Twenty years of scavenging the galaxy, and I’d finally found the mother lode. Not just a piece of space junk this time, but an intact vessel. Seemingly powerless and drifting, but whole, beautiful, and utterly alien. I nudged the Galileo, my scout ship, alongside the perfect silver-gray sphere, looking for an entry point. Closer inspection revealed only one possibility – a circular seam at the apex of the sphere, perhaps ten feet in diameter. Without an airlock or other obvious opening it would be impossible to get inside, but I wasn’t ready to give up just yet.
“Thor, initiate contact.”
My trusty AI and companion responded immediately.
“Acknowledged. Beginning sequence.”
Thor began cycling through a standard range of protocols, but there was no response.
“Extend the grappler, Thor. I’m going to take a closer look.”
While I suited up, Thor positioned Galileo above the circular seam and extended the grappler. When it made contact, a warning claxon sounded.
“Response from the alien vessel. Ship now under power. Change in configuration. Caution is advised.”
Sensors showed the area within the circular seam rising like a pillar from within the vessel. The shaft contained an oval aperture, large enough for a human to pass through, and lit with a blueish glow. With the welcome mat out, I wasn’t about to refuse the invitation.
After further warnings from Thor, I slipped out the airlock and towed myself over. Magnetic boots kept me from drifting off into space as I made my way to the portal and stepped inside. The light intensified as the shaft descended into the vessel and came to a stop. Before me was a brightly lit V-shaped cavern, unlike anything I’d seen before. It thrummed with power, extending over my head and deep into the vessel below. I took a cautious step forward and startled when the ship spoke.
“Acquisition complete. Dilation in three, two, one…”
With alarms blaring aboard the Galileo, Thor disengaged the grappler as the alien sphere began to undulate, shrink to a tiny dot, and disappear.