Story

“In 2090, research on dark matter produced a surprising result: the development of technology that could be used to reach and exceed the speed of light. In 2100, the first starship equipped with superliminal motors set out for Alpha Centauri, which could be reached in two weeks and three days. This set off the period of the Great Cosmic Discoveries. Interstellar travel, which was once an unattainable dream, became a reality that was accessible to almost anyone.

Humankind’s expansion into space was declared the supreme goal. In order to speed up the process of populating distant solar systems, the United Earth Government decided to sell a few settled planets to private citizens. In addition, the recently adopted Astrocodex became the law of the land: every new planet would become the property of whoever discovered it in other words, the property of whatever company or individual whose starship was the first to enter the planet’s orbit.

The earthlings tried to conquer the Galaxy, explore other worlds, establish colonies, and seize their territory under thousands of new suns, but Earth, which slept peacefully under the clouds, was never far away in their memories, thoughts, and stories – just like the comforting homeland should be.”

Earth

Tatoo-out

“You can only appreciate its uniqueness from orbit, where you have a view of the colossal drawings in all their glory. Surprisingly, the closest counterpart – and the only one that is currently known – is the birthplace of humanity, Earth. The drawings in the Nasca Desert, whose riddle stumped people for centuries, look a lot like the ones that cover Tatoo-Out. If anything, according to graphologists, whoever created them belonged to the same culture. If it was the Sculptors – and a popular theory says that they turned Tatoo-Out into an original cosmic road sign – that means that the Sculptors settled Earth before time began and perhaps had a hand in human evolution.”

” Ay, caramba! The colonists who landed on Poppelvan quickly realized that they would not have the glory of being the first to discover this planet: someone had been there before them – and not only had they been there, they had actively used it as a warehouse and transshipment base. Who that was remained a mystery for a long time. The underground storehouses were found to hold many containers of Nergal fish, which is considered an extinct species and is banned from sale and transport, along with hundreds of chests filled with weapons, including weapons of mass destruction, narcotics, and even secret military sketches. Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum! Apparently, Poppelvan, this vibrant and appealing planet, served as a refuge for pirates and smugglers of all nationalities. The shocked colonists didn’t know what to do. While the captains and administrators conferred, a mutiny broke out among the crew. It was started by the supervisor of the ship’s kitchen, a veteran space wolf named John Golder. Arming himself with a blaster, which he hid in his mechanical leg, Golder captured the communication room, and after he forced open the drone control system, he gave the order to attack the leaders. It’s frightening to think how this story could have ended if a deputy of the second navigator, a brave youth named Hawk Jimkins, hadn’t slyly infiltrated the lair of the insurgents, disarmed Golder, and managed to cut the drone power at the last minute before any shots were fired. At least this is how he told the story after the fact. “

Popelvan

Zolwyn

” This pulsating, white dwarf star, around which not a single planet orbits, did not attract any attention until a transport ship of colonists approached it, deviating from its course after a meteorite shower. The earthlings had never seen anything like it. Structures of improbable size were orbiting the planet, taking advantage of its light, warmth, and gravity. The movement of the gigantic blades spanning the glow of Zolwyn created that blinking effect that made the planet look as though it were pulsating. The civilization that was able to build something like this must have been spread all around the Galaxy long ago. However, when the colonists got closer, it was apparent to them that the wonder was long in need of major repair: in places there were gaping holes, there were long, divergent cracks, and so much space junk had piled up that there would have been enough for an entire solar system. Closer study of the structure showed that it was made of materials and even whole fragments of the most varied worlds. For example, the role played by a rock massif that was torn from a planet called Platonov functioned as a lock fastening the rim together. This was obviously the work of the Litomorphs “

“This is the home of the Nober, short humanoids with round bodies, rough, wiry hair, and steel-colored skin. These creatures are master metalworkers, talented engineers, and inventors. Blacksmithing has cult status among them and is considered the highest possible intellectual achievement. The first earthlings who landed on the planet did not…”

Nobergrim

Bloodword

“Now travel agencies all over the Galaxy offer visitors booklets with the charming slogan “WELCOME TO BLOODWORLD!” But the most interesting thing about this planet isn’t its outer appearance; it’s the artificial satellite with a radius of several kilometers that revolves in a geostationary orbit and was discovered shortly after colonization started”(…

“Starting with the arrival of the first colonizing ships, Baccer took on an appearance that is familiar to anyone who is even slightly interested in soccer. Soccer fields, hotels for fans, recreation areas, and other athletic infrastructure were arranged on the “black,” basalt-covered hexagons. On the surrounding marble, “white” hexagons, there were residential areas, parks, spaceports, and factories producing cleats, balls, and many other things. Here life buzzes and there is always some sort of competition going on: the Solar System Championship, the Orion Arm Championship, the Big Galactic Championship – the game does not stop for a moment.”

Baccer

Aquaris

“Right after Aquaris was discovered, the journalists who love sensational headlines started to call it “the newest wonder of the world,” and this name quickly caught on. Just think of it: a planet in a glass jar! But if we want to be more accurate, the transparent “wall” of Aquaris isn’t glass at all…”.

Khorat is a colonist’s dream. It has everything a human being could want: rich deposits of ore and minerals, a hot but mild climate, a deep, warm ocean filled with fish and coral that show a conception of swarm mentality, sunny, sandy beaches, jungles with sweet fruit but no mosquitoes or poisonous snakes, and, of course, traces of mysterious ancient civilizations – or more specifically, one large trace, the Khorat Cupola. Before the “official” discovery, the planet was the source of exotic animals for the Galaxy’s black market. The planet was home to hundreds of astounding species that lived together in perfect harmony, and there were almost no predators that were dangerous for humans. Of course, the poachers weren’t about to give up the source of their fabulous income without a fight. The colonists had to take Khorat by force. After a few months of bloody combat, the poachers were totally defeated. A few leaders and their most trusted helpers, not wishing to surrender to the mercy of the court, hid in the Khorat Cupola. Not a single one of them came out. Their decomposed remains were found six months later on the other side of the planet. Should we be surprised that the cupola enjoys notoriety among the colonists and became a full-fledged tourist attraction? But the scientists give it as much attention as possible.
 
The cupola holds an ancient observatory built by the Kraken, a race of intelligent cephalopods that disappeared long ago. From there they gazed at the stars, and from there they gave orders and guided their space flotillas. The walls of the observatory were filled with murals that might have revealed many secrets of the Kraken, but shortly after the studies began, strange people wearing a military uniform that didn’t have an insignia showed up on the planet. They captured the cupola, took the scientists away, carefully removed the covering with the drawings from the walls, placed its fragments in hermetic containers, and disappeared. No one could figure it out.
There are rumors among the Khorat that they were agents of the Earth Government, but up until now no definitive confirmation has been made. One of the most unusual things in the observatory is a dimly illuminated display panel that is surrounded by hundreds of panels with lots of different pictograms. Apparently, you need to enter some sort of code, a specific sequence of pictograms. What is the Kraken code hiding, what secrets is it holding? Until now, no one has figured out the correct sequence of symbols, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t worth trying. Perhaps the code will be cracked tomorrow. Perhaps it will never be cracked

Huge Thank’s to: ORION, ERIC and AKIRA for sharing stories

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