized that not one of those books has anything that can even remotely touch on this enigma. He was so used to having a ready resource of scholarly works to refer to. His call to Stoneham proved that even his own colleagues were at a loss to explain what was happening. Where could he turn? How was he going to even start to research the problem, much less offer a viable solution? A feeling of dread washed over him. For the first time in his life, Martin Lew was being confronted with something profound about his beloved bees that he felt completely inadequate to understand.

As he perused web site after web site, nothing came up that would offer any guidance. The one thing that was somewhat constant was the occasional vague reference to UFOs. But Dr. Dexter Lew would have none of that. Aliens indeed! After all, Lew enjoyed those goofy sci-fi space movies as much as anyone, but it’s all fiction – everyone knows that! There must be something else. He turned away from his computer and buried his head in his hands. Enemies of the U.S. perhaps, he thought? Sounds plausible. We’ve managed to piss off half the world for one reason or another, so why not? That might explain that strange writing. But the writing didn’t match anything foreign – that was clear. And besides, who had that kind of technology? If anybody, it would be us. But that didn’t make any sense either – the U.S using some secret technology to starve itself? Impossible.

The more Lew thought about it the more uncomfortable he became. He knew was going to lose some sleep over this and he couldn’t shake the feeling that the whole matter was going to get worse. A lot worse. And soon. The entire agricultural community was already coming to him for help – and the only he thing he felt certain about was his likely inability to help them. This is the wrong line of work to be in, he thought. He should have just tended to his own bee colonies and sold honey instead of this. Who needs this grief?

Lew grew sullen as it occurred to him that if he did choose that path he may not have any bees left to tend!

The black ops vehicles made it to the clearing about ten minutes after the chopper set down. The sun was starting to come up over the mountains to the east. Colonel Jason Rubeaux was cupping his ear, seemingly speaking to himself, pacing back and forth and gesturing alternatively at the sky and toward a grove of yellow-flowered trees at the edge of the clearing. The grey-suited grunts climbed out of their vehicles and Rubeaux came over to meet them. “Here’s the situation, boys”, he began. “Our sneaky bogeys are getting crafty. They seem to be learning our M.O. and making adjustments to stay clear of us. The truth is, we’ve been chasing these things for a week now and we’re not getting any closer to any of them. Our problem is to figure out what they are and who sent them. For that we need evidence, any evidence at all. So fan out and keep a sharp eye out. Bring me something - anything – any anomaly, any observation, a witness, a broken twig, a dead bee – anything! Got it? Now Move!”

The truth is, Jason admitted to himself, he didn’t expect these guys to find a single scrap that would help him. In fact, the only thing that was of any consistency in this field operation was the damn silence. As Jason walked through the closest grove of trees, all lined up in neat rows, he was again struck by that eerie silence. The citrus trees, loaded with waiting blossoms smelled heavenly. But the trees, and the air around them, should be already buzzing with the cacophony of busy bees - millions of them, going about the same work they’ve done for millennia, pollinating, fertilizing, and filling the air with the hum of life.

But instead there was nothing. Only the uncanny vacuum of silence where all the bees once were. An eerie, lonesome quiet – and it made Jason very uncomfortable. What will be the impact of all these bees missing? This chasing around the countryside every night to a dead end was not working. It was time to get some help. He needed experts – and he needed them now!

[edit on 5/30/2007 by Outrageo]

posted on May, 30 2007 @ 03:15 PM
Professor Stoneham woke suddenly as one of his grad student assistants, Kathy Ellis, flicked on the light to the back room. “Oh, I’m sorry Dr. Stoneham. I didn’t know for sure if you were still here. It’s after midnight you know.”

Dexter Stoneham sat up and rubbed his eyes and the clammy sweat from his forehead. He had been dreaming. He didn’t remember what the dream was about, but his ears were ringing, and he didn’t think the dream was very pleasant. “Hey, Kath – what are you doing here this late?”

“I was in the lab,” she replied. “There are some people here looking for you. I told them you sometimes stayed late and I would check your office. They’re downstairs. They look important. You know - serious government types. I don’t think they’re from anywhere around here. Dr. Stoneham - is everything all right?”

Stoneham followed his assistant to the stairway. As they climbed down the steps he looked through the window to see a black helicopter on the roof of the parking garage. Maybe it’s the media, thought Stoneham. What the hell do they want? He looked at his watch. 12:45 a.m. News folk? At this hour? The morons can wait. I don’t have time for them. Who said they can park their dumb helicopter up there anyway?

In the lobby of the Agricultural Sciences building stood a man in a plain dark suit. He had a small, black coiled wire over his left ear that disappeared down inside his collar at the back of his neck. Two tall gents in grey jumpsuits stood a few feet behind him. As Stoneham approached, he held out his right hand. In his other hand he held up an official looking badge of some sort before deftly tucking it back into his vest pocket. “Good evening, Dr. Stoneham. I’m Colonel Jason Rubeaux. I must say, you come highly recommended - I have a matter of urgency to discuss with you.”

Dexter Stoneham took the Colonel’s hand but only held it limply it as he looked him over suspiciously. “What’s this all about, son?”

Jason looked over Stoneham’s shoulder to Kathy Ellis, and bent closer to Stoneham, speaking softly, “It’s a matter of international importance, Dr. Stoneham. Perhaps we can speak somewhere in private?”

Stoneham turned around to look at Kathy, and then back to Rubeaux. “This is my assistant, Ms. Kathy Ellis. If you need my help, Colonel, I’ll need hers, so let’s cut the crap and why don’t you just tell me what’s on your mind?”

“Very well, Dr. Stoneham,” Jason sighed, “I’m with a branch of the government that is investigating a recent spate of unusual aerial phenomena. We have reason to believe that there is connection to the agricultural industry, to the disappearance of bees to be precise, and we’d like to enlist your help in getting to the bottom of it.”

“I’m afraid I don’t know what you’re talking about,” Stoneham lied. “Besides, I know nothing of aircraft other than the fact that I hate flying in them.”

Jason looked impatiently behind him and then momentarily put a finger to his ear – the one with the wire coming out of it. “Look, Stoneham, Jason continued, “we know that you know more than you’re admitting. We also know that you know more about bee pollination than anyone else on this side of the world, so if we’re going to “cut the crap”, let’s play fair, shall we? I’m curious, Dr. You’ve made a lifetime of studying our little buzzing bees, right? What are your theories about where they’ve gone?”

Stoneham looked pensive, and a pained look creased his face. “The truth is, I really don’t know, Colonel. None of us do. They’ve been disappearing all over the world – not just here. Canada, Europe, Asia. Beekeepers all over are becoming quite exasperated at the loss. And, of course, the dependant agricultural industry is in a quandary. A few colleagues have voiced their suspicion that there may be a connection to the aerial vehicles you’ve alluded to, but so far no one has any empirical evidence we can test. My guess is that we have more sightings here of these craft simply because our urban and agricultural areas are so intermingled and because of the rich growing environment in California. We merely have more urban observers throughout a huge, year-round growing area. The odds are more in favor of a sighting or two around here. But I still don’t know what to make of it.”

Jason appeared only half-satisfied with the answer. “Dr. Stoneham, we have several first-hand accounts of these craft swooping into an area, typically at night when the bees are in their hives, and then, systematically and by some means we don’t yet understand, are able to siphon the entire bee content of the hives up to their vehicles. What really has us puzzled is; what happens to the bees after that? There doesn’t seem to be any place to store them on the craft, and we find no bees, dead or alive, anywhere in the vicinity once the craft leave the area.” Rubeaux reached behind him and held his hand out to one of the grey jumpsuits behind him. He was handed a folder, from which he removed several photographs and handed them to Dr. Stoneham.

“Take a look at this, “Jason continued, “Here are a few enlargements. We don’t have many good sightings relative to the number of blips we register, but this is what we’ve got so far. You’ll notice these things are mostly of simple construction. A little winglet thing here, a probe thing there, a few pieces of wire and a basket thing on top. Where do the bees go, Dr. Stoneham?”

Dexter Stoneham rarely is frightened or nervous about anything, but he was starting to feel his heart pounding in his chest, and he didn’t like it. He didn’t like it at all. He handed the pictures back to Jason. “I’m sorry, Colonel,” he said. “I don’t know what to make of these pictures. I don’t see how they could store anything, certainly not thousands of bees at a time. And I’m no airman or engineer, but I can’t see how such a thing could fly in the first place!”

“Don’t worry about the flying part, Dr. “, Jason answered, “We have that one almost figured out. Just focus on the bees, will you? If they are not stored on board this thing, and they are not found in the area and never return, then what else could have happened to them?”

Stoneham detected the frustration in Jason’s voice. “Look, Colonel, it’s late, and I’m tired,” he said, “can’t we take this up again at another time?”

“I’m afraid not, Dr. Stoneham. You see, we have pictures of maybe half a dozen of these craft, but we’ve seen that over the last few weeks several hundred have entered our airspace on a nightly basis. A few, rarely, are seen during the day, but they manage to zip away before we can intercept them. Dr. Stoneham, if we don’t figure this out soon you won’t have an agricultural or bee industry left to study.”

Dexter Stoneham gazed down to the floor. “Alright. What can I do?” Stoneham responded.

“We’d like you to come with us, review what we’ve learned thus far and help us figure out where the bees have gone. If we can do that, we believe we may find some answers we need regarding these strange craft.”

Stoneham glanced over his shoulder. Kathy had the pleading look of a puppy in her eyes. “Colonel, I’ll need the help of my assistant, Ms Ellis here,” he said.

Jason furrowed his brow, held his finger to his ear again, and nodded slowly. “Ok, get your things, we leave in fifteen minutes.”

It was 3:00 am and the phone in Martin Lew’s apartment rang again. He let it go to his answering service the first few times, but this was getting ridiculous. He finally flung off his bed covers and stalked over to his desk, yelling into the mouthpiece, “Yes, this is Lew – now who the hell do you think you are calling me over and over in the middle of the night?!”

“Martin, it’s me, Dexter,” Stoneham stammered, “I’m with the feds. That thing you called me about yesterday – it’s true. All of it. They’ve brought me to a lab here in San Jose. You’re not going to believe this, Marty: It’s real. Alien craft. They’re sure these things are not from here. The bee connection has them stumped. Has me stumped too, frankly. I need your help to figure it out. Can you come and give me a hand with this?”

“I don’t know, Dex,” Dr. Lew replied cautiously, “I never liked those cloak and dagger types. They give me the creeps. Besides, you know I’m expected in London next week – their bees are disappearing too, you know.”

“Look, Marty, it’s bigger than that,” Stoneham begged, “these things are all over the world now and the pace of activity has increased exponentially. Trust me – this is the most important thing you’ll ever be a part of.”

“OK, Dex,” Lew answered. “Give me half an hour to get some things in order.”

“That’s great, Marty,” said Stoneham. “There’s already a car and driver waiting outside your apartment. Oh – and thanks.”

Martin Lew hung up the phone, and peeked through the curtains to the street below. A black SUV sat idling at the curb. A man in a grey jumpsuit was leaning against the car and looking up toward the building. Martin packed his laptop and a few essentials in a quick bag. His mind was flooded with conflict. Did he just hear his friend correctly? Did Stoneham really say it’s all real? Aliens? UFOs? Maybe he’s mistaken. There could still be a more logical explanation. Well – one thing’s for sure: he was going to get to the bottom of it.

posted on May, 30 2007 @ 03:17 PM
At a secret compound under an office building, the two professors shook hands and then, in a moment of spontaneity, briefly hugged – something neither one of them has ever done before. The odd mix of college professors and quasi-military technicians assembled around the room were glancing furtively at each other when Colonel Rubeaux entered through a side door. The Colonel stopped at the edge of the large conference room table and the room fell silent. Above and around them hanging on the walls were large display monitors each showing a variety of maps, scrolling tables, and photographs of farms and orchards and a few of the strange UFO craft.

Jason Rubeaux seemed to be uneasy, spreading his fingers on the table to steady himself. He looked fatigued but his eyes were as alert as ever. The others waited as Jason stared down at the table for a few moments and then looked up. He signaled to a technician at a workstation in the corner and the large displays changed to zoomed images of some of the arms extending from the craft.

“These glyphic symbols have appeared on all of the craft,” Rubeaux began. “Of course we have been analyzing them meticulously and have found no match to any current or ancient languages or runic writings from Earth. What we have found is a match to some symbols on an artifact recovered from a crash site in Canada’s Northwest Territories.”

“Now hold on a minute,” Martin interjected. “What crash site? You just said that the writing matches nothing in our history.”

“What I am about to share with you must never leave this room,” Rubeaux continued. “You all signed non-disclosure forms upon arrival and I can assure you the government will use any and all means at our disposal to enforce that agreement. And make no mistake – we have plenty of means at our disposal."

An image flashed on one of the screens. It looked vaguely like a larger version of the center of the drone craft. “The crash site was found by prospectors in 1953. We recovered the wreckage and put it in storage. The craft was unoccupied; and we think it was remotely guided. We’re not sure what happened to bring it down, but some interior panels had writing on them as well. By comparing some of the symbols with what little we know of the functionality of the craft we were able to make some educated guesses with respect to a rough translation. A few hours ago we had a breakthrough of sorts. Our encryption analysts have been working feverishly to find some correlation with the character sets on these new “bee-snatchers” and think they’ve progressed to the point of making some rudimentary guesses as to what some of the script means.”

Stoneham’s assistant, Kathy, finally verbalized what was on everyone’s mind. “Colonel Rubeaux, how is it that a crashed vehicle found over fifty years ago has writing with such a strong resemblance to these bee-drone things today?”

The answer seemed painfully obvious. “Because, Ms Ellis,” Rubeaux began, “They come from the same race of entities. We don’t know what they were doing here then, but we have a pretty good idea what they are doing here now. They are clearly removing huge populations of bees from our planet. We don’t understand exactly how they do this other than that the drones are key; and we don’t know why they are doing it. We’re hoping that we can decipher the writings on the arms in time to provide some answers.”

They all stared at the wall displays, looking intently for some hidden meaning in the writings. “Colonel,” Stoneham called out across the room. “Do you people have any idea as to the frequency or distribution of these drone craft?”

“They first showed up a couple of weeks ago, Jason replied. “At first it was just a few, then a week or so ago they seemed to be everywhere. Our counterparts in the major agricultural regions of the world have only in the last day or two divulged that they too are now experiencing the same thing. It seems these things swoop down in groups of a several dozen, clear an entire area of bees and then rotate out of the area, spiraling up at incredible speed until we lose track of them as they leave the atmosphere. The whole incident takes less than twenty minutes – which is making it very difficult to catch one of them. Perhaps you can help us understand what is happening here, Doctors.”

Martin Lew and Dexter Stoneham moved to one side and, along with Stoneham’s assistant, began discussing the impact this would have on the world’s agriculture. Stoneham was rattling off figures to Kathy as she quickly made new calculations on a tablet. After a few minutes they looked at each other in a strained gaze. The results were undeniable. If the bee-snatching drones continued unabated, then, at their current rate, the professors estimated they would decimate the world’s entire bee population in a matter of months if not weeks. With no bees to pollinate crops and orchards, global starvation would soon follow their disappearance.

Martin was about to speak up when Colonel Rubeaux held up his hand, cupping an ear with his other hand. “We have some news, people, “Jason started. He lowered his hands to the table. “The ciphers have successfully decoded some of the writing. I asked them to join us here – they’ll be here momentarily.”

A double set of doors at the back of the room opened and 4 of the grey jumpsuit-types entered the room. They wore headsets and one of them carried a small tablet device. The one with the tablet raised a small antenna on the device, pressed a few keys, and the wall displays changed their images to show static and streaming character sets alongside some of the drone arms.

[edit on 5/30/2007 by Outrageo]

posted on May, 30 2007 @ 03:41 PM
The tablet handler, looking first toward the Colonel, waited for a nod, and then spoke up. “This panel on the left shows some of the writing from the ‘53 wreckage. On the right is the enlarged writing from the drone appendages. In the middle is our correlation character set. We have not been able to make many direct comparisons and there may be other errors in some assumptions we needed to make regarding things such as syntax, language structure, and meaning. Nevertheless, we believe we are close to a translation of at least some of the words on the drone arms.”

Jason looked on hesitatingly. He wondered if some of his frustrations might soon find a bit of relief. Instead of continuing to his conclusion, the technician handed the Colonel the tablet, an obvious protocol to the ranking person in the room. Rubeaux looked over the small display, a grin forming on his face as the truth settled in. Before he could speak, another grey suit entered the room. “Colonel, excuse me, Sir.”

“Go ahead,” Jason looked up, shaking his head. “What is it?”

“Sir, the drone craft - they’ve gone,” the technician stammered. “They’re all gone. All of them! No reports of sightings from anywhere around the world. None have appeared in the last 24 hours.”

Jason Rubeaux allowed himself a brief smile. Lew, Stoneham and the others gathered around him. Jason held up a hand and tapped the tablet for all to see. Everyone looked up at the center display. Underneath the drone characters, a rough English translation appeared. It simply said, “Galaxy Worlds Seeding Catalyst”.

Far above the Earth, the drones were securing themselves in the mother ship. Thousands of the drone craft, having transferred their funneled cargo, were now settling in on the interior walls of the ship for their voyage to the next star system. In the center of the enormous ship were giant holding containers, each with hundreds of neat rows of honeycombed panels, and all softly buzzing with the hum of life.

Completely automated and autonomous, there were no other sentient beings aboard the large vessel. It is not known who sent the ship or when. But it makes its rounds around the galaxy, stopping every few thousand years at fertile worlds dispersed among the billions of stars and testing to gauge the pace of life. If there is a need for life-giving bee populations, the drones take some down to the surface to establish new colonies. Soon after, orchards, flowers, and food crops flourish and produce the life-enriching multitude. On other planets now rich with life and thriving civilizations, such as Earth, some of the bee colonies are harvested to be used on younger worlds that are in need of a little help.

Lew, Stoneham, and Kathy shook hands with Colonel Rubeaux outside the building. He showed the group a photograph he pulled from his jacket. A telescope in orbit above the Earth snapped a picture of the mother ship leaving, heading to its next stop on the galactic plane. “I’m sorry I can’t give you the photo to keep,” Jason sighed. “But perhaps you’ll have comfort in knowing that these things are leaving us for good.”

“Oh, I don’t know, Colonel,” Stoneham said. “My comfort is in knowing that they came for a brief, but splendid visit. I wouldn’t worry. Our bee colonies will recover. It may take a year or two, but I don’t anticipate any problems. I’m sure I’m not alone among us when I say that I now have a new appreciation for life on this Earth. Even after spending a lifetime studying bees, I will certainly now treat these magnificent little creatures with a great deal more respect.”

As if on cue, a honeybee alighted on a flower in a planter next to the doorway. The group all looked down at the bee and then back at each other and chuckled. It is going to be a beautiful day.

[edit on 5/30/2007 by Outrageo]

posted on May, 30 2007 @ 06:44 PM
Nice submission, Outrageo.

Good characters, nice dialogue, and a good "reveal" at the end.

It had that academic conspiracy Dan Brown feel to it..a lot of fun to read.


posted on Jun, 1 2007 @ 01:20 PM
Top job Outrageo, I particularly liked the dialogue, it seemed natural and not contrived at all. Nicely paced.

Good luck.


posted on Jun, 17 2007 @ 01:38 PM
Honestly, this could just as easily be the truth about these drones...

I know its fiction, but I believe they are as well....

Nice Work!
Doc Moreau

posted on Nov, 2 2007 @ 05:14 PM
Hey, good story...

The dialogue works very well, the characters are drawn sufficiently for us to get an image that fits, and the ending is...ummm...sweet! I also liked the fact that you didn't allow it to become bogged down in technical aspects of how the drones fly or even function. Focusing on the human aspects as you have works better.

Good read!


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