Thruokoot Fnaaffpfaargaan hated space travel
-- space was too damned cold
, and no matter how stuffed the ship was with thermal reactor
s, it could never quite warm
the place up enough for his liking. He longed for the vast seas
of his home
, where the warmth never ended. But he knew he might never see those seas again, for he was on a mission
, a vital search
for a new home for his entire kind.
A signal sounded in his pod, and Thruokoot deftly used his whispy tentacle
s to drop the ship out of superlight speed
and into orbit
around a Class G star
. The system checked out; everything about the size and stage of the star seemed just right to support life. But then, he wondered, would there already be life there? He pulled into a lazy curve through the system, when -- there it was, another ship, a strange little one, but definitely unnatural, something created by intelligent life
. He scanned the conditions of the vessel and found it incapable of supporting life. Perhaps it was a probe
, employing some bizarre technology
? Perhaps it had once supported life, but had lost power and been frozen
in place? But then -- impossible!! He received a signal from it!! Some living thing inside that tiny, frozen vessel was trying to communicate with him!!
His ship's translation
devices crackled and sparked before finally completing a translation of the incoming signal: "Alien spacecraft, this is Earth
Defense. Identify yourself and your purpose
The tone was ominous
, but they had not attacked, and so it might be possible to reason with them. Thruokoot resolutely crackled his tentacles, knowing that he had to communicate to these beings the plight
of his people, to beg their indulgence
for the sake of the continued existence
of his race. "I come in peace
," he began. "My people originate many light years from here. As we speak, our star is on the brink of going supernova
; if we do not find a new home, we will be extinguished."
A moment's pause. And then a reply begin to filter through. "We must be sure that your intentions
. We are going to send a boarding party
--" and then in the background, suddenly, a different voice; "Captain, wait -- this -- this is impossible!! We can't board this ship, the temperature is over thirty thousand degrees
Thruokoot tilted a whisp to the left -- it was
a bit chilly in his pod.
The other ship remained silent for a moment longer, and then, with a slightly confused tone, its captain communicated again. "What.... what are your intentions towards the third planet
of this system?"
"Third planet? Why would I have any intentions towards a planet
? Nothing could survive in one of those; you'd freeze into a liquid
, or even a solid
." A quick scan of the satellite in question revealed it to be unlivable; three quarters of its surface was coated with toxic
liquid dihydrogen monoxide
; even the core was a chilly slurrly of liquid iron
, not even 10,000 degrees.
And then realization
dawned. These people, they were actually from the planet
-- they were solids
, solid life forms composed of some strangely suspended mix of frozen and liquid particle
s. Thruokoot had heard the scientist
s amongst his kind speculate
that such a thing might be possible, but he could never conceive it to be so. Now understanding
, Thruokoot made clear, "we have no interest in any of your planets. We are plasma
life forms. We wish to live in your star. From the planet, you will not even know we are there."
Some quiet chatter
could be heard from the other vessel, until the verdict
finally came through. "If you wish to live on -- in, is that right, you want to live inside
"That is correct."
"Well that is -- beyond our jurisdiction
, I guess, so you may carry on. We, uh, we look forward to sharing our system with your, uh.... people."
Within half an hour, Thruokoot was laying a few meters below the surface of the Sun
, utterly content as its flames
energized his aching whisps, and its delightful gravitational
and magnetic field
s washed over him. His ship remained in orbit, a quarter way between the surface and the first planet
. The signal had been sent; his people were coming to their new home; the habitable star had been found.