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A Temple or a Tomb, Part 1

June 04, 2014

Story I'm working on at the moment. I've decided to take up a little writing beyond just system descriptions and planet descriptions. This is told in Abbah NKD095 from an Edonian point of view, so look at the system for references I might make. Hope you like it.

I’m an Xenoarcheologist. I dig up the remains of ancient alien societies and then try to figure out what it is that I had found. 9,999 times out of 10,000, it’s garbage, broken, degraded, and unusable. The few gems that I find fund missions like this one.

NKD095.15.45 is an Edon-like moon, with carbon-based life.. Gravity is about 5% lighter than my home planet.

We had made base camp on NKD095.15.45's major continent. That was when we found the structures. The planetary survey had found this moon long ago, but it’s only now that we were able to mount a real expedition to map the surface. Our initial orbital survey, whose original goal was to find a suitable place for colonization, instead found a ton of archeological sites, so we picked the one closest to the equator and landed.

Now I’m standing here in this canal, and I’m looking at the most intact xeno-site I have ever seen on a planet. OK, it’s a large moon around a super gas giant. It’s smaller than Edon, and bigger than Encervis, so it is similar in size to most of the terrestrial planets in the system. Of course, we find more intact finds on proper, vacuum scarred moons, but then that’s to be expected.

“Doctor Askvig,” said Hanson, who was kneeling next to me, “it’s just…wow.”

“Yes,” I replied, “and that makes me worried. Something this intact may mean that the previous inhabitants are still around…”

"Thompson," said Hanson, directing his orders to the third member of our team, "are you recording any of this?" Thompson, engrossed in his DEX's screen, only nodded. He was as impressed as Hanson and I. "What do you think it is, sir?" Hewey's voice signaled his return from the recon mission around the canal. "Well, Mr. Hewett, we won't know until we get a closer look." I replied, turning to face him. "Did you locate a safe way down? We can't risk any injuries before the expedition has even started."

Hewey nodded. "I've located an area of the canal wall that is not quite as steep. We might be able to get some natural footholds in the cliffside."

"Alright then, boys, we're moving out" Hanson said, walking over to our small forward base on the cliffside. The camp consisted of a few of my own men, but mostly consisted of soldiers. In the jungle below, there might be lots of nasties to deal with.

Light filtered in through holes in the jungle canopy, giving the overall jungle a dim light, even though it was in the middle of the afternoon. "Alright men," Hanson adressed his troops, "spread out. I want the entire area secure as we move torward our ruins. Hewey, Toby, you scout on ahead. Stay in sight."

Various replies of "yes, Commander" were spoken, and our hired security force spread out. "Thank goodness the Republic supports expeditions like these, eh Doctor?" Thompson called over to me, constantly recording our expedition on his DEX. I grinned at his comment. President Elise, after coming into office, took an intrest not in expansion of territory, but instead expansion of relations with our allies and the aquirement of new knowledge. Many recent xenoarcheological expeditions had been sponsored not only by the Board, but by the government itself.

We finally arrived at the first structure. It was the base of a huge stone arch, one of many that we saw from above. I gave the orders to stop, and my team examined the arch. "Doctor, I've found something that I think might be of intrest." Dalton and his brother, Benett, were staring up at the arch. "What, Dalton?" I looked up as well, trying to follow their gaze. "Carvings." said Benett, pointing up to help me find it. I saw what they were saying. Huge carvings were etched into the stone, some covered by foliage or weathered away. "They look like Ancient Edonian in appearence." I said, bringing out my DEX to call up the files I had on Ancient Edonian writing. For all of you who don't know, the EP002 Encyclopedia Series DEX is a handheld electronic encyclopedia device. Its function is to provide a designated individual with information and advice regarding known locations, people, cultures, and etc. in the Galaxiki. Almost everyone owns one, making it easy to acess information. Sure enough, the files on my DEX were almost identical to the carvings before us. "Graham, do you know what these mean?" I asked. Graham Norwell, the leading expert on ancient language in my team, pushed up his glasses and looked up at the wall. "Let's see..." His eyes were squinted in concentration. "It looks like that one is a G...N...E..A....Hmm, interesting."

Graham was one of my closest collegues, and friends. And an 'intresting' from him was signifigantly more than just intresting. "What is it, Graham? Something unexpected?" I was excited. Ancient Edonian meant that we had stumbled upon something from our own ancient past. Although, how did it get here? As far as my knowledge went, I had no record on a Lucius gate connection to here. "Well, Doctor, the writing seems to indicate that the letters I said out loud to you are part of a name. And there is only one prominent ancient Edonian with that name that I can think of."

I inhaled sharply, "You mean, Gilnea? One of the mortals of ancient times believed to have ascended to godly status?" Gilnea is mostly a mythical figure. No one is quite sure if he was a god or not, or even if he actually lived or not. Graham looked over at me. "Based on the other words surrounding it, I believe this arch marks one of two possibilities - a temple to Gilnea, or, if we are lucky, his tomb."

"If this is Gilnea's tomb, it will be the find of the decade, if not the century!" Thompson exclaimed, busy snapping pictures of the arch and writing. I grinned again, looking around at my collegues and our security team. "Lets get ready to go then. We have a ruin to find!"

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A Temple or a Tomb, Part 1
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