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Old March 2 2013, 08:52 PM   #1
HaventGotALife
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Anabar First Contact...

“OUR PEOPLE HAVE SUFFERED THESE PAST FIVE TURNS. WE HAVE WATCHED OUR FELLOW MEN DIE IN OUR STREETS. THESE SHAMELESS LOSSES TO THE PROBLEMS OF OUR WORLD BELONG IN THE PAST. WE HAVE WATCHED OUR LANDS DRY—OUR JAWI ROOTS, GRAINS, AND BERRIES—WITHER IN OUR FIELDS. WE ARE A PROUD PEOPLE—INTELLIGENT AND HARDWORKING, CURIOUS AND PROSPEROUS—WE CANNOT CONTINUE TO LOSE OUR CHILDREN, THE FUTURE INVENTORS AND LEADERS, TO THIS DREADFUL DROUGHT. OUR PEOPLE DESERVE BETTER AND THE SOLUTION TO THESE PROBLEMS SEEMS CLEAR.

WE CANNOT BE FREE UNTIL ALL HAVE FOOD IN THEIR BELLIES, HEAT FOR THEIR HOMES, AND CARE FOR THEIR LOVED ONES. OUR PEOPLE CANNOT BE MADE FREE UNTIL ALL LIVE IN THIS HARMONY. WE, THE PEOPLE OF ANABAR, WILL DO THIS TOGETHER. WE HAVE THE INVENTIONS IN OUR POSSESSION TO END THIS DISASTER. THE WINDS OF PROGRESS HAVE BEEN SLOWED BY THE TURN OF THOSE WHO HAVE CALLED US RADICALS. TODAY, I SAY THEY ARE THE RADICALS. WE WANT TO FEED THE CHILDREN AND PRESERVE THEIR HEALTH. THEY WOULD HAVE US DIE FOR THE WORDS OF THE GODS IN THE HEAVENS INSTEAD OF SERVING THEIR PEOPLE. WE CANNOT ALLOW FOR THIS TO CONTINUE MY FRIENDS.

TODAY, I AM DIRECTING OUR RESOURCES TO THE WEATHER CONTROL SATELLITES THAT WILL BRING RAIN BACK TO OUR LANDS. I AM USING THE RESOURCES OF THIS OFFICE YOU BESTOWED UPON ME TO FUND A CLEANSING OF OUR OCEANS AND OUR AIR TO MAKE SURE OUR HEALTH IS FREE FOR ALL. WE MUST STRIKE AT THE HEART OF OUR ENEMY: THE FEAR IN THE FACE OF THIS DIFFICULTY; THE TRUE SHACKLES.

OUR WORLD WILL NOT CHANGE ITS PLANS FOR SCIENTIFIC DISCOVERY TO MAKE ROOM FOR THIS UNDERTAKING. WE WILL NOT TRADE ONE WITHERING CROP FOR ANOTHER. WE WILL PRESERVE THE PROGRESS WE HAVE MADE TOGETHER. THE TRANS-LIGHT ENGINE WILL NOT BE SACRIFICED FOR THIS PROJECT. THIS I PLEDGE TO YOU TODAY. WE WILL EXTEND OUR HANDS FURTHER THAN WE CAN GRASP AT THIS MOMENT. THAT IS OUR PURPOSE. THAT IS WHAT WE HAVE ALWAYS DONE. THAT CANNOT BE COMPROMISED.

MAY THE GODS OF THE HEAVENS CONTINUE TO BLESS US. MAY THEY GUIDE OUR PATH INTO THIS BRIGHT FUTURE.”
YA’HALE
1
Paragon is beautiful this time of year. Many capitals throughout the Northern provinces pale in its majesty, especially now, when the seeds have turned to buds, and the grand trees lining the streets come alive after the last thaw. I have never, not in my 25 turns, been more proud to call my home in the capital then when the visitors from the other provinces start showing more often after the great thaw. The buildings stretch to the sky like a hand reaching for the gods. I have never seen the heavens myself. The aircrafts could take me away from this city, but why would I want to leave? Here is where the Social Science Academy is located, the best school on all of Anabar.
“Ya’Hale? Daydreaming again? We’re going to be late.”

2
“Language is the root of all civilization--” began my lecturer Ghab’anu, a dark, stoutly man who’s final bits of graying hair clung on his rigid head, matted down by hair product. His webbed fingers tightened as the voice of Yosh’inra echoed beyond the seat next to me.

Today is the first day of class at the Academy and simultaneously my first at the institute. My friend Yosh’inra signed up for all the same instruction periods. His family dates back to this city before mine. His family has been here for 9 whole sections. His father was an instructor at the academy 20 turns ago.

“But, sir, aren’t laws the root of civilization, why it doesn’t break down?”

“Yes, but how are laws enacted? By the use of language, shared and understood by all who read or hear them.”

“That’s like saying I am nothing but what I eat. Without a use for the language, language would cease to exist.”

“It would still exist. It would cease to be used. The berries of our harvests would still be here, even if they did not serve the purpose of being nutrients for superior beings like us.”

“But societies are older than the first written languages.”

“True, but keeping uniform standards allow them to flourish and maintain order.”

Yosh’inra felt my hand go across his. On his first day he was about to be kicked out of the Academy. He tempered himself after starting another response.

“What is your title, sir?”

“Yosh’inra.”

“It seems you need a lesson in the laws of this room, Sir Yosh’inra.”

“Sometimes laws have to be broken,” he managed to get out before he was told to leave the room. I was alone for the rest of the day. For someone who has grown up around lecturers his entire life, you would think he’d know how this school can be. It is not an easy process to become a student. Only the best are allowed in Paragon’s Academy.

3
“Your friend is not wrong. He shouldn’t have confronted the instructor. Save it for your first assignment, I would tell him. Laws are the foundation of the compact we make with each other. When law breaks down, we all suffer. Anarchy.”

“But wouldn’t it be better if everyone was nice because they were free to do it?”

“Perhaps. But I would rather not trust that every man has the decency not to become a monster. A monster resides within us all.”

“I love our talks, father. You are wise and bring me much clarity.”

“Ya’Hale, you will one day be freed from my house. When that day comes, I need for you to be prepared for the new world the First Counsel is proposing. We could be living in a very dangerous time, much uncertainty in all these changes. Do not fear them, embrace the change. I will not be here to protect you. You will be free to make choices and to even fail from time to time. That is the nature of this world. You cannot soar until you have fallen.”

“Father, that day is long away. I cannot afford to live off your property. I must live with you. And, I need more wisdom.”

“I know you will be ready. You are a bright, intelligent girl. You make for father very happy.”

4
“JOIN US TOMORROW TO PROTECT US FROM THE GODS IN THE HEAVENS. TELL CHIEF COUNSEL U’NIA THAT WE WILL NOT TOLERATE HIS DISOBEDIENCE IN OUR NAME.”
“What is meant by this?” I asked the man holding the flier outside of the main building on campus.

“We believe that the weather satellites, you do know about them?”

I nodded.

“Good. The gods in the heavens control the weather. We have dissatisfied them in some way. That is the cause of the famine. Why would we try to control that which is uncontrollable?”

“It frees us from famine and death, why wouldn’t we do it?”

“It is not the way of the gods in the heavens. They have blessed us with life. How can we turn our back on them now?”
I walked home looking to the heavens, the hands the buildings reaching for the sky. I thanked them I didn’t have to wonder where my next Jawi root soup would come from. Father would provide from the local farmer who used irrigation from Paragon’s main river to create his crop. The Northern Provinces had been spared this famine. It was the Eastern Province where the satellites were needed, but the Counsel proposed them for all of Anabar.

5
Stories of uprisings in the Western Provinces filled the morning news report. It seems my flier is not the only place where we can see this backlash to the First Counsel’s words. The man on the broadcast had deeply disturbed me. The government had already put the weather satellites in place. It was just a matter of time before we had control of the weather. I began to tremble.

“Our government no longer represents us. They have abandoned the gods in the heavens. We must throw off the shackles of the evil they represent. This is a threat to our spiritual well-being.” The broadcast cried.

“It is a threat to the lives on the Eastern Province. Father are you watching this?” I shuttered.

“No, and you are late as usual. Please get to class.”

6
At the school at demonstration had broken out. They were blocking all the entrances; I couldn’t get to my instruction.

“This is not our power. This is the gods power—the power of rain and water!!!”

“Yeah!” the crowd responded.

“We cannot be led to this destruction. We must protect the essence of our people! We are mighty and luminescent beings! Our way of life is in peril! This is not the solution to this problem of the famine! Only the gods in the heavens can provide that! Freedom from spiritual tyranny!”

“Freedom!”

Law enforcers came down the embankment to where the demonstrators were located. Many of the protesters gathered rocks and sticks to fight off the dispersal force.

“We are on the side of the gods in the heavens! You will not dissuade us from our cause! We are just!”

Those were the last words I heard before a loud series of bangs and I fell to the ground in agony. Flat on my back, I looked to the heavens and saw the buildings reaching to touch the sky. I saw clouds of rain and even the sun from behind those clouds. I saw the buds on the trees and the fly-wings against the heavens. I saw it only for a brief moment, and then everything stopped, went dark.



PICARD

1

“Beam them out of there now, Mr. O’Brien!” The captain of the Enterprise bellowed, filled with anxiety for his crewman and shipmates.

“We’ve got them, Sir. But three of the landing party are injured.” O’Brien said a moment later over the com-link.

“Mr. Data, you have the bridge, Counselor Troi.” The Captain wisked his way to the turbolift and Troi followed behind him.

“What sort of damage do you think we could’ve caused their society?”

“It’s difficult to say. These people, from the reports, do not seem ready for first contact. If they saw the transporter beam, I doubt they will be able to believe it was visitors from another planet.”

A moment later the turbolift stopped and they headed towards sick bay.

2

William T. Riker emerged from the turbolift near the Captain’s Ready Room and nodded to Commander Data to keep the center chair. Holding a PADD in his left hand, he approached the Captain’s doorway and stepped inside.
“Number one, please sit down. I assume that’s your report.”
“It’s all there for Starfleet, Captain. Of the 16 people we had on the planet, and the four at the site of the protest, only 14 returned, two were lost in the riot.” He turned away painfully, shifting in his chair, and calmly continuing. “We had no time to assess the situation. It was a flash-mob. Posing as students in Paragon were the last task of Lieutenant Reed and Lieutenant Hawkins. I’ve recommended them both for Starfleet’s highest commendations.”

“Continue.” Looking down at the PADD, Picard realized his first officer was visibly upset. “Speak freely, Commander.”

“I’m sorry, sir. It’s just that I warned Starfleet after we received the profile on this world that we were not going to be able to make first contact. That their society had not been united and there was this ancient religion, an orthodoxy, which threatened the warp engine.”

“I made the same overtures at your request.”

“Captain, those Admirals aren’t out here, we are. This was an incredibly dangerous mission that didn’t have to come with a body count. It seems we are being led by some very pompous and arrogant people, Sir.”

Picard half-smiled, and returned to his seat behind his desk.” I will include your opinion in my report to Starfleet…personally. That will be all, Commander.”

3

Six months past before Picard was awakened in his quarters at the early time of 0457.

“Captain, we’ve received a message from Starfleet command, priority two.”

“In my quarters, Lieutenant.”

“Jean-Luc, considering the people lost on this mission, I thought you would like to know Starfleet’s response to your report. We have continued to monitor the Anabars and have a full situation report. I am sending a copy to you with this transmission. Starfleet out.”

Picard looked at the monitor and tapped the control panel, sending the report to his desk. Grabbing a cup of tea he sat down to read why two of his crew members had died in a flash mob.
STARDATE: 44561.1—CIVIL WAR HAS BROKEN OUT ON ANABAR. MOST MAJOR CITIES HAVE BEEN DESTROYED. THE UNIVERSITY IN PARAGON IS RUINS. TWO INDEPENDENT STATES HAVE FORMED—THE RELIGIOUS INDEPENDENT MOVEMENT AND THE ANABAR LIBERATION GOVERNMENT. THE ANABARS ARE UNABLE TO USE THEIR WEATHER SATELLITES; THE TECHNOLOGY WAS NOT PERFECTED BEFORE THEY WERE LAUNCHED INTO SPACE. THE ENTIRE FIRST COUNCIL WAS EXECUTED AS ENEMIES OF THE STATE FOR THEIR HERESY. THE RELIGIOUS INDEPENDENT MOVEMENT, THE FORMAL NAME OF THE UPRISING, HAS PUT A HALT TO PRODUCTION OF THE WARP-3 ENGINE. THE FAMINE HAS SUBSIDED ON THE EASTERN CONTINENT. THE ANABARS ARE NOT READY FOR FIRST CONTACT AND IT IS PROJECTED ANOTHER GENERATION WILL WILL NEED TO PASS BEFORE ANY REEVALUATION.
Picard sat back in his chair, let out a sigh, and put both hands over his face. “God forbid we ever meet them in space.”

-----------------------------------------------------------
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Old March 3 2013, 07:58 PM   #2
Count Zero
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Location: Land of Awesome
Re: Anabar First Contact...

Good idea for a story and I also liked how you wrote some of it in first person. The way you managed to make a connection to the Enterprise crew is kind of nifty. I'm not sure Picard would react that way he does at the end because he seems to be quite aware of the (past) failings of humanity. But that's your decision.
I think there could be a bit more meat to the story, especially reagrding the Anabar section of the story, e.g. the build-up of the conflict. It's still early in the month so you have the chance to do that if you choose to do so.
Also, I believe you're using the word flash mob wrong. A flash mob is a peaceful piece of performance art and usually not associated with the outbreak of violence.
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Old March 4 2013, 12:00 AM   #3
HaventGotALife
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Re: Anabar First Contact...

Count Zero wrote: View Post
Good idea for a story and I also liked how you wrote some of it in first person. The way you managed to make a connection to the Enterprise crew is kind of nifty. I'm not sure Picard would react that way he does at the end because he seems to be quite aware of the (past) failings of humanity. But that's your decision.
I think there could be a bit more meat to the story, especially reagrding the Anabar section of the story, e.g. the build-up of the conflict. It's still early in the month so you have the chance to do that if you choose to do so.
Also, I believe you're using the word flash mob wrong. A flash mob is a peaceful piece of performance art and usually not associated with the outbreak of violence.
Thanks for the feedback--it's been hard to stay patient.

Yes, I had another word I misused. "stocky" instead I used "stoutly." It's the first day of class, she shouldn't know the kind of man he is. I wasn't aware I could make any changes. I will do so. I really published my first draft and I leaped to publish it. If I can make changes, I will have plenty before this is over, including your notes.

Thanks again.
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Old March 4 2013, 12:55 AM   #4
Count Zero
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Re: Anabar First Contact...

If the edit button doesn't work anymore (you can only edit a post for a limited amount of time) you can also post a revised version of your story in this thread and then note that that's the version you want to enter in the challenge in the challenge thread so I don't forget. So, there's no need to rush.
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Old March 28 2013, 05:55 AM   #5
HaventGotALife
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Re: Anabar First Contact...

“OUR PEOPLE HAVE SUFFERED THESE PAST FIVE TURNS. WE HAVE WATCHED OUR LANDS DRY—OUR JAWI ROOTS, GRAINS, AND BERRIES—WITHER IN OUR FIELDS. WE HAVE WATCHED OUR FELLOW MEN DIE IN OUR STREETS. THESE SHAMELESS LOSSES TO THE PROBLEMS OF OUR WORLD BELONG IN THE PAST. WE ARE A PROUD PEOPLE—INTELLIGENT AND HARDWORKING, CURIOUS AND PROSPEROUS—WE CANNOT CONTINUE TO LOSE OUR CHILDREN, THE FUTURE INVENTORS AND LEADER OF THIS GREAT LAND, TO THIS DREADFUL DROUGHT. OUR PEOPLE DESERVE BETTER AND THE SOLUTION TO THESE PROBLEMS IS CLEAR.

WE CANNOT BE FREE UNTIL ALL HAVE FOOD IN THEIR BELLIES, HEAT FOR THEIR HOMES, AND CARE FOR THEIR LOVED ONES. WE, THE PEOPLE OF ANABAR, WILL DO THIS TOGETHER. WE HAVE THE INVENTIONS IN OUR POSSESSION TO END THIS DISASTER. THE WINDS OF PROGRESS HAVE BEEN SLOWED, TURNED IN IRONS BY THOSE IN THE RULING BODIES, WHO HAVE CALLED US RADICALS. TODAY, I SAY THEY ARE THE RADICALS. WE WANT TO FEED THE CHILDREN AND PRESERVE THEIR HEALTH. THEY WOULD HAVE US DIE FOR THE WORDS OF THE GODS IN THE HEAVENS INSTEAD OF SERVING THEIR PEOPLE, PRESERVING THEIR ESSENCE.

TODAY, I AM DIRECTING OUR RESOURCES TO THE WEATHER CONTROL SATELLITES THAT WILL BRING RAIN BACK TO OUR LANDS. I AM USING THE RESOURCES OF THIS OFFICE TO FUND A CLEANSING OF OUR OCEANS AND OUR AIR TO ASSURE OUR PEOPLE REMAIN HEALTHY. WE MUST STRIKE AT THE HEART OF OUR ENEMY: THE FEAR IN THE FACE OF THIS DIFFICULTY; THE TRUE SHACKLES.

OUR WORLD WILL NOT CHANGE ITS PLANS FOR DISCOVERY TO MAKE ROOM FOR THIS UNDERTAKING. WE WILL NOT TRADE ONE WITHERING CROP FOR ANOTHER. WE WILL PRESERVE THE PROGRESS WE HAVE MADE TOGETHER. THE TRANS-LIGHT ENGINE WILL NOT BE SACRIFICED FOR THIS PROJECT. THIS I PLEDGE TO YOU TODAY. WE WILL EXTEND OUR HANDS FURTHER THAN WE CAN GRASP AT THIS MOMENT. WE WILL BUILD ON THE PROGRESS OF TODAY, BETTERING OUR FUTURE. THAT IS OUR PURPOSE. THAT IS WHAT WE HAVE ALWAYS DONE. THAT CANNOT BE COMPROMISED.

MAY THE GODS OF THE HEAVENS CONTINUE TO BLESS US. MAY THEY GUIDE OUR PATH INTO THIS BRIGHT FUTURE.”



YA’HALE
1
Paragon is beautiful this time of year. Many capitals throughout the Northern provinces pale in its majesty, especially now, when the seeds have turned to buds, and the grand trees lining the streets come alive after the last thaw. I have never, not in my 25 turns, been more proud to call the capital my home than when our spring light festival draws the visitors from all provinces this time of year. The buildings stretch to the sky like a hand reaching for the gods. I have never seen the heavens from above the clouds. The aircrafts could take me away from this city, but why would I want to leave? Here is where the Social Science Academy is located, the best school on all of Anabar. Here is where my father has made his home. This is a city others envy.
“Ya’Hale? Daydreaming again? We’re going to be late. ”


2
“Language is the root of all civilization--” began my lecturer, Sir Ghab’anu, a dark, stocky man whose final bits of graying hair clung on his rigid head, matted down by hair product. His webbed fingers tightened as the voice of Yosh’inra echoed beyond the seat next to me.

Today is the first day of class at the Academy and simultaneously my first at the institute. My friend Yosh’inra signed up for all the same instruction periods. His family dates back to this city before mine. His family has been here for 9 whole sections. His father was an instructor at the academy 20 turns ago.

“But, sir, aren’t laws the root of civilization, why it doesn’t break down?”

“Yes, but how are laws enacted? By the use of language, shared and understood by all who read or hear them.”

“That’s as if I say I am nothing but what I eat. Without a use for the language, language would cease to exist.”

“It would still exist. It would cease to be used. The berries of our harvests would still be here, even if they did not serve the purpose of being nutrients for us superior beings. The ability to learn language exists in early turns.”

“But societies are older than the first written languages.”

Ghab’anu’s tone sharpened as he said: “True, but keeping uniform standards allow them to flourish and maintain order.”
Yosh’inra started to become enraged, seeing this, he felt my hand go across his. On his first day he was about to be kicked out of the Academy. He tempered himself after starting another response.

“What is your title, sir?”

“Yosh’inra.”

“It seems you need a lesson in the laws of this room, Sir Yosh’inra. My instruction does not come with commentary. I will allow time for questions at the end.”

“You’re conclusions are trite!” he managed to get out before he was told to leave the room. I was alone for the rest of the day. For someone who has grown up around lecturers his entire life, you would think he’d know how this school can be. It is not an easy process to become a student. Only the best are allowed in Paragon’s Academy.
I often wondered about why he was so abrasive. He seemed to be talented and well-schooled, but he still wouldn’t let the smallest things pass him.

3
“Your friend is not wrong. He shouldn’t have confronted the instructor. Save it for your first assignment, I would tell him. Laws are the foundation of the compact we make with each other. When law breaks down, we all suffer. Anarchy.”
My father remains my closest friend. He sees the world as it should be seen. I have learned much from him. This collaboration is only our latest.

“But wouldn’t it be better if everyone was pleasant because they were free to do it?” I thought I had him cornered. Papa loves to talk about the nature of people’s better instincts.

“Perhaps. But I would rather not trust that every man has the decency not to become a monster. A monster resides within us all. We would not need the gods in the heavens otherwise. Their laws are the ones we have to follow. We are merely vessels—we cannot kill the essence that lies within our marrow.”

“I love our talks, father. You are wise and bring me much clarity.”

“Ya’Hale I want to say something.” He face became sterner and he reached for my hands, turning towards me. Looking at me in the eye, he said, “One day, you will one day be freed from my house. When that day comes, you will need to rely upon your own wisdom. I cannot teach it all to you and one day I may not be here to guide you at all. That is the way of things. I want you to be prepared for the new world the First Counsel is proposing. We could be living in a very dangerous time, there’s much uncertainty in all these changes. Do not fear them; embrace the change, even if those around you do not. Yes, you will be free to make choices and even to even fail from time to time.”

He smiled at me with warmth and wisdom, released my hands and said “That is the nature of this world. You cannot soar unless you risk falling.”

“Father, that day is long away. I cannot afford to live off your property. I must live with you. And, I need more wisdom.”

“I know you will be ready. You are a bright, intelligent girl. You make for father very happy.”

4
“Your father said what!?” Yosh’inra was exasperated.

“He said that you were not wrong, but you should not have confronted the lecturer.” I felt uneasy when he was this upset. He can be very pompous at times.

“I’m not the only one in the lecture hall. If he finds some impressionable, young mind that hasn’t thought for more than a day about our society, then they will say those things to someone else. What is the point of an education if you never use it or they teach you all the wrong things? He’s wrong and oversimplifying the entire reason behind civilization. The truth was at-stake, and unlike the gods in the heavens, we have actual proof that he is wrong. Farmers started civilization, no longer being nomads, and that is in my paper.” He continued pacing along the floor and clinching his fists as I sat watching him.

He was impassioned. There were times I thought about what it would be like with a man that passionate. Sometimes I wish we were more than friends. What it must feel like to have that much emotion at your command. I sometimes wish I could live my life, just a day, in his mind to experience the world as he does, the mind he has. Yet, we can’t do that, can we? We are independent from each other and always will be. This thought, an old one, always makes me feel lonely. Knowing him more intimately would not change this fact.

“Ya’Hale, are you listening? What else did you father say?”

“Nothing…well, nothing about you,” I lowered my head and I was sullen.

“What is it?”

“He says that I need to find my own wisdom. I think he just wants me out of the house. I’m not ready to be independent from him. With Mother’s passing, he needs me, too.”

“Haley, he’s not wrong about that,” my eyes became wide and my face reddened. How could he say that?

“What are you in school for?” he continued softly.

“To learn, to be learned.”

“Okay, and what will you do after you are learned?”

I started to feel like he was worse than my father. This obnoxious attitude was more than I could take.

“I don’t know.” I put my head down, and clasped my hands together.

“Then find out here. He has spent time and energy, money, and loved you all while he did it. The least we can do is be in a position where we don’t have to do that anymore, and maybe, one day sooner than you think, you can help him the way he helped you.”

He paused for a moment, sat down next to me.

“First Council U’Nia is right. We have to grasp, reach as far as we can. That way Paragon and Anabar will remain the jewels of their territories. Can you imagine what we’ll find out there with the trans-light engine?”

“We’ll probably find some moss on one of the outer worlds. Space moss.”

“I can’t imagine we are alone.” He said with wonderment in his voice.

“I think you should find it for them.” I whispered, my smile returning.

He smiled, tilted his head back “No! Not me! My feet our staying in Paragon, the same as yours.”

5
“JOIN US TOMORROW TO PROTECT US FROM THE GODS IN THE HEAVENS. TELL CHIEF COUNSEL U’NIA THAT WE WILL NOT TOLERATE HIS DISOBEDIENCE IN OUR NAME.”
On my way home from Yosh'inra's this is the notice handed out in front of the main entrance.

“What is meant by this?” I asked the man holding the flier outside of the main building on campus several weeks later.

“We believe that the weather satellites, you do know about them?”

I nodded.

“Good. The gods in the heavens control the weather. We have dissatisfied them in some way. That is the cause of the famine.
Why would we try to control that which is uncontrollable? And the space flights. He’s leading us away from the love of the gods in the heavens.”

“It frees us from famine and death, why wouldn’t we do it?”

“It is not the way of the gods in the heavens. They have blessed us with life. How can we turn our back on them now?”

I walked home looking to the heavens, the hands the buildings reaching for the sky. I thanked them I didn’t have to wonder where my next Jawi root soup would come from. Father would provide from the local farmer who used irrigation from Paragon’s main river to create his crop. The Northern Provinces had been spared this famine. It was the Eastern Province where the satellites were needed, but the Counsel proposed them for all of Anabar.

6
I met with counselor Inis’ra about what my father said. He was supposed to guide me towards a plan for the future. All he did was hand me a piece of paper and told me to write with I think.

“Ya’Hale, do it until you find yourself. And as the sacred texts tell us: ‘to know yourself, think for yourself.’”
I nodded in understanding, got up from my seat and gathered my things to head out on my journey of self-discovery, hopeful, I could find the way. I turned and thanked him for his time letting him know that I would let him know in the coming weeks how I was doing.

For three straight nights, I sat in my father’s house, in my room, looking at a blank sheet of paper. 25 turns and I cannot answer this basic question: What do I wish to do with my life? I would ask father for his advice, but I don’t think that’s what he wants me to do. It’s times like this I wished for my mother.

By night four, I was afraid, from the moment the heavens lightened until the end of my day, to go home and stare, once again, at that sheet of paper. After a half rotation, instead, I went to father.

7
As I approached him, I started tearing up. It was too much for me to take. I felt like an empty slate, unable to find the words or express what is within me, what I want for myself.

“Ya’Hale,” he said with concern, “what is wrong?”

“I have tried to learn father, to see what you want me to see. To be independent enough for my own property and—“
“You’re happiness, Ya’Hale. This is a struggle and one that you must learn to be happy. That’s all I want for you. This will come in time and experience. You will be ready, but you are not ready today. “

“But—“

“I just wanted you to start your journey, not finish it before our next meal.” He chuckled. “Don’t grow up too fast. Come. Watch the broadcast with your father.”

Stories of uprisings in the Western Provinces filled the news report. It seems my flier is not the only place where we can see this backlash to the First Counsel’s words. The government had already put the weather satellites in place. It was just a matter of time before we had control of the weather. I began to tremble.

“Our government no longer represents us. They have abandoned the gods in the heavens. We must throw off the shackles of the evil they represent. This is a threat to our spiritual well-being.” A man on the broadcast stated.

“It is a threat to the lives on the Eastern Province.” I shuttered and thought of father’s words. Had this time of uncertainty led to the two deaths on the Eastern Province, as the news report stated?

“Father, what should we do?”

“As much as I like to think I am a member of this world, I doubt we will have to do anything. The satellites will go on as scheduled and First Counsel U’Nia will wrangle enough people to quiet this dissent. Not much to do; it is so far away.”

8
The next morning word came too late that a demonstration had broken out. They were blocking all the entrances; I couldn’t get to my instruction. I was stuck outside, waiting to get in.

“This is not our power. This is the gods power—the power of rain and water!!!”

“Yeah!” the crowd responded.

“We cannot be led to this destruction. We must protect the essence of our people! We are mighty and luminescent beings! Our way of life is in peril! This is not the solution to this problem of the famine! Only the gods in the heavens can provide that! Freedom from spiritual tyranny!”

“Freedom!”

Law enforcers came down the embankment to where the demonstrators were located. Many of the protesters gathered rocks and sticks to fight off the dispersal force. I tried to run, but Yosh’inra was hit with a rock as I watched from a distance! I tried to run towards him and when I did, people started to cry out: “We are on the side of the gods in the heavens! We are just!”

Those were the last words I heard before a loud series of bangs from the dispersal force, and I fell to the ground in agony. Flat on my back, I looked to the heavens and saw the buildings reaching to touch the sky. I saw clouds of rain and even the sun from behind those clouds. I saw the buds on the trees and the fly-wings against the heavens. I saw it only for a brief moment, and then everything stopped, went dark.




PICARD

1
“Beam them out of there now, Mr. O’Brien!” The captain of the Enterprise bellowed, filled with anxiety for his crewman and shipmates.

“We’ve got them, Sir. But three of the landing party is injured.” O’Brien said a moment later over the com-link.

“Mr. Data, you have the bridge, Counselor Troi.” The Captain whisked his way to the turbolift and Troi followed behind him.
Picard looked to the ground, away from Counselor Troi and muttered “What sort of damage do you think we could’ve caused their society?”

“It’s difficult to say. These people, from the reports, do not seem ready for first contact. If they saw the transporter beam, I doubt they will be able to believe it was visitors from another planet.”

A moment later the turbolift stopped and they headed towards sick bay.

2
William T. Riker emerged from the turbolift near the Captain’s Ready Room and nodded to Commander Data to keep the center chair. Holding a PADD in his left hand, he approached the Captain’s doorway and stepped inside.

“Number one, please sit down. I assume that’s your report.”

“It’s all there for Starfleet, Captain. Of the 16 people we had on the planet, and the four at the site of the protest on campus, only 14 returned, two were lost in the riot.” He turned away painfully, shifting in his chair, and calmly continuing. “We had no time to assess the situation. It was a mob. Posing as students in Paragon were the last tasks of Lieutenant Reed and Lieutenant Hawkins. I’ve recommended them both for Starfleet’s highest commendations.”

“Continue.” Looking down at the PADD, Picard realized his first officer was visibly upset. “Speak freely, Commander.”

“I’m sorry, sir. It’s just that I warned Starfleet after we received the profile on this world that we were not going to be able to make first contact. That their society had not been united and there was this ancient religion, an orthodoxy, which threatened the warp engine.”

“I made the same overtures at your request.”

“Captain, those Admirals aren’t out here, we are. This was an incredibly dangerous mission that didn’t have to come with a body count. It seems we are being led by some very pompous and arrogant people, Sir.”

Picard half-smiled, and returned to his seat behind his desk.” I will include your opinion in my report to Starfleet…personally. That will be all, Commander.”

3
Six months past before Picard was awakened in his quarters at the early time of 0457.

“Captain, we’ve received a message from Starfleet command, priority two.”

“In my quarters, Lieutenant.”

“Jean-Luc, considering the people lost on this mission, I thought you would like to know Starfleet’s response to your report. We have continued to monitor the Anabars and have a full situation report. I am sending a copy to you with this transmission. Starfleet out.”

Picard looked at the monitor and tapped the control panel, sending the report to his desk. Grabbing a cup of tea he sat down to read why two of his crew members had died in a mob.
STARDATE: 44561.1—CIVIL WAR HAS BROKEN OUT ON ANABAR. MOST MAJOR CITIES HAVE BEEN DESTROYED. THE UNIVERSITY IN PARAGON IS RUINS. TWO INDEPENDENT STATES HAVE FORMED—THE RELIGIOUS INDEPENDENT MOVEMENT AND THE ANABAR LIBERATION GOVERNMENT. THE ANABARS ARE UNABLE TO USE THEIR WEATHER SATELLITES; THE TECHNOLOGY WAS NOT PERFECTED BEFORE THEY WERE LAUNCHED INTO SPACE. THE ENTIRE FIRST COUNCIL WAS EXECUTED AS ENEMIES OF THE STATE FOR THEIR HERESY. THE RELIGIOUS INDEPENDENT MOVEMENT, THE FORMAL NAME OF THE UPRISING, HAS PUT A HALT TO PRODUCTION OF THE WARP-3 ENGINE. THE FAMINE HAS SUBSIDED ON THE EASTERN CONTINENT. THE ANABARS ARE NOT READY FOR FIRST CONTACT AND IT IS PROJECTED ANOTHER GENERATION WILL NEED TO PASS BEFORE ANY REEVALUATION.
Picard sat back in his chair, let out a sigh, and put both hands over his face. “May they learn from their mistakes.”
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Old March 29 2013, 12:20 AM   #6
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Re: Anabar First Contact...

Here are some thoughts about what I was tring to do with this story. I hope I was successful at getting this across.

Independence carries some responsibilities with it. We have to respect other people. A purley free society is anarchy where everyone is responsible only for themselves. A free world is one where you make your own clothes, grow your own food, and look to no one else to help you. Still, law and order must be maintained and that’s what I wanted to explore here. We have to live with each other. In a free society, there are laws. There’s a fight for independence in this story, two states form, and we only see the beginnings of it. But it is a fight for independence none-the-less.

Also, in an independent society, there is free speech. And the downside of free speech is that sometimes you come to a consensus that is dangerous or against the greater good. I point to the laws of the colonies of the British Empire when battling with the question of slavery. Money reversed many progressive laws concerning slavery and it was justified using religion. That’s a real-world example of what is happening here. Free speech leads to that revolution that makes for a worse outcome. We can go backwards.

We long for leadership—someone to make the tough decisions at the end of the day. And we question that person, but still grant them the power. When societies break down, there is no trust between the government and the people, whether it’s justified or not. Again, it’s something I was trying to explore here. This is partly why Riker has a problem with what happened and who’s running the decisions. It’s the same problem, but a different society.

On a personal level, Ya’Hale is trying to find her way in this world. She needs the resources of society—food, shelter, clothes, school, parents, skyscrapers, the city—in order to make her way in this world. And she is coming of age, she’s supposed to be 18, and a sheltered 18-year-old at that. She is foiled by Yosh’inra who has been trained his entire life to be independent and has long since come to grips with challenging authority when he feels he’s right. While she is free to make her own choices, she isn’t capable of doing it alone and I think many of us would wander through this world with unfulfilled potential if we didn’t have the appropriate leadership. In many ways, her admiration of her father, and relying on him, has caused her to suffer. This is not unlike Ducks who will crawl to the top of a tree and have to fall off the branches to get out of the nest and respond to their mother’s call. That may seem like child abuse, but it makes for strong ducks that can survive in this world. So this story deals a little with parenting as well.

Anyway, those are my thoughts on what I was trying to do. I hope it was interesting and worthwhile for you to read.

BTW, #5 post is the final draft of the story and the one I submitted for the contest.
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Old April 1 2013, 05:31 PM   #7
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Re: Anabar First Contact...

The second version is a great improvement over the first one. There are still some minor issues (mostly typos, doubled words, that sort of thing) but you managed to create a more vivid picture of this society and especially the characters of your story. This time around, Ya'Hale's supposed death resonated with me pretty strongly.

I hope you'll stick around the forum and for future challenges.
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Old April 1 2013, 11:29 PM   #8
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Re: Anabar First Contact...

Count Zero wrote: View Post
The second version is a great improvement over the first one. There are still some minor issues (mostly typos, doubled words, that sort of thing) but you managed to create a more vivid picture of this society and especially the characters of your story. This time around, Ya'Hale's supposed death resonated with me pretty strongly.

I hope you'll stick around the forum and for future challenges.
I don't know if I will be around for more challenges. I think it will depend on whether I can come up with a story that's to my satisfaction.

I realized what you realized in your note to me from before--the characters weren't strong enough and what I wanted to say with them wasn't fully fleshed out. Each theme got a sentence or two, and not a full conversation. I still think the story could be expanded and if I hadn't run out of time, it might have been a great deal longer.

I have a tendency to have typos when I don't have someone else read my work, which is what happened here. I know where the story is going, and I have a hard time not reading what I intended, instead of what I wrote. But I will make a better effort in the future not to make such blatant mistakes (I saw at least 4 of them, one I corrected before the contest was over).

It's also hard because I am not writing here, but in Word. So to separate the paragraphs was difficult to do and I wasn't successful so it looks cheap. But, again, that just takes a greater effort before I publish from now on.

I really enjoyed doing this. Like I said in an earlier thread, this was my first creative writing in nearly 7 years. It was slow at the beginning while I came up with my notes, it was overwhelming trying to get all I wanted to say into a single story. And after I finally got myself to write the story and stop trying to write a better outline, I threw up my rough draft within hours of "completing" it. This was exciting for me, and even when it hurt, this was fun, a labor of love.

A lot of this story draws upon my personal experiences in the last 2-3 years as a student, a amateur philosopher, reading the headlines of political fights with an eye on sociology, and my education on the nature of democracy from Freshmen year of High School on up. Because it was personal material, it was hard sometimes to see whether or not I had put a clear idea into the piece. Perhaps that will get better with time.

I am fascinated by First Contact stories. It's the type of Star Trek I would like to see, why I want another series. And when our universe is in peril that makes for more dramatic Star Trek, it is something I grow tired of fairly quickly. It's been done to death. So I figured after all the complaining I do on other portions of the site, it was my duty to write the type of Star Trek story I would like to see, put my money where my mouth is.

I don't really care if I win or not. My only hope is that what I created was entertaining and thought-provoking. If it's not, oh well. I am an amateur with rust and dust bunnies where my creative juices once laid.

But I am thankful that this is a board that has shown some support for original works of fiction. You don't find that everywhere.
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Old April 2 2013, 12:20 AM   #9
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Re: Anabar First Contact...

We all write our stories in a word processing program, I assume. I suppose you could use the BBCode while writing to format what you've written but I do it by hand, too. And yes, it's a bite tiresome and sometimes, one misses things.

I'm with you on the "universe in peril" stories. I find it's a bit of a cliché by now. I'm also more interested in stories that are engaging and yet kind of everyday life stories in the sense that it feels as if they could realistically happen (sci-fi has a bit more leeway, obviously ). But it's more difficult to make something like that into an appealing movie, I guess.
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Old April 2 2013, 05:50 PM   #10
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Re: Anabar First Contact...

One thing I do with BBcode issues is I will write whatever I want to in Word but then, when it's time to post, I will pop it into notepad and do some find/replace with code. E. g. I italicize all ship names, so I will have it find Enterprise and replace it with [i]Enterprise[/ i]

I would also suggest that, with unfamiliar aliens, you might want to do some exposition, at least so that the reader doesn't get too lost. Personally, I don't do a lot, even with original species, but I will sketch people and then let the reader fill in the blanks. Hence the Daranaeans, who are my own creation, are described as sentient marsupial canids. Whether you think that means they look more like dogs, or like kangaroos, or even like wombats or wolves, far as I'm concerned, it's all good (my avatar, a flying fox, is supposed to be an infant Daranaean).

I liked the story - I love intimate stories set against larger events. After all, what is history, when you get past memorized dates and the names of battles? It is personal experiences. Well done; I hope you will stay.
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