I walked into a room with the old man, Ludin, and Ulyphia “That was fun. What’s next?” I asked. We just finished a visit to another planet and I hoped we could do something more interesting than touring. “Well, who would you like to see another weird anomaly? I can take you to one that nobody has gone to see yet. Nobody we know of, anyway.” Mr. Kevkivsop invited us to see another new thing. The universe had so much to be revealed, and here was another curiosity. We saw many collapsed stars already, but we went farther from the civilization we knew everyday, and here was an exiting chance to see something possibly never touched before. “Why should we? Is there anything to gain?” asked Ludin. “You might think the mystical key to the universe can only be found among the people we visit, but I think you’ll need to learn science to understand the universe to understand people. And what’s better than a black hole? I hear these have been used in arcane times as sources of energy and more. Besides that there is supposedly something unusual about it. They will pay me to survey it, and we can always use the money.” His arguments often involved money somewhere. “We will be the discoverers. Doesn’t that sound like an accomplishment to you?” added Ulyphia. “It does, but I’m not looking for status.” He seemed to find the worst in people. He rarely pointed out his findings to everybody, except the two were always open to each other. “I’d rather move on,” replied Ludin. “The people on this planet weren’t interesting enough? Would you rather go to someplace with more people and more astounding surroundings?” “Well, it was a pleasant trip, but I could compare the people to others we’ve met. I didn’t get anything revealing. There was really nothing new here, and I’m ready to see the next world.” “You have much to learn about how to appreciate the universe. We’re going,” said Mr. Kevkivsop. He left the room to tell the rest of our party. Ulypiha mentioned to Ludin, “Don’t forget I’m also anxious to explore and learn. Don’t forget that my lifetime will be shorter than yours.” “I know that very well. You, your brother, and the other ones. I doubt any of us will die naturally anyway.” “True. Anyway, I think being away from home is a vacation.” She left. “Did you want something?” he asked me. “Nope. Just seeing what’s next. A new black hole sounds like a nice break in all the touring, doesn’t it?” “You can see it your way, but I have an objective. It’s fun for you, but I don’t take vacations.” He made a point. They took space exploration much more seriously than I. ……… About an hour after deciding to go, we arrived at the hole. We stopped light-years away to safely take a look at it. From a window, it’s not much to look at, so we looked at it through instruments. I saw pretty colors, bazaar things, and an odd detail. It caught my eye just before I finished; some object stood still while the hole sucked up vast amounts of surrounding mass, like a rock island near a waterfall. I realized this might be a discovery, so I ran to the senior scientist. “Ms. Owkder! Could you look at this thing I found?” “You’ve uncovered a new law of science, Ertwet?” she said a little sardonically. I asked about things without remembering them often, so I had decided I deserved that attitude. We went to the scientific room, and when she viewed the screens she said nothing to me but brought the other scientists in. They talked about things I didn’t understand as I watched from the side. They called in the old man and talked some more. After a while he approached me. “Do you realize what you’ve done?” He surprised me. “No. Did I break something?” “What? Not at all. You’ve made a discovery. The object you saw is a planet. They determined it’s in an orbit around the hole, and it could be populated. It’s nothing we’ve seen before or knew could exist, and you found it. It’s your first discovery.” “I’m thrilled! When do we get to see it?” He looked a little sorry to see how exited I was. “Well, that probably won’t happen. We don’t know how to get to it; we don’t even know how it stays where it is.” “But can’t we examine it more? Even though I’m not a scientist, I want to see it.” Ms. Owkder said “We are limited by our instruments, Ertwet. We can’t do everything.” “But can’t you spend some time on it, please?” “We plan on staying some time longer anyway. If we are fortunate enough to find a way in, we’ll let you know.” Some of the other scientists smiled at this. They seemed to assume that because I came from an isolated, backwards planet, I was utterly simple. I thanked them and went off to amuse myself. While I waited, I tried to avoid Ludin. With the size of our vessel, it happened eventually. I think my avoidance of the subject made the interaction smooth, although in hindsight he might have seen no point in being angry at me, resigned to the course of things. The most notable thing he said was “I hope you aren’t too glad of that discovery. One of the scientists would have seen it, and you know somebody else had to have seen it first when they put it there.” About a day after my finding, the boss called up everybody in the vessel. We met in the room with the instruments. The scientists announced they determined the planet as safe to visit, and gave some details I didn’t understand. A couple hours later, we blinked onto it’s surface. ……… “He isn’t as much of a scientist as either of us.” “He’s negative.” They go to a planet that has been locked in orbit around a black hole, but it is gradually failing and every circle around moves it a little closer. The technology failed, and the people who can have run off. The point is, help is unlikely to come anytime soon, so a number of people will die. They can’t take everybody, so they try to so things that will indirectly force the world to change. Possibly, they assassinate/kidnap an individual or individuals who were slowing down the world. Instead of saving things, the people react against them and riot. They fail to save the world? The planets placement and predicament: -They were a staging point for a physics project using the black hole, in which it was made into a passage to someplace else (just explain that it is another realm). Additionally, the planet may have been part of a small collection of planets sharing a society, and they used the hole as an expedition point as they moved on to the next level. As a group moved through it, an error broke the delicate steadiness of the hole’s passage, and it reverted to a regular hole and killed the people going through while also stranding the planet which was the staging point. The major part of that civilization disassembled, because at that point most of it was on that planet. Those who could leave did, mostly going to the small planets remaining and the feeling ever since the thing failed was panic. That was a few [years] ago, and now the entire world is desperate and disorganized. It’s a dangerous place that nobody who knows about it wants to have anything to do with. Why can’t they just go for help? Did they decide at the beginning to do things on their own? Do their people at home decide they don’t wan to have anything to do with it? Are they trapped when thieves overtake their ship? Are they an independent sort of group, given that designation when they left? Did they cut ties from their civilization when they left? Did they go to a totally different universe or galaxy? Is there a limit to how far they can blink? (If so, it could be made so that the energy needed to travel a distance is equal to the energy needed to travel that distance at light speed.) “The choice has unintentionally come to us. Now the course of their lives is up to us.” Black hole: “Could it have been better if we had done nothing at all?” In black hole story, maybe it should be so that some government tried to keep everybody from knowing what was going on and continued to lie to them while trying to solve the problems on their own.
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