What follows is the opening scene of my current work in progress, In Search of the Creators, in response to a request to submit a story to an upcoming anthology.
The end result may be dramatically different and bear in mind that this is a rough draft:
In Search of the Creators
by Alan Loewen
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
The oldest legends say that when the Creators left blue-green Ur to explore the stars, they found themselves alone in a cosmos without boundaries. Grieved at their loneliness, they returned to their world, took their animals, and gifted them with sentience and the ability to stand on two feet and use hands. They scattered their progeny across numerous stars and today, they patiently wait for their children to return. ~ Histories and Legends
“Sensors at full. Keep your ears up.”
Captainess Ilassa brushed her hair out of eyes, flipping her long lop ears to hang over her back. The rest of the crew studied their monitors intensely. Outside the ship, the neverending gray of the warp manifold enveloped the ship and the timers ticked off the seconds when they would pop into real space and a new star system.
Tension filled the air of the cramped control deck. The ship lacked weapons and the instinctive response of Ilassa’s race, exactly like the rabbits from which the Creators had upraised them, was to flee if danger threatened.
Ilassa checked her monitors. All five crew members stood ready to feed her important information the moment they appeared out of warp. Within seconds she would make the decision to either stay and explore this new planetary system or flee back into the safety of manifold space.
She mindlessly tapped her pen on her incisors that peeked out from behind her upper lip, a nervous habit borne from the many times she had entered a new system.
The timer ticked down and suddenly the main viewscreen snapped from formless gray into the dark of space with a brilliant mainstream sun shining like a bright dot in its center.
Information started flashing over her monitor as her crew shouted their findings.
“Five planets, Captainess!”
“No radio signals detected.”
“Captainess, I detect a ship! Wait! It’s dead, Captainess. No heat at all. No electromagnetic signals. Just floating.”
“Captainess, there is one planet that is the proper distance from the sun to maintain life. I detect no electromagnetic signals. Nothing artificial in orbit.”
It was only then that Ilassa realized she was holding her breath. She let it out with a shudder. “Set a course for the derelict,” she said. “Let’s see what information it can give us.”