It was rock, Thomas thought, all rock, drifting in a void between the dying stars. A rock they would be transforming into enough energy to replace their needs for a long time. Must man eternally wander in the gathering intropic darkness , at the time when all the stars would be extinguished and these lonely bits of rock in their billions used to maintain their lives?
For now, Thomas thought, yes. They had no choice. His scout ship touched down on the planetoids mostly smooth and entirely barren surface. His fingers quickly told his machines where to begin drilling into the planetoids shell for samples of the ore they had sensed from orbit. Yes, they could transmute rock into metals and into energy, but it was far easier and cheaper to mine the minerals they needed than to create them. And presently, Thomas reclined back in his command chair and went to sleep.
The alarm bell rudely awoke him sometime later. After Thomas silenced it, he noticed a large ship approaching his world on his radar screen, rapidly breaking its swift approach.
Presently, a rather tired and annoyed face appeared on his computer screen. “Thomas 317, I presume?
This is commander John 8186 of the science vessel Robar 81. Our Corporation overheard your telemetry findings and sent me here. We have instructions to tow this rock to coordinates 001/01/01 immediately. Anchor your ship firmly, let us know when you are ready for the tow.”
“Understood, Robar 81”. Thomas replied in resignation. Now someone wants my find all to themselves . It’s not often that someone finds a large amount of Trillium ore. I’m going to complain to my union rep about this.
Shortly, Thomas sent his ready signal. A rather beautiful Aurora of energy descended to and around the planetoid and it accelerated with the ship into hyperspace. It was many hours later that they emerged from hyperspace just outside a dead solar system, its Sun had long ago scorched its planets clean in its red giant phase and it was now a tiny red dwarf.
Sector 001/01/01 Thomas frowned. It sounded familiar. He did a quick search and notice that it was the coordinates of the solar system where man had originated. Wonder, awe, and a little uneasiness filled his soul. What in the world are we doing here? He asked himself, this place has been barren and deserted for over a billion years. As to answer his question, his computer chimed in a message icon demanded his attention. Somewhat hesitantly, Thomas clicked on the icon and Commander John 8186 appeared, looking at least a little less tired and harassed than before.
“Thomas, good. Our techs have coordinates ready for your drill rig. You are to allow them access to your computer. They will direct the operation from here.” ” Commander, what are they doing and why are we here of all places?”
The commander had an impatient look on his face and said patronizingly, “its science, Thomas, new science. They want to use the Trillium you found to open a wormhole. I don’t know how. Just be glad these________ techs aren’t on your ship”. With that, the screen blanked off.
A few minutes later, his ship rose from the surface and over the next hour, drilled 11 holes in a two mile circle, then wires were drug into the holes by robots. Finally, several hours later, Thomas was ordered to join the larger ship a few miles from the planetoid. Thomas heard a count down to zero. First nothing, then all of a sudden a circular black vortex appeared above the planetoid and before Thomas could think to do anything, both ships were sucked into the vortex in a split second and spit out on the other side. Thomas blinked in astonishment at the light of a brilliant yellow sun.
Thomas checked his coordinates, but he could not find the Galactic navigation beacons.
“Are you all right over there?” He heard a voice asking, and he quickly turned on his video. “Yes, commander,” Thomas said, hoping that his anxiety did not show it is voice. “What happened?” “Looks like we were sucked through the wormhole back in time,” the commander said. “We aren’t picking up any transmissions, so it’s likely safe to visit the third planet, Manhome. In 5 min. we will engage planetary system engines,” and so they did.
This world was beautiful, Thomas thought as his small ship came alongside the larger vessel a couple hundred miles above the planet. When they docked, commander John and four Marines came aboard. “Go to these coordinates, Thomas,” the commander ordered. Thomas punched in the coordinates as he backed his ship away. In a few minutes, they were descending down through the atmosphere to a green plain between two rivers. As they got closer, they saw a city built out of mud brick and a large temple pyramid being built in its center.
“Land next to that pyramid.” The commander ordered, And they did . As they exited the ship, all of the natives were on their faces before them.
The commander turned on his microphone loudspeaker and spoke in a booming voice “we are your gods”. As soon as the echoes died away, an equally booming voice replied from the heavens “no you’re not” and two beings materialized in front of them.