The Shuttle “Terra”

Fiction, “Strictly Prohibited”

The light through the hatch of the ship’s window was soft blue in colour but deep, as if they were travelling over (around) thick walls coated in blue.
An extraordinary ship with complicated apparatus, in which little Slaven was examining the peculiar objects, devices, and books he was surrounded by.

“Come along, and take a walk, lean on the neighbouring objects to maintain your balance” the snub nose boy has timidly asked his little sister.
The children walked, staggering, sticking to one another, and their eyes couldn’t miss the rare glass boxes, bright buttons, and the fairy curtains that fell from the ceiling, silvery-white transparent barriers. These curtain-barriers were at the end of each chamber.

Slaven and Mira were the only youngsters in the “Terra” Shuttle, and they couldn’t recall how they both got into it. A tall man approached them in elegant blue attire, nodded and invited them to sit on a glass bench. He smiled at them and asked:
”Do you know where you are?”

His voice didn’t sound like the ordinary Earthman’s but sounded like it was coming from a pipe and vibration from an echo…
Slaven got over his fear and asked,

“I do not remember why and how we got here, but we’re on a flying ship, and who are you? You sound strange…

“I am Ven, and you’re our visitor at the “Terra” Shuttle. We are from the planet Terra, and you are Earthians. We speak almost all 6500 languages which belong to the Earthians and we keep archiving their history”
“How do manage to speak so many languages? Where are our parents? Are there any other Earthians on the “Terra” Shuttle?” – asked Mira, as her blue eyes were staring at the tall Planetian.

Slaven gripped his little sister’s hand firmly.

“You are here so we can show you our planet and teach you to remember. You children are pure, genuine, and everything you see and memorise will be genuine. Do not worry, your parents are here, and with their consent, we will show you secrets that no Earthian knows so far.”

“Ah…. even in my dream, I never imagined that Mira and I would see another planet!! “- Slaven exclaimed.
“Follow me” the tall Terra resident said.

They climbed up a staircase, and before them, a huge hall with glass walls appeared. Mirrored squares were nicely laid over the glass wall as if someone had drawn them with granite pebbles.

“You can get close to the glass-mirror wall” – Ven smiled at them.

Mira looked herself in the small mirror-squares and saw that the colour of her eyes was darker than usual. This mirror gave them a deep blue colour, and her gaze became insightful. Her thoughts jumped as if they were opening the squares.

The little beauty approached and gently touched one of the square mirrors. She jumped instinctively back as the square slid out of the glass wall. It was a locker that opened at the touch. Slaven approached his sister, and they both peeked curiously into the open box.

“This is our mobile library,” Ven said.
“Can we get this leather book out of the box to look at it?” Mira asked.
-“Yes, open it”… – Ven encouraged his guests.

Slaven pulled out a heavy book and unfolded it. On the first leather page, was carved an animal, stars, and other planets above it.

“But what is this, what kind of animal is this?” – Slaven asked Ven curiously.
Ven took the book in his hands, bent down and pointed:

“This is an animal which existed thousands of years ago and inhabited the Planet Yuris. Many other planets and stars surrounded the old Yuris. This Planet has died, and a New Planet was born”.

“Do you know what the New Planet was when Yuris died?” – Mira asked.
“The New Planet is yours, the planet Earth with its new inhabitants, you Earthians.”

“But that’s amazing … How do you know? How old is your planet Terra? “Slaven asked.

“We’ve been in the Galaxies for billions of years. We do not wage war, we keep what we inherit, and we keep what remains of those who perish. You Earthians are one-sided and very aggressive. You are looking for more space, you are provoking wars and those who survive to continue the same process. You need a change.”

Slaven stared at the book, and then his eyes moved at the mirror drawer in the glass library, and he could see his image. “It can’t be”, he thought, “it is impossible; it is a dream”, and then it all disappeared. . Slaven awoke, jumped, looked around, and saw he was in his room. He ran barefoot into the kitchen. Then he pushed the door of Mira’s Room and saw how sweetly his little sister slept.

“What’s happening?” said Slaven and Mira’ mother. “Who runs early in the morning, early barefoot?”
“I am Mom, I am, Slaven” and the boy saw his mother approaching.
“Let’s go to the kitchen, I’ll prepare the breakfast. Come, tell me what’s so important early on Saturday. Do we miss a sporting event or a movie or a fair?” – Joanna asked.

“Mom, I’ll tell you my dream, but I ask you not to interrupt me, and then tell me the truth, are there other planets with other human beings?” – Slaven was talking to his mom with a trembling voice.

Joanna puts toasted bread, slices of cheese, a jug of fresh milk, and a jar of jam on the table, and listened to the incredible story of her son.
Slaven’s voice awakened Mira, followed by their father. They were sitting around the round table, having breakfast and still listening to Slaven’s story. No one spoke. As if someone was painting. Paintings were changing, facts were convincing while the little narrator stopped.

The “Terra” Planet“ the father repeated, “Terra” means Earth, and judging by your dream there is a planet Terra, another Earth in a more developed form of our Planet Earth.

Mira jumped from her chair and approached Slaven.
“Tell me what they said whilst on the “Terra” Shuttle, is there a secret we can learn from them?”

“Mira, that’s all I remember from my dream. Do you want us to go to the old library and look for books, old books, the oldest book …?”
“Children, do not get late” parents called.

Mira and Slaven went out and headed for the tram stop.
Mira wore a small rucksack on her back, she carefully and cautiously put a small projector, a notebook, and a pen. Slaven added a box of his favourite waffles with peanut cream. They got into the tram and spoke warmly about the Terra Shuttle. The surrounding people nodded and listened with interest.

The tram stopped, the last stop was near to the old town library. Mira and Slaven reached the building and gladly saw they could enter, the library was open.

Mira hurried around huge sculptures, glass windows, with old books, gramophone records, manuscripts, covers of books made of silver. They stopped at a window displaying a book made of leather.

“Slaven, look at this leather book” Mira pointed to the window case and her blue eyes glowing as if it penetrates the window.

The children had glued their faces to the glass behind which was a leather book, when the guard, a middle-aged man, approached them.

“Children, no matter how much you stare, you cannot unfold the leather pages of this ancient book. Stay farther from the glass and if you want to learn more about the book, come with me.”

Slaven and Mira were startled, stood quiet and listened with interest to the librarian. They followed him to a small monitor where the book could be viewed page by page. The pages of the book were scanned and with a gentle touch, the screen could all be viewed. There was a sign: “This is one of the oldest books in the world with cuneiform inscriptions. Early Cognitive Logography System “. Slaven absorbed the information, but it was not the book he saw in his dream.

“Let’s go” – Slaven said to his sister and turned, but Mira was gone. Concerned not to lose her, Slaven started to walk from room to room, running through the corridors. A map of Planets drew his sight. One of them was Yuris. The boy stopped in front of the map, touched the planet Yuris, and sadness run all over his face. He felt someone pulling his sleeve and jumped out of joy when he saw the little, blue-eyed Mira.

“Come on quickly, you’ll be amazed at what I found, follow me” said, Mira.
They run hand in hand, and with quick steps, they reached the hall with walls all covered in glass, Mirrors Square shapes on them, painted with gems of garnets.

“But that’s unbelievable. As if we were in the “Terra” Shuttle” – Slaven said.
“Do you remember from your dream which mirror-drawer I touched?” Mira asked.
Slaven looked around and pointed the one from his dream to Mira. They reached out and read the words: “Do not touch. These lockers are locked and encoded.
“But Mira cleared her throat and surprised her brother when she taped the square mirror. The drawer opened.
Their curious eyes peeked quickly, but there was no leather book as it is in Slaven’s dream.
Mira took out her little flashlight, illuminated all the corners of the drawer, but it was empty.
“It was just a dream,” the boy said, “but I saw this room”. Perhaps, there is no such planet “Terra” and this leather book does not exist.
A strong ray illuminated the room through the round glass ceiling. There was noise, bustle, people were running down the corridors and rushing out.
“Look, see, what a great Shuttle,” a man’s voice said.
Mira and Slaven, panting at the exit of the library, stared at the sky and saw an unusual metal shuttle move away.
“Mira, have we really been to the Shuttle while we think we’re sleeping and dreaming? And how is it possible to have the same glass-mirror room in the library with drawers?” – Slaven spoke excitedly.
The Little Mira jumped from joy, pulled out the projector, lit it, and waved the departing ship a farewell.
Slaven was chewing his favourite waffles:
We will know one day who we are, what kind is our planet, and whether we can communicate with other planets.
“Are we going to keep the Earth’s 6500 languages” – said the little wise redhead girl, and the freckles on her face grew brighter.

**
The morning was cool, high in the mountain, the air was crystalline. There was a signal – like noise coming from the equipment in the station hidden in the huge mountain peak. The young scientist watched the changes in the chart and recorded every encoded signal. And the signals came from a spacecraft, from another Galaxy. Suddenly the signals stopped. The sky blackened. Slaven was alone and was waiting for his colleagues to arrive from the lap they were doing every day, checking the recorders of the little measuring gadgets they had mounted around. He tried to contact the team, but there was no connection.
He was wading through the snow with mini devices adjusted on his helmet: one to capture signals from other planets, the other was a video camera and the third radio transmitter.
He did not catch signals, and no one responded to his contact attempts. He walked for a long time and saw none trace, it would soon be impossible to continue. It was about 40 degrees Celsius; the air was a bizarre blue until it became bright blue and dense. He passed through the blue air and could see nothing as if blue walls were raised around him. He remembered his dream from his childhood, looking through the “Terra” Shuttle hutch – the view was the same! Blue, light, light blue! Dense! His experience and knowledge of a scientist, a physicist, did not suggest a connection and logic.
Ven’s words: “You children are here so we can show you our planet, we can teach you to memorise, you are pure and genuine, and everything you see and remember will be real.” suddenly these words emerged from his little memory draw.
“I have to use my memory,” thought the young scientist. He remembered climbing a ladder and getting into the Mirror Library, on the “Terra” Shuttle from his childhood dream. He began to mechanically raise and lower his legs as if he was climbing a ladder. It was difficult, the cold stiffened his arms, and his legs muscles became stiffer. In the vast, white, snow-covered area in front of him, he did not see a ladder and desperately struck his legs, to trample in one place. Strong light blinded his eyes, he heard a signal, his radio screamed alarmingly:
“Slaven, I hear you, I hear your breathing, where are you?” – Mira called, her voice sounding exactly like Ven as if coming from a trumpet, like an echo.
“Mira, Mira, I’ve been walking long enough to find you, I’m cold, but I see a huge luminous body coming up …”
-“Slaven, Slaven, talk, say something……”
**
Mira stroked her brother’s cold face. The burning logs in the fireplace kept the room warm and cosy. Slaven opened his eyes and saw Mira’s smiley face and his colleagues around him.
“Slaven, we’re all fine, and you made a great record. But never, ever leave alone in these conditions …”
“Mira, go on, play the record” Slaven hurried up from his bed.
Sitting around the fireplace, hearing the crackling logs, the young physicists watched the record Slaven had managed to capture when he saw the huge glowing object and remembered nothing.
The light came from a Shuttle which was moving near Slaven. Everyone stared as the Shuttle approached so close to Slaven that one can see how some Planetians moved into it. It was also visible how two small children caught hand by hand followed a tall Planetian. The children were taken to a mirror-glass room.
-“Slaven, it’s amazing, inexplicable …”

Suddenly the light diminished, and the Shuttle flew away.
Everyone was staring at the black screen on the monitor.

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