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Aman Nòlem

Escriptor de ciència-ficció

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Venonta Vivo (En) 27. Who Is Dorothea?

It was about some days after they had decided to take the chopines and Omni headed for CMP-001. After dismantling the framework of the city that never was, they could travel the fairly short distance to their—hopefully—new home.
Omni had sent some fast probes to scan the CMP-001 in more detail, that she hoped it would be ready on their arrival. Honestly, she didn’t expect to get radically new information. In the worst case, she would have to deal with big amount of redundant data.
Afterwards, she designed a schematic action plan which she had distributed to the rest of the members. In it, she had added some vital information gathered until the moment, and a summary of her worries. Now she wanted to recycle the materials from Ciutat-0 and get some new basic elements they would soon need. Additionally, she wanted to get some stronger equipment to wear on the field. The catalogue of equipment could get updated, maybe when she would print an engineer she could ask for a better design. For now, she chose a lightweight strength exoskeleton and set several of them in the queue to get produced.
On the rest of the travel, before arriving, Omni took some time for herself. She wanted to take care of some of the trees in the forest, and she decided to do it in the old fashion—by hand. It was too long ago since the last time she did it that way. It was an intense feeling fir her, but soon she discovered herself floating deep in her own thoughts. This time, she allowed herself to explore picture-thoughts and idea-thoughts without a predefined subject and, by no means, with any purpose.

A silent alarm dragged Omni from the remote place she had gone. They were near CMP-001, so she shot herself hooked to the track that lead her to the control room. In the way, she sent a call to the rest of the members of the ship, asking them to meet her.
“On my free time, I have been gone through the data we already have—and while we wait for the new to come—an ordered in different chunks, easier to handle,” said G01-S02-DA-Daan. Visibly proud of herself.
“Do you want to be the first to process the info that will arrive from the probes? They will be here in about 9342 milliseconds,” Omni replied.
“About?” Joked G01-S02-DA-Daan. “You’ll make me very happy, indeed.”
“I’m thinking in stay in orbit and descend to take a look on the field. I’ll reroute the incoming data to your space.”
“I guess I come with you,” said G01-S03-DC-Dacol.
“If you like, also G01-S01-PR-Patrec,” said Omni looking at it, and saw it nod back to her. “Perfect, then. Get ready. G01-S02-DA-Daan make sure this is a safe place to stay, and if you have any suggestion on where to start the new city, let me know. I want to see the central area of that continent,” she sent a reference of the coordinates she was talking about, “but I still don’t know if it would be a good place.”
The meeting was over. Omni was quietly eager to descend to the surface, as impatient as worried about the environmental conditions.
The small party took a small shuttle, a spherical ship able to host up to six persons, so they had space to bring a set of bots and a microsettlement. They were wearing some special air filters, and the exoskeletons which make them look fiercer. “True aliens,” thought Omni, amused.
She shot the vessel into the void, from the starship heading to the planet. There they were, small, a grain of sand in a see of stars. Falling. Omni paused to enjoy that moment, before they entered the atmosphere, softly, and landing in the centre of a huge continent, near of what it looked like a narrow canyon that split the land in two, very different areas. The side they were, almost barren, it looked painted by a lazy artist. All they could see was brown and grey, even some of the vegetation, consistent in small bulbs hanging from low limbs and branches, seemed monochrome. At the other side of the gully though, the painter had had more fun. Tall thin turquoise trees, shined under the sun. When they were swaying, their colours changed to different shades. Its purple fuzz leafs, were surrounded of hair-thin stalks from where they hung tiny berries.
“Oh, air is indeed thick here,” Omni said and adjusted the air filter from her nose. “Let’s set the microsettlement here, and let’s start doing some reading. I’ll send some bots.”
She switched two bots and sent them across the canyon. They flew to the other side and got lost almost immediately in the vegetation. Next, she took two more and send them in the opposite direction. Omni checked the signal of for units and then continued setting the equipment.

They spent about 98304 cycles taking samples of the soil and the vegetation; some berries, leafs, and tree flakes. Additionally, they measured wind, light, and temperature cycles; and they also collected data on electromagnetic waves and quantum fluctuations patterns. G01-S03-DC-Dacol, in her excitement—she loved that task—collected anything imaginable that Omni was pretty sure it was only for her own enjoyment. Meanwhile, G01-S01-PR-Patrec had been preprocessing huge blocks of information and sent them to G01-S02-DA-Daan on the ship, for her to analyse.
At this point, they decided, after spending almost 10000 cycles on that task that they could use some free time. Omni wanted to dream-imagine for a while on her own. She got into the vessel and made a space, wrapped onto herself and disconnected all sensors but the emergency channel.
G01-S01-PR-Patrec and G01-S02-DA-Daan spent some cycles inventing a very elaborated game, they improved it and tested a couple of matches until they got bored of it. Afterwards, they went through a couple of databases they were working on for some time. They checked them now and then adding, deleting and tweaking entrances. But that took less time than they thought, so at the end, they decided to go for a walk.
“I would like to see the llebeigean limit of the forest, there—” G01-S02-DA-Daan showed G01-S01-PR-Patrec a location. “Do you want to go with me?” It nodded.
“Let me take something,” it said and reached an arm scanner.
They walk round the end of the canyon, were they could cross to the other side comfortably. G01-S02-DA-Daan already loved that area. The colours were intense, and the light reflected in a special way on the speck of material floating over that area. They sat there in silence.

Omni came back online because of the notifications on her emergency channel. She answered, at first she couldn’t understand a thing. She had to replay the message at a slower speed. At first, she thought G01-S01-PR-Patrec was mocking her. A video file. Then, she called it.
“What do you mean?”
“Humans! I’m still shaking,” said G01-S01-PR-Patrec trying to communicate at Omni’s speed.
“That is not possible. Are you intoxicated? Where are you?”
“My levels are correct, I doubled checked. We are here,” and it sent her its current position. “Have you seen it?”
Omni received a summary. Four humans had been seen in one of the outside areas of the forest. Then, after some cycles, they clocked the area. No direct contact was made.
Omni couldn’t believe it. How could it be possible. They wouldn’t be capable of violating the Sineu Treaty, would they?
She first thought to go to the location on the shuttle, but if the humans were hidden, she might be spotted, an easy target. She decided that she would walk.
During the way, she couldn’t stop her head spin, trying to avoid going into a dark place of hypothesis. Now, she needed to focus on walking fast while making no sound.
When she arrived at the spot, both, G01-S02-DA-Daan and G01-S01-PR-Patrec were talking high-speed nonsense, nervous and overexcited.
Omni interlink them, “Have you scan the area? Do you know where they are hiding?”
“No, no. All data comes back tangled.”
At that moment, a dome of reality popped and started to exist. A matrix of black thick tubes, standing at regular distance between them appeared in their very own eyes. Synchronised, all of them stretched slightly to the sky and started vibrating. A high-pitched whistle sounded across the forest.
Another whistle sounded and all the tube starting screaming from their guts, at the same time, together in crude, animal shout.
The reality popped into nothing, and the matrix of beings disappeared as if they would have never existed.
No-one could say a word.
Some more cycles passed and the reality melt and the four humans popped, visible dizzy.
Omni took the scanner and checked the area from the distance. Once ready, summoned herself up, send a notification to the other two and went back to the settlement.
“How is it even possible?” said G01-S02-DA-Daan.
“Any info you could get from the video?”
They played it together. Omni stopped it when one of the humans was talking. «Dorothea, pens que no som a Cases,» he was saying.
“Any idea what is that?”
“I couldn’t find anything on any human language.”
“Strange!” Omni said. “Let’s go back to the ship. Maybe this is not going to be out place after all.”
While they were packing, Omni send a warning to the ship, to start searching for a new planet and getting ready to go away from there. She could hide her deception.

To be continued…
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*****_____ 25 % 1. They find life
*****_____ 25 % 2. Start colonising CMP-001
*****_____ 25 % 3. Search for a new planet
*****_____ 25 % 4. Unexpected event