The Evon Experience
by Alex Poff
Chapter 2 Contact
It took three cycles, but our colony and scout ship finally exited the jump lane into our neighbouring solar system. Spectacular! Almost immediately, many questions that had been the source of constant discussion on Sente II were answered. Yes, there was intelligent life other than our own in the universe.
Our long-range scans had been inaccurate, however. What we found was a six-planet solar system, all large worlds compared to our system and all "red 1 or 2", not really very suitable for our people. But the most exciting news was that there was sentient life. There also appeared to be no other entrance or exit point from this system other than through the lane, which we had just traversed.
We met a species that called themselves the Rhea. By any standards, these were enormous creatures. We opened communications and were delighted to find that, despite their imposing size and gruff exterior, they were open and warm to our peaceful overtures. Their world, while in no danger of collapse, was definitely nowhere near the evolutionary standpoint that we had attained. It took very little negotiation and we were invited to land our colony craft and take up residence on the Rhean homeworld, Nubootis VI. The Rheans invited us to "help" them develop their world and in return they would gratefully become members of the "Evon Empire", as they called us. We immediately saw the multiple advantages to us with this arrangement. We would have a far superior source of military troops, should the need ever arise, and with proper terraforming and development, a large size 11 planet could become an industrial juggernaut in the future.
We had answered many questions. Yes, other life did exist, even if they were very different from us. We had established another Evon colony, even if it wasn't exactly as we had anticipated, but then, what in life ever truly transpires as we expect?
Meanwhile, our second scout ship emerged into the Hedaki system. While we found no other life forms inhabiting this four-planet system, we were successful in finding another single "green 1" planet of moderate size, more than suitable for colonization, along with three other dead "red 2" worlds. This system, too, also held no other entrance or exit lane through which to travel.
It seemed in both cases, our scout ships (now on their own after the landing and implementing of our colony ship on the Rhean home world) would have to return to Sente and move out along the third and final jump lane in the hopes of finding other worlds to explore. While we could theoretically endeavour to move to other solar systems without the aid of these "jump lanes", we felt it impractical, as the possibility of us ever seeing our adventurers alive again would be remote at best.
Meanwhile, production of system colony ships (along with an outpost for our little red planet next to our sun) was well underway on Sente II. It wouldn't be long, we felt, until we may actually be able to live up to our new Rhean friends' image of us as an "Empire".
With all lights green, our two scout ships headed home and then out the third jump lane together to see what lay beyond.