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The Signal

By RMR Savage All Rights Reserved ©

Fantasy / Scifi

Prologue

The first explosion ripped through the city, taking down buildings in its path and killing all those who didn’t evacuate in time. Very quickly, a second explosion blew apart the citadel. Ramara watched unemotionally from her transporter. The devastation was all around her and there was little that could be done. The planet Lamo’ora was killing itself, as it was coming to the end of its life. She turned to face her sister, Carmelica, who was quietly crying.

“Please don’t cry” said Ramara, “You know that we’ll escape this to find a better life.” She looked across the city. Flames licked up among the clouds of dust forming from the rubble.

Carmelica couldn’t look at the destruction of her beloved home. She didn’t want to leave but it was fate. Carmelica and her two sisters were born to save their people’s future.

“Now, we’ll need to head to Lord Gorromboro’s palace. I believe they have a little more time and he has left something for us”, Ramara set the transporter to navigate to a brighter part of Lamo’ora, “let’s show him some respect by not crying about something which cannot be undone.”

The transporter turned and headed for the palace. Behind the sisters a series of smaller explosions could be heard. Ramara made sure they accelerated to their destination before more damage could harm their mission. Across the land people could be seen running away from the city. Others just stood there, knowing that they would not make it to their final destination before death. Some looked up at the transporter, with hope for the girls. Ramara didn’t look back at them. She didn’t want to see their faces. Carmelica did look this time though. She felt desperate. They knew that the planet was dying so why couldn’t they abandon their stupid elders’ stories and just save as many of Lamo’ora’s population as possible? Carmelica was on her own though, as both her sisters respected the wishes of the elders. They had a star map, which showed them a planet that was full of life and could become a new home for the girls. They would then teach that planet’s life about Lamo’ora and create a new population, including the Gymians.

They had arrived at the palace and were greeted by tall people, whose skin looked like tree bark. Their fingertips were green, as was their expressionless faces. They had bright white eyes and short green hair.

“Welcome Ramara, saviour sister, to Lord Gorromboro’s palace. Our Lord awaits you in the great hall.” Ramara stepped out of the transporter with Carmelica closely behind.

“Welcome Carmelica, saviour sister.” Carmelica nodded at the Gymian guards and they walked to the great hall. The palace was immense but then the Gymian people were immense. It was these people that fed life into Lamo’ora but when their population started dying out, the planet’s life force was being sucked away. It was long since prophesised that this was the fate of Lamo’ora, since a fatal blow was dealt by means of a meteor crash 300 Lamo’orian years ago.

Lord Gorromboro stood at the top of the great hall, in all his splendour, watching the sisters being escorted to him. His eyes were black and he was much taller than the guards. Being the oldest Gymian, Lord Gorromboro was the biggest Gymian on Lamo’ora and he was much respected by all. Like the other Gymians, he had an expressionless face, his skin hardened with age over the centuries. He moved slowly but with gracefulness toward the sisters.

“Welcome Ramara and Carmelica. I have been waiting for this last meeting with hope. I have for you a gift for your future journey.” He held out his aged, worn hard, which did not have green fingers, instead his were dark brown. Opening it, the sisters saw that he held five seeds. They were large, rounded at one end and pointed at the other. “This is the future of my people. The last of the seed left before we all die. This is my gift to you and I hope that in my death and the death of the Gymians, you will resurrect us on your new home.”

Carmelica carefully picked up the five seeds. She couldn’t say anything for she feared she would cry again and didn’t wish to anger her sister. Instead, Ramara spoke, “my Lord, thank you for these gifts. We are honoured that you entrust us to your future. We can only do as you wish from now on. It has been a good life here and I am truly sorry that you cannot travel with us.”

“Child of Lamo’ora, if only I could, but you know my people would not survive the journey. If I could smile like you, I would, for you have shown nothing but kindness and respect for my people. As you leave, please send on my deepest regards to your parents and your third sister, Barliska.”

Carmelica shed a tear but managed to keep quiet. She looked down at the ground and bowed to Lord Gorromboro with her sister. That was the end of the sisters’ time at the palace. They headed quickly to their transporter and Ramara programmed it to go navigate to their parent’s home.

The journey took them even further away from the old city. The counsel had built a new city for developing their last scientific tools to save the races. There stood tall buildings, created with a cold, sharp look. So unlike their old home, built in a style to show the gods that they were unhappy with the future outcome of Lamo’ora. Lord Ka’adu, the sisters’ father, had worked hard to complete the new city in time to release the sisters in to space and warn their future home of their coming.

The transporter landed and the two sisters alighted, heading straight for the central dome. It was there where their father was with their mother and third sister, making the final preparations for their journey to the new world.

“Did you get your gift from Gorromboro?”

Ramara nodded at her father. Carmelica opened her hands to reveal the five seeds.

“Then it is time”, said Ka’adu. Carmelica could not keep her emotions to herself, “I don’t want to go! I’d rather die with all of you!”

Ka’adu calmly walked to his youngest daughter, “Carmelica, please, it has been prophesised that you and your sisters will save us. Your mother and I are old and we have lived our lives. You know that our genetic memory will live on and we can help you repopulate in the new world, once we are born again.” He stepped towards the controls of the large transporter pod that was awaiting the sisters’ entrance. “Father, no! I can’t! I can’t!” Carmelica wanted to run away but her path was blocked by the Lamo’orian guards. She sobbed uncontrollably and her mother, Ka’adora, placed her arms around her, “my child, you have been given the greatest gift that any of us would have wanted. You can give life. You will be saving our lives and those of the Gymians. If I were the chosen one I would be doing this without thinking about anybody else.” Carmelica stared at her in disbelief. “It’s true, child, I would. Your father would too. There’s no other way. It must be done.” Ka’adora guided Carmelica in to the large transporter pod with her sisters. Inside, an egg shaped ornament in the middle of a small, high table opened. Carmelica placed the five seeds inside it and it promptly closed. She turned and looked at Barliska and Ramara. Ramara was the strong one, Barliska was quiet but clever. Carmelica loved her family but being here with her sisters wasn’t enough. She knew that she would have to go through with this as they would be doomed if there were just two sisters going. A tremor stopped her mind wondering as it nearly knocked her to her feet.

“It’s time!” Ramara called. Her mother and father bowed their heads to their daughters as the door to the transporter pod closed. Ka’adu launched the pod into space. They watched their daughters disappear from view.

“Now, we must inform their new world. According to my star map, they are an intelligent race and very much like us. They will understand that our daughters will land 41 years after they receive the signal and that we need their help.” Ka’adu struggled to remain on his feet after another, much greater tremor hit them. He released the signal and held his wife’s hand. They stood there in silence as the planet finally began its final stages of self-destruction, killing all of the two races of Lamo’ora in what seemed just a small, insignificant moment.

It was an August day in 1977 that a volunteer working for SETI was flicking through the paperwork of the data recorded of transmissions on the 15th. Something caught his eye: a signal that came from space. A signal that was 72 seconds long. A sequence that could be a message from another planet. He searched for a pen and found a red one, excitedly scribbling something next to the signal sequence. It simply read “wow!”


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