The Zara Explorer Mk 2
By: Robin Gagnon
When Zara reached the place on the map labelled as ‘The Dark Empty’, she immediately activated the cloaking mechanism on her spacecraft. She wasn’t sure what she would find, but was disappointed when she realized that there was nothing in front of her but darkness. The only lights were the artificial ones inside her ship.
Leaning forward, Zara tried to see if there was anything above her, but was greeted by nothing but blackness. She frowned sadly, realizing that her first venture into space was a bust. Of course there was nothing here. The aliens had already explored this part of the universe and discovered nothing, so why would she? Pulling the holographic map back up, she looked for a different place to explore.
Just as she was getting ready to go back into hyperspace, Zara paused. Something wasn’t quite right. If this part of space really did have nothing but empty space, then why weren’t her windows fogging up from the extreme cold because of the absence of a sun?
Instead of leaving, Zara put a strand of her dark brown hair behind her ear and moved the spaceship forward. She wasn’t really sure which direction she was headed, but kept on going regardless.
After what felt like hours, Zara began to give up hope. Nothing but darkness still surrounded her and she wondered if the absence of fogged up windows was just a strange anomaly.
Getting ready to turn back once again, Zara froze when something rippled in front of her. Like a TV station finally getting reception, a giant sun and few planets suddenly appeared in front of her. After a second, Zara realized that she had just exited a very large and advanced barrier technology that had been hiding away a solar system from the rest of the universe.
Zara awed, as a planet, larger than the Earth, orbited a large sun with a few other planets. It was incredible and Zara could hardly believe what she had found. After a few moments of nothing but astonishment, Zara reached for her communicator to contact her parents. Before she could, though, a large spacecraft appeared in the distance, along with many smaller ones. They seemed to be spread apart like they were searching for something. They were looking for her.
Panicking, Zara double checked to make sure that her cloaking system was on, and carefully avoided crashing into any of the ships that didn’t appear to see her. It seemed that her father’s technology had prevailed and she was thankful for it. After all, these aliens didn’t seem like they wanted to be discovered.
“We know you are there,” a voice called out on a speaker system that Zara’s spacecraft picked up. “Show yourself now or we will clear out the area.”
Becoming frightened by their threat, Zara switched off her cloaking device and was quickly noticed by the aliens. The large ship began to open one of it’s bay doors and it became apparent that they wanted her to board, so she slowly flew towards it, surrounded by hundreds of small ships with weapons aimed at her.
As she docked, Zara became shocked when she realized that the people onboard the spacecrafts seem to know the human language. It gave her some comfort, at least, to know that she could communicate with them easily. Perhaps they wouldn’t hurt her if she was able to explain herself.
Opening the door to her ship, she carefully stepped out with her hands in the air to ensure that they knew she meant no harm. When she came face-to-face with the aliens, she was left feeling even more surprised. They looked almost human, except for the fact that some of them had angel-like wings or devil-like horns.
“Who are you?” the captain, whom appeared to be a dark skinned woman with white wings demanded. “Where have you come from and who else are you with?”
“I’m Zara,” she replied nervously, feeling intimidated because of her small stature. “I’m from the planet called Earth and I’m here by myself. I wanted to be a space explorer, so my parents and I built a small spacecraft.”
The woman slowly descended a set of stairs toward her and regarded her carefully before asking, “No one knows that you’re here?”
Zara shook her head, “No.”
The lady, whom had dark haired dreads, turned to her horned companions and began discussing amongst themselves.
“Um,” Zara spoke up. “Who are you guys?”
The woman turned around after wrapping up her discussion and replied in what almost sounded like an African accent, “We are an alien race that the rest of the universe fears. Our technology is so incredibly advanced, that we had to run away and hide ourselves thousands of years ago, so that no one would find us and use our technology for evil. The other aliens believe we are a race that have gone extinct and we plan on keeping it that way.”
“I swear I wont tell anyone,” Zara stammered, becoming frightened. “But I have one more question. Why do you know English and why do you look so much like humans?”
“Because we are the aliens that created the human race,” she answered, stopping in front of Zara. “Long ago, we started a project called humanity and throughout time we watched you progress, so that we could possibly understand how life, such as ourselves, begins and changes over time. However, once the other aliens of the universe discovered what we were doing, we had to go into hiding. We couldn’t allow them to figure out how we had replicated our own species in the way that we had. Our only regret was not taking humanity with us because the people on earth were like our children and we weren’t ready to leave you behind. We have sent a couple people over time to view and record how you were doing, but it was too late to evacuate you after the rest of the universe learned about you.”
“Hold on,” Zara interrupted, her brain not being able to completely digest this new information. “So, you’re saying this is almost like another solar system like ours and that there’s another race of humans?”
“Not quite,” the woman answered, crossing her dark coloured arms. “To put it in words you can understand, this place is like paradise and we are more like divine beings. We are not quite the same thing as humans.”
Zara’s eyes opened wide with realization and replied, “Have you seen what has happened to humanity now?”
“We have not sent someone in a while,” the woman admitted. “Because a ship of ours was detected by one of the other alien races and this place was nearly discovered. However, judging by the fact that you are here, I can only assume that you have advanced far beyond our expectations and that you have discovered at least some of the other alien races.”
Zara nodded quickly, “But that’s not all. The other alien races took over the earth and practically enslaved humanity by telling us that we owed them for saving us from destroying our planet. We’re looked down upon and if they found out that I was exploring the universe on my own, I’d be a laughing stock and probably have my spacecraft destroyed.”
The woman’s eyes widened in surprise and she turned to discuss this new piece of news with her comrades. Zara waited, still in utter shock from what she had learned. She had just discovered a far more superior human race, hidden among the edges of the universe, in a place that was practically paradise. Her parents would never believe her.
“We need your help,” the woman broke into Zara’s thoughts. “It is time we take back our children and bring them here, but we’ll need to do so without revealing ourselves to the rest of the universe. It will take a long time, but I think we could do it using something that is like your ship. After all, your cloaking system couldn’t even be detected by our advanced technology. If you allow us to study it, we could build you a bigger one and you can start bringing the humans here. We’ll begin with your parents first, if that is what you wish. What do you say?”
Zara looked up at her new companions with excitement and replied, “Looks like it’s time to start building the Zara Explorer Mk 2.”