Monday, January 22, 2024

An Echoes from the Deep excerpt


From the journals of Eric Young

One of these days, something unfortunate is going to happen to our dear Governor Jornion, and I just hope I’m there to see it. Ever since our arrival on Epsilon Eridani 2, Jornion has been running this place like he’s some kind of dictator. I seem to remember him being chosen by the powers that had been on Earth, but then what did they know? That was more than fifty years ago. They may have killed themselves off while we were in hibernation. It certainly wouldn’t surprise me, even if we had been improving the species.

Suffice it to say, traveling ten light years hasn’t necessarily improved people, especially not Gov. Hendrik Jornion. Maybe I’m being cynical. Maybe it would be better to say that politicians haven’t changed, but I don’t really think anyone ever expected they would.

On the other hand, Phineas and the other dolphins seem to love their new environment. It’s been a year since our arrival, and they’ve already begun to reproduce, unlike the humans. I worry that we’re going to have to start pulling eggs and sperm from the labs to keep the human line going. This shouldn’t be necessary for the dolphins, except to add some genetic variation to the gene pool.

It's almost impossible to believe that I’m on a planet that once held intelligent life. Unfortunately, we really haven’t learned much of anything about that race yet. The archaeology team hasn’t found anything that I would consider of great importance at the first site, although I’m sure they’d disagree with my interpretation of their findings. The only thing we can say for certain is that the Eridanians were an amphibious species. Their coastal cities rest half in the oceans and half out, and it’s clear that they were designed this way because the structures are designed to climb down the coral-like reefs where they need to.

The Eridanians seemed to have had a special reverence for geometry, or maybe art, or maybe it was both. Their cities are laid out in geometric patterns, very few of which are squares or rectangles. In addition, the cities are symmetrical. It’s a truly awe-inspiring sight. There are also very few tall buildings, almost none more than seven stories tall. The city is also small, as are all of the Eridanian cities. Apparently, they had a small population that could live spread out, much as twenty-first century Earth had become after the plagues.

The idea of learning something about an alien race was one of my main reasons for wanting to leave Earth, never to return again. It was second only to my desire to protect the dolphins from the exploitation they might face at the hands of people like Jornion.

I guess that will have to be it for now. Someone’s knocking. I’m sure it’s going to be Nate Howahkan. We have to take the probe back out to the Silent Sea. I’ll write more about that later.

                                                                                                     Eric Young

                                                                                                     Chief Marine Biologist

                                                                                                     Epsilon Eridani 2

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