Author : Dale Anson
The ship was nothing but a bit of gossamer, wrapped in a smallish chunk of spacetime and plasma, elongated to impossible dimensions. Krista’s thougths, stretched by relativistic time, traveled from synapse to synapse in mere seconds. Ahead, the red star grew from a suggestion to a dot to a period to a disk to an orb to a sphere to an overwhelmingly large object that dominated all thought to absolute brightness bending her course slightly to the right to merely large to not so large to diminishing to what was that, anyway?
Krista looked outward, considering the trigonometry of the center versus the reddish star disappearing rapidly behind her versus the nebula at 9 o’clock versus the smallish galaxy below versus the leftish edge of the spiraling arm directly ahead. It would be at least a quarter turn, she decided.
She blinked. She heard it now, low level, but distinct. She heard the sound of organization, of civilization, of thought above the slime level. Hours later, fully aware, she triangulated. She had entered the second arm, her journey across the void had been successful. Krista backtracked the signals: correlation, confirmation, origin. She ran pattern matching routines, deep archival retrieval processes, and bounced everything against her last known intelligence registries. She ran her data through the subspace routines, then through the species identifier, then through the spacetime geometry stacks, then through the hyperspace stacks.
The bluish star pass to port, then she aimed toward a yellowish star down and to starboard.
Krista passed a small planet, then an orange gas giant with a ring, then a small white planet, then she contracted, swelled, and slowed to visibility. As she rounded the yellow star, she saw the blue marble from ancient days. She angled toward the equilibrium point trailing the orbit of the blueness, and set up her defenses to repel the incoming nuclear warheads.
Contact was never easy, even when it came from home.