Music fading out, only the drums left now. Cameras four, five and six running. Holo scanners circling.
"Sir, we're live in three, two, one..."
Arms outstretched in invitation. Turn to camera five. Panning in, slowly.
"I am Arthur Wallman, and I invite you, dear audience, to a harsh world of strange beauties -- unlike our own and yet in many ways very similar."
Bend forward. Show intimacy. Camera six panning in.
"This is the first in a new holo show series, Otherworld Disclosed. I will give you the background and the today as it is -- not the watered down version Federation Holo Casting feeds you."
Stand upright. Audience leans forward. Sit down in chair. All cameras zooming. Face up again and smile.
"Otherworld has a past, like our own, and a future we are bound to share together. That sharing has a beginning.
Humans have always been searching for new horizons. Ever hungry for the unknown, we searched the bodies circling our sun. By the twenty fifth century humans traveled throughout the solar system, making homes wherever ingenuity and engineering made conditions bearable."
Smile fading. Replace with fatherly love, and compassion.
"One field of science, however, refused to yield the secrets demanded. Bound by the limits of the speed of light we found the stars out of our reach. Home had become our prison. Hope grew into frustration, anger and resentment. Resentment finally subsided into resignation. Mankind plodded on like a herd of well fed sheep watching the years passing by, too tired even to hope for a miracle."
Bend forward again. Camera six zooming, one and three panning out. Tilting head slightly sideways. Express sympathy and hope.
"Try to remember that time. Pretend that you are still living at a time before that miracle happened -- it will help you to appreciate what occurred, to feel that sense of wonder again."
Rise from chair. Left hand sweeping to holo cube. Lights dimming. Recorded holo running; there, metal and stone filling the view. Voice only now.
"Six years ago, in the year of 2761, Theta 47, a fully automated mining and construction unit, disappeared."
New recorded holo.
"Captain John Ishima commanded the police corvette sent to investigate whatever accident had befallen the station. Finding it intact would in itself have been a major boon to his career, but what made him a place in history was the finding of the Gate."
And there his face fades from view. More darkness, and a blackness so total it's visible against the stars. Zooming in and through it.
"Somewhere between Mars and the asteroid belt there is a hole in reality, a worm hole, a gate to heaven, or more simply, just a hole, and behind that hole, another world. It's a strange solar system with only one single planet circling a sun and a moon circling the planet. The planet we call Otherworld is slightly larger than Earth.
Ishima's first remote survey showed Otherworld's living conditions practically copying Earth's, making it ideal for colonization. His second, that it was already populated."
Holo record fading out. Lights brighter. Cameras two and six zooming in. Stand straight expressing concern and mild outrage.
"The ecstatic surprise we all shared gave way to hope, and hope's ugly companion, greed, was soon to follow. Without telling us, the very citizens the federation government is bound by law to serve, they took upon themselves to decide how to greet our new neighbors."
Drums rolling and the Federation fanfare barely audible in the background. One step backwards as caught by shock and disgust.
"Within a year the carriers TSS Indomitable and TSS Shieldbreaker were dispatched under the command of Admiral Chang with troops to take control of the newfound gift. After four months of uneventful travel they were orbiting Otherworld.
Sometime during the last stages of planning before sending troops planet side their communication equipment suddenly voiced a message from the surface."
Ironic bow. Camera four zooming in, six and three panning out. Turn slowly and slowly walk to number four. Benevolent outrage and then the crooked smile. Invite the audience to share a secret.
"Yes, this is something that I, Arthur Wallman am able to let you know, no matter how much our government would want it unknown, and if the conservatives hadn't lost last year's elections it would still be buried along with the rest of the lies and half truths only an independent newscaster dares digging through."
Turn to holo cube, arms outstretched as to receive a gift. Satellite records on.
"We were to be assigned a small area, barely three kilometers across, as the single point of entry to the planet. This is where the current launch port is located."
Switch record. Admiral tearing apart his gloves during the last trial where he gave testimony.
"Admiral Chang, chosen more for his decisive handling of piracy in the mining belt than for any skill at diplomacy, sent a short message back to Earth about the unexpected communication. Rather than waiting for instructions which could have intervened with his career he excelled in military stupidity and gave the orders to proceed with shuttle dropping ground forces targeting all major cities on the main continent."
Savor that expression of surprise. Now they're learning what really happened...
Merci pour la lecture!
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