The DNA of cloned humans, inhabitants of a dying planet, was placed aboard a spaceship. The craft landed on a small island, one located on a new world. Now that these refugees are older, they must find a better place to live.
Will these refugees survive?
The early morning sky was clear, without a cloud. Close to the horizon our sun, the star S4, was shining brightly. My thoughts shouldn’t have been so somber.
All thirty of us twenty-year-olds had been living on this small island, Hopely, in Ori’s northern hemisphere, for most of our lives.
When all of us were sixteen, everyone began dating. Just over three hundred sixty-five days ago, each couple moved into their own tent because they wanted more privacy.
I thought about our guardians, three four-foot tall male human-like robots, Onen, Dost and Tryss, silver androids whose tiny internal nanomotors, photonic computers, photonic conduits, and cables rarely malfunctioned and were easily repaired. I wished I knew who had created those brilliantly well-designed robots.
Another topic crossed my mind. For several years, our interferometric telescopes had picked up radio signals, messages coming from a mountaintop about 22 miles from us, beyond a channel. One signal, “Ri Na ii,” confused us. We couldn’t tell if it was the name of a planet or a star. Unfortunately, the rest of the signals resembled the first one. According to Onen, our telescope’s software, an application that searched through 310 language databases, including English and Gost, couldn’t translate anything.
There was another mystery. The messages were sent out randomly, not on any specific day. According to our galactic charts, just over 2,104,000 miles from us, there was a planet named Biuus. Had we picked up part of several messages that came from Biuus? Perhaps we had only picked up the lower end of the radio-interferometric spectrum.
Other signals were sent to a location that was close to Ara, a star. Unfortunately, the telescope created hazy star maps. It was impossible to tell if the messages had been sent to a moon or a planet.
Was a human, an alien or a robot transmitter sending out a beacon, hoping we would find the source of the signals? Or were they trying to speak with someone far away?
There was another possibility—perhaps the signals were a warning, telling us to stay away from the mountain.
Onen came up to me and said, without preamble, “Fiman, now that you are old enough, it is my duty to tell you more about Dr. Upton’s plans. You must discover the source of the signals. His team sent you into this universe because they wanted everyone on Hopely to meet other sentient beings. Although we haven’t met anyone yet, we must not lose sight of our goal. Everyone should leave this island because we need to learn more about Ori and the adjacent planets. Every couple on Hopely must eventually have children. They should interact with other races and have children. The loss of Laiplen’s entire population must not be repeated.
“First, you must find out whether Ori is stable. Are there any active volcanoes that can destroy the planet? Is it about to enter an ice age? You must find more than one stable planet.”