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ABHINAY RAJ KALAMBUR SABARAJAN

Action Fantasy Thriller


3  

ABHINAY RAJ KALAMBUR SABARAJAN

Action Fantasy Thriller


Lucy’s Brother

Lucy’s Brother

28 mins 186 28 mins 186

Aug 15, 1977, Ohio State University Radio observatory (Big ear telescope)


The Radio telescope as a part of SETI (search for extraterrestrial intelligence) was scanning the sky as usual. That night as the telescope was scanning the sky along the direction of Sagittarius constellation. It was around 22.00hrs local time, when the telescope started receiving a mysterious signal from the direction of Sagittarius. Since the telescope was moving along with earth’s rotation, it was able to receive the signal only for 72 seconds and then the signal reception was cut off.


A few days later, Astronomer Jerry R. Ehman, then working at the SETI, was looking at the printed data of the big ear telescope, when his eye caught on to something intriguing. He immediately reached out to the printout and started analyzing the data. Ehman felt exhilarated as he identified the signal intensity and frequency of the data received on the 15th of that month. Immediately, he reached out to his computer and looked for the telescope’s schedule. He immediately rushed to meet his director simultaneously shouting at his colleagues to follow him.


Not understanding his sudden excitement and to avoid further embarrassment, they followed him without further questions. Within seconds, the observatory director was surrounded by Ehman and his colleagues. He looked up and saw a beaming Ehman alongside other volunteers. The Director realized that except Ehman everyone else was having the same confusion that he had. Therefore, he looked straight at Ehman and asked, “What’s this about?”


Ehman placed the printout on his table beaming from ear to ear. The Director’s eye first fell on the note written on the left side of the paper. He immediately looked up with a blank face. Ehman, realizing it smiled, “Apologies, couldn’t contain my excitement!!”


Understanding the significance of this data, out of excitement, he had written “WOW!” on the printout. Ignoring his excitement, the Director looked at the data. His eyes widened as he understood the significance. “Is this true?” He asked incredulously. Seeing the same excitement grow on his director’s face, he shook his head in agreement. His colleagues who couldn’t understand the happenings looked at both with great confusion.


“We are in here as well!!” one of them quipped. The Director, still in disbelief, handed the printout to Ehman “Explain it to them!”


“My friends, we have received news from heaven. We are not alone after all” Ehman spoke with childlike excitement as he laid out the printout on the table. “This my friends, was a 72 second continuous extraterrestrial signal received by the big ear a few days before.”


Immediately after hearing this everyone leaned on the table to look at the data. “The signal was transmitted in the Water hole spectrum, the frequency of Hydrogen’s emission line, the most common element found in the universe” Ehman added. “That suggests the possibility of technologically advanced extraterrestrial civilization to be the message source!” exclaimed one of his colleagues. As Ehman nodded his head, another one blurted out “Wow!!”. Ehman smiled at him and then tapped at the words that he added on the printout “Exactly”


Everyone at SETI celebrated the arrival of the first message from across the universe and it extended beyond the world of astronomy. But Ehman believed that it was just a single piece of a much bigger puzzle, and he was right. For this message was shaped by Earth’s past and would in turn shape earth’s future.


2042 CE, United Nations space research Centre


“Boss, I think I have caught onto something” exclaimed one of the analysts observing a deep space telescope. Neelan, the project head, lazily got up from his chair and walked towards the analyst’s desk. “What is it?”


Without words, the analyst simply pointed at his monitor. Neelan took one glance at the screen and was immediately stunned to see the visuals. “How far is it?” he asked, as he saw a deep space object making a perfect maneuver to change direction.


“Just outside the asteroid belt” the analyst replied. “Could be a comet deflected by one of the asteroids” he added.


“No!!” said the project head firmly.” It was not a deflection. It was an evasive maneuver” he spoke with concern as he took his phone and made a call.


===============================================================

“How come we didn’t spot this before?” asked the director of space research. His voice showed genuine concern.


“That deep space object was coasting along the gravitational fields of Ice giants and gas giants so far that we were not able to detect its presence so far” Neelan explained.


“That suggests hostile intent” suggested one of the members of the space division.


“We cannot be sure of it” mentioned the project head. Everyone in the room turned towards him. “Let me explain!” He added.


“The space object was using planets to do gravity assist for its travel manoeuvres so far and this confirms that the space object has space faring intelligence, for that’s what we do as well. There is no evidence of its intent, whether its hostile or friendly”


“Yet” the director interrupted. “My dear friends, we are having an unexpected visitor whose intentions aren’t clear yet. I strongly suggest that we prepare for all the possibilities. We will try communicating with them and try to find out their intent, but simultaneously I urge all the nations to pool their warheads.” He insisted.


“We might be looking at the arrival of exotic extra-terrestrial life or an unprecedented alien invasion. We have 6-8 months before this space object parks over earth’s atmosphere.” The director said in a measured tone as he stood up bringing the meeting to a close.


***************************************************************************


Over the next few weeks, messages were constantly sent out towards the incoming space probe in various frequencies but to no effect. There was no response from the other end and the deep space object has already hurled past Mars. Looking at the approach of the space probe, Neelan asked the analyst, “Tell me what we know about this object?”


“Uhm! It’s a significantly smaller probe around 100 meters in diameter. Its big enough to carry life but not big enough to carry out space invasion. If it’s carrying intelligent life, there may be a maximum of 50 people aboard. As of now we don’t know much about the structure and design of the space probe since it's still far away. As we speak, we have diverted one of the satellites orbiting Mars to do a flyby of this object and we can soon expect the first images of this surprise visitor” he explained.


In a couple of weeks, the Mars orbiter caught up with the deep space object and sent its first images. The Space research members let out a sigh of relief on seeing the images. The initial images revealed that the spacecraft was just a passenger craft and eliminated the possibility of hostile intentions. The project head mentioned that the non-responsiveness was due to language barrier, an Occam’s razor. After that the space division was still on guard, as the spacecraft approached earth, waiting for its arrival with great impatience. As if to test the patience of earthlings further, the spacecraft upon arrival did not enter the atmosphere and instead started orbiting the planet.


After puzzling the planet for an entire two days, the space craft finally started its descent and on the third day evening, the exotic alien spacecraft landed on earth. The members of the space division along with a significant armed forces surrounded the spacecraft, watching it sharply for any movement. In a few seconds, a door hissed open, and a plank fell with a thud. Five silver-colored aliens walked out of the spacecraft in steady steps. Seeing their approach, Neelan slowly took a step forward. As soon as they watched Neelan, one of them greeted him “Hello!”


“Uhm!! Wow!! Huh. Hello!” Neelan stammered. “You know English?” He managed to ask. “We know all of earth’s languages” The Alien responded.


“How?” “World Wide Web”


“So, you know all about us?” Neelan asked with a bit of concern.


“All about you and your recorded history” The alien answered without any reaction.


Neelan could not believe what he was hearing. “Who are you?” He managed to ask.


“We call ourselves Xo’qui. It means wanderers in your tongue.” The alien explained.


Neelan, despite all the surprises, noted that the aliens were devoid of emotions and answering to the point. He didn’t forget the most important question that had to be asked.


“Why are you here?” He asked bare faced. “To meet our long-lost relatives”


“And who might they be?” Neelan asked with confusion. “You all.” The alien answered, his hands pointing to everyone who surrounded the spaceship.


“What do you mean?” Neelan asked in disbelief. “We are your long-lost relatives?” He asked further.


“Long-lost cousins to be exact” The alien responded sharply.


3.2 million years ago, Afar Depression, East Africa


A couple of Australopithecus (hominin species, believed to be ancestors of modern humans) were roaming near the great rift region of Ethiopia in Eastern Africa. They were ambling towards their home chewing the bushes they collected a few minutes ago. The brother and sister of the hominin tribe started arguing with each other and after a few minutes of spat, the brother gave in and started walking away from the sister. The sibling spat was to decide who should go and fetch food for the night.


The brother hominin decided to cross the plains into the nearby forest which was ripe with nuts and fruits. But as he was midway along the plains, a huge shadow fell upon him. Frightened, he looked above and saw a mammoth spacecraft hovering above him. Before the brother could react, the spacecraft beamed him up and after hovering there for a few more seconds, it pushed itself into the voids of space and the brother was lost from earth forever.


Neelan looked at the alien with his mouth gaping. “So, you are saying that you are the descendant of our ancestor Lucy’s brother?” He asked the alien with disbelief.


“Yes”


“And you are claiming this based on our history available on the World wide web?” Neelan asked with Sarcasm.


“No. We are claiming this based on our history” The alien replied.


Neelan looked at his superiors. Everyone in that room looked flummoxed because of the ongoing conversation. Sensing their disbelief, the alien added. “We can show you the proof if you can believe that.”


“Show us.” Neelan replied without hesitation.


The alien immediately extended his left arm and tapped on the forearm with the other hand. Immediately a hologram was projected with an image that left everyone in the room dumbfounded.


“It can’t be” Neelan’s voice began to tremble. “We don’t believe it. This is the image of Lucy.” argued one of the members.


“No. It’s the image of Xo’qui. Our great grandfather” the alien responded. “And what you are seeing is a live feed of him.” he added.


“What? You mean he’s still alive?” Neelan screamed.


“No. He is long dead. But we have preserved his body” The alien responded.


Neelan let out a sigh. Still, it was surprising to him and everyone that the hominin was kept intact for more than a million years. “He’s inside the spacecraft in cryogenics” The alien added. After 15 mins of exploring the exquisite spacecraft and taking in the unbelievable sight of the Hominin preserved in cryogenics, the group returned to the camp.


“Do you believe us now?” The alien asked.


“There are a few more questions that need to be answered.” the United Nations head replied sharply.


Neelan leaned in on the table and asked the alien, “If Xo’qui is the father of your tribe, who was the mother?”


The alien did not answer but instead projected another hologram. A disturbing video showing the hominin Xo’qui being experimented on by a group of completely different looking aliens.


“What are they?” Neelan asked with disgust.


“They are the Nashgors. A very highly advanced civilization of a star system located on the other side of our galaxy. When they first came to earth millions of years ago, they were beginning interstellar travel. Still, that was enough for them to consider themselves as a species of extraordinary intelligence. When they found Xo’qui on earth, the research head believed that the species could serve as a wonderful choice for serving the Nashgors. He believed that the kind of brain system that Xo’qui had could give rise to a breed of species that are intelligent enough to follow the instructions given by Nashgors. And so, he experimented on Xo’qui by mating him with one of their less intelligent life forms.”


Neelan grunted in disgust and anger. “What happened then?” He asked.


“It did work their way for a while. For the next few generations, the new species behaved exactly as they wanted. But, if we mess with nature, it tends to mess back. One of our ancestors evolved and started gaining their intelligence and within a few centuries, our tribe had caught up with Nashgor’s knowledge that had been accumulated over millions of years. Seeing this as a threat, they wanted to eliminate us, but the then king, a benevolent one, ruled over everyone and said that it’s nature’s will and that they must accept it and learn to live together. The others, however, didn’t agree with this and hence killed the king. The ones that succeeded started hunting us and so we had to leave our mother planet forever wandering the galaxy forever”


After hearing the Xo’qui history, Neelan took a deep breath. “Why come now?” He finally asked the most important question.


“We came to warn you against the threat of your planet” The alien responded.


Everyone in the camp immediately became alert. “What threat?” Neelan asked.


“They are coming for you. The Nashgors are coming for earth, and we have come to help you.” The alien responded.


A complete silence filled that room because of the doom that had been spelled by the foreign visitor. “Why would they come for us?” Neelan gathered all the strength he could muster and asked the question.


“The current king of the Nashgors not only sees us as a threat but you as well. He believes that you might be a hindrance in Nashgor’s ambition of ruling this galaxy and wants to destroy earthlings before they evolve in intelligence, and he has sent the best of his might under a ruthless commander to destroy this star system” the alien responded.


Concern bordering on fear ran in everyone’s face. Neelan had to struggle with the tumult of his emotions. “They have a huge army you say and with just 50 people on your side, what help can you possibly offer?” Neelan asked.


“We have the technology to protect any star system from external invasion” The alien answered. Neelan looked at his superiors and one of them gave a nod. Understanding its meaning, Neelan turned to the alien. “This is not a one-man decision. We must discuss this with the leader of every country and decide” He mentioned.


The Alien gave a nod. “Meanwhile you can stay here in this camp and please try not to wander off for the time being to avoid unnecessary confusion” He cautioned the alien.

*************************************************************************


A week later, Neelan was woken up at midnight by one of the guards. “What happened?” He groaned. “The aliens are attacking us.” the guard screamed. Neelan immediately jumped off his makeshift bed and hurried out. The guard quickly took him to a city located a few miles away from the campsite.


As they reached the city, the guard pointed out a small building. Neelan gazed in that direction and could see that the alien leader was standing on top of that building. He immediately jumped out of the vehicle and ran towards that building unmindful of the danger ahead.


As soon as he reached the top, he saw that the alien was observing the attack coordinated by his tribe. “What kind of treachery is this?” Neelan spat at him. “We trusted you with our good will and this is how you repay us?” he fired another question.


The alien stood like a rock without any answer. Neelan reached out to him in anger. But before he could do anything, the alien raised his hand and pointed towards the battlefield. “Observe carefully” he said. Neelan watched the battle carefully and he was surprised to see that none of the aliens had any weapons. Instead, they were having only shields to protect themselves.


He immediately took his phone and told the men to call off the attack. “Will you please explain what’s going on?”


“It’s not we who broke your trust. You broke ours!!” The alien responded.


“What do you mean?” Neelan asked with disbelief. “Your people have killed one of my men and took him to study about us” The alien responded flatly. Neelan at the same time received word from his boss about the government’s decision to study the new aliens before trusting them blindly. Neelan ended the call with a grunt of disgust.


“It’s alright!! We thought we might get a home here. But we were wrong. We will always be an experiment” The alien answered as he turned towards Neelan. “I have called back my men. We will leave this planet as soon as the sun rises” He added blankly.


“And leave us to our doom?” Neelan asked with concern.


“We care no more for your future” He answered and left.


The next morning, the spacecraft hovered over the campsite and after a few seconds it shot off into space. As the spacecraft left earth’s atmosphere, one of the pressure chambers inside the spacecraft opened and slowly a woman peeked out of the chamber.


She slowly ambled within the inner chambers of the spacecraft where she was hiding. After a few minutes, she was able to find a hatch that could open the way to the outer chambers as well as the core chamber of the spacecraft. There were several pathways branching out from the inner chamber, and she wondered why so many paths would converge to the inner chamber in which she was hiding. After a few minutes of exploring the external chamber, she decided to return to her hideout chamber. She considered it unwise to linger outside till she reached their destination, for she had a guess of where the Xo’qui might be heading.


But as she entered the inner chamber, a strong arm suddenly caught her by the neck and lifted her. With eyes wide open and a choking throat, she looked at her captor. It was the leader of Xo’qui himself. “Who are you? And what are you doing here?” He asked.


“The name is Adhira. Neelan sent me.” She said with a choked voice and her feet dangling in mid-air. Xo’qui still held her in the air as he stared deep into her eyes. After a few seconds, the Xo’qui leader left his hold on her as she fell to the floor.


“You haven’t told me why you came aboard this spacecraft?” he asked as he turned back towards the equipment and entered commands on a computer. Still coughing and rubbing her throat, Adhira looked up. “I came to seek your help. To ask you to fight for us” She replied.


The Xo’qui leader stopped punching his commands mid-way as he looked at the human before him. “And what makes you think that we will help you?” He asked.


“Because of this” Adhira replied as she held her phone. “This is the Arecibo message that you sent us 70 years before” The Xo’qui leader didn’t look at the phone because he knew the message that she was referring to.

“In 1977, we first received radio communication from outer space. A signal till date known as the ‘WOW signal’. Due to the design of the telescope that captured it, we were able to observe it for only a little over a minute. But 5 years before when I started parallel research on this signal, I started looking all over the world for radio observatories that were active during that time and found that the entire message was indeed captured by one of our radio telescopes, the Ooty radio telescope (ORT) in India. Though the ORT captured the signal, no one was able to decipher its true meaning until I did a frequency demodulation on the signal to match the Arecibo format. The processed message didn’t make any sense to both me and Neelan until a couple of days before when you mentioned this” Adhira said as she played a recording from her phone. It was the voice of the Xo’qui leader himself during his enquiry with Neelan.


“They are coming for you. The Nashgors are coming for earth.”


“It’s the exact same message that was transcribed in the Arecibo” Adhira spoke with a bit of excitement. The Xo’qui leader knew where she was going with this, and she asked him the question that he expected.


“You have been hiding in the outer edges of our star system for the past 50 years. Haven’t you?”


The Xo’qui stared at Adhira for a minute. “For the past 10000 years, the Nashgor have been hunting our tribe and we have been hiding from them across the expanse of this galaxy.” He began. “At the start of the previous millennium, our tribe had been reduced to a meagre number of 250 members. Ever since, he shifted his focus from hunting us to the planet that could hinder the Nashgors from achieving total control over this galaxy. The Earthlings without even trying started giving nightmares to the Nashgor king and this troubled his mind. Therefore 1000 years before he started sending missions across the galaxy, to find your planet, so that he can send his armies to decimate your planet along with the whole star system”


“What do you mean to find our planet? You said that the Nashgors have already been to our planet. Won't they have access to the navigational details to reach our planet from that spacecraft?” Adhira interrupted.


“No, they won’t. You are standing on that spacecraft, Adhira” He replied.


After a long pause from her, he continued. “As I was saying, when they started sending out spaceships into the farthest reaches of the galaxy, news came to us as well. We immediately decided to protect this planet and jumped from the other edge of the galaxy to this star system. As soon as we arrived, we started sweeping your star system for Nashgor spaceships and found one. Unfortunately, we couldn’t capture it and they jumped into a space warp to reach the other end of the galaxy. Hence, we settled our tribe in the outer reaches of this star, the place what you earthlings define as Kuiper’s belt.” He explained.


“So that’s why you sent us a message 70 years before to warn us. But why come directly to earth now?”


“Because 5 years before, the mighty Nashgor space fleet had jumped out of the space warp into the vicinity of this star system. They will be invading your star system very soon” Xo’qui remarked.


Adhira felt uneasy and concerned hearing this information. “So, what's the weapon that you mentioned about protecting our star system?” She asked.


“I won’t tell you and we won’t help you.” He said. “Be glad that I haven’t shot you into space yet” The leader of Xo’qui mentioned as he started walking away.


“You can’t give up on us knowing what’s about to come”


“I don’t care about your future anymore. You have shown us that you are exactly like the people who are coming for you. I see no difference in you both.” He said dismissively.


“Wow! For a seemingly intelligent tribe, you are unbelievably blind” Adhira said sarcastically.


The Xo’qui leader caught her by the neck again. “Don’t tempt me” he cautioned.


“I’m just pointing out that though our actions were wrong, we have some difference compared to the war mongering Nashgors you described. They are cruel and arrogant while we are just naïve” She pointed out. “You and your tribe had the luxury of evolving quickly, but nature had not been so kind to us. We had to face the hard and long way in the evolutionary cycle and that involves making mistakes and learning from them. And this is one of them.”


“And why should we pay for your mistakes?” He asked.


“So that’s your solution. Avoiding a mistake by making another one?” Adhira asked.


The Xo’qui leader came a little closer to her. She sensed that a tinge of emotion was surfacing inside him. “What do you want?” he asked.


“You said that we are long lost cousins when you first met us. I think there is more to us. We are siblings. So, as your sister, I ask you, will you protect me, brother?” She asked with her eyes keenly fixed on him.


The Xo’qui leader stared hard at her. Suddenly, his earpiece screamed with life. “What is it?” He asked.


“We have a message from our station. You better get back to the bridge”


He looked at Adhira in confusion. “Follow me.” He said as he guided her towards the bridge room of the spacecraft.


“What’s the message?” He asked as soon as he entered the bridge room.


“This” one of his crew members answered as he played the message. Adhira could not understand the message that was played, since she could not understand their language. She also found it surprising that none of the crew members seemed to notice her presence. They were all focussed on their work. “We have trouble” The Xo’qui leader said suddenly.


“What happened?”


“One of the Nashgor’s scout ship has entered our star system to access earth’s defences.” He informed.


“So what? It would take them months to reach earth, right?”


“Yes, but they are dangerously close to our base station. If they find out about us, then they won't wait. The entire fleet will start the invasion immediately”


Adhira stood silent with uncertainty. Xo’qui leader turned immediately to his crew member. “Send authorization to destroy the scout ship immediately” He ordered and then turned to the navigation crew. “Speed up” he ordered.


As he turned, he saw Adhira looking at him with a hint of a smile. “So, you will help us?” She asked.


“No, but I will help you.” He replied.

******************************************************


It had been an eventful 3-month journey for Adhira as she shared her first space trip in an alien spacecraft. She had many interesting conversations with the Xo’qui, getting to know their experiences and adventures across the vast arena of the galaxy. They had already flown past Mars and Jupiter and were closing in on Saturn.


“I have never seen such an efficient and powerful spacecraft. It usually takes 2-3 years for our ships to cross Jupiter.” She told the Xo’qui leader.


“You should have seen this spacecraft in its primetime. At its top performance, it would seem like the spacecraft is tearing the very fabric of space” He replied.


“So, what is this tool that you mentioned? The tool that can protect our star” She asked him.


“I’m glad that unlike others who call this as a weapon, you called it as a tool” He responded. Seeing a polite smile on Adhira’s face, he continued. “As you might know, every star has a protective layer around it. You people have termed it as ‘Heliosphere’” He pointed out.


“Yes, it’s a protective envelope around our star system consisting of an interplanetary magnetic field. It acts as a shield by preventing our planetary region from cosmic radiation.” She added.


“True, but we have developed a secondary use for this heliosphere. It’s called ‘Ash-don’ in our local tongue. In your tongue, it means ‘star dome’” He replied.


“That sounds intriguing. How does it work?” She asked with curiosity.


“The technology that we have implemented at the base station charges up the heliosphere and creates a force field over it. Thus, any space object trying to enter this star system will be fried by the force field.” He explained.


“That means, the Nashgors cannot invade our star system,” Adhira realized. “But won't it affect the interior part of the star system? Meaning the planets, earth, us?” She asked.


“NO!!” He replied. “The Star dome creates an outer layer of force field and an inner layer of insulation field. Thus, the inner side of the heliosphere remains unaffected.” He added.


“Wow! This is ingenious.” She replied.


The Xo’qui leader got a message from the base station. “You can’t be serious” He stood up suddenly. He reached out to the navigation panel in front of him and started accessing it.


“What happened?” Adhira asked.


After a few minutes of silence, he slowly turned towards Adhira. “Our defences are down” He whispered.


“What do you mean?” She asked in confusion.


“The star dome has two components. One at each side of the star system. The one at the base station triggers the other one and these two together complete the star dome. But now one of them is not responding” He replied quietly.


“Can we fix it?”


“With telemetry, we can’t. We must do a manual override to fix it. And to perform that we must be in the location physically. But we don’t have the time to travel to the other end of the star system” He explained.


After a lot of deliberation, Adhira exclaimed. “I know!! I will travel to the other location and fix it”


“That’s dangerous!! And most importantly we don’t have time. The Nashgors may arrive in another two months whereas the journey there might take 7 months.”


“I understand. But we have another solution.” She pointed out.


“No!” The Xo’qui leader exclaimed as he realized her idea. “I won’t allow that. Space warp within the heliosphere is highly dangerous. The magnetic field within the heliosphere affects the space warp causing the jump to be highly unstable.” He pointed out.


“There is no other option available and let it be my part to play in the coming battle. I owe it to them and most of all to you to try it out” she explained. After a few seconds of thought, the Xo’qui leader finally gave in.


Over the next month, they prepared one of the shuttles in the spacecraft to perform the space warp. They loaded it with all the supplies that she might need. Before her departure, the Xo’qui leader explained to her the navigational details to reach the other installation of the star dome. They were entering the Kuiper belt when Adhira bid goodbye to all the members of Xo’qui tribe. Suddenly it dawned upon her. She turned and asked the leader, “You guys have hive minds, right?”


“It took you more than 4 months to figure that out!” He responded.


Adhira smiled. “Thank you for helping us, helping humans”


He placed his hand on her shoulder fondly. “You are a true warrior.” He said softly.


“Don’t make it awkward” She winked.


The Xo’qui leader smiled a bit. “Since it’s your first time, you might pass out once you jump out. But remember to communicate to us as soon as you gain control” He mentioned.


Adhira entered the shuttle and seated herself comfortably and soon the shuttle blasted off into space. The Xo’qui crew landed on their base station simultaneously as the shuttle entered space warp and jumped in. As soon as they landed, the Xo’qui leader ordered them to activate the star dome. He knew that it would be hours before the communication from the other end reached them and to know whether Adhira made it out of space warp alive. And even if she made it out alive, it would take hours for her to manually activate the other installation. Thus began the most testing hours of his life.


It had been more than 8 hours since they activated the control tower of the star dome, still there is no response from the other end. Suddenly the Xo’qui leader was called to the bridge. As soon as he entered, he could sense tension in the room because their scanning system was showing a scary visual outside the heliosphere. More than 10000 spaceships each a km long were closing in on the heliosphere.


“They have come.” The Xo’qui leader whispered. “I hope you are there on time sister” He thought of Adhira.


A couple of thousand miles away from the heliosphere, the Nashgor’s flagship commanded by its ruthless commander approached, flanked by its powerful spaceships. Upon seeing the star, the commander’s eyes lit up.


“kosh’n ut ili en ahun dooluz xu boncsh (one small step away from becoming rulers of this galaxy)” The Nashgor commander said with a cruel laugh. With that, he ordered his ships to start the invasion. Immediately thousands of his ships started propelling towards the star in maniacal speed.


The Ships were cruising through interstellar space when the flagship noticed a slight disturbance picking up in the surrounding space. The commander immediately ordered to slow down the ships, but some of the ships were already close to entering the heliosphere and within seconds, the Nashgor commander saw his ships getting blown away in seconds. The space debris from these blown ships started an avalanche and started destroying the other ships as well. The Flagship immediately increased its altitude followed by the rest.


Back within the heliosphere, the Xo’qui leader was about to lose hope, when a message beeped in. “I have reached the installation safely. The manual override is done, and the star dome will be activated soon. At the same time, the Xo’qui leader witnessed several Nashgor ships getting blown away.


“gus ninoshun.. areedho en nunol mot hensesch matun(That’s impossible!! Earth does not have such advanced defences” the Nashgor commander spoke with disbelief.


One of his subordinates reached out to him. “Lin mescho hizi Sonja!! Areedho matun nunim. Lin Ash-don (Look closely master!! It’s not Earth’s. It’s the stardome”


The commander’s eyes widened. “Xo’qui” He gritted his teeth as he spoke those words.


“Cov’n mitur Sonja (What are your orders master?)” His subordinate asked.


“tulqi mi tulo sinle vu polam. Mov’zi areedho thishin (The Ant will come out of ant hill. On that day Earth will burn) The commander said as he ordered his fleet to retreat. His hatred towards Earth grew multifold.


Back within the stardome, the Xo’qui leader was staring intently at the armada of ships outside the dome. Somehow, he felt as if the Nashgor commander was staring directly at him. “You will never harm Earth as long as the Xo’qui is there to defend it.” He spoke to himself as he turned to look at the preserved face of his ancestor. “It’s a promise.” He said out loud as if he was speaking with the Australopithecus.


After confirming that the Nashgor’s retreat, he sent out a message to Adhira. After several hours of impatient waiting, the shuttle beeped a message. She immediately played it on. “Adhira!! My sister!! I still stand by my words. You are a true warrior, and your conviction has paid off. The Nashgors have retreated and as long as this dome stands, Our Earth is safe. It is time for you to go back to Earth. You have succeeded in your mission and made us succeed in ours. As soon as this message ends, your shuttle will blast off from the installation and take you to Earth.”


The message stopped. She thought that was it and felt a lack of closure. But suddenly, the voice spoke again. “Remember, we will be watching over you. I will be watching over you” and the shuttle blasted off into space.


Adhira smiled as she thanked the heavens. After 3.2 million years, Lucy and her brother were reunited.


The end


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