Satellite in the SkyA Chapter by KeanesPark
Awakening in a deserted space ship, Reina eventually makes first contact on the planet Earth.
All systems online.
The first thing to come into sight was a menacing blackness that stared coldly back, just as hostile as it was empty. The glare of artificial light reflected off of what seemed to be a pod seal - reaching forward, her hand met with hard glass and she knew that she was trapped. Turning her head left and right in whatever room she had left, she searched for some kind of interior release key. After about a minute of fruitless effort, she decided to resort to more physical countermeasures. Pulling her arm back, Reina jabbed forward and gave the pod seal a hard punch. The glass splintered and a jagged hole formed in the center of the door.
Realizing that gravity did not appear to be present at the moment, she firmly grasped the edges of the serrated opening and pressed her feet against the wall behind her, giving herself a boost as she shot forward. Reina caught herself on a bolted table before the momentum could carry across the room and launch her straight out of the window. A spacecraft. She was inside some sort of civilian transport frigate. No wonder it seemed so unfamiliar.
Reina shoved herself away and floated into an adjacent room, guiding herself by pushing along the walls and furniture, careful not to gain too much speed should she cause unnecessary damage. Many of the rooms were wholly unremarkable, furnished with sofas, tableware, television sets, and holographic projectors - she was beginning to worry that she may never make it off of the ship.
At the moment, scouring the bowels of the craft was her top priority, but she found that she had to temporarily cease progress upon stumbling across something new. Taking hold of a nearby shelf, she stopped herself in front of another pod, not unlike the one she had escaped from earlier. This one seemed to contain an old robot model, possibly a service-bot or cleaning robot. She quickly smashed the glass with her metal fist and cleared away the rest, leaving a sufficient opening for the bulky machine.
Glancing briefly behind her shoulder to make sure that nothing was in the way, she gripped the robot’s sides and slowly dragged it out, planting her feet on opposite sides of the wall so that she wouldn’t end up pulling herself in instead. When it was fully out, she wasted no time in mulling over the exterior of it, hoping to find its activation switch. Her finger hovered over a slider with the numbers ‘1’ and ‘0’ printed at the top and bottom respectively. Curious, she flipped it up.
A siren-like noise suddenly erupted from somewhere within the chassis and Reina backed away in alarm, watching intently to see if it would move. It did no such thing. Puzzled, she tried poking around some more by fiddling with various panels and movable parts. Soon enough, she spotted a switch labeled ‘launch’ hidden under a panel on the back of the bot’s head. She pressed it.
The machine must’ve been custom built, or at least a newer model; it did not produce any whirring or humming noises, simply turning its head on a rotary axis. It did not speak or otherwise make any indication that it was functioning properly.
“Identify yourself,” Reina ordered, placing her hands on her hips.
“Name not given,” the metal thing responded.
“What?” she muttered, momentarily baffled. “Oh, fine. Your name is going to be, let’s see here…How about Ark? Register your name as Ark.”
“So, Ark? What is your purpose?”
“No current directive.”
“Oh boy,” she shook her head, putting a hand to her temple as she took a couple seconds to figure out what use it might have besides taking up space. “Alright, then. Show me around.”
Reina followed after Ark, which used thick spider-like legs to navigate through the craft, progressing far more effectively than she had earlier. With any luck, she might find something that could get her off the ship and preferably onto an inhabited planet.
“Stop here,” she commanded, passing into a markedly tiny room. Crouching, she poked a foreign-looking metal container with one finger. “Ark, get over here.”
“You have already called me.”
“Ark, where are you?”
“I have been sitting directly behind for the past forty-eight seconds.”
“What is this thing?”
“That would be a toilet.”
“It is a facility designed for the use of organisms in order to dispose of waste resulting from the intake of-”
“Boring,” Reina said, dismissing the robot’s explanation with the wave of a hand. “That’s enough, Ark. Is there any kind of interface you can plug into around here?”
“Take me there. See if you can commandeer the ship.”
“I am not authorized to-”
“I’m the only one on this ship,” she interrupted. “You have my permission.”
Reina occasionally glanced over in Ark’s direction, checking and filing through her parts to see if any components might’ve been damaged or missing during the time she’d been out of commission. Advanced robots like her needed to rely on self-maintenance since they were expected to operate properly even without their owners to stick around.
“So what’s your diagnosis of the ship?” she called. “Can you run this thing out of here?”
“Most of the functions on this vessel have been physically damaged beyond what is my ability to repair,” Ark noted.
“Can you at least tell me where this piece of junk is headed?”
“In approximately 157.26 years, our trajectory will lead us into the orbit of an unidentified planet with a highly functional and extensive bio-system, assuming that our vessel is not thrown off course by space debris.”
“Alright. We’ll just wait until then,” Reina said, tapping her fingers rhythmically against the metal floor.
“Eight o’ clock this morning, NASA has confirmed the successful retrieval of what scientists believe to be an alien spacecraft that has been drifting around in Earth’s orbit,” newscaster Anna reported, live at the scene of the ship’s recovery. “At this moment, details are not available, but many rumors of sentient life-forms currently residing within the ship are spreading rapidly. We’ll come back with more news when we have new information on this incident.”
“This is totally bullshit,” Leila yawned, glancing over to her older brother, who looked to be entranced by the television feed as he sloppily scooped cereal into his mouth.
“Hm? Oh, yeah. Totally.”
“You don’t really believe what they’re saying, do you?” she asked worriedly.
“…Is this going to be a problem?”
“Aliens don’t exist.”
“What’s so weird about the idea of another living organism stumbling into our territory? That’s got to be a real UFO. None of that documentary crap. The real deal.”
“I’m sure it is,” Leila rolled her eyes.
“I can’t understand what they’re saying,” Reina said, looking nervously to Ark for a translation.
“I do not have sufficient data to translate their language,” Ark answered. “If I could connect to a network or database, I may be able to provide some assistance.”
Reina crossed her arms, cocking her head.
“And what’s with these life forms anyway? It’s almost as if they’re all modeled after me. I mean, they’ve got two arms, two legs, and a head. The only real difference is that they’re living organisms. And maybe a bit taller than I am”
“And here we see this particularly cute little android engaging in what seems to be very human behavior, conversing with what could be yet another sentient machine,” Anna announced, holding up her microphone a little higher. “There are even a few speculations that these may actually be manmade, but we have yet to verify this. Experts are currently attempting to communicate with these robots by cracking their language.”
“How am I supposed to tell them I’m looking for an information database?” Reina pondered, tapping at her chin. “Do you suppose they might have any similar technology to ours?”
“Unexpectedly analogous, in fact. Allow me to try.” Ark spun its chassis around and revealed a liquid crystal display screen on its back, which Reina frantically pointed to. She wasn’t quite sure that this would work out. The organisms that had eagerly gathered around them stared intently, as if expecting something to happen.
“I don’t think it’s working,” Reina said.
“Try using different gestures.”
This time, she pulled some charades and acted out plugging a cable into Ark’s framework, very slowly and deliberately. They seemed to get it this time. After some effort, they managed to hook up a computer to Ark and it finished recording all accounts and variations of human language into its database.
“Hit me up,” Reina said, sliding a panel over her wrist. Ark guided its cord into the back of her hand and the transfer was completed in less than half a minute. She’d never received such an immense flood of information since her first day of conception - the experience was almost breathtaking. Flexing her fingers, she nodded and turned back, taking a deep breath.
“If you can understand me,” she said, extending her arm, “then shake my hand.”
A large man, about twice her size, lowered himself to one knee and gave her smooth, metallic hand a good shake.
“I can understand you alright,” the man said heartily. “Welcome to Earth.”
© 2012 KeanesPark
Added on August 4, 2012
Last Updated on August 30, 2012
AboutI write stories, draw, animate, listen to music, and not much more than that. I occasionally play video games. Anything with more than one part will have its own book. Otherwise, they'll usually b.. more..