Another day, another voyage a new planet to terraform.
Keron Pakant, the commander of the colonial ship closed his eyes and sighed deeply.
Fourty years of this job was starting to take a toll on him.
“Quite fascinating”, he thought to himself. “To me, this is routine work. To anyone living a couple thousand years ago, this would have been unbelievable-”
“Commander?” The voice of Cona Maran, one of the researchers of the crew brought him back to reality. Not that he minded - there was duty to be served, no time for philosophy.
“We are arriving at the designated planet, and are ready to proceed.”
“Alright. Get moving everyone! Prepare the-”
And then the last thing they expected to happen, happened before their very eyes.
They noticed an alien spaceship.
Another day, another voyage a new planet to terraform.
Another day on just another Colestian colony in the farthest reaches of the nation, just by the eastern border. Time here passed rather uneventfully, just like on every other developing colony, with average labour being done, average people going about their average lives and establishing an average world as a home for the Colestians. The governor of this whole place, Planetary Administrator (Pa.) Alarco Laqius, had been taking care of everything for almost a few weeks now, making sure the colonization efforts go according to plan. The few hundred people living here were happy with his rule.
He was on a ship along with two scientists, surveying the bodies of the stellar system more closely. As expected, nothing out of the ordinary had been found so far. That day was about to go down just as uneventfully as any other, when suddey, one of the Scientists ran up to the governor frantically.
"Sir! An alien ship was spotted!
“Huh!? Where? Where is it on the radar!?”
"Not on the radar, out the window!
"What!? Well, is it at least one we recognize, like Emeraldian or Galactyan?
“No sir, it’s completely new! It might just be a design we haven’t seen before, but most probably, we’re dealing with a first contact!”
Alarco gestured to the scientist to move, and they start walking toward the bridge, where the radio transmitter is.
“A first contact you say? Well, then let’s send a message to our new neighbors n’ see what their attitude is. If we’re lucky, they aren’t in alliance with the Envari. The east is a wild place these days…”
When the two moved to their destination, Alarco started speaking into the microphone, sending a message in a multitude of frequencies. It likely wouldn’t be understood, but it’d prompt a response, which would be useful because of the Galactyan translators.
Alien vessel, you have entered into the territory of the Common Republic of Colestia. State your intentions immediately. We will not shoot you down.
The crew went silent. They had never expected to meet another civilization, let alone one living on land rather than in water.
Parakant stared at the alien vessel in silent concern. Who were those alien creatures? What were their intentions? Could they be trusted?
He gestured to the crew, telling someone to respond to the Colestians. A moment later, Maran stepped forward.
“Greetings. We come from the Democratic Republic of Hydrosia. We were searching for-”
She stopped. What was Colestia’s opinion on terraformation? Revealing the truth could make them be considered a threat.
“… remarkable points of interest near our home planet. Our intentions are peaceful.”
After a while of deliberation, she added,
“We would like to learn more about your civilization. If you do not mind, we would appreciate it if you introduced yourselves in greater detail.”
“They’re peacleful, that’s good at least. Or they’re pretending to be to trick us… Ah, let’s not assume hostility.”
Soon, another transmission, carrying a response, came.
We will, but I’d rather we do diplomacy face to face. Please send us your optimal atmospheric composition data so that we can adjust our ship, or possibly invite you to land on the planet.
After deliberation, the data has been sent to the Colestians.
“Here is the information. We hope this will be the beginning of prosperity and mutual respect between our two nations”
“Great! Now let’s see if… 99,8% water!? That’s… unexpected to say the least.”
I wasn’t expecting that kind of response… We can’t exactly flood the entire planet just to accommodate your kind. Anywho, we’d still like to meet in person, just aboard your ship. I ask to attach our ship to your air- …water lock.
"We would be glad to welcome you aboard. ", a response followed.
“Prepare the dock! And make sure they will be able to breathe!” Maran, other researchers and ordinary crew members rushed to prepare for the meeting.
“Also, stay vigilant! We don’t want to see them trying anything funny!” Pakant shouted out to the crew, but barely anyone paid attention to him. To them this was a fascinating moment that would be remembered for ages to come, one that filled their hearts with excitement.
The commander sighed and shook his head.
Had Hydrosians always been this naive?
Alarco flew the ship to the dock, put on his space suit, walked though the air lock and swam into the alien vessel. He moved somewhat clumsily, as one would expect.
“Well, hello. Who was I talking to through the radio?”
“I was the one contacting you.” Maran greeted the Colestian. “My name is Cona Maran, and I am one of the Hydrosian researchers on this mission. We are pleased to meet you.” Many crew members looked at the alien with fascination.
Pakant reacted with silent contempt. For a while, something inside him told him it was hypoctitical for him - the leader of a ship meant to make new discoveries - to not welcome a new lifeform. But he didn’t let that bother him. He was just a man on a mission, and just wanted to get this over with.
“Ah, yes. It is a pleasure to meet you. From your reaction I assume You’ve met some of the other star nations in the sector. Now tell me, what mission are you and your crew on? I’m deeply sorry, but it doesn’t take a mastermind to work out you’re not telling the truth, and let’s just say I wasn’t born yesterday.”
“Other nations? No… you are the first ones we have met so far. And as for our intentions… We intended to prepare an uninhabited planet to be converted into a safe habitat for our kind. We cerainly did not expect to encounter a foreign civilization, but we hope that this encounter is the beginning of good relations between the two of us.”
“Well, I’m glad to hear that your attitude is friendly. I hope for great relations between our nations also. Now, could you maybe tell me a bit about yourselves? We can’t exactly carry out diplomatic affairs if we don’t even know who each other are.”
“We would be glad to do so. As you know, we come from the nation of Hydrosia, which originated on the aquatic planet Posadia. Although we do thrive mainly in oceanic enviroments, we can briefly survive on land. We have a strong democratic tradition-”
A crew member hid his laughter, pretending to cough. Pakant stared down at the crew coldly, trying to find the culprit. Whoever that was, they had quite a large chance of getting in trouble.
“-and strive to keep our nation free. We are more than willing to make new discoveries about the galaxy. So, could you reveal more about your nation, if you do not mind?”
“And those other star nations you mentioned? Are they hostile?” Pakant added.
“Well, my nation, the Common Republic of Colestia, succeeds in keeping a society of democracy and freedom of expression. We originate from the tropical planet known as Silvalia, where we… Peacefully and harmoniously arose from simple minds o our modern state.
As for the other nations, we know of three others beside yours, that being the Celestial Empire of Galactya, the Union of Emerald, and the Grand Commisariat of Enver. The two former are very peaceful and open to diplomacy, while the latter seems agressive and highly xenophobic. Enver’s border is just south from here, so tell your… democratic goverment to be carefl when exploring there. Now, is there anything else you would like to discuss?”
“Thank you for your information. We will make sure to exercise caution when dealing with Enver. As for-”
“I believe we now have been properly introduced.” Pakant interrupted the conversation. “If you have further questions, please contact our governing body. You may find us here.” He showed Posadia on the ship’s map. “Goodbye, kind sir.”
“Well then, I hope our governing bodies can meet soon to establish prosperous relations together. May the light of peace illuminate your way together, Hydrosian friends.”
With that, the governor swam back into the water lock and went into his own vessel, letting the Hydrosians head back into their territory and concluding the contact.