Dahdee and Sara. A short story.

BrikWars fiction in long-prose form. Trigger warning: Walls of text

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Dahdee and Sara. A short story.

Post by The Shadowscythe » Sat Apr 12, 2014 1:19 pm

A few nights ago I had another one of my epic dreams, and had to get it down into words before the memory faded completely.

I posted the tale up to /tg/ earlier today but the 1 minute post countdown and 2000 letter limit stunted it a little.

So behold my tale, with a touch of HFY and how children are out future.
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Re: Dshdee and Sara. A short story.

Post by The Shadowscythe » Sat Apr 12, 2014 1:19 pm

>TIME//DATE RECORDING SYSTEM CORRUPTED.
>PRIMARY RECORDING SYSTEMS NO LONGER ACTIVE.
>SECONDARY RECORDING SYSTEMS IN ACTIVE STATE.

>BEGIN AUDIO LOGS.

>CAPTAIN – AARON DAVIS.

>REGISTERED CIVILIAN TRADE FRIEGHTER “THIS SIDE UP”

>OPENING ENTRY.


Well, I suppose I should start with both an apology and an admission. I owe you that much.

First of all, the apology – you never deserved to be out here, in the latter known arse-end of nowhere. I was selfish, both me and your mother. By now you know some of the ins and outs of how we met, I was running the trade routes between Earth and the inner colonies – trading between Alpha Centauri, Rigel Kentaurus and Jupiter station, that’s how me and your mother met. How you came to be. She passed on as you where born, raised as close to being a true spacer as anyone can be. I remember having to alter the gravity ring settings of the ‘side up to make you sleep better at night and having to alter the magnetic shield harmonics to help lull you to sleep at night. I remember your first steps around the ship, walking loops around the rotating ring as I had closed all the bulkhead doors and let you wear yourself out as you left tiny hand-prints on the cold metal walls. You deserved better, you should have been born on Mars, or even Earth if I could have gotten you there – got your mother into a proper hospital planet-side, maybe saved her life and gave you the gift of both parents. Settled down into a life somewhere and sold the ship, gotten you into a school – a real honest to god school, with teachers and playgrounds and other kids. Instead I gave you this – raised in a rotating metal ring of a mid-range trade ship endlessly moving between world to world, no real hope of an upbringing beyond me and a ship I had only half paid off the 25 year mortgage on.

Although thinking about it all, I suppose I should move onto the admission.

I have never been more proud of you. I love you so much, and if I could do it all again – I wouldn’t change a thing.

As I am saying this, you are halfway on your first real voyage into the black – and I am on my last days. Something about the bacteria of this world, you grew into the immunities and adapted as I gave you all of the few immunopacks I had aboard, but this alien world has taken its toll. The doctors, with what little I managed to pass on to them from you and the ship have told me I don’t have long left. I am reorganising my logs into something passing a record of what happened between then and now to give you something to look back on, something to carry on, and eventually something to pass on.

My baby girl, you have done so much to get back to the stars. My eyes are getting darker now, I can feel the cold in my bones. I don’t need to worry, soon I can close my eyes and I can join you.

Daddie will be joining you soon. Back to the stars.
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Re: Dshdee and Sara. A short story.

Post by The Shadowscythe » Sat Apr 12, 2014 1:23 pm

>ADJUSTED ENTRY ORDER.

>STARTING SECOND ENTRY.

>-25 YEARS. 6 MONTHS. 8 DAYS. 8 HOURS FROM OPENING ENTRY.

>AUDIO RECORDING FROM SHIP COMMS LOG.


“Rodger that Jupiter station, telemetry green – FTL drive is charging and we are outside safe distance. See you on the flipside.”

“Copy that ‘This Side Up’ – Stay safe Aaron, look after that little girl – okay?”

“Rodger that, FTL drive charged – Sara is safe and sound, see you again soon”

>BLACKBOX SHIP STATUS.

>CAPACITORS CHARGED.

>FTL DRIVE CHARGED.

>NAVIGATION ACTIVE.

>FTL NAVIGATION ACTIVE.

>TARGET SYSTEM TELEMETRY – JUPITER ORBIT – RIGEL KENTAURUS.

>PRIMARY MAGNETIC SHIELD ACTIVE.

-- --

>WARNING.

>WARNING.

>UNKNOWN SOLAR RADIATION DETECTED.

>TIME TO IMPACT – 17 SECONDS.

>UNABLE TO DISABLE FTL DRIVE ACTIVATION.

>MAGNETIC SHIELD – INACTIVE -

>WARNING.

>WARNING.

>FTL EVENT IN PROGRESS.

>WARNING.

>WARNING.

>MAGNETIC SHIELD – OFFLINE

>NAVIGATION – OFFLINE

>FTL NAVIGATION – OFFLINE

>DAMAGE TO PRIMARY CPU ARRAY

>DAMAGE TO PRIMARY REACTOR

>PRIMARY CARGO ARRAY DESTROYED – JETTISONING CARGO

>SECONDARY SYSTEMS ONLINE.

>FTL TRANSITION COMPLETE.
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Re: Dshdee and Sara. A short story.

Post by The Shadowscythe » Sat Apr 12, 2014 1:23 pm

>STARTING THIRD ENTRY.

>-25 YEARS. 6 MONTHS. 8 DAYS. 6 HOURS FROM OPENING ENTRY.

>AUDIO RECORDING FROM CAPTAINS LOG.


Fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck it all!

All primary systems apart from gravity and life support are offline. Fuck! The FTL drive went arse over tit and we are drifting. Can’t get any external communications online, got no navigation of any kind – the ship went and autodumped the cargo so I guess I can kiss my career goodbye as my fucking insurance won’t cover any of this shit.

I guess the only thing I can take any kind of solace in is the fact me and Sara are both fine, the worst she got was scared by the sheer noise of everything in the ship dieing at the same time – not even a bump on her anywhere. She’s the lucky one at that age, I have a gash on my forehead at least a finger long and I feel like death warmed twice over. I have to keep going though. I think I may be able to get Nav and then Comms online. If I can get that done then I can get this shithole of a ship to crawl to a main convoy line and get a mayday signal out to somewhere, hopefully a cruiser can pick us up in a few days time and we can get this behind us.
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Re: Dshdee and Sara. A short story.

Post by The Shadowscythe » Sat Apr 12, 2014 1:24 pm

>STARTING FOURTH ENTRY.

>-25 YEARS. 6 MONTHS. 4 DAYS FROM OPENING ENTRY.

>AUDIO RECORDING FROM SHIP CAPTAINS LOG.


Sara is sleeping now, so I guess I have a while to put into words how well and truly screwed we are.

FTL is dead, but NAV and COMMS are not – not that it will make much difference anyway. The ships blackbox is a mess, so I can only pull out about half of what happened. About two centuries ago, just before the space race started again, just after we dealt with global warming – there was some kind of big thing about extra solar radiation. I only remember it from school but the basic bullshit is that somewhere in the universe a star died in a really weird way, and blasted radiation and solar flares out into the void – which could destroy all life on Earth or just wipe out our electronics or some other kinds of crap. It was eventually debunked on a planetary scale but there always was some kind of thing about whether or not it could affect a ship in space.

I checked the few logs I have, we where hit by a flare from outside our solar system, just as we where about to FTL – the drive couldn’t stop once it had started but the co-ordinates had been wiped when NAV went offline, so we blind jumped into . . . well, the middle of nowhere.

Right now, we are on the outer edges of a system – and we have some cruising speed. I have plotted a course towards the inner system to find a nice big gas giant or moon to lurk behind and try and organise my repairs. I doubt I will ever manage to get this ship fully working again, and I doubt we will ever leave this system. Got to do something. Do something for her. 11 months old and lost in space. Ain’t a thing a Father ever wants to leave his little girl.
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Re: Dshdee and Sara. A short story.

Post by The Shadowscythe » Sat Apr 12, 2014 1:24 pm

>STARTING FIFTH ENTRY.

>-25 YEARS. 4 MONTHS. 12 DAYS FROM OPENING ENTRY.

>AUDIO RECORDING FROM SHIP CAPTAINS LOG.


Well, its been a while – didn’t seem right to keep talking to myself between Looking After Sara and everything I needed to do.

It was her first birthday a few days back, I did my best for her. There wasn’t a cake, or candles – but I took one of her mothers belongings, an old teddy bear of hers – and named her “Rosey” after her mother. I dumped the contents of one of the ration storage boxes and wrapped it in paper from the printer with patterns and flowers drawn on in marker pens.

It wasn’t much but it made her happy to unwrap a present, I got a few pictures on the cam and saved them to the blackbox – the first proper smile I’ve managed to crack since the accident.

I wish I could do better for Sara.

I miss you Rosaline.

God damnit I wish I could cry.
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Re: Dshdee and Sara. A short story.

Post by The Shadowscythe » Sat Apr 12, 2014 1:24 pm

>STARTING SIXTH ENTRY.

>-25 YEARS. 3 MONTHS FROM OPENING ENTRY.

>AUDIO RECORDING FROM SHIP CAPTAINS LOG.


It has taken us three months, three long months. We are in the inner system at last. Travelling for this long on thrusters alone has done an absolute number in on the backup fusion drive but it has been worth it.

At first I wanted to get us to shelter near a moon or planet and get us fully operational again before attempting to get the FTL drive operational. Then I saw the results from the scanners.

They are only a low-range civilian model scanning array – it takes forever to do much beyond basic navigation, but with three months to work they managed to scan the system and managed to find a world in the system with an atmosphere and water, capable of sustaining human life. Apparently the tolerances are just about right even if the gravity is a little heavier than 1G, but it’s a world we can at least survive on. I have set a slingshot course around the gas giant I had planned to park near to save the thrusters a little work and got the scanners working as hard as they can to find out as much as we can about this world. If I can ever find a way to get the NAV systems fully operational then we could jump back home and I could claim a new system, pioneers rights and everything – could be worth billions on the corporate or international markets.

I may be able to give my little girl the upbringing she deserves after all – a nice mansion on Earth in the tropics, everything she could ever need.

She said her first proper words yesterday, not just repeating and gibberish.

Dada.

I just wish Rosaline was still here to see her.
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Re: Dshdee and Sara. A short story.

Post by The Shadowscythe » Sat Apr 12, 2014 1:25 pm

>STARTING SEVENTH ENTRY.

>-25 YEARS. 2 MONTHS. FROM OPENING ENTRY.

>AUDIO RECORDING FROM SHIP COMMS LOG.


Even with the slingshot – inner system travel takes a long time. It’s the reason why we set up space stations throughout the inner system . . . Jupiter, Mars, Luna. Its easier to have dedicated drop off points for inner system trawlers with more powerful sublight engines than have a mass of endless traffic clogging up the convoy routes, or risking inner system FTL where gravity can make everything all screwy. Between systems however, small ships with high FTL speeds can make an independent living so long as they have the right licences. It’s the reason why men like me still exist in the universe.

So we have been crawling towards the planet, the little green orb in the window I still have no name for yet.

The thing is, once every so often the radio sparks into life – little boops and beeps through the static of background noise. No idea what to make of it yet. Trying to pick up as much as I can by opening all the receivers and listening in.

Gotta log off now anyway. Time for dinner. Let it not be said that vac-pack rations and toddlers are not a match made in hell for a full time space-dad.
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Re: Dahdee and Sara. A short story.

Post by The Shadowscythe » Sat Apr 12, 2014 1:25 pm

>STARTING EIGTH ENTRY.

>-25 YEARS. 1 MONTH. 2 WEEKS FROM OPENING ENTRY.

>AUDIO RECORDING FROM SHIP CAPTAINS LOG.


Holy hell. Holy fucking hell. The radio static just turned into music. Nothing like anything I have ever heard before, but fucking music. I am recording everything, everything I can. Dozens of frequencies, music of every type – language I can’t even begin to understand.

I don’t think it’s human either, the sounds, the words – at least I think they are words. Not like anything I have ever heard before.

No one has ever made first contact with an alien. Ever. There’s always been legends, but nothing real, nothing really real.

Holy fuck.
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Re: Dahdee and Sara. A short story.

Post by The Shadowscythe » Sat Apr 12, 2014 1:26 pm

>STARTING NINTH ENTRY.

>-25 YEARS. 1 MONTH. SIX DAYS. 4 HOURS FROM OPENING ENTRY.

>AUDIO RECORDING FROM SHIP CAPTAINS LOG.


I worked out the maths and I think, I think I can make contact. It won’t be pretty at all though. I was put through my tests, Pilot, Captain, Engineer – all the tests you need to run a single man boat like this, but they teach you to follow the manual and never to deviate because fucking around with your ship in deep space can kill you dead in seconds. Of course no one ever pays attention to that crap in the long run.

I re-activated the COMMS array, and worked out that even though its still going to take weeks to reach this world, the radio signals are only taking a few hours to reach us here – so anything I send back should take the same amount of time. I picked one of their most common frequencies to try and send a reply on. Now I just have to pick a reply.

No one ever taught us about first contact – no one ever thought it would happen to a civilian, it would be some kind of big wondrous event for one of the military cruisers. That or we would never find anyone. I doubt they would understand me as much as I can understand them, which is very fucking little. I have decided to let the computer send the signal out for me. Old sci-fi films used to use maths to communicate between us and the aliens in first contact situations until they could talk, so I have told the computer to send out prime numbers in sequence in the same beeps and boops I picked up on the way into the system. Hopefully they should figure out that something is on the way and work out a reply.

God only knows what I cam going to send back though . . .
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Re: Dahdee and Sara. A short story.

Post by The Shadowscythe » Sat Apr 12, 2014 1:26 pm

>STARTING TENTH ENTRY.

>-25 YEARS. 1 MONTH. ONE DAY. FIVE HOURS FROM OPENING ENTRY.

>AUDIO RECORDING FROM SHIP CAPTAINS LOG.


It took five days of drifting into the system before I picked up a proper reply. I still have no idea what they are saying, but the music seemed to stop on every radio channel I could pick up, replaced by frantic . . . talking and then the replaying of my signal before I then received a proper response to the signal myself.

It started off with them replaying the prime numbers back to me in signal as I did – then I took over the Microphone. I had no idea what to say, I started off with my name, the name of my ship, my daughter, we came from Earth in peace, we needed help. They gibbered on in return, after that the conversation just broke down into noise on both ends, no idea what each of us wanted to communicate so we just talked.

I estimate we have a few weeks until we hit orbit. After that who knows. The cargo transport still works at least, and is rated for an orbital landing. I heard some strange noises coming from the backbone of the ships hull a few hours ago. Running some scans now.

God I am tired. More tired than I have been in a long time. It feels like I am just talking for the sake of talking. Sara is talking really well now. Dad. Taa. Please. Yes. No. Everyone is talking. Now we just need more words.
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Re: Dahdee and Sara. A short story.

Post by The Shadowscythe » Sat Apr 12, 2014 1:26 pm

>STARTING ELEVENTH ENTRY.

>-25 YEARS. THREE WEEKS. ONE DAY FROM OPENING ENTRY.

>AUDIO RECORDING FROM SHIP COMMS LOG.


Hello down there, we’ve been talking for a while now. I know neither of us has much to say. Neither of us can understand so just listen. My ship was damaged in FTL, and it is worse than I thought. The sheer stress of what brought us here caused the ships backbone to sphincter, the superstructure has factures running all the way through it. I honestly don’t know how it survived this long.

I have a little girl, her name is Sara – she deserves to live through this even if I don’t.

I am doing my best to get my ship into preparation to enter a stable orbit, it will be the closest it has come to a planet since we got here. If it can stand up to the gravity of your world then I will leave it in orbit and make my way down to your world in our cargo transport.

I want you to know, I want you all to know – that we come in peace.

I hope you believe us.
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Re: Dahdee and Sara. A short story.

Post by The Shadowscythe » Sat Apr 12, 2014 1:27 pm

>STARTING TWELTH ENTRY.

>-25 YEARS. THREE DAYS FROM OPENING ENTRY.

>AUDIO RECORDING FROM SHIP CAPTAINS LOG.

>PART ONE.


I have been working my arse off for the last few weeks – the ship has been groaning like nothing I have ever heard before.

I have already loaded as many supplies as I can get into the cargo transport. Sara’s Cot, my crib – as many rations and supplies as I can fit, Immunopacks – water supplies and anything and everything I can gather to survive on a new world. I know whoever is down there is advanced enough for radio, but we have no idea what to expect down there. No idea at all. We are a few hours away from the world below – Sara is asleep on her crib, and it’s probably for the best. The chatter on the radio has gone nuts – I have no idea what is going on but they sound agitated as hell.

No going back now though. Gotta slide the ship into an orbit and then detach the transport from the hull. It’s not that hard to do, but I haven’t made an atmo landing since the training sims. I guess it’s like riding a bike.

Transferring a copy of the ships logs and databanks over to a mobile array now, so this is the last log from the ‘side up. Sara had her first words in this boat, her first steps, her first cold, her first bottle, her first clear night sleep. So many memories.

See ya’ later old girl.

It’s been a ride.
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Re: Dahdee and Sara. A short story.

Post by The Shadowscythe » Sat Apr 12, 2014 1:27 pm

>PART TWO.

A.L.S online.

Clean detach.

“This Side Up” in stable orbit.

Trajectory clean.

Breaking atmo now.

Hold on sweetheart. There’s no need to cry.

We’re gonna be okay.

We’re gonna be okay.

Shhhh now. Daddies got you.

Destination locked. Central landmass city. Slowing speed.

Preparing for landing.

Daddies got you. I’m here.

I love you.
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Re: Dahdee and Sara. A short story.

Post by The Shadowscythe » Sat Apr 12, 2014 1:28 pm

>STARTING THIRTEENTH ENTRY.

>-25 YEARS. ONE DAY FROM OPENING ENTRY.

>AUDIO RECORDING FROM SHIP CAPTAINS LOG.


We made it. I don’t know how we made it but we did. I had picked out a landing zone in a rural area near one of the major cities – and slowed down enough to make it obvious we where landing. As if landing a goddamn ship on a planet wasn’t hard enough, try doing it with a screaming year and a quarter old toddler on your lap as alien biplanes pull up along side you.

Honest to god biplanes.

We made a soft landing in a field and I locked down the ship. Managed to settle Sara enough and found my gun. An old model pistol from a military surplus store on Alpha Centauri, one of those slug throwers that doesn’t damage the hull. I only had enough rounds for a single clip, or magazine, or whatever the hell they are called. I knew they would be on the way soon and I was right.

Within half an hour the place was surrounded by vehicles, some obviously military – great big eight wheeled armoured personnel carriers that looked like something out of a world war two alternate history vid, the others where civilian – I could get a view of the occupants in the distance through the front screens, blue/gray midgets that looked like a walrus fucked a smurf. Blubber and hair wrapped in hair and tusks with cloth uniforms and clothes carrying what looked like stunted rifles with wooden stocks.

A short while after that, the specialists arrived – it looks like a white lab coat is the universal sign of doctors and scientists, I am not sure if I can find an irony in that or not. I watched as they set up observation points and equipment before they eventually set up flood lights and the sun went down. Sara fell asleep in my arms before they dared make any move towards the ship. Three of their scientists wearing some kind of sealed suits and two of their soldiers. They approached the ship with all kinds of instruments and devices and started doing the kind of shit I would presume scientists do when faced with an alien ship on their lawn. Their soldiers moved in and started to look in through the windows so I moved out of sight behind the container crates I packed and put together my internal debate of what I should do next.

In the end, I decided to make the first move on my own terms. I turned the internal and external lights on and suitable scared the shit out of them before I opened the door.

First contact? I can only imagine the vids they will make if they ever see what the ships external cameras picked up.

Blue alien walrus midgets in vac suits with WW2 era tech being greeted by a shabby civilian freighter captain who hadn’t showered in a week with a slug throwing pistol in one arm and a toddler on the other.

Neither side knew what the other was saying. I wanted those soldiers the fuck away from my kid, they wanted the alien twice their fucking size to drop the firearm and surrender.

In the end, it was one of the scientists who adjusted to the situation before the soldiers did, between the smoke and the lights he must have seen something more universal than the crap I had joked about with in the back of my head. Words went out the window, ideologies and communication didn’t matter. Not yet.

All he say was a parent trying to protect a child.

The soldiers lowered their guns, I lowered mine.

I pointed to myself and said my name, pointed to Sara and said hers – then pointed to him, he seemed to get the point and replied “Yuulaf” and named a few other the others, I tried something a bit more complex and said we where human, tried numbers on my hand with fingers but I was lost – I didn’t fuck up completely because we aren’t dead.

In the end, I managed to get back inside my ship and put Sara in her crib and retrieved a spare datapad and gave it to them, tried to make written languages as clear as possible. Numbers and star maps. The best first contact package put together by a man who has no idea what he is doing. The scientists took it and left, the soldiers stayed firmly put so I got back inside the ship and sealed the door before getting a few hours sleep. Woke back up and started recording everything.

Its almost light outside – I can see the troops outside, they have moved back a little but entrenched themselves around the ship. Their guns seem a lot bigger now – not that I would blame them. There are more scientists as well. I am hoping that common sense wins out and we can communicate soon.
-- WARNINK -- LINK BELOW IZ KNOWN TO CAUZE HEMMORAGE --
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I WARNED YOU, DIDN'T I WARN YOU?! BLAME RAYHAWK DAMNIT.
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