I never set out to write space opera, but this one has grown into an adventure. It starts with the situation from the two main aliens’ points of view.
Image created at DeepAI.org.
Wobbles and First Contact
The figure sidles quickly across the thrumming floor of the mostly-automated refinery. Were any humans watching, they would find it hard to see how the alien moves. It somehow slides on the many stalks supporting its portly middle. Its lower appendages transmit the floor’s irregular vibrations up through its center to its many waving upper extremities. The stalks sway randomly into each other and nearby machines.
Usually more composed and less wobbly, Tye-Por (the New Miner) is absorbed by their low-yield records. Yields remain as poor as when Tye-Por and J’laie (the Wise Problem Solver) began mining their assigned asteroid.
There is no good explanation for how yields suddenly rose, then fell off again. Despite their surprising good fortune, assay scans and tests still show few high-concentration veins in the tumbling, airless rock. J’Lai signals Tye-Por with confusion, “Many drones went far off-target, yet they came back with almost pure ore.” Something unexpected drew the drones away from their programmed mining area. J’Lai continues to investigate. Without realizing, Tye-Por radiates concern about what that one might find out.
Tye-Por hopes, with all the extra metals they have shipped, they will be recognized and given a better assignment. Tye-Por also hopes that J’laie will continue to be open to advances. As their situation improved, J’laie had signalled, “We should create something together.” That wish made Tye-Por hopeful. Co-creation often leads to procreation. But now, Tye-Por’s concern radiates more strongly. Their return to low yields may lead to J’Laie’s withdrawal.
The vibrations and Tye-Por’s swaying continue.
In Part 2, we will learn about J’Lai’s difficulties.