The Zeta Reticuli Exchange Program
I dreamt of earth. I really had some vivid dreams of Colorado, the mountains, the snow and my family. It was if I was really there. I had no worries and never thought of my situation inside the foreign spaceship. Then I awoke. I was confused and disoriented. I was in a bowl, well, it looked like a bowl to me. I don’t remember how I got here. My first thought was to my crew. I pushed open the top of this glass bowl and it opened. I heard a hissing sound coming from the seams or seals. I looked around and saw that I was inside a room. Not a room I remember. But all of us were inside these glass bowls. All the other crew members were asleep. I climbed out and realized my legs were really sore. But I climbed out and went to each glass bowl and checked on the crew. I found only eleven of us. Somebody is missing. But who? I am so confused. I’m also very thirsty. I can’t find any of those water bottles. We had some but I can’t find any. My eyes are really having a problem focusing. But I’m writing this in my log, I have to record everything.
I found number..... He is alive. Who is missing. I have to look at each bowl. This room is large. The ceiling looks like bed mattress. The walls of this room are soft. Not very much in this room except for the bowls and some tubes running from the bowls to the floor. I see lights flashing on the bottom of each bowl. There are bright lights on in the ceiling. Inside the mattress or something. I can’t open these bowls. I’ve tried everything. I must get some help from the Ebens. I found a door but it won’t open. I can’t remember how we opened the other doors. How long have we’ve been in these bowls? I can’t seem to remember much. Maybe the traveling in space causes problems with a person’s mind. They told us this during training but we never had anyone travel this far in space before. We are the specimens. Maybe I should go back into the bowl. Maybe I awoke too early. My wristwatch says it is 1800 hours. But what day, what month, what year? How long have I been asleep.
The floor seems to be soft with wires running in a cris cross pattern. I see some type of television screen in the corner of the room. I think it might monitor the other bowls. I can’t read anything on the screen because it is in Eben language. I do make out likes, maybe health monitoring lines on the screen. I hope that means everyone is breathing and is alive. But we are missing one man. Did I forget something? Did someone die? I can’t remember. I have some type of rash on my hands. Real burning sensation. Maybe it is radiation burns from something. But where are the radiation monitors we had in our packs? Were are our survival packs? I can’t find anything. I am returning to the bowl. I am lying down. I will stop making entries in this diary.
I am awake again. Ebens are in the room. My bowl is open. Some of my crew are walking around. The Ebens are helping them. I climbed out of my bowl. The English speaking Eben sees me and I asked him if everyone of my crew was alright. He doesn’t understand, “alright”. I point to the crew. I say eleven. Where is number twelve? Ebe1 then points to a bowl that is empty and says, earthman is not living. Ok, someone died. But who. My crew is walking around in a state of confusion. I can’t get anyone’s attention. They look like the living dead. What is wrong with them? I asked Ebe1, what is wrong with them. Ebe1 replied, space sick, but will not be sick soon. Ok, that makes sense. I have no idea how long. We are still flying but don’t know how long. Ebe1 brings some fluids and something looking like a biscuit. Fluid tastes like chalk and the biscuit doesn’t have any taste. We all eat it and drink the fluid. Almost instantly we feel better. Ok, get organized. Told 203 to round up all crew. Found 308 missing. Must be the dead crew member. Ebe1 came back and lead me to 308. He was in bowl, something like coffin. 700 and 754 will examine 308. Ebe 1 cautioned us no to take 308 out. Don’t understand the caution. 700 and 754 is here. I try to tell Ebe 1 that these guys are our doctors and must examine 308. Ebe 1 said no, because of infection. I guess 308 must have had some sort of infection and it could be contagious. But is 308 dead? Don’t know. We will take Ebe1 advice. 700 and 754 just looked into the bowl and said it looks like 308 is dead. Everyone else looks ok.
The fluids and biscuit must have contained some type of energy food. We can focus our eyes and can actually think. No one can remember how we got into this room. All our equipment is here. Everyone is concerned about our status. Ebese are friendly but won’t tell us much. 899 is concerned with being locked into a room. 633 and 661 thinks we should be keeping busy. I agree. I order everyone to get their packs and ration belts, inventory everything inside and see if something is missing. That will occupy the team for some time. My wristwatch says it is 0400. But what day? Date? Don’t know. Very strange not being able to gauge time. We have no reference inside this room or this spaceship. The year clock that we brought will be unpacked once we can get to the stowed gear. We don’t know where that is.
All crew inventoried packs and ration belts. Everything is accounted for. 899 wants to arm himself with handgun. I said no. We don’t need guns. No Ebese have been hostel towards us. We got out a compass. It doesn’t work. We got out our radios. We will keep them on our belts. Don’t know if they work away from the room. But we turned them on and they work. We can hear each other. Good, we have communication. But we must be careful, the battery life is only about two days. I suggest everyone start writing down their thoughts. Keep some sort of a diary, like I am doing. I was ordered to do this and will continue to do as long as I can. But I won’t keep it by day, since I can’t tell when a day ends. 661 suggests we make up a calendar and a time system as long as we are here. Good idea, he will do that. The calendar will run on a seven day system. We will use our wristwatches to gauge a 24 hour period and then consider that one day. We will start at 0600, which is in about 45 minutes. 518 set up the air monitor. Seems we are breathing regular air. The team is joking about 518’s nomenclature use for regular air. Good that we have some humor. Ok, this is the beginning of day 1, it is 0600 hours. 661 will keep calendar. We should have done this before. We have no idea how long we have been inside this spaceship, how long we have been traveling. Didn’t we get into the command station? Maybe I dreamed it. I can’t find the first part of my diary.
Ebe1 came in. Told us journey almost over. Lead us to hallway. We got into moving room and moved to another part of ship. Came out into large room with many items, I can’t identify them but they look like clothing chests or bedroom chests. We are also lead to a large table with food. Ebe1 tells us to eat. He said good food, eat. We’ll, we all look at each other. 700 and 754 says lets eat. Ok, we find plates. Seems like ceramic plates real heavy. I chose something that looks like a stew. I then got a biscuit, same as we ate earlier. The drinks were in metal containers. Same fluid we drank earlier. We all ate. Very little taste in the stew. Something like potatoes, maybe cucumbers, some type of stems. No really bad. The biscuits taste the same. Everyone sat and ate. We found something like apples but didn’t taste like apples. Sweet and soft, I ate one. Leaves an after taste in my mouth. Team looks happy. Some are joking about not having any ice cream. Ok, the MVC is in room. First time we saw him. He speaks through Ebe1. The language really bothers my ears. The high pitch sounds and then the vocal tones sounds very strange. Ebe1 tells us MVC wants us to prepare for landing. Ok, how do we do that. We must get into bowl room and get in bowl. No one wants to do that but if we have to we will do that. We must go into bowl room and get in bowl. No one wants to do that but if we have to we will do it. We are lead back to moving room and travel back to bowl room. We climb into the bowl. Some use pot for relief of our bowels and bladders. Then climb into bowl. The lids close but we are awake. Just lie there. I fall asleep.
The bowl lids have opened. My wristwatch says 1100. I guess it is still day 1. We climb out. Ebe1 is at our side. He tell us. Landing home. Ok, I guess we are there. We gather our gear. 700 reminds us to wear out sunglasses once we exit. We pack up and walk down long hallway. Then into another moving room. We travel for one minute. Then door open. We are in large room. We see our stowed gear. Large room, many smaller spaceships stored here. A large door opens. Bright light. We see the planet for the first time. We walk down the ramp. Large number of ebens waiting for us. We see a large eben, largest one we have seen yet. He comes forward and starts speaking to us. Ebe1 translate a welcome message from the Leader. I guess this guy is the leader. About one foot taller than the others. The leader tells us we are welcome to planet, he called it something we do not understand. Ebe1 isn’t doing a good job translating. But we are lead to an open arena. Looks like a parade field. The ground is dirt. Looking up, I see blue skies. The sky is very clear. We see two suns. One brighter than the other. The landscape looks like a desert, Arizona or new Mexico. No vegetation that we can see. There are rolling hills but nothing but dirt. This must be the central village or town.
We landed in an open area with large structures like electrical towers. Something is sitting on top of these towers. On the center of the village is a large tower. Looks like a concrete structure. Very large, maybe 300 feet. Looks like a mirror is placed on top of this tower. All the buildings looks like adobe or mud huts. Some are larger than others. Looking in one direction, can’t tell any actual compass readings but there is a very large structure. All the ebens are dressed in the same clothing, except for some of the ebens who were on the spaceship. Now I see others dressed in a dark blue outfit, different from the others. Each eben is wearing some type of box on their belts. All have belts. Can’t see any children, but maybe they are the same size too. Our boots leave an imprint into the soil. The brightness is almost too much for our eyes without sunglasses. Looking around 360 degrees, I see buildings and barren land. Can’t see any vegetation. I wonder where they grow their food. What a planet. Hard to believe we will have to live 10 years here. But a journey of 1000 miles begins with one foot step.
Can’t remember who said that but that just came to mind. But large numbers of ebens are welcoming us. They seem friendly. Then, almost shocking us, someone speaks English. We all look around and see an eben. This eben speaks very good English. This eben, we call ebe2, speaks almost fluent English, with exception of not really pronouncing the letter w. But ebe2 does a good job speaking English. Ebe2 says we are welcome to the planet serpo. Ok, that is the name of their planet. Ebe2 shows us a device and tells us everyone of us must wear it. It looks like a small transistor radio. We put it on our belts. The weather is extremely hot. Asked 633 to take temperature. 633 says it is 107 degrees. Very warm. We take off top jacket and leave us with one piece flight suit. The ebens looks at us but seem very friendly. Some are wearing some type of shawls. I asked Ebe2 about that, Ebe2 says they are females.
Ok, I see. They all look alike. Really hard to tell one apart except for uniform. Some have different colored uniforms. I asked Ebe2 about that, Ebe2 says military uniform. Ok, that makes sense. Ebe2 lead us to a series of huts, looking like adobe style houses. There are four. Behind them is an underground room, or storage area. It is built into the ground, underground. We have to walk down a ramp. The doors look like a military igloos that store our atomic bombs on earth. All our gear taken off the spaceship is stored there. We walked down into this area. Very large room. Very cool, a lot cooler. We might have to sleep here. All our gear is there. Sixteen palates of gear. This igloo is made up of something like concrete but not the same texture. Feels like soft rubber but still hard. The floor is made of the same stuff. There are lights in the ceiling. Looks like spot lights. They have electricity. We must inventory all our gear sometime. We go back to huts. The huts are cooler than outside. But still very warm. We must get organized. I tell Ebe2, we will need to be alone and get organized. Ebe2, then I realize Ebe2 is female, says ok, We will be left alone. I asked for the body of 308 . Ebe2 seems to be confused and doesn’t know about any body. I explained to Ebe2 held her hands across her body and bowed her head. It was really an emotional site because she was almost crying. Ebe 2 told us that the body would be brought to us but she must check with her trainer. The word trainer kind of shocked me. Is Ebe2 in training and someone is teaching her? Or is the word trainer in Eben something different in English. Maybe that means leader or commander. Don’t know. But Ebe2 left. I told 203 to gather everyone in the lower storage area. We will have a team meeting. 633 suggested we start the calendar as of today. It is 1300 on our Day 1 on planet serpo.
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