Where Did They Go? - Part I of II

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Science Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

What happened to an entire planet's intelligent life form? Actually, what happened to any evidence that they were ever there?

Note: This is now a two part story by the same name. Both can be read independently.

An oval craft, with what looked like radio towers sticking out from several points on its top, hovered over the surface of what should have been an expansive steel and concrete city; but during this visit nothing was there.

The craft's size alone was more than impressive, covering the entire area with a shadow.

Inside the spacecraft, near the control center a voice is heard, "Saying again, our scanners detect no signs of a city ever being here.

This result is the same as with all the other locations that we have scanned on this visit," said a creature that one might think was a large rock.

The creature that was speaking was without legs and it seemed to use a vibratory process to move about. It's lower body vibrated and then the upper body leaned in the direction that it wanted to go; the speed that it traveled seemed to be determined by how far it leaned.

Bonn replied, "Well Datum, the team tasked with the duties of charting and documenting intelligent life forms in the galaxies discovered that the inhabitants either fled this planet, or died out in some mass extinction of some kind, but that doesn't explain where all the cities and other structures have gone.

Our past visit to this planet leads me to believe that everything must have disappeared very quickly, and not long ago."

Datum stated, "That is very odd that the cities and their entire infrastructure disappeared too. It is almost as if something uprooted everything that was on the surface and took it away."

 

This vessel is a scientific research vessel, and on this trip they have returned to this planet to try to find out what happened to an entire society; a society that they surveyed and documented once before.

This was a society of humans that seemed to dwell only in cities and everyone was housed in large buildings; an odd situation, to say the least.

 

"Bonn, we just passed over a desert area when our sensors detected signal transmissions from deep under the surface, but they are very weak," stated Datum.

A few moments later a student researcher named Kros told Bonn, "We are about to transport to the surface of the planet to investigate. Do you wish to participate in this exercise?"

Bonn replied, "Yes, I think I might; the oxygen levels might invigorate my membranes."

 

Once on the surface the team of scientist, all much different in appearance than one another, stood around a large red circle.

The red circle was a light projection from their ship and designated where the mysterious signal was coming from.

Suddenly a vibratory sound came from the ship and the ground surface within the circle flowed up. The material from the circle formed into a funnel and then bent slightly as it was transported to another location; that is when the material was released.

This material removal went on until the sound changed in tone. And just a fast as the vibrations began, they stopped.

There, within the circle was the entrance to what looked like a natural cave; except for the steel-like doors that blocked the entrance.

"Ah, a mystery to solve," bellowed Bonn, "I love solving mysteries!"

With the use of Bonn's tentacle held scanning devise, and some programming instructions from Kros, a light beam from the ship struck the steel-like door and it turned to dust, and then fell to the ground.

"Shall we see what we can see?" Kros said as they all entered the cave.

 

Down into the cavernous passageway the beings traveled. The twisting passage was without the slightest light until they came to a great expanse, a huge room of sorts.

At the far side of the room was a massive computer that glowed intently. The computer seemed to be connected by various cables directly into the surfaces of the earth that was around it.

 

"What is it?" Kros questioned, without any expectation that any of the team would know.

Bonn began examining the computer with odd looking devises.  At the same time, the rest of the team was scanning and sending digital transmissions to their ship, presumably for diagnosis.

After some time a message came from the ship saying, "Cave computer's signal analyzed and other stronger signals have now been detected in 14 additional locations around this planet's surface. All computers are self contained and are holographic devises with other unknown abilities; purpose for installation, unknown.

Computers are in sleep mode and the signal they are emitting may be a distress call.

The power source they use is the planet’s electrical field and magnetic pulses. All 15 computers work as one unit, but power connecting them is disconnected at this source."

 

Bonn looked around for a while and said, "I think I found the problem, something has eaten away at this cable and it is nearly severed."

Datum stated, "There is a dead rodent nearby. It may have eaten the cable in an attempt to survive. I make that assumption because it seems to have died of starvation."

One of the other scientists, Salix, replied, "Let us repair the cord and see what the purpose of the computer array is, that is, if they still function. It could not hurt anything, after all, it is obvious that no-one intended for the computers to disconnect. Maybe then we will have the answers that we are looking for."

Everyone was in agreement, at least as much as any group of scientists can agree on anything.

So with a little ingenuity used, they were soon able to repair the cable.

 

Well the group of scientist found out most of what they wanted to know. They now know what the computers do and where this planet's inhabitants went to.

But there is still a big puzzle left unanswered, and a question from Bonn, "Who were the builder's of these computers, what purpose did they serve the builders, and why did they leave the computers unattended."

Scientists love questions that beg for answers, but for now the computers are up and running and that will have to do.

And because the computers are working again, all the planet's full-time inhabitants are back in the cities that have suddenly reappeared. They are, again, living their computer generated holographic assisted lives.

 

 

D. Thurmond / JEF

02-16-2017

2020


Submitted: February 17, 2017

© Copyright 2020 D. Thurmond aka JEF. All rights reserved.

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C.A. Exline

I liked the alien species and the idea of a simulated replica world! Kind of like a museum of society? Or was it running some kind of algorithm for predictive or research purposes? Or is it an AI that prefers to experience existence through discrete avatars in imitation of non-synthetic life? Lots of interesting possibilities. Let me know if you continue this, /JEF

Sat, August 12th, 2017 7:10pm

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I kind of left it up to the reader, and I do have some ideas about why it was built; a home away from home sort of thing. I will let you know if I decide to continue it and thanks for commenting.

Sat, August 12th, 2017 2:50pm

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