When we talk about the human race, we think about the people who went through the EVE gate millenia ago. The ones who managed to conquer vast amounts of space and develop unparalleled technology. What we forget are the people who were left behind in the journey to the stars. Almost all of the ‘Redeemers’, which they called themselves, swore to exact revenge upon the rest of humanity for leaving them behind during the Voyage. All but a very tiny group of people.
The Cube, Moon l, Earth
“Another wormhole.” said Lunala, rolling her eyes. To her, it was just another one of the wormholes that spawned in the Solar System almost daily. Or was it?
“Who’s going to check the thing out?” said Jarsen. He was the leader of the Redeemers, a middle-aged man who looked like he had been through a lot of ■■■■. Didn’t act as wise as one though.
“Seems like you forgot your duty as leader, didn’t you?”
“Send Aeryn or one of her deviant friends then, don’t they have a wish to reconcile with the Voyagers and live a happy life with them?”
"OK. " she rolled her eyes more dramatically this time. She went to the barracks, which was the term they used for the common sleeping area.
"Aeryn darling, wake up, you’ve got a wormhole to check. "
She rubbed her eyes. “What did you say?”
"You’ve got a wormhole to check out, girl. " Lunala repeated in a calm voice.
"Nice. I’ll be shipped in 10. " Aeryn smiled. Lunala was one of the few people that she liked in the Cube, a rusty metal box of a station which housed all 3000 Redeemers. And the Deviants, that’s what they were called by the Redeemers. They seeked peace with the Voyagers, hence the name.
Aeryn walked towards the washroom. She cleaned her groggy face and proceeded to grab a meal from the kitchen. She saw her best friend there, Yuvria. He was a fellow Deviant and the youngest among the 3000. He was 16, Aeryn a year older. His blond hair was left messy but smelled clean, as usual
"Good morning, Yuvria. "
“Good morning!” he smiled back. “Where are you heading now?”
“Got a job to do, mate.”
“Can I follow, pleeeeasee?”
“You know the answer, Yuv.”
“But you promised me you’d bring me along before. And you know I’m not gonna stop pestering you until you do so.”
Aeryn seems to ponder his words for a while. Then, she walked away briskly from him. She heard the faintest of sighs and smiled. It was time to end the boy’s year-long wait.
“Fine. Terminal 3 in 2 minutes. Bring everything you need. I’m not waiting for more than 130 seconds. Washroom provided.”
He yelled so loud that the echoes didn’t stop for an entire minute. Aeryn proceeds to Terminal 3, where her ship was. As usual, the 2 Redeemer guards there frowned at her. Even with their menacing rifles, she walked past them, feeling indifferent.
Just as she opened the entrance hatch of the ship, she heard a series of loud footsteps, pounding on the floor. She glanced back to see Yuvria’s messy blond hair flailing wildly as he ran towards her. The pounding abruptly stopped and we’re accompanied by sounds of confusion.
“Sorry mate. No non-explorers passing through this area.”
“Let him in.”
“No, it’s against the rules. And you should know that as the Head of Explorers.”
“Well, you said it yourself, I know the rules. Doesn’t mean I’m especially enthusiastic about them. And today I feel especially happy to have him in here with me. So ■■■■ you and your ■■■■■■■ rules.”
“Let him in. Tell Jarsen I wanted it and I’ll answer. He’s not gonna touch or scold Yuvria or the both of you. If he does, tell me and I’ll whack the ■■■■ outta him.”
They hesitated for a moment. “Go on, and make sure you honor your promise.”
Yuvria hopped into the ship. “See ya dumbasses soon!”
The ship was called a Wanderer. It was a very old design meant for exploration and travelling. The thing boasted superior speed and agility at the expense of space and toughness. The Wanderer resembled a small bird, with wings and a curved front for a beak. Aeryn liked it well enough, she thought of it as a cozy haven, safe from the scorns and frowns of the Redeemers. And she decorated it with her own stuff, including small pieces of furniture and posters.
“Wow, this thing looks absolutely stunning.”
“Thanks. Designed it myself as soon as I got it. You wouldn’t like the original version.”
“I’m sure about that”
“Time to get on with business. Store your belongings in the small container. Put food and drinks in the mini-freezer.”
He did as told while Aeryn setup the ship’s control panel and interface.
“Guess we’re both set then. You ready?” Aeryn said
“Good. Now get your ass on the seat and stop jumping around like a monkey.”
“That is an unprovable axiom. We’ll never see monkeys.” He sat down to Aeryn’s right and marvelled at the holographic displays and equipment. His eyes got wet with happiness.
“Thanks so much for bringing me along, it’s been my childhood dream to fly in a spaceship and see the stars.”
“Yeah yeah don’t get all weepy now”
He brushed away his tears and looked just as energetic as before.
“What’re we doing now?”
“We’ve to warp to the newly formed wormhole and jump through it to check out what’s on the other side”
“It’s not. I can promise you that”
“We’ve been scanning long before we were even conceived. The chances of finding civilization is extremely low. Maybe even impossible.”
“All we can do is warp, jump and see I guess.”
Aeryn pushed the Yoke and the ship moved out of the terminal. When it was fully outside, she pushed a few buttons on the control panel and tapped the holographic map a few times. “Warping commenced.” declared a mechanical female voice.
“It’s gonna be fine.”
“I’ll l trust you.”
The Wanderer accelerated rapidly and aligned towards the wormhole After flying for a few kilometers in it’s designated direction -which didn’t take more than 5 seconds given its speed-, the ship began warping towards the wormhole.
“It’s all good, isn’t it?”
“Yeah man I don’t even feel anywhere near weird!”
“Told you.” Aeryn smiled.
When they reached the wormhole, Yuvria got up from his seat and peeked forward as much as he could to get a closer look at the wormhole.
“Yeah, this one seems really nice” the wormhole had turquoise tendrils expanding outwards from its core, which was pink. It vaguely resembled a flower.
“Ready to jump?”
Aeryn grinned and flew into the wormhole. They were gone in less than a second.
Going through a wormhole was an interesting experience to say the least. It looked very…weird. All one can see while going through is just a jumble of stars. One would know they were seeing stars, yet it would seem to be impossible to process or perceive.
“How long is this gonna last?”
“We don’t know, it depends on the distance.”
After a while, they were finally sucked out of the wormhole into normal space.
“My god, its full of stars.”
“This galaxy does seem pretty nice.”
The newfound galaxy was a greyish black, with streaks of turquoise, blue and green. It didn’t have much nebulae, but one thing stood out from it.
There was a massive cloud of dark turquoise gas. It was shaped like a slightly distorted ring and was very aesthetically pleasing.
“That nebula looks amazing, doesn’t it?”
“Really wish you’d stop asking the obvious. But yeah, it does look great.”
“So what’re we doing now?”
“We’ve gotta scan for signs of civilization. Stations, structures, planetary colonies. Anything at all that indicates life.”
“Very cool. How are we gonna do that?”
“We need to use the onboard scanner.”
Aeryn pushed a few buttons and another holographic screen popped up. Then, she initiated the scan. A green sphere, centered on the ship, rapidly expanded. Aeryn sat, gobsmacked at the results
'So what didya find?"
“Hello?” he waved his hand in front of her.
“We’ve found them. Finally.”
“Huh? You mean we found the Voyagers?”
“Not necessarily, but my scanner picked up half a dozen stations and busy interplanetary traffic.”
“Let’s warp to one of the stations then.”
Aeryn warped the ship to the closest station. There was, indeed, heavy traffic there. The ships speakers suddenly buzzed with static.
“This the 77-KDQ Stellar Commander. Who are you and what are you flying?” boomed a deep masculine voice
“Please identify yourself, or we will be forced to interrogate you.” a few ships, presumably security ones, scanned the Wanderer.
“We…come from Earth.”
“Well you guys sure took a jolly long time to find us, didn’t ya? Now get docked and we’ll speak.” his voice suddenly turned friendly.
Aeryn piloted the ship into the docking path and was pulled into the station. It was oddly shaped, like an angular pancake with edges all around it. It also had 2 pillar-like structures protruding from the middle. The ship entered a massive hangar. It’s design was certainly much better than the Cube. It even had holographic newsfeeds and billboards. They opened the hatch and crawled out of the ship onto a pavement. A group of young men, no older than them, walked in their direction.
“Welcome to Cloud Ring. Or more suitably, New Eden.” their leader said. He looked…unhuman. Not in a cruel way or anything, they just looked…different,creepy.
“Umm…hello.” Yuvria said. He lent out a hand to shake. “I’m Yuvria, and this is Aeryn.”
He shook Yuvria’s hand. “I’m Velne. This is Gaden and Polya.” they smiled at Aeryn and her friend.
“So…who are you guys?” Aeryn asked.
“We’re with an alliance called Triumvirate. We control about half of the Cloud Ring region. Don’t worry, we’re good people and we won’t hurt you. If you explain yourself too.”
The next few hours were spent explaining about their life in the Cube and their journeys. The 3 men talked about New Eden and civilization, systems, regions, constellations and…much more.